When Michigan gives you 60 degrees in the middle of February...........

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 and give her a follow on Instagram @leann.model.