From a deep dark GOTH Girl



Meet Paige who wanted a change to get herself out of this gloomy Covid period.

In our 1st photo shoot with Paige, she had a deeper darker look. In her 2nd photo shoot we gave her a bright new California girl look.


New Changes

1st Photo Shoot (Before & After)

Physical transformations that give way to inner transformations.

2nd Photo Shoot (Before & After)

Paige's 1st photo shoot was deep and dark like her mood at the time, but a change up in looks gave her a bright new look and spirit!

I met Paige for the first time during a family photo shoot which her loving grandmother set up for all her granddaughters. There were 3 grand daughters, each with distinctly different personalities, but all with a close bond of friendship and love.

Paige was the quieter one of the three. She said her style was more goth and loved black. Her sister, Piper was a lively free spirited blond that loved dresses and color. Her cousin, Bailey was a strong hearted female firefighter that liked things simple.

How was I going to bring all three distinct personalities out into a family portrait session with cohesion? And more importantly, how was I going to draw out Paige, the quiet and shy one? I decided to dive into the studio closet and pulled out a dress in color for Piper, the lively one. Paige chose a dress in all black and I offered Bailey a simple casual dress also in black to make the visual balance of the family portrait composition look seamless.

Studio Wardrobe: Black wrap dress, lavender-dove high slit dress, Black backless evening gown.

Paige had this mysteriousness about her. Her eyes had so much expression. You could see she was very observant and took everything in around her quietly, but shared little vocally. She was a smart 'top of her class' type of girl with a creative side and a talent for drawing. So I knew there was much more to this quiet girl that I wanted to know. But with 5 of us women bustling around the studio with piles of outfits in hand, camera clicking and everyone taking turns at the makeup vanity table; there wasn't much time to get to know Paige in a more personalized quiet setting where she could unfold at her own pace.

So two months later, grandma called my studio again and said "I'd like to give Paige a chance at her own photo shoot alone". Paige, like so many struggled with the anti-socialization challenges of covid. It was a gloomy overcast period for so many in the world. Depression, anxiety and loss of self confidence infiltrated people's inner core and affected many of us in ways we never expected.

Behind-the-scenes mini video clip of Paige's photo shoot

STUDIO WARDROBE: Paige is wearing our Byzantine Purple tulle trained skirt & sky blue tulle skirt

If transforming

the INSIDE is a struggle, then let's focus on the Outside First!


Let challenging moments spring a new birth and fresh outlook.

Starting Points:


OUT WITH THE DEEP DARK HAIR...and in with her bright new blond look.


We brightened her makeup looks with warm subtle tones of golden oranges, peach, and champagne.


We chose to do sweeping curtain bangs again as they are soft and romantically feminine. But this time we with a lifted at the roots so her hair would sweep away from her face so we could see more of her beautiful expressions.



We dressed her from the studio closet in our majestic Byzantine purple tulle trained skirt, a flowy light floral sundress dress, and then gave her something rich with her emerald green sweater paired with her casual beige plaid school dress.

Paige looked in the mirror and was thrilled with how her new fresh looks came out! She said, "it feels more like me." As teenagers we're often looking for 'our look'; trying different styles along the way till we find what goldilocks would say is ...just right for me.


BACKDROPS CHOICES THAT WOULD TELL HER STORY... I chose a brighter backdrop options to compliment her new fresh airy look. I chose to photograph her in soft natural light in-studio then I took Paige to a set of stairs with decorative Spanish tile for her second outfit. The steps make it easier for me to help people pose. Plus the hint of color and geometrics of the stairs lent interest to the photo against her all-white outfit. Lastly, I took Paige to the beach for a gorgeous sunset shoot to end the day. We brought the dramatic Byzantine purple skirt (studio wardrobe) and let it cascade over the sand rock. The beach gave her a natural romantic backdrop to set the mood perfectly. The last few shots of the day were pure drama! (See Camera Settings, lens choices and session details at the bottom of this blog).

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"I believe we have Paige turned around. When we were walking out (of the studio) she said she was going to post some of the shots. She is pretty modest about her achievements and herself, so this was impressive. Thank you again, Helen"

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Paige and her loving grandma after a full day of pampering and fun at our studio and on location at the beach.

When we Look good, we Feel good.

How the reflection in the mirror can affect our inner self perception

I once had a client who said to me, "Monica, on my toughest days I open my album and look at the photos you took of me and am reminded how good I can be!" When we see ourselves in the light that inspires us, it builds our confidence and re-energizes us to believe in the person that we truly are.

After the photo shoot, Paige's grandmother told me how happy she was that she did this second photo shoot just for Paige. It turned Paige around. Paige talked the whole car ride home after the photo shoot and mom reported that Paige was still beaming from the experience.

Embrace every step of your life...

Face your challenges with the notion that great new things can spawn from it.

I'm inspired by Paige's will to turn thing around and make some bold changes in a challenging time of life. She's an example for us all on how challenges can inspire great new things if you are willing. Share your stories with us. We love to be inspired!

Stay Beautiful,

Monica Hahn

Monica Hahn

Photographer & Image Stylist


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How We Shot Paige's Portfolio

Shooting different ages, genres, genders and different types of locations all have certain challenges to overcome. Knowing what techniques to use for each model/subject is key.

Find out more about how we shot Paige's portfolio in the tabs to the right and inquire about our PHOTO EDUCATION classes to learn behind the scenes of how we shoot all of our portfolios.