I remember when I first moved to the Pacific Northwest I was given constant warnings about the rain from everyone I knew. Being from California, a land where our seasons included sunshine, and a little less sunshine, I was becoming increasingly paranoid about this and wondered if I was ever going to have the opportunity to photograph outdoors ever again. I was never the type of photographer to thrive in a studio, but perhaps this was my opportunity to change that.
Fearing the worse, I signed a one year lease on a studio space within about one week after arriving in town and tried to make the best of it. It was fitting that my first subject in my new found creative home was Kat Love, a model whom I had worked with frequently in California.
Kat and I both got started in the whole modeling and photography business around the same time. We always shared the same aesthetic, the same goals, and the same sense of professionalism. Standing at over six feet tall, Kat Love is to this day the only model I have ever photographed where I can stand up completely street and hold a camera level with her eyes.
Working in such a simple environment was a big change for me and I admit I felt a bit lost. There were no trees to interact with, no rocks, or beaches, or ocean waves. Just negative space and a single strobe light that was mine to control. Where I had always been a photographer who made choices about what environment to use, and the natural sunlight was out of my hands, now I found myself in the complete opposite situation. While this photograph was being made, I felt like a first rank amateur for the first time in a very long time.
Fast forward a year and I let the lease on my studio lapse. It turned out the rain in Oregon wasn’t half as bad as people said it was and I found plenty of opportunities to make photographs outdoors. I will always be grateful for the experience though as it did give me the opportunity to learn what it was like to work in a different style.