Albuquerque is the city that I have grown up in and it’s a city that has a personality all its own. When you talk to any of the residence of the 505 you’ll hear a lot of things but the most common statement is about how “diverse we are.” While it’s easy to mistake that statement for talking about racial demographics what we they really mean is that we’re diverse so many different things. Culture, Climate, architecture, personalities attitudes the list goes on and on. If I was asked to describe Albuquerque I’d have to tell them you’d just have to go and experience.
My favorite thing about Albuquerque (aside from the food, go get yourself a green chili pepperoni pizza from Dions and you’ll know what I’m talking about.) is all the creative individuals that populate the area. Muralist, Musicians, Hair stylist, Models, Photographers ect. All can be found in the area and they all bring something unique to their craft while at the same time being very identifiable as that Albuquerque style.
The other day Albuquerque was blessed with one of it’s few overcast days that photographers like myself only dream of and I decided to passive aggressively post that I wanted to shoot and to my surprise got a response from one of my favorite models Jacqui Daniels. Like many of my impromptu shoots, we put together a very loose meeting plan not really having any big ideas and met at her hair stylist, Martino’s shop so we could coordinate from there. Martino was one of those previously mentioned creative individuals who was as much of an artist as he was an entrepreneur bringing in other creative individuals to try and come up with new crazy ideas that stand out from the ordinary. In his studio his brother also does Tattoo work, there was another individual screen printing t-shits of a skeleton Billy the Kid and a Virgin Marry with the Zia Symbol. While I was there they had the off the wall Idea to Screen Print the Virgin Marry they had onto a white tie. Something so simple being done in such a New Mexican way.
Once Jacqui showed up we decided on having her put one of the freshly screen printed shirts and heading around downtown and shoot in front of some of the local street art. at this point a lot of the glorious overcast had burned off and I was left with some challenging lighting but I managed as best I could. We would later move on to City Plaza where I remembered a location that had very stellar lighting. It was almost a tunnel were at the end was spot where windows from a building was reflecting really soft light down which was nothing short of perfect. there was also a wall that had a reflective surface that called for some creative ideas.
Jacqui of course was nothing short of a perfect model always flowing to different looks responding to adjustments and over all just being good at what she does. The best part about working with someone like Jacqui is being able to bounce ideas off her and her openness to try different things as we go along. That openness to different things really helps the process along and over time can lead to incredible results. Like most shoots all the best shots came toward the end of the shoot being that we both figured out what was working and all that fine tuning eventually paid off.
My favorite thing about this shoot was how it started as just spur of the moment lets meet up and shoot kind of thing and it turned into a larger collaborative endeavor and that sort of highlights what I love best about Albuquerque. When people collaborate with one another amazing things happen.