(Pre-season 18 of The Bachelorette, © Urbane Aperture / July 2021)

In over 20 seasons of The Bachelor, ABC featured their first Black Bachelor in season 25. My take, the best thing to bloom and extend beyond that season was Michelle Young—the next Bachelorette. As the universe would have it, we graduated from the same high school in Minnesota. It was great to show support from afar by watching her first big debut on TV, but it’s an even better experience to actually work with her. Highly recommend it.

If you thought it wasn’t legit when Michelle busted out some push-ups on set during BTS credits on The Bachelor, trust me when I say that down-to-earth energy is all real. Michelle is all about making sure she stays true to herself. I hope that’s a common theme that shows up as ABC makes the jump to air her season of The Bachelorette.


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Across two different sessions in May and June, we linked up to capture some frames in Minneapolis. What felt great about each session was Michelle’s confident and warm-hearted nature. Even as people would stop to recognize her and grab some pics for IG of their own, we kept it light, fun, and engaging. During each session, I took inspiration from her prior season on-air paired with queues from how she naturally was feeling that day. Attempting to compliment this exciting time for Michelle in her life while finding the right balance of composition and visual interest (e.g. Accents that worked well with her skin tone). I experimented on purpose with the time of day, adjustments to white balance, and curves. Allowing Michelle the opportunity to see various sets of expressions, candids, and traditionally posed pieces of work. Using different sources of light—natural light dependent on the time of day or pulling in some OCF (off-camera flash) to test different settings.

I definitely hope to work with Michelle again in the future and wishing her the best experience this upcoming fall. Maybe the next time will be at her future wedding with the lucky gentleman she picks from the show?

Until then make sure you catch Michelle Young on TV in her upcoming season which is anticipated to drop this October.