10th Anniversary, The 135 Book

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In the winter of 2010, we came up with a great (crazy) idea. We wanted to create a book that paid tribute to the best (subjectively and very nearly objectively) portrait lens ever made.

The Carl Zeiss, 135mm f1.8

Having already completed book projects with hundreds of subjects, spanning more than a year, I was looking for something just as bold but more concentrated. I settled on photographing 135 beautiful women, in just 18 days.

It would require planning months in advance, intricate scheduling with backups for appointments, and lining up not 135 but 155 women….knowing that at crunch time, there would be some glitches.

In the end, we did 145 shoots, got our 135 women and put together a MASSIVE 440 page book bought by Carl Zeiss.

It’s been 10 years, and the 135mm lens is still my first/best choice for portraits. The pleasing features, the soft backgrounds, the narrow field of view behind the subject, the compression….and in the case of the Zeiss, a quality hard to describe…it’s just, kind of, magical. So I’m doing it again….just not as rushed.

And this time we’re picking a single genre and spreading the project out across an entire year. We’re going to photograph 135 BRIDE MODELS. Some will be actual Brides, but many will be a variety of models from around the country.

Because of the time constraint on the original 135 project, it was necessary to do about 80% of the shooting within a quarter mile of the studio. This time, we’re hunting down the best wedding venues in the State of Michigan, and we’re up and flying to interesting locations around the country. First destination is New York City, Sunday the 15th of March.

We’ll be adding trips to New Orleans, Oregon and Las Vegas….hopefully all before midsummer….then we’ll be re-evaluating and choosing targets for the rest of 2020.

We would LOVE to find models in these locations looking to do trade-for…..something our business does NOT normally do. But paying 135 models for a project we don’t expect to ever turn a direct profit on, is not feasible.

For New York, we’re going to shoot in midtown, specifically looking for “girl next door vs. big city streets” The shoot, like all of our shoots will be fast, low pressure, fun and easy. Just eye makeup, natural hair or a messy updo, and it would be amazingly awesome if we could find a subject with or with access to a DRESS! If not, for the right model we’ll ship one to NYC a week ahead.

Since we have to recruit 135 people for more than 135 shoots over the next year, we’re jobbing out the job of picking, and that task will fall to our good friend from FORD, Chicago, Dawn Miller.

If you are SERIOUS, if you think you fit the requirements, if you’re certain you could be free at 7am on Sunday morning the 15th of March…..you should drop a PM to Dawn here:

Dawn Miller