Malibu Morning with Ash

Growing up, I always pictured Malibu, California as a huge beach with blue skies, surfers everywhere, and ice cream stands...When I moved to California and made my first trip there I quickly realized how wrong I was!  Most of the coast line in Malibu are cliffs with beautiful houses perched atop them.  I imagine waking up to the views the homeowners have is something next level.  While I've generally visited and it's been beautiful, the day that Ash and I decided to head out for a photoshoot we weren't as lucky.  Fortunately, the grey skies weren't much of a match for how awesome Ash and I made things look.

We met up at my place in the late morning after and the skies were already grey.  I was hopeful that they'd burn off in the hour it would take for us to get out to the coast, but that wasn't the case.  Luckily, this meant the beach would be a little less crowded than normal which would make shooting a bit easier.  We traveled down the rocky dirt path along the cliffs and eventually got to some wooden stairways that led down to the beach.  The smell of salt in the air and the sound of waves crashing along the shore reminded me a lot of when I was a kid growing up in Florida.  We walked down the beach a little ways and eventually found a nice spot with some beautiful overgrown plants, a rock wall, and enough light to start shooting.  

I have to make sure to thank Tina from @poolsidejunkies for the awesome swimwear we used for a couple of the looks!  I had seen some of Ash's past swimwear work and knew we were going to end up with some pretty amazing photos.  The images started looking great right from the beginning and just kept getting better.  We moved all over the beach to capture different looks and perspectives.

The set below is just one of the looks we did, so make sure to follow and check out @ashtabor and myself @jswainphoto on IG to see some of the other looks in the future.  Make-up by Kelly from the @beautybybonbon team.  As always, enjoy!

-Justin

Burning Up with Piper

Something is only ever new once, the same can be said for meeting somebody for the first time.  I spent last week visiting family and friends in Seattle and had time for a few shoots as well.  Piper was somebody that I connected with via social media with about a year ago...around the same time I decided to move to LA, so a shoot was something we constantly tried to figure out.  After enough talk we decided to make things happen.  We had mutual interest in connecting and creating something together that would be fun and new for both of us.  She expressed how excited she was for meeting and finally getting in front of my camera a couple of times in the two weeks leading up to our shoot which made me confident about how well it would go.

I checked into the location we used about an hour and a half before she arrived...I'll have to let you guys ask her why she was late (ps, it was worth the wait!)  Luckily, the rain clouds decided to go away right when she arrived and we started to get some beautiful natural light coming in from all directions.  The location seemed to be some sort of dance or art studio before being turned into a large open floor plan apartment.  It had all kinds of cool vintage furniture and tons of plants which engulfed the entire place with a very bohemian vibe.  

I decided it'd be best to keep things simple with a more home-y yet realistic inspired style with her outfit.  We focused in on this big comfy couch surrounded by huge windows and curtains to really amplify everything.  Once we started shooting I was quickly blown away at how naturally Piper took direction.  She moved so effortlessly in front of the camera and totally fell into the vision we talked about.  I didn't want every single shot from this to be perfectly posed, or staged looking.  Needless to say, she went above and beyond my expectations.

I purposely shot a bit under exposed in order to capture the shadows that the window light was providing in each frame.  Once I uploaded the images onto my Mac, I decided I wanted to add a "burnt film" or "light leak" to the photos I had selected and edited.  This is something new that I decided to experiment with and I have to say that I'm pretty happy with the results.

Anyways, I hope you guys enjoy the set.

-Justin

Leather & Lace with Remi

Astonished.  Bewildered.  Floored.  Blown away.  These are just a few words I can use to describe my photoshoot with Remi.  As soon as she opened the door I knew the day was going to be a good one.  She greeted me with a big hug and smile and not the plain kind that you often give a friend, but rather something showing a genuine happiness to see a person.  Remi and I had been communicating for at least a year about connecting on a shoot and time had finally been on our side.  I was just as excited as she was.

I walked down the stairs of the location we were using...examining the room, dissecting it in my mind, and looking for the angles I'd shoot from throughout the day.  The large floor to ceiling windows let in enough light to make any photographer smile.  Remi is a really creative person, so she and I were bouncing all kinds of ideas back and forth.  It was refreshing to have a model with a vision for what she liked.

There was definitely a side of Remi I didn't know about before we met, so she decided to show me a bit of it for the set below.  I wanted to shoot this set specifically to spark people's wild side a bit.  Remi was all about it and definitely played the part well.  Anyways, I hope you enjoy the set.

-Justin

Film Session with Caila

Enthusiastic might be the best word to describe Caila.  She's an absolutely beautiful girl with a lot of substance that goes beyond what you can only see from the outside.  She and I originally linked up for a shoot with a local clothing brand and had a pretty awesome time working together.  We stayed in touch and started planning for our next photoshoot just a couple of weeks later and below are the results of one of the looks we did.

I had a nice vintage apartment rented for the day in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle.  It was simple, bright, and we both mentioned how cool of a spot it would be to call home.  The wood floors creaked and the walls were covered in thick layers of white paint, obvious signs of a place with stories and lots of character.  There were windows all around that let in a lot of beautiful natural light which I tend to be a big fan of whenever I shoot.

I knew I wanted to go for something with an "over the top" high-end sexiness to it and luckily Caila read my mind.  She had pulled the outfit out on the bed and to be honest, I wasn't sure about how well it was going to work...Let's just say I shouldn't have been skeptical.  When I uploaded these photos I decided to edit them with the VSCO film pack for Lightroom and I think they came out pretty well.  I hope you all enjoy the set.

-Justin

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Mornings with Lexi

Every now and then I'll link up with a new model and the entire shoot turns out as something pleasantly surprising.  This was one of those times.  Lexi and I had a few mutual friends and ended up connecting with each other through some ridiculous Twitter convos.  I'm extremely grateful for our sarcastic attitudes towards things.  After I noticed her posting up some past modeling photos, I reached out to her about making a shoot happen in the near future...Luckily, she was all about it.  

We met in the Belltown neighborhood in Downtown Seattle at this awesome vintage apartment building. It was one of those super rare 90+ degree Seattle Summer days, so I wasn't sure how great shooting on the top floor of this old ass building would be...Fortunately, the owner had AC, so we didn't suffer from a heat stroke or anything.  The title may be a little misleading since it was actually late afternoon when we got started.  Nevertheless, the super harsh sunlight coming through the windows definitely gives the set an early morning sunrise type vibe though.

I was blown away with how quickly she and I clicked.  I felt like each photo we took just kept getting better and better.  After the first look, I knew we were going to have a great shoot from start to finish.  The set below was the second or third look we shot and it was definitely one of my favorites.

I'm really big on getting strong eye contact with the model whenever I shoot.  The kind of images where you FEEL something from the photos.  Everything about Lexi is easy on the eyes, but some of these shots really blew me away.  I've been focusing on surrounding myself with good people, so working with Lexi was an extremely refreshing experience.  

Don't be surprised to see a lot more of her in the future...

-Justin