Last month I was in Los Angeles for an editorial shoot with a high profile band. As is the case with high profile clients, delays are expected. The shoot ended up being pushed to the next day, which meant I had to figure out how to make use of my now-empty day. I decided to reach out to my friend Aleksa to see if she was available for a quick photo shoot.
I met Aleksa Palladino seven years ago when I shot her band, Exitmusic. I was a big fan of their ethereal music, and have since become a fan of her roles in tv shows like Boardwalk Empire and Halt and Catch Fire, as well as films like Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead. Since she is such an experienced actor, she makes a wonderful subject to collaborate with.
I met her at her apartment in Glendale, keeping an eye out for possible shoot locations as I walked up. We briefly chatted as she picked out wardrobe options and prepped her hair and makeup. Due to the high temperatures outside and the fact that neither of us had a car we decided to keep it simple and look for good spots around the apartment complex.
For the first look I saw an area down the hall that had direct sunlight as well as some shadow areas. I had her stand her in a spot that had a bit of both and had her move for a bit as I simply captured the magic.
We popped up to the roof for the second look. It was a pretty small area and didn’t anything very exciting. However, I liked the ground so I had her lay down and I stood on a stool to get some pretty cinematic shots.
We headed down to the courtyard for the third look. The light was playing beautifully on the trees and bushes and I decided to place her right in the thick of it.
For the final look I saw a dramatic diagonal slice of sunlight on a wall and directed her to stand in the light interact with the darkness. I told her to experiment with her proximity to the wall and explore her own shadows. I love a good visual metaphor.