Client Session: Party of Five

This was a fun portrait session! Mom and dad showed up early, with the boys following in a separate car about a half hour later. So I shot portraits of the parents first, and then threw the boys into the mix later on. This was all done at my favorite beach dunes location, in Oxnard California.

It was extremely windy that day though! Almost to the point where I was considering rescheduling. Wind presents all sorts of problems, especially with long hair. But also with light modifiers, such as umbrellas. The wind turns them into kites if they’re not nailed down! Since I didn’t have an assistant on this shoot, I opted to go without light modifiers for the posed portraits, and just use ‘hard light’. That way my lights were less likely to blow over in the wind. So as to avoid any hard shadows from the strobes, I kept the ambient light at about normal exposure, and then added the key light about 1 stop above. My fill light was set about 1 stop down from the key, or about the same as the ambient light. (This is film, so a stop here or there doesn’t matter…it’s way more flexible with light and exposure than digital is.)

We countered much of the wind’s effect on the mother’s hair by simply picking a location where dad would act as a wind block! All the while making sure the angle was appropriate for the sunlight, which is at their backs. There was some slight retouching required for stray hairs blowing in the wind, but really not much. 90% of getting a good photo is simply making sure everything is perfect before you press the shutter button.

The camera for this was my Bronica ETR-s, with a 75mm f/2.8 lens.

Once the boys arrived, I made some minor adjustments to the lights and then threw them into the mix. They were real ‘hams’! Funny as heck, and had me laughing to the point where I had to stop what I was doing from time to time, and catch my breath.

We headed down to the waves after that. There I shot some candids, using my Olympus OM-G with a 50mm f/1.4 lens (top black and white shot). I also had my Nikon N90s with 28-105mm f/2.8 lens, and an SB-28 strobe attached (lower b/w image). I shot all these on Kodak Ektar 100, but converted some of them to black and white later.

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