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Just Do It with Sara Malakul

I had an opportunity to work with a model that Van has previously worked with, Sara Malakul (saramalakul), out in Los Angeles.  I am a Miami based photographer, but was going to spend the Memorial Day Weekend with some friends in L.A.  I work with a Miami boutique called Two Cute, and luckily for me, they were looking for some west coast traffic on their site.  As luck would have it, Sara was available for a shoot and thus a great opportunity was presented.

As you can imagine, it is extremely intimidating to work with a model who has previously worked with an amazing photographer like Van.  Especially in light of the fact that I had never been to L.A., and really had no idea where I would shoot her.  I manned up and told myself, "Just do it." So I used Google Maps to at least find some sort of area to relay to Sara.  I was staying in Santa Monica and the beach area around there (at least through Google Maps) seemed pretty manageable.  So that's the area I decided on.  

I landed in L.A. on Thursday night and scheduled the shoot for Friday afternoon to give myself a chance, on Friday morning, to scope out an exact location to shoot.  I woke up early on Friday and walked along the board walk.  I wanted to find an area that was somewhat secluded, and also wanted to make sure Sara had a place to change where she at least had some privacy.  I stumbled upon a great parking lot, right on the beach, with some cool stairways that led to a pedestrian bridge to some stairs up a cliff.  A really unique location for me since that sort of landscape is unheard of in Miami. There were some public bathrooms as well where I thought Sara would be able to change.  I sent her the address around 2pm, and she said, "Great, see you at 5!"

I was still extremely nervous but the second I met Sara, some of that nervousness went out the window. She was a sweetheart and really easy to work with.  She didn't mind changing in the bathroom and laughed when I asked her if she was going to be OK with the chilly weather.  

I had a blueprint of the different areas I wanted to shoot. My goal, as Van explained in his video, was to make the same area seem completely different by taking advantage of the variety of backdrops and angles I had at my disposal.

We moved around a lot, we laughed a lot, I was constantly changing between my two lenses (35mm and 70-200mm), we had to fight off a couple of creepers that were staring a little too long, but all in all, we had a great time. And more importantly, the pictures came out awesome.  Sara was happy with the pictures as well as the owner of the boutique.

Nike really did a good job picking their slogan.  There are a million reasons why you think you shouldn't do something, but at the end of the day, if you really want it, forget all the negative crap and "just do it."

Feel free to check out my Instagram for some more pictures of my trip to Cali: nirview

I also have a website I just launched where I work with a creative writer for a unique way to present my pictures: KeysPhoneWallet.com

Sara’s set should be up in a few weeks, but here are some of the pictures from our shoot.  

And a big thank you for all your help, Van!

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