Miss Jerusha and I decided the street fashion theme would be really fun to attempt and a good addition to her portfolio. It was the first time I had ever tried shooting in a busy downtown environment with a model that had previous experience and with an on camera flash. Many things that could have hindered the shoot, but what I didn’t anticipate was how hot and humid it would be around 6pm. We dragged a little, but mostly for the one block radius in the historic downtown San Jose area it was full of inspiring architecture and we managed to get some really nice shots.
Jerusha is headed to medical school and is also modeling for the fun and extra cash more than for a career. She does have a lot more experience in front of the camera than the other models I had shot previously and so it was more relaxing overall in directing her. This was the Pinterest board I used for inspiration and though she had a couple different looks, it would have been nice if one look had been pants instead of a skirt. Oh well, maybe someday I will work with a wardrobe stylist, or clothing designer…one can dream!
One of the more interesting aspects of shooting in a public environment is that anyone and everyone can not only see what you are doing, but also feel liberated to make comments as well. In Jerusha’s case it was often in the form of cat call’s, or drive by honking with the occasional shout out of “hey gorgeous!” from various men
It made her self conscious and broke our flow many times, but not often enough that we wanted to stop. It reminds me of this art series “Stop telling women to Smile” from the artist Tatyana Falalizadeh based in Brooklyn who addresses street harassment in a series of murals that is growing to include many cities and participents. “This project takes women’s voices, and faces, and puts them in the street – creating a bold presence for women in an environment where they are so often made to feel uncomfortable and unsafe. “
I was also told at one point by a transit operator (street cars run up and down the main drag all day) that I might be asked for a permit by the “authorities” which if I had been on location with a full crew that might have drawn attention to us, but I was shooting guerilla style with just my model and camera and moving around quite a bit. I have been known to walk blithely by “No Trespassing” signs to get my shot, so filing for a permit seems foreign to me. Perhaps someday when I want to shut down the whole block I’ll do it…..maybe….
Take risks, move fast, use professionals and have a good lawyer on hand if things get tricky…those are my tips for street shooting!