Max Baker

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TGS Collective Presents : The Funky Loft - A Photo Meetup
@viktoriadalloz

@viktoriadalloz

While CEO of The Gypsy Shack, also known as the TGS Collective, Alex Morehouse, was out of the country, she asked me to host one of their monthly meetups - and how could I say no? It was my first time hosting something as big as this, but I was very grateful to experience it and meet so many new faces! If you don’t know, meetups are a regular thing within the creative community online. It’s a way for people to build their portfolio, meet and network with creatives of all types, and create content for social media. I had been to several like this before, yet never had to host one. It was a learning experience for sure, and I would love to do something like this again! If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out TGS here for more info if this is something you would be interested in checking out in the future! Hopefully I’ll see you at the next one? See below for some of my fave shots from the weekend!

Make sure to click here for a behind the scenes look from the TGS Funky Loft! What would you like to see next? Comment below for blog ideas, who you’d like to see featured, and any other ideas!


Artist Feature: Spencer Sutherland
*disclaimer: if any photos from the following article are to be shared on any social media platforms, please take the time to tag me @maxbakerphoto and give proper credit. Thank you!

*disclaimer: if any photos from the following article are to be shared on any social media platforms, please take the time to tag me @maxbakerphoto and give proper credit. Thank you!


Back in 2013, there was a guy from Ohio that wanted to stand out and create something of himself, which led him to move out to sunny Los Angeles and pursue that passion for music. His name is Spencer Sutherland, an artist that I can positively say you do not want to miss out on. His talent has proved otherwise, opening for artists like MKTO, Ariana Grande, Big Time Rush, as well as being a contestant on The X Factor UK in 2017. His powerful vocals and style has huge potential and all I’m saying is I’m waiting patiently for the day for his music to blow up around the world because he’s that good. Stage presence: phenomenal. Personality: adorable. All around human being: priceless. Currently on tour opening for popular boy band In Real Life, I had the chance to take a moment backstage before his set at his stop in Anaheim, CA, and find out a little bit more about Sutherland’s career and how the tour life has been like on his first national tour.

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Don’t be embarrassed by what you’re going through and who you are, everybody embraces that.

Me: Can you tell us where you’re from and how you would describe your sound to someone who may have not heard your music before?

Spencer: Ooh, good question. I’m from Columbus, Ohio originally, and if I had to describe my sound, I’d probably say something like left of center, pop, for all people.

M: Ah yes for all the people.

S: For all the people.

M: Very important.

S: Absolutely (Laughs)

M: How has the process been like over the years finding your sound? Do you think it’s an ever changing process, like experimenting with what you like vs what’s trending in the industry?

S: Yes, that’s an amazing question. It’s definitely an ever changing process. Every year of my life, I feel like I experience new things, and just learn more. The whole 10,000 hour thing is definitely a real thing; writing 10,000 hours of songs makes you so much more of a better writer. But it’s interesting too about the trends and stuff, because you do want to stay, you know, with what is happening kind of, but put your own spin on it. It’s definitely ever changing for sure.

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M: You’ve released a few singles this year, when can fans expect a full length album or an EP?

S: At the top of the year (2019). Another single coming later this year. And at the top of the year, I’ll be putting out a whole body of work. I’m very excited, because it’s all stuff that I’ve written in the last seven or eight months too, so none of it is old stuff. It’s all kind of where I’m at right now as a songwriter. I’m very excited, just real life stuff.

M: Speaking of “In real life” -

S: Wow, I did not even mean to do that, that was awesome (laughs)

M: So you’re currently on tour with the band In Real Life -

S: What a segway, dude -

M: (laughs) I know, it was just so natural!

S: Yes, so we’re on tour -

M: Yes, so how has the tour been, and how has the crowd reaction been like in the different cities that you’ve been to so far?

S: The tour has been incredible, this is my first national tour ever, so it’s been really cool to, you know, you start playing the first few shows, and by the time it’s the ninth or tenth show, they’re starting to sing your lyrics. It’s super cool to see that, like as an artist that’s the number one thing you want to see. That’s been really cool, and then just playing show night after night, because you know, in the past I would play two shows, and then I would play two more, but here it’s playing show after show after show after show, and it’s super special.

