- model: Karina Degtyareva
- location: Presidio, San Francisco
- Hair and makeup: none
- date: 1-7-12
In the grand scheme of things, as in my portfolio goals, this shoot was a success. It is by far my most successful fashion/lifestyle shoot to day and a very sucessful attempt at a simple, natural look that I want all my photos to have.
The lighting is incredibly simple, almost all natural, but for the tech nerds the lighting was sunlight as a rim camera left and in most cases a white reflector camera right for some fill on that side of the face. The time was at about 10am-noon so not the greatest golden morning light but in the high area of the Presidio it worked out fine. The lighting diagram to the right is mainly to show the simplicity more than the complex, and hopefully, as I focus more on the other elements of my images this will be the norm rather then the exception. I actually did set up a strobe, which is rare for me these days, and basically replaced the reflector with a beauty dish, none of those images made it into my top 10 for the shoot because they removed that natural element.
I like this shoot because of 2 things, 1. it is of a style that I ‘want’ and did yield portfolio quality work and 2. it is evidence of an improvement in my photography. Over a year ago I shot at the exact same location, possibly at a better time of day for natural light and the shoot was a huge FAILURE. I’m not going to post the images, I may have even deleted them, but I spent the entire time messing with strobes, giving zero or terrible direction to the model and got nothing from it. The model was fine, it’s my job to make them look good, so it was no fault of hers, but I left the shoot wanting to take up a new hobby, maybe basket weaving. Looking at these results I think I have a better understanding of WHAT makes a good photo;
Preparation, personal connection, direction, concept, interaction and communication all matter about 1000 times more than perfect lighting or photoshop skills. Which is a complete 180 degrees from what I thought I knew when I started taking model photos. If I started out trying to create perfection with my images, I am now focus on capturing reality.