The Job

Goth-themed portrait with experimental lighting.

This portrait shoot was unique to me and it was only the second time in my life that I’ve shot a portrait shoot of someone who’s never taken professional portraits before; the first one was a film shoot i did in college which I turned over all negatives for.

Mikala and I sat down multiple times over the course of about a month and spitballed ideas for how this would look, what her wardrobe would be and how we would light it. We originally envisioned a photo shoot with neon tube lights and little-to-no clothing, but we scrapped it when I saw her come into one our meetings wearing this flowy and gorgeous pair of pants and I said that maybe this would be the vibe for the shoot, especially since it was her first time in front of a camera. We put all of it together using props and old Halloween costumes of mine and I bought her the veil from a costume store. We got all but one of our final ideas (a skull and a smoke bomb) in our shoot. It was very important for me to capture her skin texture, jawline and curves, because she was self-conscious about her body image which, as is obvious to anyone with a pulse, is not a worry she should ever have had. It was an absolute joy to do these portraits for Mikala and it was an even bigger joy watching her smile incessantly while we edited them, which is why this shoot will always be special to me.

Most of us never get the chance to see ourselves as others see us. Pull the trigger. Invest in the photo shoot. You’ll be glad you did. Mikala was and I am eternally-grateful she gave me the opportunity to capture her best self. 🙏🏽

The Client

Mikala Charette

Visalia, CA

The Gear

  • Canon 5D Mk. III
  • Canon 100mm 2.8 L
  • Neewer Reflector
  • Neewer 660 PRO RGB LED Video Lights x 2
  • Lightroom CC