M: And is every show different?

S: Yes! That’s the thing, sometimes a crowd is more energetic than the next one, it doesn’t make them any better, it’s just like the setting, or the sound, or how big the venue is or whatever, and you have to be able to adapt to that. Because if you keep the same state of mind the whole time you might be disappointed by some shows, but if you take them for what they are, it’s really awesome.

M: That’s amazing. Now, I have one more question and I ask everyone this that I get to interview because I like to get different perspectives. What’s some advice that you might have for creatives and musicians to stay inspired and keep pursuing the dream?

S: Wow, I would say that my advice is…number one, to be super true, real, and transparent because everybody can tell when you’re faking it. And everybody knows when it’s not a real thing. So that’s number one, just be true - don’t be embarrassed by what you’re going through and who you are, everybody embraces that. It’s 2018, you don’t really have to worry about anything anymore. Number two, just for me, it was putting in the time every single day, but also knowing when to chill, and have that time, because it really is important. Or else you’re just going to burn yourself out, seven days a week in the studio, doing stuff that doesn’t turn out great. Lots of work, and just being real, I would say.

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A huge thank you to Spencer & his team for having myself and Samantha Baker out for his show, and make sure to follow Spencer here and here to stay up to date on the new music and everything that’s in store. In the meantime, make sure to check out his latest music video for his single Fine below:

Be sure to check out the photos from his set at the House of Blues in Anaheim, CA below:

Who would you like to see me interview and shoot with next? Leave a comment below and be sure to subscribe to my newsletter to stay updated on all things photo and music related! Until next time! 


Written and photographed for Spencer Sutherland, in association with The Gypsy Shack Collective (www.tgscollective.com)


Copasetic: A Photo Gallery
Andrelina runs an online blog and podcast, entitled    Simply Complicated   . Be sure to check it out on her website here: https://www.andrelinaperazzo.com/

Andrelina runs an online blog and podcast, entitled Simply Complicated. Be sure to check it out on her website here: https://www.andrelinaperazzo.com/

Sometimes you find yourself at a networking event, meet some cool people, and all of a sudden you're doing a spontaneous shoot with a model you just met at said event. I met the talented and super bubbly Andrelina Perazzo while at an event in the LA Art District for the collective and agency I'm with called TGS Collective; my sister had worked with her before but conversation was nothing but full of positive vibes and inspiration. We noticed a gorgeous VW van in the valet parking lot next door, and couldn't help but to create some magic with what we had. To our luck, one of the valets was the owner of the bus and said it was totally fine to shoot with it! We were inspired by the vibrant and matching colors of the bus with Andrelina's outfit, and pulled together an edgy and moody vibe. Sometimes the most random shoots end up turning into something special! Check out what we captured below and be sure to follow Andrelina on her socials! 

What would you like to see next? What's the most spontaneous thing you've ever done? Leave a comment below and let me know! Would love to hear some cool stories you might have! Make sure to subscribe to my newsletter, and follow me on Instagram to stay up to date on all things photo! 

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Artist Feature: Fly By Midnight
*disclaimer: if any photos from the following article are to be shared on any social media platforms, please take the time to tag me @maxbakerphoto and give proper credit. Thank you!

*disclaimer: if any photos from the following article are to be shared on any social media platforms, please take the time to tag me @maxbakerphoto and give proper credit. Thank you!


When I first came across a band called Fly By Midnight one day on Spotify, I couldn't believe how good these guys were. There was something special about them; I knew the second I heard a few of their singles such as Vibe and XL. A few months later, the guys announced a show they were playing in Hollywood in just a few weeks time. After exchanging some emails and some ideas, I had the opportunity to meet and grab coffee with the NYC based duo while they were visiting Southern California; not only are they talented, they just so happen to be charming and genuine people, with a great sense of humor. You can watch the full interview below (10/10 would recommend) or read on to see more photos from the shoot we put together in West Hollywood, find out what Fly By Midnight is about.  

