I did a model portfolio shoot for Kristin last week at Port Hueneme Beach here in California. I must admit, the idea of a beach shoot was not my idea of a great location! Man was I wrong…
[click “continue reading” below for more…]
No offense to the town of Port Hueneme, but it’s not a great beach for a background, at least at first glance. They have a pier and bike paths and palm trees, the sort of thing that is great to visit and do beachy things at. But in terms of visuals, it’s well…boring. Piers are ho-hum. No dramatic rocks, no dunes, just flat sand and ocean.
After I scouted the location, I was even less enthused. 🙂 But then I started thinking…hey it’s a flat beach. There’s nothing there. Let’s do something that makes use of this very simple environment, and bring some props. So I gathered and/or made a bunch of props. I wanted slightly absurd props, and envisioned a theme of loneliness. A “summer’s over and my boyfriend’s left me” sort of vibe. With a surrealist/absurdist feel to it, almost like a Dali painting or a Pink Floyd album cover.
Well they say that “no battle plan survives contact with the enemy”, and that’s true here too. Once we started shooting, the plan evolved and changed. I had originally imagined a muted, almost monochrome look to the final images. But once I saw what I was getting on the camera, that flew out the window. The colors were just too great, and the look…well, just take a look.
And what a great model Kristin was! Very personable, and she was very willing to put up with my crazy prop ideas. How many would have gladly donned my homemade dunce caps without a second thought? My only regret is that we would have had more time to try other props, other dresses, other backgrounds…well there’s always next time. Thanks Kristin!
So now some images.
I used two strobes throughout. The Norman 200B with a shoot-through umbrella, as I was combating full sun and needed all the photons I could muster. And my Nikon SB-28 on camera for fill. Both the lead image and the one below are shooting into the sun. The lead has the sun through the parasol (I think) and the one below has Kristin blocking the sun with her head. I think! I had her up on a small dune (so ok, Port Hueneme does have dunes, but they’re very small!), and shot mostly from below.
Further along, we found a small ampitheater with some weird acoustics (that don’t show up in the images for some reason). Shade from some palm trees and the back wall added the patches of shadows. I got up on a small concrete platform for this shot.
Now a wardrobe change. Kristin borrowed an old prom dress from a friend who keeps those sorts of things. The color practically glows on its own, and was a perfect sort of ‘princess’ dress for the dunce caps.
Off the concrete and onto the sand, still with dunce caps and prom dress in hand.
Yes I’m a poet. See? I know it.
Going for a slightly vintage look on the one below.
This one is my favorite of the batch. Setting sun behind Kristin’s head, a cool pose and look. Perfect!