On Set with the 2015 CultureMap Dallas Stylemaker Award Finalists

I had the pleasure of shooting the six finalists for Dallas’s CultureMap Stylemaker awards. 

Portrait of Kendall Eckerd.

Portrait of Kendall Eckerd.

I was nervous about this fashion shoot. CultureMap wanted to shoot on a white seamless, but I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to make the images look interesting enough.

The day before the shoot, I brought in every piece of gear I own and tested different lighting techniques in the studio. With each new idea I tested and each new lighting technique I tried, I became more frustrated and annoyed with myself. It just didn’t look as good as I thought it should.

That night I stayed up till 3am going over idea after idea in my head. As I lay in the dark, I worried that the next day would be a disaster. I feared that I was a terrible fashion photographer and I fell deeper into my insecurity.

I can often be very insecure about myself and my work. I am usually the last one to acknowledge that my work is good. Even after many successful photo shoots, I still doubt my ability to light and photograph good pictures.

After all of that preparation and worry, I decided to go back to my original idea of shooting with two lights against the white cyc. This was my first idea and is my normal photography setup. I just became lost in the search to be cooler and better; I doubted my ability, and I didn’t trust my vision.

Portrait of Nelson Huff. I knew I only had 20 minutes to photograph each finalist, so I made sure to research them and their styles beforehand so I could capture what made each of them unique. 

Portrait of Nelson Huff.
I knew I only had 20 minutes to photograph each finalist, so I made sure to research them and their styles beforehand so I could capture what made each of them unique. 

This turned out to be one of my most enjoyable days on set.  Everyone was a delight to work with and wasn’t afraid to play around in front of the camera.

Remember to trust your vision and trust yourself. There are millions of photographers out there but only one of you. Make the picture that you see and trust that you can do it well. It is much better in the long run to stick with your vision and be yourself than fret over trying to copy other people.


Nancy Koen

The co-founder of B. Stellar Jewelry, Nancy Koen, is known for her elegance and confidence. She combines vintage family pieces with the latest trends and jewelry from B. Stellar to create a truly unique style.

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Her mix of vintage apparel with contemporary jewelry always makes Nancy look chic.

Her mix of vintage apparel with contemporary jewelry always makes Nancy look chic.

 

Nelson Huff

Nelson Huff is a sales associate at Pockets Menswear and a guy who will always make you laugh. A fan of tailored blazers and carefully coordinated pants, his distinctive style is pure Dallas.

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Nelson's style is cool and his bright personality is infectious!

Nelson's style is cool and his bright personality is infectious!

 

Kendall Eckerd

Blogger, designer, and illustrator, Kendall Eckerd, created Clan of Cro to promote sustainable, slow, meaningful fashion with pieces that will adjust to the individual seasons of our lives. Her style stands out as comfortable, unique, and timeless. We look forward to seeing their first collection this fall.

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Kendall is carrying her grandmother's clutch to pair with her top, which is her own design and that she made.

Kendall is carrying her grandmother's clutch to pair with her top, which is her own design and that she made.

 

Julian Leaver

Julian Leaver, director of catering for Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek and Rosewood Crescent, is a man that can rock his bowtie. Whether dressing up for business or dressing for a casual lunch, his style fits the Dallas man.

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Julian's looks, whether formal or more casual, are classic and tailored.

Julian's looks, whether formal or more casual, are classic and tailored.

 

Javier Burkle

Stylist, Javier Burkle, wears both vintage and modern with a flair. With old-world elegance he mixes casual Dallas pieces with carefully selected vests that make his style so unexpected yet just right.

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Javier was so much fun to have in the studio because he had fun!

Javier was so much fun to have in the studio because he had fun!

 

Nicole Bulcher

Nicole Bulcher, manager at The Bar Method and a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, is bold and seemingly fearless with an obvious joy for life. She combines comfort, dramatic, and seemingly simple pieces that will catch your eye from across the room.

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From the way Nicole moved about in the front of the camera and the great shots I got of her in motion, there is no denying that she is a natural-born dancer!

From the way Nicole moved about in the front of the camera and the great shots I got of her in motion, there is no denying that she is a natural-born dancer!

 

Head on over to CultureMap to see who won!