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Max Baker chats with the gents of funk pop duo Fly By Midnight, Justin + Slavo. How did these two start making music together? Are there plans for a tour? What's in the future for these two? Check this out and be sure to leave a comment below and give this a thumbs up! Filmed and edited by @samanthabakerfilm

We constantly want to kind of turn the creative knob a bit left of center, and if it doesn’t work, you go back; but if it works, that’s what will set you aside from the rest. 

Me: If you guys want to introduce yourselves, where you guys are from, and what you do exactly in the band.

Justin: My name is Justin Bryte, I play keyboard and sing in the duo, and I'm from Staten Island, New York, born and raised.

Slavo: My name is Slavo, I am from Florida, and I play guitar and I sing. 

M: For those who might not be familiar with the band, how did Fly By Midnight get started and where did the name come from?

J: Yeah, two very different things, because the name was definitely not an organic process, but I guess coming together was more natural. Slavo moved to Florida from Staten Island, about, how many years ago, what was it?

S: Yeah, 5 years ago. I moved to New York from Florida. After being there for a couple years, I met Justin at a studio on Staten Island, and he was doing a solo project. I was producing, and we started working together, wrote the first song we released as Fly By Midnight called Brooklyn, and that was one of the first songs we ever wrote together; that was kind of the birth of Fly By Midnight. The name itself was- it was funny, we spent like a whole week trying to figure that out. 

J: We drove around looking at signs and stuff...

S: Exactly, yeah, just looking for inspiration.

J: It was funny, we wrote the song first, and we knew we wanted to be a duo, and then we were like -

M: You're like "now what?" 

J: Yeah! We wrote the song and were like "who are we?". But it all came together, and now here we are.

S: We like to say that because our sound is fly and retro, we came up with the idea of "Fly", and then "By Midnight" came from the idea that we're up past midnight pretty much every night. 

M: I feel that. So you just released your latest single, All the Feels, what was the inspiration behind the song and how has the feedback been from the fans and the general public so far? I know it literally just came out. 

S: Yeah, it's been what? A day?

M: A whole day!

J: Yeah a whole day! (laughs) I mean, for being a whole day, it's been really really positive. I think what we were really striving for the track was to just be universally relatable; it's such a feel good, positive song, and we just really wanted to inject those positive vibes into everyone. Because everyone has their feels; you know, whether it's a romance, or, like we said, a cup of coffee in the morning -

S: Ice cream, puppies...

J: Yeah, ice cream -

M: Pizza -

J: For me, it's coffee over romance any day of the week. But yeah, the story, the real story, is that we were sitting in the studio right, and we were searching on Spotify just listening to the music because we're music fans as well, and I came across a playlist on Spotify called "All the Feels", and I looked over at Slavo and I was like, "yeah this is a cool title for a song", and we looked it up and no one had wrote a song yet called All the Feels, and we were like "quick! write it! release it!". It's been really cool, I think the video came together - it was the first video also we filmed a little bit of awhile ago - we've kind of had it in our pocket for awhile, so it was cool to kind of hold onto it and be excited for it to come out. 

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M: And how has the feedback been as far as the song goes? Have the fans been reacting really well? 

S: It's funny, everyone that's a fan of Fly By Midnight, they show us so much love, and we appreciate it, and we've been getting great feedback; people are going crazy about the song. The one thing I will say is we have a guy named Matt Reed, who's over at Mix 107.1 at Boston radio station, and he's been showing us love since, I think Malibu, or before that, he's a great radio host over there and he's been supporting us. One thing he said that I thought was really cool was that he premiered the song on the radio over there, and talked about how he was playing the song, you know, driving down the coast, and it was gonna be the next summer smash; just having that kind of energy and support behind the song is really important to us, and keeps us going. 

J: And I think for us too, because he has heard all of our songs, he's premiered a lot of our songs, I think the fact that he - we speak on a friendly basis kind of now - and he's like "yo, this is like the one", and we were like "ah alright, this is the one". 

M: It's like "Yeah, let's hope so"! (laughs)

J: We'll find out!

M: That's awesome!

J: Thanks!

M: With the new music you guys have released this year so far, is there any plans for a tour in the US, or maybe even globally? Maybe? Hopefully?

