I first met Maureen through Laura as both are involved in theatre. Maureen was a foreign exchange student from Kenya. In fact, she comes from the same tribe as actress Lupita Nyong'o.
For this shoot, we went to Coyote Point Park in San Mateo. There's lots of eucalyptus trees and a small promontory that overlooks the flight path for planes landing at San Francisco International Airport.
At first, Maureen seemed rather shy while we were shooting, and I wasn't sure why. This first shot was taken against a eucalyptus tree and the fact that she hid partially behind the tree reflected her shyness.
I worked with her to try to pull out a few looks. Knowing she was an actress, I was hoping to pull some facial expressions from her, but was a bit surprised that it didn't work. Below was initially what I was able to pull out from her, a reflective, meditative pose which looks interesting.
It wasn't until later that I was told that a close friend of hers had passed away in Kenya and she was unable to travel back to Kenya for the funeral. Perhaps the next shot captures part of what she was feeling that morning.
As we continued to shoot though, her mood began to brighten. Being in front of the camera that morning began to lift her spirits.
The next shot is my favorite of the bunch! Her pose, her look, and the focus of her eyes brings everything together to make this shot a favorite.
Gear used: Fuji X-T1 with 56mm f/1.2 lens.