Lela Rae in the Studio

Lela Rae, Columbus Ohio. December 13, 2007

Lela Rae is a stunning model to work with so it was a special treat for her to make the drive from Detroit to Ohio of us to spend some time working together.

The concept for this image was simple, the execution more difficult. The simple concept was to photograph Lela Rae in red and blue light. I used cross lighting with the lights on opposite sides. But what makes this image is the pose, and the exact position of the lights.

Lela Rae has a wonderful way of moving during a photo shoot and she just fluidly moves from one natural and beautiful pose to another. New models need a lot of direction and help in posing. Professionals do it naturally. In fact they can do two things really well. One is to pose on their own, and the other is to take directions from the photographer to tweak a pose, or come up with an entirely different pose. So sometimes I don’t say anything for a while and other times I might say something like, “Tilt your head down just a little bit more.”

After we got the pose we wanted I had to tweak the lights. Moving either light forward or backward by as much as just an inch made a big difference in how the image looked. I wanted to get the lights just right.

You could put 1,000 random people in front of the camera and very few of them would come up with a pose as exquisite as this one on their own.

I’ve worked with dozens of models over the years. Lela Rae is one of my all time favorites. She has retired from modeling and moved on to do other things, but the beautiful images remain.