Paul Equale for the Wall Street Journal

One of my favorite shoots this year started off rocky.  It went from my editor telling me “you’ll have very little time to make a few portraits” to “wow, I just spent four hours with my subject and we had fun.

Paul Equale is a true Washington Insider.  He makes a living as a consultant with a lucrative side-job spinning his knowledge into actionable intelligence for Wall Street players.  Check out the article here– it’s a great read.

We started off on the National Mall near the recently closed Washington Monument, made our way to Capitol Hill, and then dropped by one of Paul’s favorite watering holes for a drink, which led to a nice portrait.  A lot of shop-talk takes place in bars like this around DC, so it was an appropriate venue for sure.  For those of you wondering “did you have a drink, Melissa?  Is that ok/ethical?”  Hell yes, I had a drink.  It’s the grown-up equivalent of breaking bread and I wish I had the same opportunity to do so with all of my subjects.  Photo shoots can be very trying for most folks and what better way to take a break than to pull up a chair at a bar and trade stories over scotch?  I had one drink, and yes, I paid for it myself.  No breaches of ethics, kiddies.

After the bar break/shoot, Paul was completely on board with my next idea.  It was a little stormy outside and getting darker and I wanted to go to the Tidal Basin to get some real nice moody pictures.  We headed over to the Jefferson Memorial (my favorite) and went to town.  I wish all my portrait subjects were as easy-going (and as full of amazing stories) as Paul.  Good times.