Unfamiliar territory

Last weekend I stepped into unfamiliar territory, (and well outside my comfort zone) and did my first shoot for someone I didn't know.

After browsing my site and being "encouraged" by a mutual acquaintance, Tara contacted me via email about taking some pictures for her. We emailed back and forth discussing ideas, locations, wardrobe etc etc. In the end sanity prevailed and we went with "lets just keep it simple and see what we come out with"

Now I have this annoying character flaw that often wants to over complicate things. My mind started concocting elaborate settings with 3 and 4 lights firing away and multiple looks over multiple locations. As the day drew closer I remembered that I have no idea what I'm doing, and it's easier to fake something simple. So I picked a location I knew (Eskview Park) and focused on that. 

We decided early morning was the best time to meet and undertake this adventure. While late afternoon in some ways is easier lighting wise, early morning was still going to give some awesome light, and we got a great day for it. Meeting just after 7am we raced through Bayview and along state highway 2 towards Whirinaki. I had decided if we were going to be up early, then we may as well get a sunrise shot on the beach front.

We found a good spot and set up with the sun rising behind her. Shooting into the sun is great as you get an awesome rim light around your subject, but also means if you don't light them right, you'll just get a silhouette (which I most certainly did in many shots) also at those shutter speeds (1/500) most camera/flash combinations aren't going to sync fast enough, leaving you with a black band across the bottom of your picture. Still we made do with a gold reflector, some post processing wizardry, and a lot of luck. Below you can see the result. Now I know if I didn't rush I could of lit her better, had the sun a little more to the right so it was rim lighting her more evenly, etc etc. But I'll take it for now.

As we continued to shoot, we both started to relax a little more. I always find I need to warm into things whether I'm photographing water splashes, bugs, people, you name it, the first few shots are always a little off, and the more I take, the easier it gets to make the pictures I want, and the more pictures I like.

Tara was great, and really easy to work with (and very patient with me) which made things good fun.

I learnt a lot just from this one shoot. Things that only come with the experience of having made the mistakes I made. For instance I know next time the one thing I need to keep saying to myself over and over is slow down. I rushed a number of shots, mostly because I was worried about losing the cool light, and boy does that sun rise quickly when you're up against it.

I've added more pictures from the shoot to the portraits section of the site, so have a look and please leave any comments below. Now I've gotten that "first shoot" out of the way, I want to do more. Different people, different places, and different styles. In some respects people are the hardest subjects to photograph, but they can also prove to be the most rewarding.

I stepped out of my comfort zone... now I have to continue to stretch it in order to become a better photographer.