The Music to Life Series

October 14, 2013 Thing About Love – Conceptual Portraiture by Jimmy Bui Posted In: Alicia Keys

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Music to Life Song of the Week: The Thing About Love by Alicia Keys

I started to listen to Alicia Keys when she first came out with her first album, Songs in A Minor, back in 2001. It goes without saying that she’s an amazing singer  and a great song writer. On the day that I created the conceptual portraiture below, I was listening to “The Thing About Love” on my way to the studio. It’s not a direct interpretation of the song, but the imagery of a serene desert scene flashed in my head while I was listening to the song, and I knew I had to take that picture. I invited Danica and her mom to my studio to take some pictures for some composite edits, and she brought a really nice dress that was perfect for the image that I had in mind.

girl in beautiful dress standing in death valley desert during sunset conceptual portraiture


Conceptual Portraiture – How It Was Shot

I don’t shoot in the studio too often, but I do love it when I get the chance to. Danica was shot in front of a white backdrop with the intentions of cutting her out in photoshop, and placing her in a new background. It’s sometimes tough, especially when people are volunteering their time, to shoot at a location that is difficult to get to. So, it’s easier to do a composite. I shot Danica with two 500ws strobes with large strip boxes.

Play “Thing About Love”

If you’re interested in purchasing a print, visit my online store today. Also, check out my previous image, “The Fountain” in this post.If you’re interested in shooting a Music to Life series image, message me at and don’t forget to visit my website and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Thank you so much! 


The Thing About Love by Alicia Keys

Danica Yoshimura

Canon 5D Mark III

Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art

500ws Strobes with strip boxes


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Jimmy Bui

I am a wedding and conceptual portrait photographer based in Southern California. When I'm not shooting weddings, or planning my next weekly photo for my Music to Life series, you may find me at Disneyland or the zoo spending time with my beautiful wife and daughter.
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