Over the years I've developed a rhythm which allows me to get to know the model, as well as what type of lighting works best for them. This week was a prime example; Emily was in my studio for a portrait session, and while I've worked with her in the past, this was her first portrait session with me. My normal progression is what I like to call, “no make up, makeup, and lighting.” For the no makeup look, I normally just use natural light from an open door. Typically I shoot these on a black background. This allows me to really focus on the subject’s face and learn what lighting and lenses are a good match for them. Once I get these shots done, I have the makeup artist begin the model’s first makeup look. By the time I get the last image, it's typically something a little more complex with the lighting.