Now that the advertising has run, I wanted to show you some of the work I did for Stella Nova Spa & Salon. The ad above was for the back cover of the Charleston edition of Skirt Magazine. The one below is from The Little Black Book’s back cover. The model is Karson Terrell, who had just won the crown of Miss Folly Beach Teen 2013 the night before. This was her second photo shoot of the day and she was still glowing.

Little Black Book Stella Nova Oct 2012

Hair and make-up was done by Stephanie Murray Waltrip, who I met earlier this year at the Change For Change Art Show when I shot her family’s portrait.


I wanted to share with you some of the shots that didn’t get used, because we had so much fun making them and I believe it shows. This photo was the final “perfected” image for the similar shot above used on the Little Black Book. The one they used was actually a test shot, so the lighting wasn’t positioned correctly yet and she wasn’t “posing” – I just had her standing in place to test the lights! My guess is that the art director liked that fact.


In a similar fashion, the photo they chose at the top of this post was not a planned shot – it was just off-the-cuff playing against a wall because the light was great on our way to do this shot:


One of the things they asked for was the color blue, and they wanted something slightly editorial in nature. Stephanie and I thought this would foot the bill:


I think that this shot truly shows off Stephanie’s talent in the hair department:


And Karson’s eyes in this shot are hypnotizing:


When they told me which shots they were going to use, I was a little surprised because neither were what they had asked for! My first reaction was “I’ll never send anything but the absolute best shots to the client ever again” because they used a test shot. Then I realized just how silly that line of thinking is. These shots are for them, not me! If I gave them something they liked, then I did my job. More importantly, the art director did her job of finding an image that demonstrates their brand. By delivering more than what they asked for, we actually did the right thing. As an artist, the things I look for in my images are very different than what someone else might see. In portraiture, my job is to decide that. In commercial photography, my job is to let the client decide.


I shot most of the shoot in portrait because that is what the client asked for. This last shot was an alternate I did for myself because the scene looked too cool not to capture in landscape. I had Karson’s mother holding my light over the side of the roof while I was leaning over the railing to get this:


If you read my blog regularly, you may remember that the portrait version of this shot won an honorable mention at the Coastal Carolina Fair this year 😉 Be sure to check out the rest of the photos from the shoot in this Flickr set.

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1 Comment

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