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Full Portrait Session

Where to go in Durham for an urban photo-shoot, or cookies, or art!

Shayla and I scheduled a photo-shoot on a day that turned out to be beautiful, and unfortunately, super cold!

Not to be stopped, Shayla rocked the shoot anyways. This first photo pretty much encapsulates the icy breezes that were blowing down the alleyway.

The alleyway that I love to shoot in has great deflected light, so even on a really bright day you can find awesome diffused lighting. Of course I always carry my flash units and stands, but finding the perfect natural light is my favorite way to go. The alley also has several different urban feels to it, there is graffiti, metal doors, some white walls, giant brick walls, bushes, tables to lean on and even little hanging light bulbs to brighten up the dark (if you were shooting late).

For you Durham photographers or curious adventurers, the alley is here:

26 Alley

And then we went super professional, despite the freezing cold.

PHOTO NOTE: Also using certain lenses, see above, you can destroy almost any background to make your subject look great. (Hint: Canon 135mm f2) Below I go back to a wider lens, 35mm f2, to capture more of the ambience of the alley.

PHOTO NOTE: Above, I found a small tree that I used to frame Shayla against the brick wall. I really like the contrast of natural shapes with the straight lines of the bricks. I also love the 2nd frame for Shayla made out of an old window or door that has been blocked up.

The last spot we used to create a professional street portrait was right on West Parish Street in Durham. Parish Street

And after all the gorgeous more traditional headshots, we decided to get a bit more creative!

Of course, after all the shooting in the super cold outside, we needed a bit of warming up. We stopped in at the awesome Loaf Bakery. If you are downtown and need a quick stop (there's no seating) but it is warm, the bread is amazing, and their cookies are delicious. (

Shayla switched into her more casual outfit that you can see below. She spotted a great wall to photograph on in the hallway that leads to the Carrack, a community run art gallery known for awesome shows. ( We took a few shots agains the line art.

Then we braced ourselves for the cold outside.

Our last location, to be true to the urban idea of the session, was on top of a parking deck. I love the view from up on the Corcoran Street Garage.

Address: 110 Corcoran St, Durham, NC 27701

The last shots we took were a bit more non-traditional. By this time I was really getting to know exactly what Shayla wanted for her final images. She was looking for something a bit more edgy than the above shots.

So I had her sit down to create an almost two-dimensional setting using the lines in the garage. Then I added in harsh flash lighting. She loved the last set that we did, and I was pretty excited about the images as well!

Love the photos? Want to know more or book a session? I would love to hear from you!

Get in touch here:



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