I had scheduled a shoot with a local Jacksonville Jaguars Cheerleader at a very popular photography spot here in the Jacksonville area in a unique way. After my recent interview with MyPhotoCentral.com, I had been asked to document a future shoot with some Behind The Scenes shots so I decided this would be the one and I let them know ahead of time. Well… as is all too often the case, the model bailed on me at the last minute. Luckily, I have a great friend, Lisa, who just happens to be a great model and one of my favorite people to shoot anyway. I sent her a message to see if she’d be able to fill in and after rearranging a few things, she was in!
Sunset was to be at 6:59 so we set a time of 4pm to shoot as I wanted to use the last few hours of the day with the sun as low in the sky as possible for backlight. I also knew with the trees behind the beach, I could use it for shade when I needed to so I could shoot as wide open as possible. The shoot was a lot of fun. My buddy, Rod, came along to help out and shoot some nature stuff himself. We had Lisa, her husband, Omar, her daughter and a friend so it was just a fun time at the beach. We got down to work starting in some fallen trees in the shade of the still standing trees behind the beach. This left us with plenty of ambient light though and only a little artificial light on Lisa’s front side was needed as the sun creeping through the trees was hitting her from behind. I used one Paul C. Buff Einstein light with a beauty dish at about 14 Ws (1/48th) just to bring her up enough to stand out over the background and I shot her with my Canon 5D MIII & Canon 70-200 mm f/2.8 II lens nearly wide open in the 2.8 – 3.5 range most of the day at 200mm to best separate her from the background and at 100 ISO & a speed of 1/200.
One other shot that you’ll see in this collection is one we got later on in the day. My buddy, Rod, a great nature photographer, saw it from the time we got there and finally convinced me the time was right for it as the sun was giving us great light, hitting Lisa from camera right in front of some green grass that is often covered by the water. I forgot to get a BTS shot here but we basically put the light, camera left, at about a 45° angle, pointed slightly down at Lisa. I metered for the background and 7.1 was the number so after a little trial and error, upped the power on the Einstein to just soften the shadows on her right side that the direct sunlight was causing. I didn’t want them to go away completely, just to be softened by the light. I still shot these at 1/200, ISO 100 and from 200mm away but with the 7.1 aperture. Luckily, the 70-200 lens does a great job of softening the background, even at higher apertures.
We got a lot of shots that we are very proud of before the tide came in too high and threatened our dry exit from the beach so we packed up and headed for home. Hope you enjoy.