Behind The Scenes of My First Photo Shoot EVAR With Joshua Gwyn

If you are my Facebook friend or a fan of the Ashleigh, Not Ashley fanpage, you might have seen a few shots from my photo shoot with Atlanta photographer Joshua Gwyn. If not, keep reading because I am about to give you a bit of a behind the scenes peek. I know I’m not some celebrity or anything but since this was my first shoot EVAR, I figured I would blog about it and let everyone see the pretty pictures.

I had been looking to do a photo shoot for ages but due to my procrastination and crappy schedule, I never got around to it. Not to mention, finding a photographer proved to be very difficult. Thankfully, a friend of mine swooped in and suggested I contact two of her photographer friends, Josh being one of them. I decided that I would go with whichever one responded to my message first. So, I waited and surely enough, Josh contacted me promptly. We set up a time for a phone call and decided to shoot on the last Saturday of June. I didn’t have any idea what to expect so I just packed my (not so sure if it is real) Diane Von Furtsenburg bag with a bunch of stuff based on the tips Josh gave me and I hopped on the train to Little 5 Points. As soon as I stepped off that train, I regretted not bringing my rolling bag because it was too damn hot to be carrying a heavy bag. Nonetheless, I hoofed it and made it to the lil coffee spot he suggested. As we talked over a couple of drinks, we decided what type of shoot this was going to be and where we would go to get some shoots. We started out at a pretty bright pink wall where we did a couple of test shots and then walked around some more before we ended up in front of an awesome Outkast mural. Since one of ANA’s main topics is pop culture, I jumped on it.

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I didn’t originally plan to shoot in that dress but I decided to go with the flow and ended up liking the ruggedness of this dress with the mural. We stuck around the mural for a bit as the clouds kept messing with the lighting and then we left to find another location. I decided to change my outfit and we went up a hill to take a few scenic shots with Little 5 as the background. As we made our way up the hill, the clouds began to look a bit dark but we decided to go ahead and get some shots before the sky fell open. Thankfully, the gray skies made for great lighting.

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Thankfully, we were able to get a lot of good shots because it wasn’t long before we started to feel a few drops on our heads.

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We ducked into the coffee shop and that’s when the cats and dogs began to fall out the sky. We sat for a few minutes hoping the rain would stop after a few minutes. After we saw that it wasn’t breaking, we decided to explore the coffee shop and the adjacent theater space.

The first room we were in has beautiful Alvin Ailey photos on the wall and Josh shared that he actually edited them for photographer JD Scott. As I admired the pictures, he began to set up his camera equipment to get a few shots.

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I decided to start playing with my hair a bit more because it was too limp for my liking. Southern girls love big hair and I am not exempt.

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It was still pouring outside so we decided to head up the back stairs and found some cute vintage stuff and a big open window for a few “look at me, I’m deep” shots.

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Then I settled into a small green chair and although it was a bit cramped for me because of my long ass legs, that chair led to my favorite shots of the shoot.

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I felt like I was freakin’ Beyonce and I wanted everyone to bow down. To think, we stumbled upon all of this because of the rain and as fate would have it, the rain stopped right after we got these shots. We went back outside and decided to shoot on Rag-o-Rama’s big blue wall.

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We also stopped by another mural and then the shoot took a turn for the strange. As we were shooting, a random guy decided to jump in and we went with it. I didn’t choose any of those shots for editing but it was so much fun and the guy was really nice. Maybe if you FedEx Josh a few cookies, he’ll let you seem them! We got our last few shots and Josh walked me back to the train station so I could head home. I picked up my prints about 2 weeks ago and I’m already thinking of another shoot to do with Josh. Perhaps in September around my birthday? Who knows. Anyway, I’m sick of typing so I’ll go ahead and let y’all read a few words from the photographer himself!

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As a photographer and a creative its always a treat to work with other creative people especially during a portrait session. I get to photograph all kinds of different people from smiling little kids to political figures and every time I get to work with someone on a similar wave-length as myself it is a real treat for me. Working with the incredibly creative and opinionated Ashleigh was definitely a treat.

I’ve had a lot of really great photo shoots, and I seriously do not say this to everyone… this shoot was the most fun I’ve had in a long time. First of all, she chose the eclectic Little Five Points, instead of the standard Piedmont Park, to shoot in which made the whole feel and ambiance a whole lot more interesting. After reading some of her blog entries, I realized that “the usual” portrait session wasn’t going to be the case for Ashleigh. She needed something different and unique to her personality which made it even more fun and challenging for me.

I mean how many times do you get to photograph someone in front of a mural that is an homage to Outkast, or shoot someone on the top floor of the incredibly cool, and rustic seven stages theater lobby. Or in front of some absolutely fantastic larger than life vividly colored murals of interesting people. This was a much needed break from the norm for me, I enjoyed every second of working with Ashleigh on site. I loved editing the photos to make them as vibrant and interesting as her character. I’m very much looking forward to the next opportunity to work with Ashleigh!

There ya have it! To check out some more of Josh’s work and to set up a shoot with him, check out his site here and to see more of my shots, go here. Tell him I sent you!


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