Sovereign – Beautiful Savage Magazine

Title: Sovereign

Photographer: Lindsay Adler
Model: Stephanie H at One Management

Hair and Makeup: Johnny Gonzalez

Styling: LSC Styling for 4Season Style Management
Assisted by Lakiesha Kearney, Meron Bekele

Photographer's assistants: Sydney Pensky, Steven Turner


Sometimes the best way to showcase avant-garde pieces or dramatic scenes is with simple lighting that lets the styling speak for itself. In fact, if you look through the pages of some of the most elegant fashion magazines, often the lighting is refined and even understated. Beauty glows from the model, from the styling, from the scene, and the light quietly allows you to explore this scene.

For this editorial my wardrobe stylist, LSC for 4Season Style Management, came up with the concept of a young woman destined to inherit a throne. This girl, a someday sovereign (a supreme ruler, especially a monarch), would command a people and rule the land. For now, she is master of fashion and in each outfit she dons a headpiece that will someday be replaced with a crown.

I wanted to keep the lighting for this shoot simple, I chose a single light, the Westcott 47'' Zeppelin and a large white V-flat to add a little fill to the shadow side of the model's face. I'm currently a bit obsessed with the quality of light from this modifier — it's glowing and directional with light fall-off. I've been using it for portraits, beauty, fashion and just LOVE it.

For this shoot I grabbed some go-to lenses and also decided to get a bit creative. Since our concept seemed to tell a story of the past, I decided to experiment in making the photos look as if from a different era. To do this I used my favorite Lensbaby lenses (Lensbaby Composer Pro w/ Sweet 35 and the Lensbaby Composer Pro w/Edge 80) to simulate the feel of an old bellows camera or tilt shift lens. Utilizing these lenses actually allows me to select a plane of focus within the frame instead of just playing with depth of field. For example, I could have just a slice of focus across the plane of the model's face, or even have focus on the model's head with the focus dramatically falling off from the center of the face. These unique focal plane tools allowed me to get a painterly and old-fashioned look to the images, even bordering on surreal. In order to be sure I also captured images that displayed the beautiful clothing, I also shot several images with my Sigma 70-200m 2.8 lens, shooting wide open to give me nice narrow depth-of-field.

Lastly, I toned this images using my Lightroom presets with a few adjustments in order to get these blue tonalities to the shadows and yellow glow to the highlights.

The final images appeared in Beautiful Savage magazine, a stunning publication with some really talented artists regularly featured within its pages. Below I've included a list of the gear used, designers featured, and links to my incredible creative team!

Click the images to enlarge

Click images to enlarge


Canon 5D Mark III

Sigma 70-200mm 2.8

Lensbaby Composer Pro w/ Sweet 35

Lensbaby Composer Pro w/Edge 80

Profoto D1 Air (1)

Profoto Air Remote

Westcott Zeppelin 47in (parabolic umbrella)

Gray painted muslin background

64GB CF card

Headpieces available through Dream Shoot Rentals.

 Designers Featured:

Nina Verklas dress, Karla Medina headpiece, Lariucci rings

Daniel Silverstein dress, Stylist's own neckpiece, Karla Medina headpiece, Miriam Haskell ring

Vertitee Hill headpieces, vintage Gaultier dress, Sugar Scout ring

Caroline Sarria dress, Tavia Sania headpiece, Monies US necklace,

Laurel Dewitt top, Carolina Sarria dress, Karla Medina headpiece, Diabolic Kill ring

Timothy K dress, Miriam Haskell necklaces, earrings, bracelets, Joyce at Angelica Brigade headpieces