Ballet in Detroit with Leila

Ballet in Detroit with Leila

Model: @leilabaileyy
Camera: Sony a7RII
Lens: Sony SEL35F14Z

Light in the Darkness

Light in the Darkness

If you have to shoot in the middle of the day, you can't beat an abandoned building for dramatic lighting. The light that creeps in the broken windows, holes in the ceiling, and busted out walls can help create very moody images.

Model: @meg.notoriano
Camera: Sony a6300
Lens: ZEISS Batis 1.8/85
Lighting: Rotolight NEO

Ballet in Detroit with Amaya

Ballet in Detroit with Amaya

This was my second ballet shoot in Detroit, and this time I had the pleasure of shooting with Amaya Mckenzie from Howell, MI. The majority of this shoot took place at the Michigan Building, formerly the Michigan Theater, which was constructed in 1925. The theater ceased operations in 1976, and the building owners gutted and converted the theater into a parking structure. The Michigan Building has been featured in several films, including 8 Mile, and Transformers: Age of Extinction. It’s an amazing location, and I feel very fortunate that we were allowed access for the shoot.

Model: @amayay
Camera: Sony a6300
Lens: ZEISS Batis 2/25

Corktown with Meg

Corktown with Meg

This week I had the pleasure of doing a shoot with Meg Notoriano in Corktown. This location offers a great combination of nature, and street, so we were able to shoot a couple different looks. Meg brought a deep v-neck romper dress that looked great with the tall grasses and greenery. I had some GUESS overalls from another shoot that I paired with a black-on-black Detroit vs Everybody t-shirt for the street shots. It was a very windy day, and we had some pretty harsh lighting to work with, but I think we ended up with some great shots.

Model: @meg.notoriano
Camera: Sony a6300
Lens: ZEISS Batis 1.8/85

My Fujifilm X-T2 Experience

My Fujifilm X-T2 Experience

I normally shoot a Sony a7R II or Sony a6300, but last weekend I rented a Fujifilm X-T2 with a 35mm f/1.4 lens from BorrowLenses.com. I needed the 35 f/1.4 for a ballet shoot I was doing in Detroit, but I was really excited to play with the Film Simulation Modes on the X-T2.

Instead of using film emulation tools from VSCO or Mastin Labs, the film simulation modes on the X-T2, in combination with the EVF, allow you to see your shot, with the desired film simulation applied, while you're shooting. ACROS was my favorite mode. You always feel more creative shooting black and white, but ACROS takes it to the next level. To take advantage of the film simulation modes, I had to shoot in JPEG, but you can shoot in RAW + JPEG for the best of both worlds. Lightroom will display the RAW images in color, which kinda makes sense.

The film simulation modes, and the large dials for adjusting your shutter speed and ISO, made the X-T2 fun to shoot, but I won't be switching from Sony anytime soon. I wasn't a fan of the grip on the X-T2. The Sony cameras have beefy grips that feel very secure if your hand. I constantly felt like I was going to drop the X-T2. My a6300 has more focus points than the X-T2, but I don't think the lack of focus points bothered me as much as the speed and accuracy of the AF. I did some portrait shots with the X-T2, and I really missed the lock-on Eye AF that you get with the Sony cameras. The X-T2 has face and eye detection, but it isn't the same. I was happy with the image quality on the X-T2, and found it very comparable to the a6300.

Overall, I really enjoyed shooting the Fujifilm X-T2, I'm really happy with the shots I got, and I was sad when I had to send it back. After my experience with the X-T2, I'd love to get my hands on the Fujifilm GFX 50s medium format mirrorless camera. BorrowLenses.com can add that to my wish list right next to the Hasselblad X1D-50c.

Belle Isle with Cassy

Belle Isle with Cassy

This video was shot on Belle Isle during a photo shoot that @karacrandallphotography (a.k.a. The Wife) was doing with @cassriel. I shot the video using my Sony a6300 in HFR (High Frame Rate) mode, and a Zhiyun Crane 3-axis handheld gimbal. Charlize Theron better watch out. I think this could be the next Dior commercial.

Photo Credit: Kara Crandall Photography
Model: @cassriel
Camera: Sony a6300
Lens: Sony SEL1670Z

Cassy & Alayna

Cassy & Alayna

Here are some shots of Cassy and Alayna that I took in Detroit last Saturday. This shoot was part of a meet-up hosted by Danielle Brousseau. We started at Belle Isle, and ended up at the abandoned Continental Motors building. All of these shots, with the exception of the first one, were shot at the Continental Motors building

Model: @cassriel
Model: @alayna.frantjeskos
Camera: FUJIFILM X-T2
Lens: FUJIFILM 35mm f/1.4 XF R

Ballet in the City

Ballet in the City

I've been wanting to do a ballet shoot in Detroit for a long time, and it finally happened. Shalen is a dancer at Ballet Detroit, and I met with her and her parents to discuss the concept about a week before the shoot. We threw around more ideas than we could possibly accomplish in a single shoot, so I think it's safe to say everybody was excited. Overall, this shoot was an amazing experience. I love how the shots turned out, and I can't wait to do more ballet shoots (preferably in the city).

