Photo Shoot at Parliament the Boutique's Studio

Feeling like the 70's...

My stylist friend, Lynn Serulla is really awesome and hooked us up with Parliament the Boutique in Grand Rapids for a day of shooting in their studio at the historic Steelcase factory. The building is grand and has the most beautiful big windows. The natural light is all I needed to create a beautiful story with Jackie, our model, Lynn, my stylist, and Emily Gremel, the H&M artist.

I took a bunch of behind the scenes images that will give you an idea of the space and what they do there. At the boutique, they sell goods that are hand made right in the Grand Rapids area. They are leather workers, with their brands Littlewings Designs and Harbinger Leather Design, they make beautiful textiles under the brand Adventure Textiles, as well as representing many other consignment artist from the area.

In the images we used their accessories, bags, scarfs, and more to make the story have some interesting details and objects to feature. We used jewelry from, Forest Emporium which added a beautiful natural touch to the images.

It was magical to walk into their workspace and feel a sense of community, of substance, and a place where creativity can flow... and that it did!

We even got to do some lovely behind the scenes video including some footage with a UAV, from the talented Nik Henderson! There was no shortage of collaboration on this project, and it came together so smoothly. From finding a space the length of the whole building that is under construction to shoot in, to finding a cool old sports car in the basement garage, we had the coolest discoveries and a beautiful sunny day in March to capture all we could!

Nik Henderson, of Village Studio in Grand Rapids, getting some drone footage of Jackie's catwalk!

MUA, Emily Gremel putting some finishing touches to lip color.

Lynn Serulla, wardrobe stylist with model, Jackie Laheta.

I rented a Nikon D750 for this shoot. I've heard so many good things about the camera, and am looking into buying it for myself. I was really happy to use my lenses on a full frame camera; I shot my Nikon 50mm f1.4 and a Nikon 85mm f1.8. Normally I shoot my D7000, and the crop sensor is something that I have always dealt with, and sometimes use to my advantage. I have shot with the D800/810 before and ran into issues with file size (too big for my needs!) and issues with its physical size. The D750 was a good happy medium between the two and I loved the advantages in low light. You will see what I mean on some of the finished images... we shot in a basement car garage with flickering fluorescent lights mixed with some natural light. 

I also chose not to use any artificial light sources for this shoot. Looking back, I wish I had a kiss more of light on the face for most shots. But a kiss more didn't constitute me carrying around a strobe, modifier, battery pack, etc. all day without an assistant. The inspiration for the images was this natural feel for the 70s and adding a different light source felt like cheating. Plus we had such a lovely day! We lost a little light in the afternoon on some locations, but overall I couldn't be happier.

The team did a kick ass job. I want to point out that this was Jackie's first modeling job! She is such a sweetheart with a lot to offer the world. Thanks to the team, and the individuals who let us use their space and product in the shoot: Lynn Serulla, Nik Henderson, Emily Gremel, Jackie Laheta, Elyse Weltcher, Megan Roach, Heather of Forest Emporium.

Scroll through all the behind the scenes images below! Enjoy, and check back for the full photo story from the day!