In 2018 I got the opportunity to do a paid internship at American River College for the Freelance Photography and Fashion Departments. I photographed all of the events leading up to the annual American River College Fashion show plus the show itself, where the student designers got to showcase all their hard work throughout their time in the Fashion Program. I had the pleasure of meeting all of the designers and the models and I even got to do two very different on-location shoots for the two winning designers. I enjoyed this internship quite a bit, it helped me grow my photography portfolio and it helped me network with tons of people that I still work with today!

Model:Brittaney Lee

Designer: Masha Pupko

Stylist & HMUA: Cristina Ramos

International World Peace Rose Garden f/2.0, 1/1600, ISO 100 (Nikon D850, Nikon 105mm f1.4)

All Rights Reserved ©Christina Messick 2018

Which leads me to the annual Fashion show 2019, one of the designers named Quynhnhu Nquyen I met the previous year contacted me to do an on-location show with her models wearing her new designs! As most of us are with our busy lives we put things off to the last minute, this was no exception, so I didn’t have very much time to come up with a concept and the designer gave me free rein for this last minute shoot. The designer showed me the designs, they were extremely unique, bold, and daring, I really wanted the designs to speak for themselves so I decided that I would go with a “studio” look, by just putting the models in front of a white fabric background and use natural light.

Models: Kim Tiv & Jodie Renaud

Designer: Quynhnhu Nquyen

American River College- Fashion Show 2019 f/3.2, 1/125, ISO 100 (Nikon D850, Nikon 105mm f1.4)

All Rights Reserved ©Christina Messick 2019

My setup: The shoot was hours before the fashion show at American River College, so we decided that we should do the shoot at the school, I knew already that I wanted to use my white fabric background but I didn’t want to bring my strobes, just one more thing to setup and worry about, I wanted to keep the set up simple. I knew I wanted to use natural available lighting, but I also didn’t want harsh or direct sunlight. At American River College at the cafeteria there is an outside awning area, it was in the shade at the time which made for some perfect diffused natural light, this is where I set up. I purchased my backdrop stand and fabric background from Action Camera Roseville; Zuma 8×10 Backdrop Stand $99.95, Promaster 10X12 Solid Fabric White Backdrop $84.95.

Now on to my gear (the best part): This is my current favorite combination for portrait, fashion, & lifestyle photography. I have been shooting Nikon for my whole photography career and I personally love it. I have up-graded to the D850 about two years ago from the D700 and the difference is literally mind blowing. The detail you can achieve, the resolution alone is something to be marveled. Pairing the D850 with Nikon’s 105mm f1.4 is just stunning, this lens is so tack sharp it literally puts all of my other lenses to shame. I also insist on getting a UV filter for any lens but especially for one that is so price-y, you definitely don’t want to accidentally scratch your baby, I use and recommend the Promaster HGX Prime UV Filter 82mm $129.95, it’s the highest quality of glass to protect your highest quality of glass, plus it has a lifetime warranty. Action Camera Roseville is currently stocked in both the Nikon D850 Body and Nikon 105mm 1.4 lens, if you are interested you can call us at (916)786-2288 and ask for Christina or you can email me at for more information!

Below are a few more of my favorites from this shoot, click here to see the whole gallery.

All Rights Reserved ©Christina Messick 2019