A few years ago, I packed up a couple of cameras and drove down to Wilmington, Delaware for a session with Catherine Short at the Grand Opera House. Catherine and I attended college together at the University of Delaware, and we both studied music. Today, Catherine is a successful opera singer, a soprano, and she has performed all over the world. It was such a pleasure to work with her and her team, particularly at a point where I was just getting started with professional portraiture.
Looking back on my approach to the shoot, I see now that there were many ways I could have improved my approach. I overlit the scenes, making too much use of brand new Bowens strobes. and I should have let the beautiful space in the opera house be more of a presence. Since the shoot in March 2011, I’ve occasionally returned to the raw photographs, looking for new ways to interpret the photographs.
After the initial shoot, Catherine selected a few photographs to use professionally. Earlier this year, she informed me that she had some new freedom to choose additional photographs, so I said I’d take another look. From the 500 (!) or so shots, across nine (!) outfit and hair changes, I selected roughly the same 50 or so I initially picked in 2011, but I took a different approach to post-processing.
I’ve further reduced the 50 photographs I selected recently down to just those below.