A few weeks ago I decided I would head to LA to do some testing with a few models to build my portfolio with some new sports and lifestyle images and try and meet with a some people for portfolio reviews. In doing so I also wanted to try and put together a good crew of people to work with. I was working with a great modeling agency called Sports+Lifestyle Unlimited. Like the name implies they have great sports and lifestyle models and I wanted to start to build a good relationship with them so when I book shoots in the LA area or need talent from there they know who I am. It’s important to build good relationships with everyone you work with.
It’s always a challenge when are going to new city where you haven’t really ever shoot before. Especially when you are self producing your shoots and in between shoot trying to set up portfolio reviews. Luckily, I had the help of Wonderful Machines crew directory to help me find people to help me. I came across the work of Donna Gast. She is an amazing hair and makeup stylist in LA that specializes in lifestyle and sports. She has a ton of experience working in LA and has worked with just about every major brand, agency, and photographer you can think of. I emailed her and asked her if she would be interested in collaborating on some shots and she was onboard. I can’t begin to thank her enough for her help not only is she super talented and amazing to work with, but she pretty much became my guide to shooting in LA. She helped me figure out where we could and couldn’t shoot, recommendations on locations, places to avoid, etc. I could not have gotten what I did without her help. Thank you again Donna! If you ever need hair and make up in LA she is the person!
Once I had Donna onboard I found a couple of good assistants and had already finalized the the models. After that is was a matter of figuring out where to shoot. I flew in on Memorial Day and was shooting my first models that evening. I meet Donna at here house a bit before the models to figure out a good location to shoot and to do hair and make up. I normally like to scout beforehand but that wasn’t an option so I had to rely on Donna and Google to find a cool spot. We decided we would go downtown since everyone else would be at the beach and most things were closed that day. It was a good call, we got on the 4th street bridge and other spots that would normally be too packed with people to shoot on a normal day.
I figured out really quickly why people love shooting in LA. The light is amazing. That smog really creates an look you can’t recreate anywhere else. Here are the shots we got that first day. The models were Dillon and Kelly from SLU Agency. They were great! I did two more shoot that week and will post them in Part 2 of this post. I have to give a shout out to Eliza at SLU Agency, Donna Gast, and Nathan Seabrook for their help on this shoot. We had to shoot fast and and I couldn’t have done it with out them. Thanks Guys!