Portrait Session with Katelyn

I met Katelyn through a networking site called Model Mayhem, a place where photographers, models, makeup artists and hairstylists can all communicate back and forth and hook up for photoshoots.  Katelyn was looking for some photos to add to her portfolio and I was looking to do the same, so we set out on a bright sunny Sunday morning to see what we could get.

We started out down on the boardwalk attempting some natural light stuff, but I found that I wasn't quite getting the look I was hoping for.  I had my lovely wife (who was graciously willing to help me out) hold up one of my flashes, no gel, and pop it straight back into Katelyn.  The result, once the intensity was set up properly, was a stark light that imitated the existing conditions rather well.  In addition, the sunlight beaming in on Katelyn's back formed a beautiful hair/rim light to give a sense of glow to the shot.

Sometimes a flash modifier isn't necessary.  This flash (look closely in the glasses) was only modified with an omni-bounce cap to allow some minute smoothness.  

We soon switched up to using a reflector for a more even and soft light.  This image below has a nice golden effect from the semi-gold side of the 5 in 1.  The gold side can be a very warm light, but I only needed a touch of that warmth to allow for this wonderful warming glow-y effect.

Reflectors are probably the cheapest and easiest form of external lighting gear that you can use.  Sunny day shots are made extremely special with this kind of light!
We decided to head to Point Pleasant park for some more locations ("wait a minute, Tim" I hear you say, "didn't you already get a bunch of photos there last week?" Yes, but there are a huge amount of vibrant scenes to choose from in this park that I just adore, and I haven't exhausted the park just yet).  Here we set out to use some more complicated lighting setups, including the Lastolite Ezybox.  

If you've never used one of these hotshoe flash modifiers, I suggest you give one a try.  I'm always impressed by the quick and reliable setup, durability and quality of light on this modifier.  Case in point: 

Lastolite Ezybox Hotshoe Flash modifier (Joe McNally model) using 1/2 CTO gel and aimed slightly to camera left of the model (Flash is positioned off-camera left, approx. 5 ft from the model).
 My favorite part about light like this is the dramatic fall-off.  You can stop your camera up really high (F16 ish) and use the light to 'spot' the subject, as below:

I did cheat a little and darkened the wall a bit in photoshop.  Even in the original image, Katelyn stands out, and the expression is perfect.  I have a few shots of the same vein with her eyes open, and the effect just isn't the same.
Below is a setup shot, before I realized that the light was on the wrong side.  I got jess to move the light to the right of Katelyn to get the shot above.  The trick is to aim past the subject.  This makes the light more "spot-light" like.  

As this was my first expedition out with a model, I had a bit of nervousness to battle through.  I think I won out though, and I'm very happy with these shots.  I'm hoping to get more work like this!

More tk...