February in Michigan can be brutal at times with sub zero temperatures and snow by the foot. So when this past Saturday reached temperatures in the low 60s I knew I had to take some time and go shoot. I connected with my model friend LeAnn and made arrangements to meet up later that afternoon in downtown Detroit.
An area I had in mind was The Belt, a redeveloped alley connecting Grand River and Gratiot Avenue. With its colorful street art and artsy vibe, I knew this was the place to start. I guess I wasn't the only one thinking this, there must have been a dozen photographers roaming around shooting everything from portraits to wedding photos. By using a little photographers etiquette we were able to navigate around the other shooters, staying out of their field of view while still achieving what we needed.
I thought it would be cool to walk around a few blocks downtown to get a different look and feel. With constant redevelopment going on in the area, there are a lot of construction elements around that added to the gritty feel I was going for. We shot an hour before sunset, taking advantage of that golden glow in the sky to get some nice backlit shots. I decided to keep my approach simple by using minimal gear; two prime lenses. The majority of my images were shot with the Nikkor 50mm 1.8G and the rest with the 85mm 1.4G. I am very impressed with prime lenses and the images they produce straight out of camera. I also broke out my Nikon F3 film camera for a few shots and to use as a prop.....we'll see how those come out later.
A big shout out to LeAnn, a model I've enjoyed working with in the past and twice so far this year. She is very good at posing and giving "face", which is a big part of why we were able to pull off so many good looks. She has a wonderful personality and makes shooting with her fun! I encourage you to check out her site at www.leannmodel.com and give her a follow on Instagram @leann.model.