Four photographers. One afternoon. This is what happened.
A couple of weeks ago, we had two of our crazy talented photographer friends, Michaela Potterbaum and Caroline Stremic, over for a fun shoot day. We recently worked together on a photography workshop together, and have been wanting to get together ever since! We’d been planning to get some in-home photos of the two of us with Michaela for a while, and she and Caroline, who are primarily natural light photographers, wanted to see our studio lighting setup and our creative process during photoshoots. They were both heading to Norway for the summer, so we decided to just make it one big shoot day before they left!
Trenton and I don’t have many photos together, other than our gorgeous wedding photos by Nicola Harger. We’re usually the ones behind the camera, so we were so stoked to have Michaela shoot some intimate photos of us in our first home together. (We also got them just in time for our one-year wedding anniversary!)
Michaela is an INSANE photographer - she shoots both travel photography as well as elopements, weddings, and more! Seriously - check her out here. Caroline works alongside Michaela as a second photographer and assistant, and is quickly learning the ropes of the world of photography! These two women are BRILLIANT humans, as well as highly creative people. I’ve so enjoyed spending time with and getting to know them more this past year!
I love love love collaborating with other creatives. I always learn so much, and leave so inspired to hone and develop my creativity and to try new things! Michaela and Caroline came over to our Nashville apartment/ home studio early afternoon on a Wednesday a couple of weeks ago. Before we got started, we sat around and spent some time catching up and chatting about the plan for the day.
Trenton and I always like to take the first 10-20 minutes to sit down and chat with whoever we’re shooting. It helps everyone loosen up and get comfortable before we start taking photos. Being in front of the camera can be intimidating, so we try to do everything we can to make our clients whoever we’re shooting feel welcome and comfortable. Also - I just love to host people well, so this comes naturally to me and is one of my favorite parts of a shoot!
We’ve thought about renting a studio space, and we often do when we have bigger shoots, but for portraits we love the intimate and welcoming feeling that being in someone’s home brings. My inner hostess (and love for intimate gatherings) loves creating an inviting and beautiful space for people to walk into and feel comfortable and able to be themselves. I think this is part of what sets our work apart. We don’t just get the lighting right and take a good photo - though Trenton is a master at lighting and taking striking images. We work together to host people well, make people feel at home, and to draw people’s true selves out so we can capture who they really are - the depth and complexities of who they are. Like I mentioned before, most of us feel at least slightly awkward in front of the camera. The key is to get people comfortable so they let their guard down and can relax! Pro-tip: dance music helps! Second pro-tip: whiskey also helps!
Once we all felt adequately caught up, we got started. We spent half of our time together getting our photos taken by Michaela, and the other half taking photos of Caroline and Michaela, while showing them the ropes of studio photography! So fun! The final results were SO GOOD and also SO different, which I love!
Like I mentioned before, Michaela is a natural light photographer, so Trenton and I just got to hang out (and make out, which I’m always okay with - ha!) while she captured us in our normal, every day routine. Okay, there was some posing involved, but mostly just us doing our thing. I am OBSESSED with how these came out!! Michaela is so unbelievably talented and makes it look so effortless!
After this, we switched gears and moved all of our furniture out of the way to make space for our studio photography set up, and threw on our favorite photoshoot playlist to get the vibes going. Once we got everything set up, we started shooting! We even tried some new tricks playing with light and shadows using a couple of pieces of foam core board - so much fun! Trenton did all the editing on these, and they turned out brilliantly!