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AIPAD & Portraits of Jen


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!

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