I had the pleasure of shooting with Mai Hoang a few weeks ago! As you can see, she is incredibly comfortable in front of the camera, a natural.
Today I was able to try a bunch of different styles and she was able to adapt and make them her own. I wanted to do Yowayowa jumping and boom, she did it…Effortlessly. Before hand, we had a few styles that we discussed over email and she went over and above what I was thinking. What was really awesome was how many pairs of boots/heels she owned. I’ve never seen so many in my life!
How I came introduced with Mai was through Model Mayhem. Usually, when I message someone on Model Mayhem….I get no response. It seems that people rarely check that site anymore. But….Lucky for me, Mai responded super quick! We exchanged emails and then started planning our shoot. She then added me on Facebook and to my surprise, her boyfriend is Alex Lim! I follow his work and I’m definitely a fan.
When we met up, she said we could shoot in her loft or her basement area! I was totally down with that. But, what I didn’t know was that she lived with Alex and that their loft was also his studio! I felt extremely nervous and also extremely blessed being able to use his studio space. There was so much awesome light and the whole studio space was really cool! There was awesome window light and some pretty cool clouds outside that allowed for sweet images.
Just using one light for most of these shots….That’s all I needed! I love the edgy look from using one light, especially balancing the outdoor light through the window. It was so hot shooting with the sun beaming through the windows and also having my strobes blasting. I had my Seattle clothing on and the weather definitely was not working well with my attire for the day haha.
What was really awesome about Mai was her personality. She had SOOOOOO much spunk and personality. You can tell through these photos, she’s real. Also – one thing that I did differently from before was non-stop shooting. I usually shoot a photo, check it out, make sure my settings are perfect and then take the next shot. For this shoot specifically, I had my settings perfect and I just kept shooting. She moved so well, I knew I would have tons of keepers. She was able to do so many poses!
Even when she laid on the ground, she posed in many different ways. Lots of people think modeling is just.. “looking good in front of the camera” …….You are wrong, it takes so much more than that to be a model.
This shot above was shot through a ABR800 on top of a ladder, using an 85mm f/1.2L II —- You can only imagine how heavy that setup was, on top of a ladder, hanging over her to shoot down. Good thing I go to the gym hahaha. For my photo of the day, I chose the BW version of this photo but now…. I think I like the color version equally. The colors of the wood look awesome when shot with a direct flash.
An awesome aspect about his studio was the ability to shoot seamless with natural light or with strobed light. Having the option to do both is really awesome! Above, is a strobed shot…And below, is natural light shot with my 85LII.
Like I mentioned…Though above, she looks all serious and ‘model-esque’, she also had fun and wanted to get a traditional “Asian” photo hahaha. And by that, I mean…throwing up the peace sign.
Besides being able to shoot in Alex’ studio… The hallway to get to his studio was pretty damn awesome. I took it as an opportunity to do a jumping photo! And look, she did it in heels! Impressive.
The last location we got to shoot in was the basement of her building. It was actually pretty creepy down there but the available light from the overhanging lights was pretty awesome. Super moody, edgy lighting is always a win in my book!
Isn’t this lighting awesome?! It makes for a very…..emotive image, seen below. I love it.
And to end this post….Here’s the color image seen earlier!
I had a blast shooting with Mai and am super satisfied on the images we were able to produce! Hopefully we will be able to work together soon
Thanks for reading
- Connor Surdi