Creating the Photograph: Jason Lindsey’s “Cabin Fever”

Creating the Photograph is an original series where photographers teach how they created an image with choice of lighting and minimal post-production. The series has a heavy emphasis on teaching how to light. Want to be featured? Here’s how you can submit.

Photographer Jason Lindsey first began his career as a photojournalist prior to becoming an agency art director. After five years, he followed his passion and became a photographer and director. Leo Burnett, Subaru, Adidas, Belize Tourism, and Wyoming tourism are just some of the clients Jason has worked with. His accolades include being selected for the Communication Arts Advertising Annual 2019 and being named one of the 200 Best Ad Photographers Worldwide for 2018/2019 and 2020/2021 by Archive Magazine.

Jason considers himself a storyteller, using his experiences to create honest stories that document real moments and true emotions. When describing his approach, he commented, “Whether we are talking about nature or people, a person must leave their comfort zone and imagine through the eyes of another. Empathy is one of the greatest gifts that humans can give to each other — to slow down and step into another’s shoes, to feel what they feel.” Jason’s Cabin Fever series explores the frustrations associated with confinement. When we first learned about it, the COVID-19 pandemic had begun to spread across the US. We felt it would be a timely collection to share as a part of our Creating the Photograph series.

The Concept

Cabin Fever was inspired by my love of Winter and Spring but frustration with the in-between month of March. I always feel stuck inside during March and being surrounded by grey sky, grey trees, and grey earth. I knew I want to explore this idea and came up with these shots.

Gear Used

The Shoot

We started with casting. I knew I wanted everyone to have grey or white hair to go along with the monochromatic color palette. I then spoke with the wardrobe stylist explaining the idea and the monochromatic palette. We discussed find different textures in the materials to give it more depth. Next, I did some lighting tests in my studio to nail the look before the shoot day so we could focus our time at the shoot on shooting and working with the models.

On the shoot day I was reviewing wardrobe, makeup and hair while the assistants setup the lighting. During the shoot I had all the crew except one assistant behind the backdrop so I could c create a more intimate connection with the talent. My main direction with the talent was to give them an overview of the concept and ask them to treat this as an actor not a model. I did not want them posing for the camera and feeling stiff. The crew and talent all did an amazing job and the day went very smooth.

Post Production

We shot the portraits in studio separate from the window frames. It was a pretty simple composite using a layer mask for the window and various overlays for the frost. I always keep things very simple in post.

Before and After


  • Photographer: Jason Lindsey
  • Producer: Talia Watkins
  • Assistant: Taylor Strohmeyer
  • Assistant: Naomi Chu Arguinzoni
  • Hair/Makeup: Morgan Blaul
  • Wardrobe Stylist: Lavi Toma

We’d like to thank Jason for sharing what went into creating his Cabin Fever series. All images by Jason Lindsey, used with permission.