It's been nine months since the last time I photographed Nikki, and more than a year since we've done a "model" shoot. Nikki gave birth to her son about three days after our Maternity shoot back in May, and I've been waiting for her to get back to modeling. We finally agreed to shoot and both wanted something "On Location."
My buddy Brian and I have been talking about shooting at Red Rock Canyon State Park for over a year and decided that this would be a good place to shoot if we could find some models. Red Rock would be the first "Boys Club" outing for 2012, so Robert, Brian, David (local Bako photog) and I, secured models for January 8.
We decided to leave Bakersfield at 6:30AM so we would arrive by 8:00. I would have preferred to leave at 5:00, but I knew there was no way we could convince the models to be up and ready that early. BY the time we all assembled and grab a quick bite, we were on the road at 7:00, we made pretty good time and reached our destination by 8:30 AM. The sun was already pretty high up and the shadows weren't nearly as long as I had hoped.
Nikki and I broke off from the group and found a cove and some North facing ledges. How to light? Well I figured I would try bare flash, so I mounted my SB-900 on my combo boom and set it to 1/4 power. Knowing that it would be too bright to get a shallow DOF, I put a ND4 filter on my 24mm- 70mm lens, that allowed me to shoot at 1/320 and f/4.0. I know you might be thinking that 1/320 is too fast for flash and that I might get some of the "curtain" displaying in my image, but since it was really bright and I composed for the curtain, I was confident I could get the shot.
After a few images in this outfit, we switched to some bikini images in the cove. I brought my speed light to create some background separation and used Available as "key." I really liked the images, but Nikki wasn't feeling comfortable with the way she looked. She is too hard on herself, so those images won't see the web. Sorry, well maybe this one that has been cropped to protect me ;)
What Did I Learn?
- Sometimes things go really well - I had no equipment malfunctions, no interruptions by State Rangers, no equipment mishaps (i.e. blown over light stands)
- Do more On Location shoots - There is a feeling of apprehension and excitement when shooting at a new location. It forces to really explore your surroundings and be creative with the environment.
Hard to believe this was my sixth shoot with Nikki and we're already planning for our next. January will definitely be busy with two more scheduled shoots and also two scheduled in February.