Portraits

Throwback: Flexability by Zack Wussow

(I’m on the road a lot this month, so here’s another throwback post, to an amazing series of shoots that produced one of my favorite - and only - diptychs of my career.)

Early on, I was looking for some fun and different ways to use my studio set-up, and my friend Amanda suggested doing some photos of her yoga practice.

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She ran through a variety of positions as I used a couple of different lighting setups.

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It was a ton of fun. And an extra cool detail - when I did her maternity photos the following year, we made sure she hit a few of the same poses so we could get side by side comparisons.

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Pretty awesome! We got other excellent maternity photos as well. (Though I probably like the ones we did for her second child better...)

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Two really fun shoots!

Yoga in the Park by Zack Wussow

I met Rita in a park near her home to do some portraits for her Yoga instruction. She teaches classes at Samadhi Yoga Studio and Breathe More Yoga. It was a somewhat humid but otherwise beautiful summer day.

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As a special perk, it's a park I am quite familiar with, as I used to live right next to it. It was a lot of fun to revisit some stretches of familiar trails, and I found out they recently extended the trail network, so I will be back on a slightly cooler day in the future.

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Nothing too fancy here - just looking for a simple, healthy, natural look to pair well with yoga, with a couple outfit changes to add some variety. Still, a really fun thing to do, and a bit of a break from the wedding season.

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Winter Wonderland by Zack Wussow

Emily and Ed (adopters of my former chinchilla, incidentally) reached out to me for couple's portraits. I was so excited because they had a really fun, different idea: we waited for a good, solid snowfall and then met at Bancroft Castle

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It's a beautiful location - cool ruined building, surrounded by beautiful rural New England vistas. And the snow was fresh and bright. Couldn't ask for more.

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Unfortunately, we also managed to do it during a stretch of record-breaking cold, so it was an unusually bracing photo outing. Not that it slowed us down!

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Every wedding, engagement, and portrait shoot has its own unique flavor and challenges, but it's really fun to do something so unusual. 

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Thanks for being so game, Emily and Ed!

Perfect Strangers by Zack Wussow

During my slow season, I like to try to fit in a few projects that are fun and let me try something new. A few weeks ago I drove down to NYC to visit my friend Sarah Smallwood Parsons and her comedic partner Brittany McDonald, who run Perfect Strangers: A Character Show. I thought it'd be interesting to photograph some of their characters, and they did not disappoint.

It was such a good time and hilarious watching these two hop in and out of characters.

Only two things I would do differently next time. First, use my crumpled grey backdrop rather than the bare wall we used. I think the added texture would be good and it would look better under the colored background light.

The other is the background colors themselves. I had intended to do a variety of colors, but on the day of the shoot I wasn't liking how the colors looked in camera. I decided to stick to green/blue, probably the least appealing colors to me, figuring I could alter them in post processing.

Well... When I got home and dug into the photos, the color looked fine, but altering it in post did not work half as well as I'd expected. 

Kind of a shame. But then, that's exactly why I like doing these experiments once in a while. If I do a similar shoot again, I'll know how to use the background lights to get exactly the color I'm looking for.

In the meantime, I still love these photos, just on the strength of the subjects. They crack me up! If you're in NYC, visit their Facebook page and find a show you can go to.  Or you can meet Mickey Nutello, one of Sarah's characters and the one who inspired this project, in this video. (Audio is a little NSFW.)