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Avery Cunningham is the author of the newly released book, The Mayor of Maxwell Street.  She has over a decade of editorial experience with various literary magazines, small presses, and best-selling authors.

Together she and I collaborated creatively to create brand imagery and a website to show her essence as an author, promote her book, and allow others to keep up to date on the book release and more. 

Find out more about Avery's book  and our work together on the project  at




Avery's shoot was set in two locations to ensure we had shots that would reflect her goals for brand imagery. We started the day in Downtown Memphis at Bishop Restaurant.  The decor and aesthetic of the restaurant were perfect for capturing Avery's elegance and class. The location gave us the best fit for the time period in which the book is set and the characters as well. We wanted to exude black excellence and elegance since everything Avery pursues is deeply rooted in each.  We captured several different angles and orientations.


Our second location was in one of my favorite spaces the Central Station Hotel. It has been recently renovated as the Amtrack Station and still actively our train station. The hotel has modern decor with a unique Memphis feel.  Again, I wanted to reference the Harlem Renaissance with the location. 


Prior to the shoot, Avery and I talked about the direction of the wardrobe and other props that should be used for the shoot. Capturing her who she really is was very important to both of us. Using wardrobe and props would be the best way to fully capture her essence.  Our focus was on creating imagery that you could recognize immediately and know what she does and who she is.  Colors, silhouettes, and fabrics were small details that accented imagery. Her looks remained true to Avery. 

As far as props, we added her writer's journal, favorite books, pens, and glasses. For the lifestyle shots, we leveraged the location as sort of background props. 


It was really fun for me to work with such a moody color palette and scene than I am typically booked for. There was pretty good  ambient light pouring into the windows so the lighting was perfect. I don't normally use artificial light on shoots.  

Avery's shoot is forever going to be one of my favorite examples of using great imagery to build a cohesive online presence and allow that to seamlessly flow into your website. It makes such a big difference to brand recognition. From the wardrobe right down to the notepads and pens she picked out and styling accessories, I was set up for success to capture each and every detail and design a beautiful website in which I solely used the images from the shoot.

I hope this Shoot Story provided more insight into why brand photography is so critical to your branding and how all of the pieces are related to each other. When it comes to this line of work, the small details are just as, if not more important, than the big picture, and each and every aspect should be taken into consideration!


Do you love this shoot? What’s your favorite scene? Let me know in the comments below, or if you have questions about a specific set up  send me a message on Instagram.



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