A few months ago, Ashley transferred to the Apple Store. She’s always positive and fun to work with, so I was excited when she agreed to come along for a photography shoot the other evening.
Photographing in Late Evening
We both worked until 6:30, and had to separately eat, change and grab the camera gear. I also picked up Alicia and she came along as my assistant for the evening. The sun was already surprisingly low in the sky for mid summer, yet I knew we’d make something from the light that was left. I had brought all of my fastest lenses along and I wasn’t afraid to push the ISO if I had to.
A Relaxed Approach to Portraits
I’m glad that I brought Alicia along because it was actually very useful for her to walk side by side with Ashley and casually talk as I worked out the correct settings for the camera and started to decide on some initial locations. Alicia understands my style of taking a few minutes to chat and shoot some ‘junk’ shots as I make adjustments, and it can feel foreign to someone that’s not used to being photographed to see me running in circles, changing lenses, etc. Alicia helped bridge the gap with Ashley and quickly we transitioned into taking quality photos.
Something that I learned is that I’ve got to become better at positioning to my subjects how I like to work and what I need to do to find the right settings. I think this is a huge opportunity for personal growth as I learn to trust my own photographic ability while instructing my models in what I’d like to see from them. As we continued around the reservoir Ashley clearly began to relax and commented on how much fun she was having.
A Choice to Stay in Color
In this photograph, I love how the warmth of Ashley’s hair, skin and shoes contrasts with the coldness of the stones in the upper reservoir building, the water and the sky. One of the photos from this series I had experimented with some black and white filters. When I compared it to this image, however, I realized how much I was loosing by stripping this image of its color. Although the color balance was originally far too cool, once I corrected the image everything fell into place. I think the subtle warmth of the pavement brings the image into balance.
What is the Best Camera?
This is my favorite image of the night. I’m amazed that we created such a great image considering how fast the light was falling. I forgot my external flash at home, so I had to make do. With the sun far below the tree line and Ashley’s face in shadows, I crossed my fingers and reluctantly lifted the pop-up flash. This shot is a combination of the right settings, a long image stabilized lens, pop-up flash and most of all Ashley!
I used similar techniques of combining fill flash and an image stabilized telephoto when I photographed Rachel’s senior photos at Genesee Valley Park.
It’s photographs like this that prevent me from becoming an equipment snob. The best camera is the one in your hand.
Thanks again to Alicia and Ashley. If you’re interested being a subject please contact me.