What is cool?

Have you ever been to a place and just gotten a good vibe? It doesn’t matter where–and this does not have to be a “famous place”.

Many times places that are intended to give this vibe actually fail in this area. They try too hard.

What is cool?

For me, it’s people and atmosphere.

Black and Blue, a boutique clothing store in St. Paul, Minnesota has this cool vibe. I wouldn’t say urban hipster. Its much better that’s that. Instead, I’d say cool confidence.

I had met Steve Kang, the owner, a couple of times. Clearly this store was his creation, from the ground up. Classic mission, massive old tables display the clothes. A wooded old-style canoe hangs over a classic leather couch.

I needed to capture this atmosphere for a promotional piece.

The trick with an image like this is how does one project this feeling from the image to the viewer of the image?

My process it typically this: I will preview the location then document various image and lighting ideas. I present my concepts to the client (Steve) and we collaborate on what would work, what the client (Steve) would be comfortable with, what he would be confident in doing. This collaboration is important in that it makes the subject (AKA Steve) comfortable. And comfort = great images.

Then as I set up we talk and get to know each other even more.

Take a look at the three images and let me know if it worked. And tell me which of the three works best for you with a blurb on why or why not:  How can I make it better?

How can I collaborate with your team to capture great portrait moments?