BTS – Nyle Dimarco Shoot

We are back again with another amazing shoot.  This time, I had the pleasure to shoot the amazing celebrity, Nyle Dimarco.  As you may or may not know, Nyle won last year's season 22 of America's Next Top Model.  This year, he won season 22 of Dancing with the Stars.  He is the first deaf winner of both shows.   I am not a huge fan of reality TV, but then I checked out his Instagram and realized he has over 1.2 million followers!!

Resident Magazine was able to snatch him for a cover and spread for their September issue and grabbed me for the photography!

The location was in a beautiful townhouse downtown, on the market for just shy of $17 million.

The full list of gear for this shoot:

Sony a7RII
Sony 24-70 GM lens
Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS lens
Phottix Indra 500 light (with battery) x2
Phottix Indra AC Adapter
Phottix Odin II (Sony) trigger
Tiffen Polarizer
Ellinchrom Boom pole x2
Microsoft Surface Pro 4
And a lot lot more.. See the video for the huge list of items.

For my colleagues assisting on this shoot, we brought in the amazing stylist, Engie and for grooming, we had Jose.

The art director of the magazine, "EJ", agreed to be the retoucher for all the shots that were featured in the magazine.  I retouched a few of the ones you will see below as well.

I brought in one of my favorite photography assistants, Kensey, to shoot all the BTS shots you will see below.

Also assistant was 2 interns from Resident Magazine, Kenza and Jennifer.

Check out the video below about the shoot, then read on to how we made it happen!

When my assistants and I got to the townhouse, Nyle was already being groomed.

Engie then arrived with all her amazing (and expensive) clothing and accessories for Nyle to wear

As for me, I had 3 tasks.  The first was to unpack all my equipment to figure out what would be used for the first shot, then setting that up (with the help of my assistants).

The next step was finding the best locations for each shot, walking around with the editor in chief of the magazine, Hillary and the stylist, so we could brainstorm on the outfits and looks, for the number of shots that we needed.

The final task, was to use a stabilizer for the first time, that I had just purchased for my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, to record all the equipment for the video above, as well as to try and train Kenza on it's usage, as she had never used one before as well.

Finally, in a record setting up time (less than 30 min), we were ready for the first shot!

Since I had never worked with a deaf model before, I had to make sure that Nyle was able to communicate with me well, as he would be looking to me to know what his next move would be.  In the taxi ride to the shoot, I had Kenza watching Youtube videos on sign language and relaying key terms I would need to know, such as left/right, etc.  I learned what I could, as fast as I could, but luckily, Kenza was able to also remember (better than me) some of the key signs for me, and relayed them during the shoot.  Luckily, Nyle was able to read lips as well, so we literally had no communication barrier the entire shoot.  In fact, the ONLY time he needed to write something down to tell me, was at the end of the shoot, to let me know what time he needed to leave by.  Amazing!

One other thing we had to set up, was for this first shot, since we were in a room surrounded by glass walls behind and in front of us, I couldn't use flash.  Because of this, Nyle had no way of knowing when I had clicked the shutter and the shot was taken.  So, I relayed to him with my left hand, every time I shot, I would hold up my finger so he moved to the next post.  It worked beautifully.

On a side note, this was one of the easiest shoots I've ever done.  Nyle was really professional, has no bad poses, and let us maneuver him into every shot.  I could easily see why he won America's Next Top Model.  Nyle is an amazing model and a dream to work with.

The shot from this scene, with no external lighting, really shows how amazing the Sony a7RII is as a camera.

Sony 90mm Macro lens. f/2.8, 1/200th, ISO 640

The next scene, by this awesome fireplace, was much easier to do, as there was no glass in the shot.

This shot is the first page of the spread in the magazine

Sony 24-70GM lens @ 40mm. f/2.8, 1/320th, ISO 100

And this shot is the cover of the magazine!

Sony 24-70 GM lens @ 45mm. f.2.8, 1/320th, ISO 100

The next scene was in a stair way.  This was a little hard, as there wasn't much room for lights (or even stands!).  So I had my assistant hold the Phottix light above my head, lighting Nyle perfectly, while allowing the light from the upstairs window to still shine through.

And the shot looks AMAZING!

Sony 24-70mm lens @ 58mm. f/2.8, 1/320th, ISO 100

It's sooo good, I want to show you a closeup!

Sony 24-70mm lens @ 58mm. f/2.8, 1/320th, ISO 100.. Cropped at 66%

For the second to last scene, we traveled to the second floor.  It was VERY bright, so my lights were on HSS mode and my shutter speed was high.

The result:

Sony 24-70mm GM @ 70mm. f/3.2, 1/3200th, ISO 100

Finally, we were at the last shot, on the roof of the townhouse.  I of course took this opportunity to take a shot with Nyle.  🙂

And this scene turned out so amazing, we ended up with 2 shots!

Sony 24-70mm @ 32mm. f/4, 1/800th, ISO 100
Sony 24-70mm @ 32mm. f/4, 1/800th, ISO 100


And that's a wrap!  I hope you enjoyed this shoot of the amazing and ridiculously good looking, Nyle Dimarco.

To see the beautiful spread in print, please pick up the latest issue of Resident magazine.  You can also view the digital format here