My Super Session with Stacey Kull.

We got a week’s worth of images in 14 hours.

Stacey and I met this past December during the “Courage to Dream” calendar photoshoot held in upstate New York as part of Kristin Bauers-Gross’s Industry Day. The event was a chance for those wanting to learn how to break into modeling who didn’t live in a major fashion hub like NYC or LA.

As part of that experience, participants got a chance to do a mini studio session with me. I taught them basic lighting, posing to bring out their best aspects, where to look, how to get into the right groove, et cetera. You can see images from that day here.

It was a whirlwind day and I was toast when it was all said and done.

The images were put into a calendar that the participants would sell. The one that sold the most would win the grand prize of a weekend trip to Virginia Beach and a series of photoshoots with me to build their portfolio.

When the contest wrapped up in June, and the units sold were tallied up, it was announced that Stacey had won.

We immediately began to plan for the weekend. Stacy would be coming from Pennsylvania and would be staying over night. We knew what we were looking for in terms of a hotel to use as Command Central. Kristin, Stacey and I had several phone calls to map out what kind of imagery would benefit Stacy’s portfolio and gain her bookings in her areas of interest. I already had Carolyn Valure on stand-by to do Stacy’s make-up and hair both days.

The biggest question was when. We were in the middle of Covid with all kinds of restrictions still in place. I had my health issue that had to be factored in. It became apparent pretty quickly that we were looking at September.

As those of us in Hampton Roads know, the weather starts getting a little unsettled that time of year. The temperature is plenty warm but rain and wind starts creeping into the forecast more and more. As most of what we wanted to do with Stacy involved outdoor work, this had a lot of weight. We wanted to get it in before things really got unstable.

So we set the date for the last weekend of September. And I watched the forecast every day leading up to it with fingers crossed.

The game plan was to capture some images of Stacey on the beach for fitness and fashion. She also wanted some images of her in medical garb and gear, some of her as a businessperson, and some images out on the town on a Saturday night.

As she was coming into town on Friday night, I figured we could hit the beach Saturday morning with light and airy make-up, and then get the medical and business images back in or around her hotel. We would then wrap up the day with images in Town Center either Saturday night or Sunday morning with her all done up and dressed to kill.

Well, Mother Nature had other plans. As of that Friday night, they were calling for rain all Saturday morning. I made the call to change up the plans to work around it. We would shoot Town Center Saturday night and hit the beach for sunrise Sunday.

Well, it poured here in Hampton that Saturday so I didn’t give it a second thought. Until I met up with Stacey and Carolyn at the hotel on the oceanfront in Virginia Beach. Apparently, other than some clouds, they got nothing but sun all day.

Figures. That’s part of the game when you’re a photographer. Live and learn.

Because of the schedule shuffle, we ended up compressing all planned sessions into a 14 hour block. We started shooting at 7pm in Town Center Saturday and called it a night at 10. We were set to meet up again at 6:30am the next morning on the beach to greet the sun and rock some sunrise photos.

So imagine my surprise when I got there a little before the rest of the team and found the entire region was socked in by a heavy fog. That no one predicted. It completely blocked out the sun and the colors of sunrise. Again, go figure. So I do what I do best and we rolled with it.

We wrapped up the morning by going back to Stacey’s hotel room to capture the medical and business images. It was heart-felt fist and elbow bumps all around when all the gear was packed up and it was time for me to go.

It was an honor, and a greater pleasure, working with everyone to make this happen. I’m going to wrap this up with words from both Stacey and Kristin. First Stacey.

I recently had the privilege of working with Mark for the 2nd time in less than a year! He is so professional, patient and made me feel completely comfortable! He even laughed at my sarcastic sense of humor. Definitely a winner in my book!!

Even before my photo session was complete, we were discussing about our next one together! I cant wait to see what you can capture on the next round.

Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to helping me rock out some amazing photos!

Stacey Kull 

Now Kristin.

Thank you to Mark Knopp for photographing our grand prize-winning “Courage to Dream” calendar model Stacey Kull!

Stacey won 2 nights oceanfront accommodations and a weekend of photoshoots with Mark Knopp and make-up and hair by Carolyn Valure. Images from their shoot will not only add to Stacey’s modeling portfolio but also be published in Rochester Woman Magazine 

Thank you,

Kristin Bauer-Gross

Your Model Coach

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