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Musician Highlight—Kristen Marlo

Musician Kristen Marlo has been one of my favorite people in Tacoma to take portraits with.


Musician Kristen Marlo standing on Les David Pier Tacoma. Music portrait by music photographer Bret Stein

When Kristen and I started talking about doing a portrait session together one of the first things that set her apart was that she had some specific and great inspiration she wanted to follow for our photos.


Many other musicians I photograph simply want photos that "look good" and often leave it at that. While I do continue to work with these artists to make a plan, it is always great to have a starting point.


Kristen sent me several photos for inspiration in the direction she wanted to go. We went back and forth considering 4 or 5 locations and ideas before we finally settled on taking photos early morning in the fog. This was good timing as the fog had recently been more consistent along Commencement Bay in the mornings.


Musician Kristen Marlo from the side wearing black hat. Music portrait by music photographer Bret Stein

So one early morning we met at the Old Town Tacoma Dock to take some musician photos. Even at the early time that we met the sun was starting to break through the fog. Luckily, I had come from a direction where the fog was thicker, so we decided to move locations.


We drove the mile, or so, up Ruston Way to the Les Davis Pier where the fog was significantly thicker (surprisingly so).


We spent about an hour at the pier taking photos, and the sun only started to break through right before we left.


What I love about heavy fog is the even lighting that it creates. In this case, it also created a smooth background behind Kristen. The fog was also dark and thick enough that it was easy to not overexpose.


Musician Kristen Marlo on a pier with water and fog in the background. Music portrait by music photographer Bret Stein

The lighting was so great in the fog that when I uploaded the photos to my computer they needed almost no post-processing.


I spent some time working with one photo in particular on a theme surrounding the seasons. And while I was pretty happy with the result we decided in the end to just use the simpler versions of the photos.


My experience taking music photos with Kristen was fantastic. She is a great musician and a wonderful person. I'm glad to have gone out for this music portrait session and certainly hope to work with her again!


Musician Kristen Marlo wearing a black hat and smiling with fog background. Music portrait by music photographer Bret Stein



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