Fashion on an old Italian farm

This fashion image was shot just outside of Milan, Italy. It is the second look of 6 looks we shot here. The location is an abandoned farm house that is falling apart. I was very careful where I had the model in this building. The opening in the wall behind her had already started to collapse. You can see some of the bricks behind the model that have fallen. I looked hard at the wooden support beams above where we are for any sign of rotting. From my B&B in Milan to this location is about a 20-30 minute drive and is very close to Milan’s Linate Airport.

We were driving to Linate when Emiliano, my lead assistant in Europe, mentioned that he saw the roof of an old building. So I quickly forgot about going to the airport and went & scouted. The gate was locked but there was not a “Private Property’ sign so we tromped around for a good 15 minutes. On our way back to the car I noticed an older gentleman on a bicycle waiting for us. He ask what were doing and we said we liked the location & wanted to know if we could get permission to shoot here. He told us that there was a woman that came by everyday to feed “her” cats & pigeons, normally around 3:30 to 4:00 pm (15:30 – 16:00). Of course I’m thinking that if she does not feed the cats there will not be very many pigeons left, in fact even with her feeding the cats, I saw the remains of a pigeon. So we thanked him then parted to go to Linate.

A few days later we had time to go & visit the farm & we met the woman there. She was very kind, gracious and granted us permission to shoot there whenever we wanted. She went on to say that parts of the buildings were dangerous so we should be very careful. Her late uncle was the owner and she remembers visiting there many times while she was growing up. She pointed to the remains of a door and told us that her uncle would project movies at night. She went on to say that her uncle loved America and that is why the farm was named “Acquabella Farm”. “Farm” is not an Italian word, fattoria is a word for farm in Italian. See the image below. The “House” part of the farm is still intact and, with a weeks worth of cleaning, would be liveable again.

From when the model showed up at my B&B to start makeup and hair styling to when we were finished shooting and ready to leave took 5.5 hours total. The initial makeup and hair styling took 2 hours, it took about 30 minutes to drive here meaning we shot 6 looks and packed all of our gear in 3 hours. Pretty fast considering, but shows what can be done with the right crew and a great location to work.

Go here to look at a 30 second behind the scenes video.

Go here to look at a before & after image.


Any use for a comp or mock by an advertising agency, design firm or magazine, for internal use only, is always free, just ask me for the image & I will send it to you. Also any educational use is free, please just ask in advance. The exception to free educational use is any form of commercial publishing, printed or electronic.


Shoot & Camera data: Canon 5D MKIII set at 320 ISO, 1/125 second shutter speed with a Canon 85mm f1.8 lens attached set to f8. The only extra photography gear is a Sunbounce Pro sized reflector using a zebra fabric positioned well behind me, about 30′ to 35′ (9 -11 meters) from the model. The reflector is providing just a small POP to the light.

Beauty in the Woods

This image was shot near Wolcott, Colorado. I had scouted for this project for a couple of days on a ranch to find several locations that were close enough to allow fast changes in backgrounds by packing up the 4 wheel drive & driving a short distance. I also noted the best times of day to shoot and arranged the shoot accordingly. Click on image to enlarge.

Gear: Canon 5D MKIII – 160 ISO – 1/160 second – with a Canon 85mm f1.8 lens set at f3.2 hand held. In addition there was a California Sunbounce “Sun Swatter” (Silk) held overhead to soften the light.


This image is from a series of images that were taken inside a Milan, Italy private home. This was part of one the oldest homes in Milan, built in the 1500’s. It is illuminated with natural daylight with a Sunbounce reflector off to your left.

Lingerie Beauty

Miami Beach 1930’s Deco hotel room – This was shot in color and converted to B&W using a technique I developed to allow me to have more control over the conversion process. This allows me to change tones depending on what I want vs. Photoshop deciding this for me by using a “One Size Fits All” formula. I asked the Hair-M/U person for a no make up look and simple hair.