In June, Phoenix Focus reached out to me to photograph University of Phoenix alum Nadine Streleski-Flanders for their fall 2014 issue. Nadine is the Director of Clinical Education for non-profit health care provider Kaleida Health in Western New York. It’s a great story about how her return to school to further her knowledge of nursing, business, and education catalyzed an unexpected career turn that found her in a new role at Kaleida – one that was created specifically to make use of her unique combination of skills.
This was a pre-dawn shoot that was up in the air until almost the last minute because of weather concerns. I knew I wanted this to be an outdoor shot rather than an environmental portrait at one of the hospitals Nadine works with, but the conditions that week had been, for lack of a better term, biblical, alternating between unexpected torrential rain and ungodly heat (which had already caused a few weather postponements and delays that week). We had scouted some locations along the Niagara River and Tonawanda Creek in anticipation of a couple of different weather scenarios (and could have always fallen back to a studio shoot if we absolutely had to) but ultimately this waterfront spot at Niawanda Park, looking out at Grand Island and the Niagara River, was the one that just felt right in the end.
When me and my assistant showed up on the morning of the production to set up and take test shots it was still pretty dark out and there was a ton of fog out on the water which was a bit concerning, so we planned on actually making a slightly darker and more dramatic image to match the scene we anticipated. But as the sun started to come up we realized that the weather wasn’t just going to cooperate but was, in fact, going to be spectacular. The haze from the fog mixing with the pinks and oranges of the dawn light gave everything a crazy watercolor vibe that became a big part of the final color treatment of these portraits.
Check out Phoenix Focus for the full story on Nadine.