Steven Brokaw Photography

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Palm Studios - Yes, Size Matters

The Creative Group - Photo by Stephen Simonetto

The Creative Group - Photo by Stephen Simonetto

Indianapolis has a new photography studio.  I recently met up with Stephen Simonetto, a local wedding / portrait photographer, at his new studio, Palm Studios on the north side of Indianapolis.  I’ve followed Stephen’s work for a while and had learned he opened a new studio.  I reached out to him and he invited me to take a tour.  The place is HUGE.   Let me repeat, the studio is HUGE.  Enough space of basically anything photographically you can imagine. 

The Space - Like I said, it's huge

The Space - Like I said, it's huge

Well, not able to leave a space like that go, I asked him if I could organize a few photographers and have a shoot-around at his space.  He said sure.  With his thumbs up I invited Jeremy Murchland and Dauss Miller to join me and Stephen in the photo-shoot.  Jeremy is an up & coming portrait and fashion-inspired model photographer.  Dauss is an established wedding photographer who also hits the fashion-inspired model photography scene as well.  All were in.

We each agreed to bring our own lighting equipment and arrange a model to join us.  I figured with the line-up of photographers and a new space we could get some top notch talent, and we did.  We also lined up 2 extremely talented makeup artists and a killer hair stylist.  Joining us were:

  • MUA – Danelle French
  • MUA – Kelly Michelle Oswalt
  • Hair – Anthony Perez
  • Model – Brooke Hovermale (LModelZ)
  • Model – Ashley Kisler
  • Model – Gabrielle Bradley
  • Model – Jeanell Kissinger
  • Model – Megan Seals

Everyone was great to work with and brought some fun clothes to work with.  Makeup and hair was spot on.  The atmosphere was extremely casual and that made for a fun day.

Anthony & Jeanell

Anthony & Jeanell

Anthony & Megan

Anthony & Megan

The nice thing about Palm Studios is we had 16,000 square feet to work with.  For a shoot like this, even for a smaller shoot, this amount of space is ideal.  We had the opportunity to set up 4 backgrounds.  One for each photographer without getting in the way of each other.  Also the studio has plenty of tables and desks we could each use, and each of the MUA/hair stylist could set up separately.  Also, there are power points everywhere so we had absolutely no problems powering our lighting.  Seriously, we could have fit 2 or two additional photographers and still heard our echo.  Stephen also has a wireless sound system so we had tunes the entire shoot, although everyone gave me evil eyes when I mentioned I wanted to listen to house / trance music.

Danelle & Gabrielle

Danelle & Gabrielle

Danelle & Jeanell

Danelle & Jeanell

The day started right at 10ish with people starting to show up.  We set up quickly and the models started into their MU routine.  Once that was done we started to shoot.  We had all types of lighting set up.  Jeremy had a single studio strobe with a bare 8” reflector, Dauss had an Elinchrom studio light with a beauty dish and a second Elinchrom as a fill light with a reflector, Stephen had a single studio light with a beauty dish mounted on a trolley so he could move it around easily (cool idea).  Finally, I had an Elinchrom studio light with a 27” diffused beauty dish, and a second Elinchrom with an 8” reflector either bare or with a 30 degree grid to light the background or add fill either directly or off a reflector.

Each photographer got really solid work.  All of us shot all 5 models at least once.  And what was cool is that each model brought enough clothing so we didn’t copy anyone’s style.  Danelle, Kelly & Anthony were machines trying to keep up with us. 

Kelly & Brooke

Kelly & Brooke

Dauss & Gabrielle

Dauss & Gabrielle

Jeremy & Jeanell

Jeremy & Jeanell

Stephen & Ashley

Stephen & Ashley

Before I know it we had burned through about 6 hours and started to wind things down.  It was a BLAST.  I enjoyed working with all the models, working with Danelle, meeting Anthony, working again with Kelly and just hanging with all the other photographers – each who I know.  I especially enjoyed the shoptalk at the end of the shoot.

It was a really fun day and I’m glad we were able to bring it all together.  Stephen’s studio is perfecto, and for large shoots I will probably rent it out (I have a studio in downtown Indianapolis, but it’s more “normal” sized – yes, size matters).  Also, Stephen’s hospitality was perfect.  

Need a big studio to rent in Indianapolis, check out Palm Studios at; info@palmstudios.net, or 317-709-9358.

A few take-aways:

  • On any shoot like this bring extension cords.  I have a dufflebag filled with extension cords and I use them ALWAYS.  A photographer should always have extension cords,
  • If you are organizing a shoot like this, divvy up the workload and communicate regularly,
  • Even though this was a shoot-around test shoot, I think it’s still important that you send your model a call sheet.  It’s important that she/he knows all the details,
  • Take time to talk with everyone.  It’s very easy to sit back and just do your thing, but part of the fun was networking and just watching others do their thing.  Do it,
  • Bring model releases.
  • Get everyone’s contact information so you can follow-up.
Model - Ashley Kisler

Model - Ashley Kisler

Model - Brooke Hovermale

Model - Brooke Hovermale

Model - Gabrielle Bradley

Model - Gabrielle Bradley

Model - Jeanell Kissinger

Model - Jeanell Kissinger

Model - Megan Seals

Model - Megan Seals

 

 

Modeling Tips From A Photographer - Part Deux

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