Client Session: Model Portfolio Shoot


This is a model portfolio shoot I did about six months ago. For some reason I forgot to blog about it, and was reminded just now. So the details are necessarily a little sketchy.

We started off at the beach in Ventura, California, near the pier. The model needed a mix of swimsuit and casual looks for her portfolio. We decided to shoot the swimsuit looks first, and then as the afternoon light waned, we switched to street clothes more appropriate for an urban look.

For the swimsuit looks I alternately used natural light and strobe, to give some variety to the images. Both swimsuit images above, as well as the one with the model wearing the white top under the pier, were done solely with natural light. For fashion work that’s sort of unusual for me. These predate my switch to film…now I’m much more likely to use just the available light, since film is much more forgiving about high contrast, sunlit situations.

Images four and five were done at the very end of the shoot, when it was past sunset. I rigged a Nikon SB-28 strobe up on a paint pole, and had my assistant hold it so that the light raked down across the wall and the model. I might have had a snoot on the light, although it doesn’t seem to have mattered much. The result was that I got something akin to a direct sunlight look, but I was able to choose the angle and control the contrast so the shadows didn’t get too dark. I don’t appear to have used any fill light on these shots.

The last shot, which was taken slightly earlier, is a simply one-light image as well. I positioned my assistant with the light and a shoot-through umbrella to camera right, and got the exposure right for this particular spot. Then I had the model walk toward me repeatedly, and fired the shutter when she was on her mark. I paid careful attention to where her feet were placed, as I wanted one foot in front of the other as if she were walking on a runway. My music background comes in handy for this sort of thing, as I can shoot ‘to the beat’ of her walking. The light is relatively subtle, and the fall off down her body is not very noticeable. You can see the shadows at her feet though, which tells you there’s a natural light source behind her. It is NOT the sun however…that would have been over her right (camera left) shoulder, but the building was blocking it. I believe this light source is probably caused by the reflection of the sun off a wall across the street.

Hair and makeup by Ja’Nice Estrada. Assistant: Heather Anguiano. Wardrobe, model’s own.

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