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PORTRAIT #009 - STEVE "CROCKETT" BALLANTYNE

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT: 

As soon as Steve got to my place he admitted to me that he was a little nervous. I was a bit surprised because in my eyes he's a total stud. Always full of confidence and charisma. The truth is virtually everyone I work with (even seasoned top models) are a bit nervous at first. This is normal and usually a good sign when someone is willing to admit it to me, as it means there emotions are closer to the surface and that they trust me enough to be honest about their feelings. It's my job to get the model out of their head. I find the best way to do this is to have a sincere conversation with them. With Steve, this was easy. He shared so many amazing stories and I genuinely had a blast. Two stories in particular left a real impression on me. One was about the moment Steve and his business partners realized they had a legit business. Such an epic story! The second was when Steve opened up and started talking about his new lady. It was amazing to see Steve light up when he spoke about his girlfriend Negin. I swear I could see love radiate from his eyes and his face. It was beautiful to witness. 

ONE LESSON FROM THIS SHOOT:

Steve being the thoughtful guy he is, brought a bottle of wine for us to share during our shoot. I love a glass of wine every once and awhile and I was very thankful. The lesson; a glass or two of wine is one thing, but add a little whisky to the equation and it's a totally different experience. We each had 2 drinks of whisky, so nothing crazy, but still it was not the best idea. What the hard alcohol did was create a barrier between me and my senses and for portrait photography I need to be as close to my sense and emotions as I can be, otherwise something will be missed. Thankfully the whisky only came out towards the very end of the shoot. I'm going to stick to coffee and wine from now on.