Revisiting a Muse: Erin Valakari

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

The Wordy Wednesdays feature ran on my old blog for many years and at one point I decided it was time for a change. Inspired by Gary Bernstein’s 1988 book Burning Cold that featured images of his beautiful model/wife I decided to see how many Wednesdays I could publish a different portrait of the same model, in that case it was Pamela Simpson and this feature ran for many weeks. For my new blog I decided to resurrect that same approach, this time featuring my now former muse, Erin Valakari.

Unlike Pam who I photographed for many years, I only photographed Erin from October, 2017 until November, 2018, yet we literally made more than 4,000 images during that time and I had some of the most creative shoots and most fun photographing a model in a long time.

Over the next who-knows-how-many Fridays, alternating with Film Fridays, I’ll be showcasing a different image of her that was made over the year or so I worked with Erin showcasing her many different looks in many different styles.

Erin’s current non-modeling job monopolizes her time so much so that we have been unable to shoot since last year, although we’ve tried. That’s why I am currently looking for a new muse. If you have a friend or maybe yourself who would like to be a model, please click the Contact button or send me an e-mail at joefarace at gmail dot com. If you have any questions, there are more details here.

How I made this shot: Today’s image is from our first session together on October 28, 2017. Unlike Pam who I had mostly photographed using Canon DSLRs, almost all of my sessions were made using Olympus and Panasonic mirrorless cameras and lenses. During this session Erin was photographed in my 11×15 home studio using a Panasonic Lumix GH4 with a Lumix G Vario 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6 lens (at 45mm.)

Lighting was from a single Paul C Buff DigiBee with a Plume Wafer softbox attached and placed at camera right with a 32-inch Westcott reflector located at camera left. Exposure was 1/125 sec at f/8 and ISO 200. Background was a 5×7-ft Savage Photo Gray Infinity vinyl background suspended on my aging JTL background stand.


If you enjoyed today’s blog post and would like to treat me to a cup of Earl Grey tea ($2.50), please click here. And if you do, thanks so much.

One of my biggest regrets is that I never got to photograph Erin for one of my books, before my book writing career came to a crashing halt. If you would like my take on glamour photography pick up a copy of my book Joe Farace’s Glamour Photography. It’s full of tips, tools and techniques and includes information on all of the gear used as well as the exposure data for each image. New books are available from Amazon for $27.43 with used copies starting at $5.60, as I write this. Kindle version is $11.99 for those preferring a digital format.