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Chandler Storm | Avondale, Downtown Birmingham portrait photography session

I’m sitting on the floor. I am surrounded by magazine cutouts, blasting my favorite YouTube tutorials and skimming men’s fashion poses, attempting to use all 5 senses to soak in inspiration just minutes before my model arrives to Birmingham.

Chandler texted me ahead of time that he would be a little late; even with spare minutes in my pocket, when it comes to photographing, there is never enough preparation. Check the batteries. Back up photos. Wipe the memory card. Stock up on film. Lenses 1, 2, and 3. Double check. Triple check. Oh yeah, breathe.

Did I already mention that I was born ready?

Chandler, on the other hand, is a veteran. Having worked as a model both in the states and abroad, he’s fluent and confident on how these shoots unfold. I portrayed him my vision, and he delivered. He came ready with flexible outfits that could adapt to a variety of locations and could stand the hot Alabama summer.

Loaded with cameras, clothes, and two VERY large bottles of water, we set off exploring downtown Birmingham. The city, while growing, is full of hidden gems for photo-shoots – a range of textures, abandoned warehouses, and once-vibrant, multicolored walls that give the feeling that the city will not go unnoticed for long.

We stumbled upon a muted, baby blue building on a quiet road. A paisley shirt, a denim jacket, and white pants craved a subtle wall to shine. We spent about 30 minutes shooting here, warming up (both literally and figuratively) and talking through where to go next.

Our adventure took us to Avondale. Chandler, our Zac Efron look-a-like, drew some confused looks as we used outdoor picnic tables and vibrant doors as backdrops.

Chandler changed into a thrifted-looking t-shirt and donned a pair of cherry red Converse. A tire shop across the street looked like the perfect spot for this edgy, Greaser-vibe. With the approval of the workers there, despite their obvious confusion, this tire scrap yard quickly became our studio. While the location itself came with challenges – limited space, stepping over abandoned tires, and Chandler’s white pants – the tire shop quickly became my favorite spot of the day.

Finally, we took advantage of the restored angel wings outside of MELT and wrapped up a successful day of shooting.

Check out the awesome shots from our adventure! A big thank you to Chandler Storm (Instagram @chandlerstorm_) for a great shoot!