One of the great things about always working on another book or another online class is â” you get to shoot a lot for these projects, and I just wrapped up a location fashion shoot a few weeks ago at an incredible location â” the Howey Mansion in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida (about 2-hours from the KelbyOne Headquarters). I learned about the location from RC, and our friend Kathy Porupski had a contact there and so we put an all-day shoot together with a very ambitious schedule.

First, some of the final images:

 

Planning Stages
Once we got close to locking down the location, I asked my wife Kalebra to do all the art direction on the shoot â” everything from picking our models (Adriana and Sara) to the styling (we brought the dresses in from Lindsay Adler’s awesome Dream Shoot Rentals, which is the coolest resource to get access to New York dresses, outfits, and accessories without actually have to be in New York, and at a fraction of the price if you were). She also picked and worked with our awesome Hair and Makeup Team ( Kalebra (art direction & styling); Hendrickje Makeup FX (makeup) and Lauren Edwards (hair).

We had three assistants working with us on the set, Brad, Rob Foldy, and Lynn Miller. The ironic thing was â” we brought so much Lighting Gear and grip equipment that it wouldn’t all fit in Brad’s SUV so we had to go rent a U-Hual van to move it all. As it turned out, we didn’t actually even use any lighting to the very last shoot of the day, which was pretty much a disaster (as you’ll see at the end of this post).

Behind The Scenes Shots
All the shots you saw above were all taken in natural light, with either a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 or a Canon 16-35mm super wide angle. Here (below) are some behind-the-scenes shot (bts photos by Brad Moore).

 

(Above: Here’s the behind-the-scene shot for the first one, with me set-up wwwwwwaaaaayyyyy back!). That’s a mini boombox on the apple crate in front of me. Having music on the set is an absolute must! Also, this is a natural light shoot, but we softened the light coming in the window by putting a frosted shower curtain liner over the window, a tip I learned from Joe McNally years ago). 

 

(Above: I’m shooting down low with a Canon 16-35mm, shooting tethered into Lightroom. So, how did we get her dress up in the air like that? See the next shot.).

(Above: On the count of three, either Rob or Lynn would toss the dress in the air and then duck out of the scene, as seen here. Click for a larger view).

 

(Above: Look how far back I’m shooting here. I’m not even in the same room â” I’m out in the foyer shooting into the room. Again, all natural light). 

(Above: I’m down low, shooting on a tripod with a Canon 16-35mm super wide-angle lens; shooting tethered in Lightroom. All natural light). 

(Above: outside on the balcony, natural light on a rainy overcast day. I shot tight-in shots with a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, and the wide shot you see above this one once again with the Canon 16-35mm). 

(Above: Hey, Scott - this is the behind-the-scenes shot. Where’s the final shot? There is no final shot. I had this idea that we’d put a little bit of smoke up into the top of an umbrella but as soon as we connected the smoke machine, we realized there’s no such thing as a ‘little bit of smoke’ and we spent most of the time just standing there in a huge cloud of smoke just laughing. Nice time â” no smoke machine. Dry ice instead). 

Thanks for letting me share this shoot (the good and theâ¦ahemâ¦bad), and I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Hey, next Friday I’m in Hartford with my full-day seminar. Hope you can come out and join me for the day. Tickets here. 

About The Author

Scott is a Photographer, bestselling Author, Host of "The Grid" weekly photography show; Editor of Photoshop User magazine; Lightroom Guy; KelbyOne.com CEO; struggling guitarist. Loves Classic Rock and his arch-enemy is Cilantro. Devoted husband, dad to two super awesome kids, and pro-level babysitter to two crazy doggos.

12 Comments

  1. Great sharing thank you. I also agree to the BTS shot question (discussed in the Grid show), these helpful side shots have to stay in the snapshot realm. They are nice quick very appreciated bonus shots and have to look somewhat “iphonish”, straight of the camera. That’s what they’re intented for. Keep up the good work.

  2. It would have been neat to shoot the second image you show with a perspective control (tilt-shift) lens. I can’t live without them. Moreover, these lenses would make a great subject for training videos on KelbyOne. All the photos are just awesome.

  3. There is nothing more satisfying than making plans that work out well .

  4. Awesome knowledge share Scott! It’s always a pleasure when everithing planed go smoth!

    Waiting you here in Brazil!

  5. Very, very interesting…and I love the look of natural light. I had to laugh at the floating dress technique–I figured you’d just have the model drop it, but then figured you’d tried that and found it just fell. Lovely set and the bright dress colors were really a nice counterpoint to the dark woods in the rooms you used. Now I just have to try tethering in LR…

  6. Thanks for sharing the BTS and even including the less successful ideas. :-)
    Had to smile at your use of a shower curtain liner. I need to pack ultra light on photo assignments but for many years my trusty shower curtain liner would always come along – so many uses!

  7. These photos are amazing. Great and gorgeous. And I want to become a professional fashion photographer so I have started my photo education from here keepsnap.com/blog. Wish me luck=) PS model is so hot=)

  8. Really cool shoot! I actually found my way into this place a couple of years ago, and explored around with a friend. Glad to see someone cleaned it up and maintained it. It’s a gorgeous house…

  9. Hey! I was wondering who I could get in touch with about the house. I have been thinking about getting my senior portraits done there because it’s so beautiful!

  10. I would love to know how you got on property here. I live right around the corner from this place and can’t seem to track down the right person to get permission to get in this location. As for now they are telling me it is in litigation and no one can get in. It’s been in litigation for a long time now and I imagine it was when this was shot.

    • Hi Steve: This was before the litigation started (or it was during a break in the litigation) and they were renting the place out for photo shoots to raise money for the restoration, though since then I’ve heard they no longer rent it out. Shame.

  11. We got a full tour of the mansion a couple years ago…a friend was working as caretaker and starting a restoration effort…a beautiful place, striking, mysterious, haunting and yes, romantic…the renovation funding dried up and it was locked up again…sadly it’s decomposing badly, approaching an unsafe status.

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