The first shoot on the road to an MFA portfolio was with model/actor Isaiah Lucas, who I imagine is in LA by now on his way to stardom. I found Isaiah on Model Mayhem (henceforth MM), which is a social networking site for the photography industry, including photographers, models, makeup artists, stylists, retouchers, etc. I had previously tried to find models to work with on there a year or so prior, and they all flaked at some stage of the process. So I went into things with skepticism, and only a modicum of hope. I also put out a casting call on the site and found Leila Von Sleichter who also goes by LasVegasLeila on MM. To say they were both wonderful is an understatement. They were thoroughly professional, on top of things, and knew their shit. The shoot was an absolute pleasure, especially since I had a few impromptu assistants (and we all know how wonderful assistants are). Leila and I have since collaborated again with great success.
It was a dark and rainy day, perfect for photography, really. It seemed to be a disaster at first. None of the shops had accessories I was looking for, I was late everywhere, but somehow it all came together. I found a friend who had a friend who had the umbrella holder I needed. And I wasn't more than 5 minutes late at any point, which for me is a miracle.
I started off hoping more for Avedon, and ended up more with clean headshots on a white background. Whatev. Thankfully there was a nice white brick wall in the parking lot we set up in. Super simple setup on this shot: 1 Nikon SB-600 blasting the wall. Natural light on the model.