I Crashed a Professional Model Shoot In New York City

Professional Model Shoot - New York, New York

Professional Model Shoot – New York, New York

After a longer-than-expected two-month pause, restarting my New York City coverage, I’m easing back with an impromptu model shoot that dovetails perfectly with the last several days.

When we last left New York, I was at St. Paul’s Chapel next to ground zero in lower Manhattan. I walked north to a small park next to the city hall. There I discovered a model shoot — but not just any — a professional one with an army of assistants.

With my curiosity piqued, I watched for a few minutes and started shooting photos from the side with the Fujifilm GFX 50S II. The professional photographer remarked that my camera cost twice his. As I recall, he was shooting a Canon, most likely a late model 5D with an L lens.

Professional Model Shoot - New York, New York

Talking to the photographer during a break, he seemed intimidated by my camera, but I reassured him that he’s the professional portrait photographer. I was just on vacation shooting urban, street, and vacation images for my blog. He wistfully mentioned that he wanted to do my style of photography full-time someday.

The head fashion designer jokingly commented for me to maintain the photographer’s confidence since he needed his services all day. It was all good fun and a great example of how New Yorkers can be friendly despite their no-nonsense reputation.

Professional Model Shoot - New York, New York

As you can see, there were three outfit changes during my short visit. It would’ve been fun to stay longer, but I didn’t want to overstay my chance encounter. Plus, I had a lot more Manhattan architecture to shoot.

While the GFX 50S II is a fantastic camera, the GF35-70mm — a convenient all-purpose lens — was not ideally suited for portraits. However, the Fuji XF50mm f1.0 I mentioned yesterday would’ve been ideal, allowing shallower depth of field portraits.

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5 thoughts on “I Crashed a Professional Model Shoot In New York City

  1. Really nice images, as usual. I think you were lucky running into a Pro that was willing to chat with you about your camera, and not get upset that you were there. Or that the client was friendly about it too.

    In a way it is interesting that a “Professional” can be intimidated by someones camera. But I do know it happens, because it happened to me once at my friend’s wedding. They hired a local pro who had a good reputation as one of the better wedding photographers in the area. Between post wedding shots, we chatted for a few minutes and he commented about my camera, a Leica M3, compared to his Canon EOS 1V. Immediately after his next shot of the couple, he began to move and “stumbled” few steps until he was right in front of me. I fully intended to wait until he got his images, but this showed me he was intimidated by me. So I left the area and concentrated on making a few images of the other reception guests. As a friend of the Groom, I needed to protect my friendship.


    1. Hi PaulB, Yes, I think I was lucky and it makes for a fun story. Of course a Leica certainly has a mystique about it — great story. Thank you for your visit and comment.

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