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In cooperation with our partners for memory solutions

Justin Bettman

Tina`s Place

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I recently joined a collection of photographers that are a part of a group called This Is A Photo Blog. Every month, one photographer chooses a theme and everyone in the collective creates work related to the theme. This month, the theme was restaurants.

I’ve always loved old diners so I did a bit of location scouting near my place in Brooklyn and found this charming restaurant called Tina’s Place. I approached them and explained that I wanted to shoot a personal project, and they gave me permission to shoot in there. I was surprised they were so willing because HBO shot the show The Deuce there and in NYC it’s usually pretty difficult to get permission to shoot anywhere.

After securing the location, I started the casting process. I use this website called and found my two talent for the shoot. I reached out to some friends who do make-up, hair, and styling and got a crew together.

We got ready at my studio which was just a mile from our location. Since our male subject was finished with grooming and styling before the female subject, I decided to shoot a few studio shots of him. For these, I used 2 Siros 800 S heads. One of them was to camera right with a 5’ Octabank and the other one was behind camera with a large reflective umbrella.

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Before the shoot, I thought about how I was going to light the shot. Initially, I thought I would just have a Litepipe boomed in between the subjects so it would give the feeling that there was a lamp hanging in between the subject. When I got to set and tried this, it felt a bit too “artificially lit” so I decided I would need to have some other light source in the scene to balance it all out. I ultimately decided to also place a Siros L 800 to camera left with a reflector and some CTO bouncing off the ceiling to give the illusion that there was sunlight coming through a window on the side. It also helped warm up the shot which blended well with the wooden wall panels.

Photographer: Justin Bettman

BTS Video and Photo Assistant: Dan Newman

Hair and Makeup: Lauren McGrath

Styling: Reese Lynnette

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