As an artist, it’s always humbling to be busy with client work. But the trouble happens when you don’t make enough time to explore and create art for the sake of creating. There are times when you need to slow down and just allow yourself to trust your creative intuition – no limitations, no expectations, no pressure. I needed to allow myself a day of play shooting to explore new ideas that have been brewing. So I called on a local model, Callie and hair and makeup artist, Rosie to collaborate on a shoot with me. I didn’t have a lot of concrete ideas – just loose, vague adjectives and feelings that I wanted to come across in the final images. Floral elements, soft but painterly light, beautiful gowns, and words like ethereal and feminine were floating around in my brain.

I rented a few dresses and had some artificial floral pieces in my studio already and knew I wanted to incorporate those into the shoot. I just love redheads and Callie had a delicate look that I thought would be perfect for this shoot. I had an idea of the lighting set ups I wanted to try and only the first backlight setup went exactly how I thought it would. The lighting for the rest of the looks were tweaked around until I found the look I wanted. I knew I wanted it to feel painterly and have some drama but have an overall romantic but editorial feel.

For this backlight look, I created the lighting with two strobes behind the model and reflectors in front. I wanted to capture a few beauty images focusing on the face and beautiful hair and makeup and also allowing the flowers to shine. I love how the pinks and light in these images compliment her red hair.


For this look, I wanted a directional yet soft look. I love the texture of her hair and lace dress. It was pretty short so my model couldn’t move around too much but I love the shapes and expressions we captured. This look is feminine but has a bit more edge than the first look. I put a strobe overhead to shine some light on Callie’s beautiful hair and used another two lights as fill and some reflectors.

fashion portrait of woman in lace dress on painted background in studio 3 fashion portrait of woman in lace dress on painted background in studio 1 fashion portrait of woman in lace dress on painted background in studio 4

fashion portrait of woman in lace dress on painted background in studio 3

This final look is my favorite. The way the lighting, colors, gown and Callie’s beautiful statuesque movements just make me sigh. I used three light sources for this set up as well and wanted the processing to be a little more vintage and nostalgic. Callie looks like she could be an old movie star with her timeless features.

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I’m so pleased with the final images and proud to share them with you. I can’t wait to bring what was created in this portfolio photoshoot to my clients.


My downtown San Antonio studio

Hair & Makeup

Rosie MacDonald 


Callie Stegemeier, The Brown Agency

Would you like to experience a magazine-style photoshoot? Call me at 210-460-0908 to discuss how you want to be photographed or fill out inquiry form below.

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