S: I mean yeah, we've been trying to go do a tour, like since we started we wanted to do a sorority tour, we thought that would be a lot of fun, it's more of our demographic and ya know, colleges are always a lot of fun. We played a lot of college shows in the beginning too, so yeah as far as touring the states, we've been trying to get on a booking with another artist that we kind of work well with. If we could do it on our own, we would do it in a heartbeat. It's more of just the whole funding process and just making sure everything's set up, so it's more timing for us, making sure it;s done the right way, and we want to take advantage of trying to meet everyone that we can while on the road. And you know, as far as international, we've been trying to go to a lot of these - we have a lot of fans in Europe, Australia, we even have a cool little fan base in Asia, Asia is a really cool fan base; it's all timing. We just want to make sure when we do it, it's done right.

M: Totally, makes sense. What has been the difference between New York and the East Coast, versus the West Coast? As far as the fan scene, the music scene -

S: The weather!

M: Just everything, the weather (laughs)

J: Yeah, it's exciting, and slightly nerve-wracking at the same time, because New York is kind of the birth town of Fly By Midnight, so whenever we do play a show there - we usually play a big one every year that's usually like a summer party, like one we just played - it's always packed out. We know it's gonna sell out and bring in people. I think LA is really exciting because we communicate with fans through social media here, but obviously we don't live here. So we don't know what to expect. I think it'll be really cool, and I think it'll go over really well so I guess we'll find out.

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M: That's awesome. So, this is the last question, and I always ask this with everybody I interview with: what's some advice that you might have for creatives and other musicians to stay inspired and to keep pursuing the dream?

S: That's a really good question. It's easy to get caught up in doing and being creative, and get overwhelmed by the constant hustle, and for us, we've been very fortunate that we see the increase every time we release a new song, and we've seen it with the content, and we've seen our numbers go up, so it's definitely rewarding. That's something that's tangible, and we can feed off that, but you know, every now and then we get worked up and it's tiring, so it's just kind of understanding  what you're capable of doing as far as content and what you're putting out there and making sure you're resting for these things. I don't know, it sounds stupid, but -

J: No, I think it's a good point. I mean, especially if you do hustle, and I know you hustle, and for the Fly By fans, you know that we hustle, and I think we've learned, even especially lately,  that we were pushing ourselves 1000 miles per hour, but sometimes you gotta kick it back to 999. Kind of just take a day to heal your mind and stuff.  But I would just say, experimenting because, especially for Fly By Midnight,  and even also on the photography and video side,  it's easy to get caught up in what everyone's doing. So we constantly want to kind of turn the creative knob a bit left of center, and if it doesn't work, you go back; but if it works, that's what will set you aside from the rest. 

S: Spice things up.

J: Yeah, spice it up, and don't be afraid to fail.

S: Fuck with the flava - quote me. 

(everyone laughs)

Be sure to follow Fly By Midnight on their social media:

And while you're at it, check out their latest single, All the Feels, below! 

Thanks to Justin & Slavo for such a fun afternoon and taking the time to shoot and hang! Might have an excuse to go to New York in the future, but maybe that's just me. Who would you like to see me interview and shoot with next? Leave a comment below and be sure to subscribe to my newsletter to stay updated on all things photo and music related! Until next time! 


Written, filmed, and photographed for Fly By Midnight, in association with The Gypsy Shack Collective (www.tgscollective.com)


Artist Feature: Corii
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As any other Saturday morning may go, from brewing coffee and trying to recover from Friday night festivities, my friend Corii came in with her contagious energy that instantly makes you feel a bit more awake (even before a glass of coffee). I had asked her to come over, told her about how I started blogging and wanted to ask a few questions about her and her music, and all in all, just another excuse to hang out and have fun. She's one of those people you feel an instant connection with, and I can honestly say she's someone I felt as if I had known for years, even though we had only just met a few months ago from a mutual friend while at Disneyland. 

With her charm and infectious laugh, there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to feature her on my site!

Who is Corii? Find out below by checking out the interview. 


Me: Alright so, for anyone who might not know you, what's your name, where are you from, and what is your favorite song at the moment?

Corii: Okay so, my name is Corii [artist name], I'm from New Jersey, and my favorite song at the moment... 

