A Miami Beach Portrait Session

I know it’s been a while since I’ve done a blog post in a while, but I’m back! I bring you a photo shoot I did with Suraya. This was sort of like a high school reunion of sort. Suraya and myself both went to Miramar High School together and graduated in ’97. Yes that long ago lol

Suraya is an author living in Georgia and like many people these days we stayed in contact via Facebook and Twitter. She was seeing the work I posting and wanted a photo shoot for herself. The planning of the shoot took a couple of months but once the date was agreed upon we began to work out specifics of the shoot. We would text and email ideas back and forth, always brainstorming etc. I even sent her a list of makeup artists in the area who I follow on the social networks and she went with my suggestion of Ade Castaneda, who did an amazing job by the way.

Suraya was staying at the Fashionhaus Hotel on South Beach and that was where we would start our photo shoot. Ade had already done her makeup before I even got there so when I arrived we began shooting. We stepped out onto the balcony of the hotel and I began shooting. Lately the weather here in Miami has been rainy and dreary and today was no different. Ominous skies were present and the rain that fell over night still laid upon everything like fresh, fallen snow. I didn’t know what window we would have so I was moving quick.

After the balcony we moved to the street, literally. I have this thing where I like shooting people in the middle of the street. It’s like my trademark if I had one. Since it was still relatively early in the morning, traffic was light which allowed pretty much free access to the street. I wanted to shoot more around the streets and building but like I said the weather wasn’t going to cooperate so she made a quick wardrobe change and we headed to the beach.

Once we got to the beach, the wind greeted us harshly as did the light rain that began to fall. I found this little patch of sea grass and had Suraya sit down next to it for some shot that came out great. I had Surayan face the wind so her hair could blow for a more dramatic effect. We moved quickly along the beach and ended up on this path over by 1st street where we ran into the wedding photographer I work with, Evan Rich. We chatted a bit and he mentioned a location for us so we walked over and grabbed some shots there.

After a couple of locations and outfit changes we decided to grab some lunch. We walked over to Wet Willies on Ocean Drive and had some chicken sandwiches and some frozen drinks. As a side note if you ever go to Wet Willies order the fourplay. You won’t be disappointed. While we were eating the skies opened up and the rain began to fall a bit more intensely. So we sat there and talked for a while. We talked about high school and career paths etc. I even occasionally threw in a joke or two because I do have a sense of humor albeit cruel sometimes. When the rain slowed we made a dash back to the hotel.

Since the rain was basically here to stay we decided to shoot in the hotel for our final shots. These shots were my favorite. I had Suraya in a little stool in the middle of the hallway and I bouncing the light from my flash all over and messing with the shutter speed. We did have to stop for the occasional maid or guest to stroll by. I wanted to use light stands in the hallway to be even more creative but insurance and hotel policies forbade it. All in all I had a great time. I thought we came away with some amazing shots.

South Beach

Suraya collage

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