Christmas in August?

Christmas cards in August? This couple is planning ahead! If only I could encourage all my clients to be so forward-thinking! Heck, if only I could do that myself…

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I was out at El Matador Beach in Malibu again this past Labor Day weekend. Nice weather, not too hot, the sun breaking through the fog. The tide was only supposed to be half way up, but it was pushing the limits of what we could work with. Some feet got wet, that’s for sure! I’m learning to set my Norman 200B battery up high, so the water doesn’t get it. I’m really pleased with the way these images turned out!

So what’s this about Christmas cards in August? Well this couple had the foresight to book a photo session for holiday cards and portrait gifts, well in advance of the end-of-year rush. No pressure, no hurry, and they got to pick the day and time they wanted. Can’t beat that!

The time happened to be 8am (-ish), and we had the whole of this ‘pocket beach’ to ourselves. (Well I say to ourselves, but I’m forgetting the odd man in a speedo, digging trenches in the sand and talking to himself.) By the time we left though, the Labor Day beach goers had descended en masse. We got out of there just in time.

For lighting, I had my Norman 200B with a 43″ shoot-through umbrella as the main light. I had a fill light (SB-28) set to auto, two stops down from the main light, on a separate light stand. By setting it to “auto”, I only had to worry about the main light and getting the exposure right for that. The “auto” would take care of itself, fill-wise, even though it wasn’t on the camera. I didn’t bring as much stuff out of the car this time…I’m learning. El Matador is a bit of a hike down a cliff, and the less I can bring (but still light properly), the better.

So what’s not to love about this shoot!? Beautiful scenery, beautiful day, very photogenic couple. I’ll just say the rest with pictures:

4 thoughts on “Christmas in August?

  1. Excellent work Matt, the boys and I loved that beach when you took our pictures there. I am always impressed by the hard work you put into all of your pictures. This is a beautiful couple, and yes, very forward looking! I need to get mine picked out so I can order my Christmas cards!

  2. Thanks so much, Jerry! I like how this beach looks completely different, depending on the weather and time of day. For example this one a few weeks ago, or your session back in July. And of course the rocks always add drama, no matter what.

    Being a photographer, you can bet I’ll wait until the last minute to take pictures of my family to send out as christmas cards. And will barely make the deadline. At least that’s what happened last year. Don’t let me be your example. 🙂

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