In November I photographed Chiara Daraio for the Italian magazine STYLE. Daraio, a professor of aeronautics and applied physics at California Institute of Technology, was being profiled for being a leader in her field, which in layman’s terms is the study of how stress waves travel through solid materials, which they will then use to develop new technologies. The shoot was fun and relaxed, using a combination of natural and strobe lighting in a variety of settings in her building at Caltech. Whenever possible, particularly with portraits, I try to research the subject I’m photographing to see what’s been shot of them before and also what’s other photographers have done with similar subjects. In doing so, I found that she had been photographed in the lab before for Popular Science, so I made that shot my lowest priority, not wanting to copy what had been done before. The editors had only asked that it be a photo that shows her as an intellect and a leader in her field, but I was pretty free to take it from there. While I did shoot her in the lab, in a fashion different than what had been done before, I was happy they chose to run this shot which just shows her relaxing in her office, where notes indecipherable by me, but pertaining to her research, were already on the chalkboard. On a technical level, the shot was pretty simple, using only a reflector to bounce a little window light back into the scene, but the results were good.