What to do when your plans to do a studio shoot are thrown into question because a nearby brick wall has suddenly turned a bright fuchsia the night before your shoot? Change your plans of course! That was the situation late last year, the day before a scheduled shoot with Albuquerque, New Mexico-based singer-songwriter Gabrielle Jackson, who was traveling to me in Venice to shoot a set of promotional photos to use with her upcoming projects. Gabrielle’s music is soulful, melodic and soothing, so we had planned to create a set of studio images that conveyed that feeling, combining a vintage aesthetic with expressions and lighting that complimented the feeling of her music. When the freshly painted wall appeared – I believe thanks to some nearby video or photo production – I mentioned to Gabrielle that we had to go check it out. She agreed. Luckily, no one was using it when we arrived so we were able to make use of it. Good that we did, as the color worked great for her. While we were out we also decided to take advantage of a nearby tree I’d been eyeing for a shoot for years but had never had the right subject. We got to it just as the afternoon light was beginning to go down behind it, highlighting the long vines hanging from its branches. Gabrielle kicked off her shoes to climb on its roots and we as bounced some of the sunlight back into the scene to balance it out the shot came together perfectly. It was great to see an image I’d been envisioning for years finally coming to life. Happy that we were two for two with the improvised locations, we decided to head back to the studio to shoot what we’d intended. This also went well. Enough planning had gone into the shoot that I was certain it would be a good one, but I think luck was on our side that day. Not only had the shoot gone exceedingly well, but when I woke up the next morning and went outside the fuchsia wall had been painted back to its original brownish-red color! I wish I was always so lucky.
Gabrielle’s music really is lovely. If you have moment you can listen to some of it on her Bandcamp page here.