(Where to buy. $12.99 each, but order 5 or more, they’re $10.49 each.)
Tom’s behind the scenes notes:
The model is “AgehaIX,” cosplaying as medieval Spain from Hetalia: Axis Powers. She has a kind of intensity and presence to her personality that really comes through in photos, and I think it shows here. Most people, no matter how great they may look in real life, will only look good in some photos and not in others, but she looked good in every photo. It seemed almost unreal, but it was great.
We did another photo where she was balancing on a small ledge which was only about 2 inches wide and really hard to stand on. But she made the pose look very casual and confident, as if she did that all the time. That’s what it was like working with her — she made me feel like she could do anything and make it look easy. And when one person is doing things really well like that, I think it makes everyone else raise their level too.
The location is near the performing arts center in downtown Portland. I liked the wall on the right, the darkness on the left, the pattern on the ground, and the fact that the upward slope in the walkway behind her kept the background from being too busy. It was pretty late at night and dark. Sahara, one of the other models in this calendar, was helping me with the lighting here.
At an abstract level, I like all the different diagonal lines in the picture: her legs, the shadows, the axe handle, and the lines on the ground and the wall. That is the type of thing I notice in a photo, both when I’m taking it and when I look at it later. But she was just posing with minimal direction from me, and I moved the camera around to line things up in a certain way.