Dancer/Model: @shalen_baase
Camera: FUJIFILM X-T2
Lens: FUJIFILM 35mm f/1.4 XF R

Bridgeport with Sara

Bridgeport with Sara

I intended on doing a shoot at the State Street Bridge in Bridgeport, MI, but it was actually the railroad bridge on the other side of the State Street Bridge that proved to be a better location. Spring hasn’t sprung here, so the dark tones of the bridge and grass worked well with the mustard-colored dress.

Model: @saraashleyx
Camera: Sony a7RII
Lens: Sony SEL85F14GM

Belle Isle with Hannah

Belle Isle with Hannah

Hannah and I went to the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory on Belle Isle to get some earthy portraits and avoid freezing by shooting inside. This was my first time working with Hannah. She contacted me because she's looking to do some promo modeling, and needed some "professional" portraits. I think we got some great shots.

Model: @hannahelizybeth
Camera: Sony a7RII
Lens: Sony SEL85F14GM

The Z Lot with Natasha

The Z Lot with Natasha

The Z lot is a 10-story parking garage in Detroit that showcases the work of 27 mural artists from across the globe. While the artwork is amazing, we headed strait to the roof for this shoot so we could get some shots using the city as our backdrop.

Model: @natashahampton
Camera: Sony a6300
Lens: ZEISS Batis 1.8/85

Eastern Market with Savana

Eastern Market with Savana

I had an amazing shoot with Savana at Eastern Marketing in Detroit. This was her first time at Eastern Market, and she came prepared with an old Polaroid camera. We got some great portrait shots, and a fun little video. We attempted a cinemagraph, but the wind was working against us.

Model: @savana_czarnecki
Camera: Sony a7RII
Lens: Sony SEL85F14GM

The Ohio State Reformatory

The Ohio State Reformatory

The Ohio State Reformatory, also known as Shawshank, is a historic prison located in Mansfield, Ohio. It's hard to believe a building with such beautiful architecture is a prison, but it's clear why Hollywood chose this location to film The Shawshank Redemption.

Camera: Sony a6300
Lens: ZEISS Touit 2.8/12

The BELT with Rieli

The BELT with Rieli

This was my first shoot at The BELT in downtown Detroit. The alley is filled with murals and installations by local, national and international artists. It was the perfect backdrop for my shoot with Rieli, and I can't wait to go back.

Model: @rielijean
Camera: Sony a6300
Lens: ZEISS Batis 1.8/85

January Heatwave with Molly

January Heatwave with Molly

We had an unusually warm day in January, so Molly and I decided to do an outdoor shoot. The majority of the shots were taken with my ZEISS Batis 1.8/85, with the exception of the puddle reflection which was taken with my Sony SEL1670Z. I used natural light for all the shots, and that giant softbox in the sky that blankets Michigan for several months out of the year.

Model: @allthatweseeorseem
Camera: Sony a6300
Lens: ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 & Sony SEL1670Z

URBEX Glam with Danielle

URBEX Glam with Danielle

When you wake up early for a shoot, and the temperate matches the time, that isn't a good thing. We left for Detroit at 7 AM, and the temperature outside was 7 degrees. Since we would be shooting in abandoned buildings, and most of which have no longer have windows, that meant the temperate inside would match the temperature outside. Dani was extremely professional, and fought the cold as long as she could. The results speak for themselves.

Special thanks to @karacrandallphotography for assisting with the shoot.

Model: @daniyoungartistry
Camera: Sony a7RII
Lens: Sony ZEISS Distagon T* FE 35 mm F1.4 ZA

Red Riding Hood Shoot with Savanna

Red Riding Hood Shoot with Savanna

These are some shots from my Red Riding Hood shoot with Savanna. This tree line is right by my home, and I've wanted to do this shoot for a long time. I'm really happy with how the shots turned out, and Savanna was great to work with.

Special thanks to @karacrandallphotography and @madylaber15 for helping with the shoot.

Model: @savannaalfanos
Camera: Sony a6300 + Sony a7RII
Lens: ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 & Sony SEL85F14GM

Photo Shoot with Natasha on Belle Isle in Detroit

Photo Shoot with Natasha on Belle Isle in Detroit

These are some of my favorite shots from my photo shoot with Natasha on Belle Isle. It was 40 degrees, mostly cloudy, and very windy. We were both freezing, but you can't get these kind of shots in a studio. She braved the elements, and the shots turned out great.

Camera: Sony a6300
Lens: ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 & Sony SEL1670Z

Photo Shoot with Emily in Chicago

Photo Shoot with Emily in Chicago

Last week I took a day trip to Chicago to do a little exploring, and I managed to sneak in a last-minute shoot with Emily at Union Station. Shoot at 4 PM. Train leaves at 6 PM. Go!

Camera: Sony a6300
Lens: ZEISS Batis 1.8/85

Shirley at Michigan Central Station in Detroit

Shirley at Michigan Central Station in Detroit

I call this one my Assassin's Creed shoot. I had the amazing architecture of Michigan Central Station to serve as the backdrop, a beautiful model, and a very cool asymmetrical hoodie sweater dress that I got from L'OVANT on Etsy. Everything came together for this shoot, and I loved it.

Model: @shirleypease
Camera: Sony a7RII
Lens: Sony SEL85F14GM
Lighting: Rotolight NEO