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Sunglasses and volkswagen buses

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Behind The Lens


This photo was taken at a parking lot next to Manhattan Beach, CA. It was my first time shooting at this location and it was my model's first time ever doing a photo shoot, so it was quite exciting for the both of us to do this shoot.


This photo was taken just before Golden Hour on a clear, sunny day.


The lighting was in this photo is completely natural lighting. The sun was providing the main light source, which then was bounced off of the white wall in front of the model. This is, in turn, gave a nice, soft, and neutral light on the Model's face and body.


This was a hand-held shot using a Canon 7D and a 20-70mm 2.8f L Series Lens. No flash or reflector was used for this shot.


The main inspiration for taking this photo was the spontaneous urge to shoot next to an old-school Voltswagon Bus that was randomly parked in the perfect spot in the sun. Keep in mind that my model had no experience with photos shoots, she just finished a stressful and frustrating personal call as we parked the car, and we didn't know who owned the car we were taking pictures with. However, something just made us comfortable with trying something completely random to see if it worked. Good thing I already had tons of experience working with new models and directing them, so it made my model more comfortable with trusting my guidance into getting this shot.


Yes, I did a bit of post-processing to level out the shadows and highlights. I removed any small blemishes that were on her cheeks, arms, and legs. I then added a sun flare to the right side of the folder. I was trying to go for the old-school photos that have red flares and marks on them. Finally, I added a bit of sharpening. And that's it!

In my camera bag

Normally, I carry around my Canon 7D, 20-70 2.8mm Lens, camera charger, card reader, memory cards, external hard drive, wireless mouse, laptop, at least 2 External flashes, a reflector, a tripod, and white umbrella. I don't have any triggers or receivers to set off my flashes, so I keep them on slave mode so that I can still control light a bit more in a darker setting. It might be a lot to bring for a photo shoot, but I'm one of those photographers where I'd rather be safe than sorry unless I'm going on a long hike, this is usually all of the gear I bring/use.


My best advice would be to just go out try it. Recreating a similar photo wouldn't be that hard, especially if you find a white wall facing the setting or rising sun. My settings were set to balance out the background. Try asking your model to have only her upper back touch whatever she's leaning on while arching her back will give you very similar results. Having her take a quick breath right before taking the picture might help as well.

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