Kaley Metz | J.P Hoffmaster State Park Portrait Shoot

June 1, 2020

Over the past few years as a portrait photographer serving the Grand Rapids area, and shooting world wide for that matter, I have been pretty ridged in my editing style. When I came into the industry, my fellow grand rapids photographers always stressed the importance of “having a style.” Because I was new, these photographers were like my mentors.

Needless to say, there came a point in my career about this time last year where what I was doing became boring to say the least. I was tired of the same old workflow. So I took a break, and really focused on educating other photographers on YouTube.

Because I wanted them to have the same tools I wish I had when I started out for a much more affordable price, I created Lightroom Presets for them. It was then I realized what my style as a photographer was with respect to editing. Stepping away from the same film emulation (Pro 400H) I used for years, I discovered that my style was one that was almost undefined. That sounds cliche, but I realized that editing to me really depended on the lighting, the shoot, and the emotion behind it all rather than applying the same technique that I used on every other photo.

So where does Kaley Metz come into all of this you may ask? Well, I met Kaley through other Grand Rapids Wedding Photographers in the area, and at the time I was collaborating with a camera bag company based in New York called Vinta Co. We ended up shooting once before, which I will post that shoot at a later time, which led to this shoot that you are seeing here today.

This day was my personal aesthetic to say the least. It was rainy but bright. It was moody but defused. It honestly reminded me of a Lana Del Rey Song to say the least. Facing toward the lake you got this nice bright and airy look, but when you faced toward the shore, you got this nice dark background. Interestingly enough, It took me back to when I started photography. When I got my first camera, I went to the beach and listened to Lana.

After the shoot, I came home and edited the photos with my normal bright editorial style; however, once they were delivered, I reset every edit and approached each photo from the heart. These were the results.