I don’t usually post about development or commercial shoots, but this one was quite special to me. Despite working with many many models from all over the region, this shoot had a special place and felt like a baptism of brilliant new talent. 

Months ago, Cheryl Franck had reached out to me to book a model development session for her daughter and Heyman Model, Lauren. After many phone conversations and even a few live meetings we had our ideas in place and team set. Inspired by Gucci, Prada, and Dior ads, we wanted to go high fashion and fashion that could sell the look. Nothing over the top, just sexy, simple and sleek. It took a couple of re-schedules to finally land on the right time and location. Thankfully friend and photographer Josh Eskridge stepped up and offered his studio/loft space for what we needed.

Lauren had only posed in front of the lens a couple of times. It was my job to not only her teach her a few techniques, but also the ins/outs of a full-on fashion shoot. When Lauren showed up I really didn’t know what to expect, I had shot her the previous week, but only for video and a few short stills. I liked her elegance, but was really looking forward to one on one time with Lauren. Although somewhat reserved on set, I was impressed with her poise and attitude.

Our team consisted of master make-up artist and hair stylist Isidro Valencia, Apricot Lane manager and freelance wardrobe stylist Katie Meinhart, my amazing intern Jenna Madiona and assistant Josh Eskridge. 

The day started early and I had all the preparations in place. I was completely enamored and very excited for what was in store. By Noon hair and makeup was complete and Lauren suited up in her first look. She stepped on the backdrop and I started firing away.

Shot after shot we seemed to be nailing it and I could tell Lauren had been practicing and gaining inspiration since we first shot together. She had a ferocity in her eyes that I hadn't seen. She turned the switch in an instant and went from a lovable teenager to a powerful and engaging subject that demanded attention. I told her some of the best models I had ever worked with were photographers or had some knowledge of lighting and photography. She caught on quick. She learned her key and noticed her kicker. I was very proud of Lauren.

I kept the experimentation at bay, but brought on a few newly learned photographic skills to the table. We used Josh’s V-Flats, broke out the gold reflector and even explored the use of two reflectors at once.

I expected the shoot to last every bit of 6 hours, but with 4 looks, I quickly learned this would be an all day affair. We started at 10am and by nearly 7pm we had completed the shoot. 4 completely different high fashion looks in the studio, out on the roof and inside the complex.

I left the shoot feeling completely satisfied and excited to get into post process. Derby would come and go and the images sat for a bit. But, in the end, I put a lot of work into the editing. I spent meticulous time on color and the aesthetic of each image. Some took 30 minutes to edit, others took days of back and forth scrutinization. All the wait was worth the result. 

I’m very proud of what our team accomplished that day, not only did we build all portfolios, but we walked away with a sense of accomplishment and our creative tank filled for more.

I’ve heard things like “New York” and “one of Heyman’s brightest” from all around. This is only the beginning for Lauren Franck.