This idea had been floating in my head for m o n t h s . Jan of 2019 I was at a local art event at The Hive in downtown Phoenix where I ran into Nathan Grebe, a super talented local photographer, who’s work had me in awe. We had a mutual friend so we had already been acquainted, but Nate was someone I had always wanted to work with. In the midst of our conversation I casually threw in, “yeah, I’m starting a photo meetup,” as if a fact. In reality I had done absolutely no planning or preparation. Just saying it out loud, however, gave me the push I needed and with a few DMs, handshakes, and phone calls, our first meetup was upon us.
I named the event the QuadShot meetup because the idea was to have 4 photographers per month grab coffee, chat with each other and the model, and then begin shooting. After all the edits have been finished, we would post one shot from each photographer in a series to compare contrast different styles. I love a good pun, so QuadShot being a coffee term and a photo once, for our purposes at least, I figured it worked. (Little did I know we would soon outgrow the ‘quad’ portion of the name).
February 17th, 2019, Eric Daniels, Nathan Grebe, Oscar Griffin, Ashley Baker, and Raina Bowers met up at Songbird Coffee in downtown Phoenix. Nathan, as you know, I had met. Eric, I stumbled across while taking pics in the Flagstaff woods the previous December. Oscar I had met at Buffalo Exchange (my day job) while I was going through his clothing at the buy counter, and Ashley I had admired over instagram, but never met before. Just a few cute misfits hoping to take some kickass photos.
I had borrowed clothing from Composite Boutique, a local vintage shop, and Ashley, a badass dancer who is used to chaotic costume changes, didn’t mind using her car as a changing room. For the second outfit Ashley, with her makeup laid out on the trunk of her Nissan Sentra, asked “pink or red?” The three boys, to my delight, weighed in on what color lipstick we should accent the outfit with. Red.
I had watched some youtube videos on other photographers at similar meetups and I had a few ideas of challenges we could add in. Timing each photographers turn, not letting the photographer vocally communicate with the model, only allowing each photographer 5 or so shots per round etc. We settled on each photographer getting 4 minutes with the model in each outfit. We wandered around downtown, exploring murals, alleyways, and parking lots as backdrops for our fashion shoot. Nate and Eric had brought their skateboards so when they weren’t shooting, they were ollie-ing (I had to google ‘skateboarding lingo’ lmao).
Before we knew it, five hours had passed. We had spent the entire morning together, experimenting, learning, and laughing. Five strangers had suddenly become five friends.