M: I know, there's so many good ones out there right now!

C: Oh my god dude, this is like asking me what my favorite potato chip is [laughs] I'm gonna say Concentrate by Demi Lovato.

M: Ugh that album is so good.

C: I'm obsessed. 

M: So how long have you been in the industry?

C: I went to music school, and then probably the first time that I released something that considers me being in the industry would probably be in 2010, I would say. I mean, I started writing and putting songs out when I was younger, that was before Spotify and stuff, so 2009. I was still working in studios, but I would say consider it more serious around 2010 or 2011. 

M: And what made you get into the music scene?

C: Well, I'm only really good at music so...

M: That's how I feel about art in general so I understand.

C:  Exactly! I have always just loved singing, I became more comfortable with songwriting when I was in my senior year of high school, that's when I really got into it. Before, I was just singing other people's songs, and then I got really into writing my own stuff. I think that's how it started, I just wanted to write my feelings because I had my first breakup, so I had to release it someway.

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M:  What was your first concert?

C: My first concert?! So I would say my first concert was at Berkley, it was when I had a different [artist] name, but that was my first big concert, and then I got into another one and another one, and it just kinda lead from there and continued. But my biggest show was when I opened for The Weekend Riot at the Trocadero in Philly. But my first big concert where people actually came just to see me I was in college at Berkley. And then I had my own big show at the Hard Rock in Philly, and then it got bigger when I opened for the Weekend Riot.

M: So awesome! And how big was the crowd for that one?

C:  We sold it out, I couldn't tell you the exact number but I'm sure the guys would know.

M: We'll just ask Bruce next time we see him [laughs]

C: Yes exactly, but I want to say it was around 250 or something around that!

M: Awesome! If you could tour with anyone, who would it be and why? What's your dream lineup? 

C: It's hard because my dream lineup, to what I am, is different. I'm obsessed with Paramore, everyone knows that, like I would love to tour with her. I'll pick three; Paramore, Demi Lovato, and Sia. 

M: Interesting! So if you could compare your sound to anyone, who would it be? So people can get an idea of what type of music you do.

C: I'd say probably Sia, like a mix of her and Demi. More Demi vocally, and with Sia, I like to put a little dark twist on things, and belt really high. That's what both of them do, so I would saw the two of them. 

M:  They both have a sort of unique sound as far as pop music goes, because they're always changing what they do, you know?

C:  Oh definitely, Sia has one of the most distinctive voices ever; like one of the songs I'll be releasing very shortly, everyone says it sounds very much like Chandelier, so I would definitely say Sia, but Demi too, just because I love to belt really high, and both of them do that.

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M: What's something that most people might not know about you?

C: I'm pretty much an open book, but I guess for people who might not know me, I would say I'm really really into working out, like I was a really big runner and super into that, but I got injured so I stopped doing that, but a low-key passion of mine has been running. I did cross-country like I did it for a different college because I was going to music school. I've done a half-marathon, I still haven't done a full marathon yet, but I do love running a lot.

M: Nice. And what would you say is something you like to do to refocus, like what you do for your "me time"? Whether it be yoga, or reading, or what's something you do for you?

C: Definitely running or spinning, and I also love cooking.

M: Oh fun! What's your favorite dish to cook?

C: The best thing I've made this year is borsh soup. 

M: What the heck is that?!

C:  [laughs] It's a beet soup; I learned it at the restaurant I worked at. I'm not gonna lie, when I made it and took a bite of it I was so impressed with myself. I had never heard of it either, but I always like to try new things. Like if I try something new when I'm out somewhere, I want to try it out myself at home. It's just very comforting to get out and do food shopping, and then coming out and prepping, like cutting celery, and just being in my own zone. You don't really have to worry about other things and just be in your zone. 

M: What's some advice that you might have for when creatives get stuck in a rut?

C: Honestly, I think my biggest advice is to not compare ourselves to others. I feel like that's what we as creatives do, and whenever we see someone do something that you think is better than what you're doing, you're holding yourself back. I know for me, I'm a perfectionist, so I'm constantly fighting myself all the time, so it gets me stuck in ruts. I'm doing all these things but then I'm always like "oh my gosh, that wasn't good enough, I'm not gonna post that", when it's really your own self that's holding you back, so I always say try to not compare yourself to others and try to put things out and do things, and if people like it, then great, and if they don't, they don't, because if not, then you didn't even get the chance to show that. 

