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  • Writer's pictureTina Witherspoon

Fashion Photography: Street Editorial

There's a parking lot in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood steps down from 1st Avenue that has for several years now sported a rotating collection of murals and graffiti art on the two walls of the buildings that border the lot. It’s a short walk from Sassafras, a boutique I work with to photograph inventory for their e-commerce site, so I shoot there frequently. Every time I see something new and something missing — previous designs that have been painted over. The color and variety is really inspiring, and I always get excited to shoot there. Because of the pandemic, I haven't been there in over a year now, and I'm dying to see what's covering the walls now.

In 2015 I felt a shift in my attitude toward photography. I had purchased my first DSLR in 2010 out of pure necessity — I had a fashion business I wanted to promote, and no budget to hire a photographer. I knew that professional looking imagery was crucial to an online business, especially one in the fashion industry, so I reacted with my DIY roots and took matters into my own hands. I always had an eye for composition, and enjoyed taking photos but admittedly, “didn’t know what all those buttons were for.”

For the first few years I left the camera settings on automatic. Considering I had only taken photos with my phone or a point and shoot previously, the photos that my Nikon D5100 produced without any skills on my part were, frankly, really great! I got crisp, bright, clean photos of my designs and uploaded them to the website, not really feeling compelled to learn how to shoot like a professional.

In 2014 my husband and I moved to Vashon, and I started taking photographs of sunsets and flowers, on my ferry commute and at events for my job, and very quickly I wanted to start taking photos like a professional. I bought a few books and tried to get a grasp on photography, but it wasn’t until I started learning online via Creative Live that things really started to fall into place. I also tasked myself with the practice of taking photos every day to improve my skills, and it all began to click. I started getting more adventurous as both a designer and a photographer and wanted to create images that emulated the fashion spreads I saw in magazines. In 2015 I hired my long-time model, Diana, and we spent an afternoon in my favorite parking lot to create this colorful editorial.

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