Julia Luckett Photography
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AIPAD & Portraits of Jen

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Last April I went to NYC to visit friends and go to the AIPAD photography show, and I'm pretty sure this might become a lifelong tradition. AIPAD is such a thrill - the world's best photography galleries display their best photographs. Most people at the show attend to purchase these photographs, anything from $1,000 - $60,000, and then there all of the photography geeks who wander around drooling.

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It's one of the best ways to discover new photographers, meet artists, and see what is happening in the world of photography. I saw so many incredible pieces of work. This year I feel in love with the self portraits of Jen Davis. Her ability to show emotion, her attention to color and light, and sheer bravery blew me away. I was able to look through her book and I am absolutely going to get one as soon as possible.

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Yep, I'm definitely going again next year. Of course, what would a trip to NYC be without a photoshoot? I interview my friend Jen a couple months ago, and we finally had an opportunity to shoot while I was in the city.

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When I interviewed Jen for Anisocoria we talked about how she has rediscovered her creativity and confidence in herself through moving to NYC. Jen joined a choir after being in the city for a couple months and this has been a hugely positive change in her creativity output. Through singing in the choir she has felt a big change in herself. In planning for this photoshoot, I wanted to shoot the scene at a karaoke bar, where Jen and her friends would be singing on the stage and I'd be a spectator. I was picturing a 90s grunge scene.

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This photoshoot definitely went differently that I was planning. The karaoke bar we went to ended up looking entirely different than I had planned for. Cool bar, but it was very dark with no stage. After experimenting with several different scenarios to plan the shot, I realized I wouldn't be able to get a good exposure without lowering my shutter speed to 1/10 of a second - which meant anyone who moved in the frame would blur in the image. So I basically ditched my original idea and just tried to make an interesting image. It's different than what I was originally going for, but I'm still glad I did the shoot and made an image! Sometimes having all your plans change can be really helpful, because it forces you to improvise and make it work.

I decided to focus on a moment when you are waiting to perform - a little nervous and a little drunk. I really liked the blue-purple light that was shining in the hallway, so I decided to stage the scene from the seats. Big thank you to Jen for modeling and sharing her story with me!