In late April, I photographed actress and singer Tracie Thoms, who's probably best known for her work in Rent, Cold Case, and The Devil Wears Prada.
Tracie was preparing for a gala for her alma mater, the Baltimore School for the Arts (the performing arts high school which inspired the movie Step Up), and the school kindly allowed us our photo shoot in their auditorium prior to her rehearsal. Part of the high school was converted from a grand old hotel from the turn of the century, and the auditorium was located in a beautiful old ballroom with gorgeous architectural details.
In the below images prior to the shoot, Tracie is touching up her make-up. In college, she acquired the nickname of "Tink Tink" for her ability to quickly and flawlessly attach her false eyelashes, and she still knows her way around a make-up brush.
We began by shooting on stage, using strobes and reflectors to create the warm glow and illuminate the highlights of her dark hair from the blackness of the stage.
Above, Tracie is chatting with her former musical theater teacher, Becky Mossing, while I adjust my lighting to my satisfaction. Milk crates are a photographer's best friend - you can use them to carry gear, to stand on if you're short like me, and of course, as seating for your clients. I feel like I should write a post just about the distinguished behinds that have sat on my various milk crates.
After shooting on stage, I moved Tracie into the audience seating area, and backlit her curls. We multi-tasked by having her sing with her former teacher, to prepare for the following day's gala.
Periodically, students would come by the auditorium in order to meet Tracie, and we'd take a moment from the shoot in order for her to say hello and pose for a few photographs. I couldn't resist this girl's hair - she and Tracie excitedly admired each other's hairstyles while they waited for another student to line them up for a photo.
After finishing up our shoot, I shot for a few minutes while Tracie rehearsed for the following day's gala with Becky and pianist Michael Sheppard. After enjoying the private concert, I quietly packed up, content with the day's events.