This weekend I had my friend (and awesome model) Megan over for an informal shoot. I was interesting in trying some different portrait techniques and had a specific concept for an on location shoot involving an old tattered flapper dress that belonged to my great grandmother.

Megan and I have shot together a couple of times before—the first time we met we had intended to shoot on location but by the time we got her all glammed up with hair and makeup we had lost our day light. Luckily I happened to have my trusty strobe and octobox with me and we punted, shooting in my office building and ended up with some great shots. We also shot an editorial together that will be published this spring (stay tuned)!

This time, I was looking to just play around with some different concepts.  I know you’re “supposed” to plan out what you’re going to do on a shoot, but it’s nice every once in a while to just wing it with someone you know is going to put out great work no matter what.  We started with some clean, natural, no makeup looks—we broke the fan out and using a single strobe bounced off the ceiling (to act as a big softbox), here is what we got:

Next we glammed Megan up a bit (not that she needs it!) with a sleek pulled back hair and smoky eye look. For these shots, I used a 36” octobox directly behind and slightly above me to give some soft creamy light. Keeping the wardrobe simple and monochromatic really brought attention to Megan’s strong face. Just for kicks, we later added some fun jewelry for some headshots.

The real reason I asked Megan to come out and shoot though, was because I had recently acquired an old flapper dress that belonged to some distant relative. As soon as I saw the dress, which was just barely hanging together by a thread (literally), I immediate knew where I wanted to shoot it. After some fabulous hair styling by Angelyn at Seth McKinley Hair Studios in Philadelphia, Megan, myself and my very helpful voice activated light stand husband adventured off to the snow trails of Ridley Creek State Park to this great abandoned house that sits a little ways off the beaten path. Braving the cold weather, Megan nailed some awesome looks in this dilapidated dress, posing in front of the dilapidated house.