Tanya Weekes » Natural light photography

Portrait: Leah Michal Shaw

I first met Leah on the day of the photoshoot. I felt like I already knew her to an extent because I had checked out her Instagram after noticing she had started following my account. The funny thing is, I was thinking, wow, Leah looks like my ideal client, she’s a carefree, traveller-creative type. Bonus for me was that she happened to also be based in Taiwan. All of this was before I realised that she had actually already messaged me on Facebook enquiring about my photography services.

Leah is a writer from New York, who needed pictures for her website, leahmichalshaw.com. We discussed through Facebook messages the kind of things she likes. This was a perfect basis for me to start a mood board to bring together my ideas and thoughts for the tone and direction of the shoot.

On the day of the shoot, we agreed to spend a little time before I started shooting to learn a bit more about each other and get relaxed. Leah drank coffee latte (for photographic purposes, not her usual) and I had a kiwi juice, since it was a nice change from the usual soft drink offerings. The cafe Leah choose (Longmo Art Cafe Design) was beautifully light and airy thanks to the high ceilings, big floor-to-ceiling windows and reflective glass and marble surfaces – perfect for natural light photography which is my speciality.

I asked Leah to bring some items from home that we could use in the shoot to give it a more personal, lifestyle feel. Leah brought with her a few books and her laptop.

During our initial discussion through Facebook, Leah told me about her love for flower and plants so I was keen to include them in the photoshoot. For the second location, Leah chose this old alleyway which had these beautiful flowers.

Who needs Snapchat filters when you’ve got these beautiful  flowers!

I also mentioned to Leah that it would be good if she wore an outfit that could be easily changed up, so that we could get a different look. So, although, Leah wore a white t-shirt and black culottes throughout she achieved a more varied look by adding an overshirt, and styling it in a couple of different ways as well as tying her hair up and adding sunglasses.

Leah not only are you stunningly beautiful but you also have an amazing talent in your writing. I can’t wait to see the new website. Until then, shine on!

Photography by Tanya Weekes

Featuring Leah Michal Shaw

Location:  Jhubei, Taiwan