Parliament Hill

The ever wonderful, talented and fabulous Melina Mara of the Washington Post approached me about collaborating with her on some album art for Parliament Hill, an up and coming band straight outta Georgetown. It’s rare that photojournalist types get to work together like that, so I jumped at the chance.

As I recall, the concept was to somehow capture the album’s name, “Light the Dark” in pictures, so I met Jess and Kevin at the crack of dawn at Melina’s place downtown.  I showed up before sunrise to scout locations with Melina who made the pre-dawn excursion far more bearable with some tea and her sunshine of a personality.  Seriously.  If you haven’t met her, Melina is one of those people whose light is so bright, you feel all warm and happy when she talks to you.

Kevin and Jess showed up a little after dawn.  The poor rocknrollers slept in and scrambled to make it to the location before all the good morning light disappeared.  We actually ended up shooting in alleys that didn’t get any light until a bit later in the morning so it worked out.

Melina and I each shot portraits of the band, trading off and helping each other with lights or reflectors as needed.  For those of you who know how I like to work, I was all about shaping that gorgeous morning light with my reflectors and foregoing the lights for much of my shoot.  Some might call my avoidance of “big lights” a weakness or disadvantage, but to those haters I say: why not take full advantage of the biggest, best light of all?  The natural light of any given space seriously shapes how my portrait sessions progress.  I particularly love working in the morning or late afternoon (golden hours!) when the light is shifting dramatically and it highlights spots I would never have thought to frame up.  This was just such a shoot.

This was from early in the morning before the light hit the alley.  Nice and even against the best garage door I’ve ever seen.

My experiment with Melina’s lights.  Yes, I’ll use lights when I see fit.

This is the cover shot of Light the Dark.  I was so excited to get my hands on a copy, I popped it into the cd player in my car right away only to be blown away.  Outstanding vocals and instrumentation.  Stellar, chill album.  Real nice.

And the inside with pictures by Melina.  The album is on iTunes.  Check it out.