M: I completely agree. So, final question, what's one thing you want to do before you die? What's at the top fo your bucket list?

C: Top tier priority, would be to go to Ireland with my dad. We're Irish and Italian, but everyone has been to Ireland except me, because my sisters and cousins and such are 10 years older than me, so I was in 3rd grade or something, and everyone went to Ireland except me, and my parents had already done as well. They felt bad about it so they decided to take me to Disneyworld to make up for it, even though we went to Disneyworld a ton of times (I love it though, obviously). I just have this dream to take my dad to Ireland one day, just the two of us, drink beer, and see where we're from and learn the culture and whatnot. 


Corii will be releasing her first official single, Good Love, in May! Be sure to follow her at all her socials below:

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Like what you see here? Let me know in the comments who'd you like me to interview and shoot with next! And be sure to follow me on my socials if you don't already! Thanks for taking the time out of your day for checking my site out, and I hope to hear from you soon!


TGS Lake Arrowhead: Unplugged - Photo Gallery
Model: @paolanieblaa

Model: @paolanieblaa


In late March, a group of artists and talent that are part of the amazing creative community called The Gypsy Shack Collective (@tgscollective) got to disconnect from social media and hang out, create, and work on ourselves as artists up at a cute little AirBnB CEO Alex Morehouse (@chiefwolfblood) found as a space to stay for the weekend. From learning and growing as individuals and as a whole, to hanging out and building friendship and bonding over The Office and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, it turned out to be something wonderful, something all of us should do more often. We get so obsessed with scrolling on our phones, that we miss building real connections with people we have been blessed to have in our real lives. If there was something I learned from that weekend, was to appreciate the friends you have and the people you have yet to meet, focus on your dreams, and make them reality. Below you can find the full gallery from the weekend as a whole (click the photos for the full gallery on Flickr), and be sure to follow everyone on their socials! (See below for their usernames)

Models: @chiefwolfblood, @kirpasudick, @paolanieblaa, @clairealydean. Makeup: @kyrstamua


Thanks for taking the time to check out my site, and leave a comment below of what you think of the idea of having a weekend getaway. What's your dream spot you would go to right now to get away from everything? 

Be sure to follow me on my socials @maxbakerphoto if you don't already, and follow the amazing talent from this weekend! 


TGS Colorful - Photo Gallery
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TGS, aka The Gypsy Shack, is a creative collective of diverse artists, who hosts workshops every month to create, grow, and teach with people of different backgrounds to work together and network. Last month in a loft somewhere in Downtown LA, CEO & Creator of TGS Alex Morehouse lead an all day event where artists could purchase tickets and learn from other creatives at the themed workshop entitled "Colorful", because of the technicolor walls and decor that could be found within the studio.

Models and photographers from around the area gathered here, some meeting for the first time, creating magical content, sharing and showing off what each person can bring to the table with their knowledge and experience. It was a day for the books, and all of us got to connect and build relationships with people we never thought we'd meet, all thanks to social media and the amazing community Morehouse has been able to create through TGS. Below is a gallery of images captured while I got to attend, with the different talent that participated in the day. If you're interested in getting involved with something like this or wanting to build connections and work on your craft, TGS hosts these type of events every month. You can simply go to tgscollective.com and find everything you need to know there! I highly recommend it! Enjoy the full gallery below of what I was able to capture at the workshop:

 

Models in frame:  @rosedinardo, @_atfashion_, @heathafeatha69, @meli_topete, and @toria.webber as found on Instagram


Be sure to follow all the talent from this shoot, and keep up with me on all social media: @maxbakerphoto

I'll be posting more content like this soon! Please leave a comment below on what type of stuff you'd like to see me feature on the blog, whether it be full photo galleries, BTS on shoots, music reviews, etc. Thank you for taking the time to check my site out and if you found me through here, feel free to shoot me a message on instagram! Would love to hear from you!