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Gypsy Life :: L. Shima

Gypsy Life :: L. Shima

By Shayna Batya

I received an e-mail from L. Shima a few months ago asking if we could take some pictures together. She had seen my work on The Hundreds (shout-out to Bobby & Ben) and wanted to shoot with a more fashion-based approach, unlike the kinds of work she’s done in the past – sexy and sensual. We decided to do a little bit of both.

Shima took a 3 hour road trip from Sarasota to Miami and booked a bunch of shoots during her weekend stay. The 22-year-old model explained that she was going to stay on a boat with a stranger she’d never met. “How can that be safe?” I asked, and she told me about her experience as a Couchsurfer – something I had heard about, but never done. Couchsurfing is an online social community of cool people who let travelers crash on their couch, or vice versa. The young gypsy told me crazy stories about frequent trips around the country in the name of her career as a model. This chick even came prepared with her food in tupperware. I was impressed.

After working with a commercial real estate broker for 5 months straight, I hadn’t done any personal shooting other than on my iPhone. So when Shima reached out to me, I couldn’t have been happier. I expressed that I hadn’t photographed portraiture in months, so this was a great opportunity to get back in the groove. With an interesting mix of African American, Irish, German, and Japanese, I thought Shima would be a great subject. We hung out and took some pics in my apartment while waiting for a Florida Summer storm hurricane to pass (see here and here) before hitting the streets. 

Follow L. Shima on Instagram @lshima_model.

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