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Saying YES Made This Shoot a Reality

Updated: Jun 22, 2021

If there's one thing I'm learning from my travels is to say YES to something immediately if it looks like a great opportunity. Why? Because moving around the US makes it less likely that the same possibility will return. And after my photo shoot, I'm a firm believer that grabbing on and saying YES can lead to something magical.

I scheduled to meet Kadija, a stunning model I found on Instagram, for coffee so we could talk and see if we'd enjoy working together. I instantly fell in love with this warm-hearted, endearing beauty. But when we started talking about times for a photoshoot, she shared with me that she was visiting the salon the next day to change her locks and then was going on vacation. I couldn't imagine not shooting and painting her exactly as I saw her (sooner than later), so right then and there we made plans to have a photo shoot the very next morning!

It was one of the very best spontaneous decisions I've made.

We met at Canal Walk, an area near downtown Richmond, just off of the James River. The area I chose for the photo shoot was chock full of murals. With over 100 mural around the city, it's a striking backdrop of Richmond and one that I wanted to have as a backdrop of some of my paintings.

With no less than 5 wardrobe changes and 6 murals, we captured some incredible looks and references for some upcoming artwork.

If we both hadn't said YES to the possibility of working together IMMEDIATELY and been open to collaborating, the magic of that day would have never been born. I'm so grateful for what we pulled off and for figuring out the deep beauty hidden in YES.

Want to see more behind the scenes photo shoots? Check out this one with Isabella.

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1 Comment

Gary Jader
Gary Jader
Jun 25, 2021

In improvisation, one of the cardinal rules is to say "Yes" to everything, so I'm not surprised it worked so well for you. Some great photos!

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