Emma Mayes

Emma Mayes

Happy Wednesday! Man oh man, only a couple days until Christmas, eh?! What’re you doing? Anything special? Oh? You’re going paragliding? That sounds cool! With a Santa suit on? And a fake beard? Why? Dude…no kid is going to be faked out that you’re the real Santa…everyone knows he doesn’t paraglide. Well, of course the zoo wouldn’t rent you any reindeer. You tried to wrangle some up yourself? Is that why you have all those cuts and bruises? Oh…those injuries are from getting stuck in the oven trying to make cookies? You’re nuts.


Today’s NIW is all about Emma Mayes! Click one of the boxes below to read more about the shoot and how we did it!

Emma gave me a call with the idea of shooting in a bathroom. I believe she was looking for a ‘graffiti filled stye’ of a bathroom. My mind immediately started racing towards some of Denver’s prominent dive bars and wild underground locales. While we didn’t exactly find a ‘stye,’ we certainly got some awesome graffiti when we went and shot at the Larimer Lounge.


They were sweet enough to allow us in before they opened and gave us a few hours to toy around in the building. How fun! I love that bar, so it was particularly fun to imagine how to light it and make it come alive in a different way than I’m used to. Emma and I started our shoot in the women’s bathroom upstairs and moved out towards the back patio. We had a blast trying to figure out new and interesting ways to sit on and stand around a toilet. (You can read about the lighting if you click the next box down).


I was pretty exhausted the day of shooting, but Emma’s professionalism and wonderful attitude brought us both up and created an overall amazing experience. When I went home to flip through the photos, there really wasn’t a bad one out of all of them. She did such an incredible job. Her singing voice can illuminate any room, and her attitude reflects that beautifully. It was an honor to work with someone so talented.

Bathroom: I lit Emma with a 22″ beauty dish with a grid and sock. I wanted the light to primarily stay on her from above and just grace the sides a touch. We alternated between using/not using a strip box with a grid to fill a touch of Emma. The top light was my trust White Lightning, and the side light was one of my Alienbee 800s. I cranked down the shutter to allow some of the yellow bathroom light to shine through as well.


Outside: We stuck to just the one White Lightning with the beauty dish and the natural light that was pouring in.


Inside Green Room: All natural light, baby. Yay for windows!

Emma Mayes – Website


Larimer Lounge – Website




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