Joseph N. Tran

Upscale

This was a fun project I cooked up. I wanted to attempt several takes on various iconic looks and personas throughout the past decades. I would have to start with a certain era, and I would have to choose a couple of really famous icons as my inspirations. 


From there I knew I would have to find a model, or models, to fulfill my vision. After taking some time to think things over, I knew I wanted to do the project with just one model, and take her along throughout the various decades of the project. Perhaps down the road I could expand it, create more chapters to add to this project. It was challenging choosing the specific model that would fit all the decades and icons of those decades. 


In the end, I knew Lauren would be perfect for my project. I’ve known Lauren for quite some time and she is such a timeless, classic beauty, which I could see working out really well for my vision. Aside from that, she’s such a sweetheart, and we just have great chemistry together. It is always a joy to work with her. The decision was a no brainer. My makeup and hair team are top notch, and I knew they would be excited to be a part of this creative project.


We got to work when all of our schedules lined up, and made a promise to try to do one session a month. It helped that Lauren also lived really close to me, which made scheduling a lot easier. We managed to go through the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s before our schedules filled up, making it difficult to come back to the project consistently. Someday I hope to return and continue where I left off, as it was a very inspirational project, and just a whole lot of fun.


Shots of Lauren during the process.




Natural

I love capturing natural beauty. Some find it boring, or go about trying to cover it up. Personally, there’s just something special, something raw, something real, about capturing natural beauty. Perfections and imperfections are all subjective, but in the end they present a uniqueness about yourself. This should be embraced, and celebrated, way more than it has been. For a model, it takes confidence to present yourself, as you are. This in itself makes the shot feel very intimate. There is a lot of truth, and trust, in a pure natural shot. 


Xian au naturel.



Bespoke

Misa hits me up and tells me she thrifted a really cool vintage bridal dress. I immediately suggested we go play. Potential story ideas started to churn in my head.


The story I brewed up was one of a stranded, or a runaway bride. I figured the mood and the emotions involved would be perfect for either scenario, and Misa, being the amazing model she is, would be able to naturally bring my character to life.


The shoot was fantastic. The shots were amazing. We loved the results. We had tons of fun. Unfortunately, it’s now years down the road, and I still haven’t been able to present the story. I’m so fussy, it’s a problem. In my battle with striving for perfection, I’m left with memorable work sitting on the sideline. I love this set, and I’ve told myself, I’ll lay it down one of these days.


Landing

It’s always good to take in and assess what you’re going to shoot, before just randomly snapping away. After establishing a good rapport with your model, which is one of the first things you should do, get them out in front of your camera. 


Use a clean backdrop, or a simple wall if you’re outside, figure out what makes them look their best. Keep the elements simple before adding too much right away. Most of the time if you’re shooting an experienced model or a model you really want to shoot, that’s all you’re going to need to make your shots stand out. Don’t overthink it. Take it from there as the momentum of the session should progress and build.


Here’s a shot of Liz in front of an egg shell colored backdrop in my living room. All natural light to her left coming through my window. I usually have a reflector on the other side of her, but I didn’t use one here. The shadows are a bit more imbalanced, but this is fine for what I was trying to figure out.



Authenticity

It is the foundation which compels truth and transparency. It should be applied to all aspects of your work, as well as yourself.


The gal with the coolest name, Pyper America.


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