Union Station Fashion Shoot at ShutterFest

At ShutterFest 2021 in September, I had time to do something I usually don’t…and that’s shoot 🙂 Union Station is packed with unique locations, so we grabbed Lauren Austin, one of our models in the Rent-A-Human model program and got to work.


Since we wanted to be mobile and were at a packed conference, we had to keep our gear light. For lighting we used natural light and brought out the Profoto B10 + OCF Softbox 3’ Octa for a couple shots. I shot with the Canon EOS R5 and RF 15-35mm F2.8 lens.

Scene 1

Light: Natural | Lens: RF 15-35mm F2.8

First, we went outside to get some dramatic portraits in front of Union Station. As you can see from the BTS shots, this was all natural light since Lauren wasn’t being backlit by the sun. The leading lines from the building and street really drive your eye to her, and we were even able to get a little bit of the arch in the background.
Settings: f2.8 @ ISO 50, 1/1600th | 22mm focal length

Scenes 2 & 3

This was shot at the fountain directly across the street from Union Station. We needed to overpower the sun here, and placed the Profoto B10 camera right.

Settings: f2.8 @ ISO 50, 1/3200th | 35mm focal length

Next we walked next door to the post office, and got a similarly stunning shot with basically the same light setup. In this shot we also had Lauren take half a step forward to add some motion and make the image more dynamic.

Settings: f2.8 @ ISO 50, 1/400th | 23mm focal length

When shooting with architecture it’s all about the details – notice how I positioned Lauren in the center of the statues on the fountain and the middle of the columns of the post office. I also got down low intentionally in both locations to make sure her head was placed right in the frame. In shot 1, that means the top of the building didn’t run through her head.

Scene 4

If you’ve never been to ShutterFest, you might not know this about Union Station, but they have incredible light shows in the Grand Hall lobby throughout the day. When we came inside, they were in the middle of cycling through different colors.

Nailing the light & exposure here was crucial because of the low light setting and the fact that the lobby was also filled with ShutterFest attendees. We put Lauren up on the stage and lit her face with the modeling lamp on the B10. The light was pretty close to her to get a more directional, dramatic look. You can see in the final images how quickly the light falls off around her left arm.

Settings: f2.8 @ ISO 1000, 1/100th | 15mm focal length
Settings: f2.8 @ ISO 1000, 1/100th | 24mm focal length

That’s a wrap

I hope you love the final images and learned a little bit about how we got the shots. Let me know below which was your favorite! Hope to see everyone soon at ShutterFest 2022 in April – try out these locations for yourself and show us what you got!


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