Headshots with Terisa part 2 - San Francisco Adventures

January 23, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

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Terisa at the Embarcadero Pier. Shot at ISO 100 at F/9 at 1/125th of second.

 

 

For part two of Headshots with Terisa, this time around are goal was to make it up to San Francisco and shoot at various recognizable locations. Our first stop was to get a skyline at Yerba Buena gardens from an elevated location. We decided to shoot from a second story stairway off the Sony Metreon building. After a little while of lighting setup and Terisa touching up her makeup we took a few warmup shots. Unfortunately at that time, we were asked my the security what company we were were with and if we had a permit. The shoot we were doing was very informal, and we did not have a permit, so we had to stop. Strike 1. At least the security lady was nice about it. So we grabbed out gear, and make out way down the stairs towards the MLK memorial and waterfall. I figured that if we went down there we would get a similar view that we had on the upper level. After only a few minutes of setup, and a couple shots, we were asked my a couple of maintenance workers again if we had a permit. Strike 2. It became clearly evident that we probably couldn't have shot anywhere in or around the Yerba Buena garden area without being harassed.

 

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The second story view we wanted to use.

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The one shot that was okay downstairs near the MLK memorial.

 

I think the reason we were bothered so much is that we looked too professional. Normally when I go out solo and take photos of landscapes, I’m usually left alone. However on such occasions I only have my camera and one lens, and a tripod. During our photo shoot I had not only my camera gear and a model, I also had an assistant (thanks for your help Sean) who helped movie two lighting speedlites around or held a reflector/diffuser to help control the light. It was pretty obvious to me that with all that gear it was the perception of the security guard and the maintenance worker that this was an official photo shoot and it was their job to butt in and find out what I was doing. I don’t fault them in this, its just a shame that we weren’t allowed to continue, when I know that if I had shown up with a smaller camera, with no assistant and no lighting that they wouldn’t have cared.

 

So rather than strike out, we decided to move to our next location within San Francisco to get some shots in a more public venue where we wouldn’t get chased away. I chose a spot near the “Cupid’s Span” art a public art piece along the Embarcadero. We got a few shots with the Bay Bridge in the background. Then a few near the huge Bow and Arrow. It was challenging getting some decent shots dealing with the sunny lighting conditions. During the first shoot, it was mostly cloudy, so no matter where you shot the light looks good on the model’s face. When dealing with direct sunlight, you have to be creative in placement of the subject in relation to the sun. 

 
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Cupid's Span along the Embarcadero

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Shot with a diffuser held over her to soften the light.

 

Here are some tips:

 

  1. Try placing the subject with the sun at their back, and then either use a reflector of sort to light their face, or use your camera’s flash.
  2. Find a spot in the shade, people’s faces look much better with the softer light in the shade.
  3. If you want to shoot them in direct sunlight, find some sort of diffuse material, like a white pantyhose that you can stretch over a frame. You can make one out of PVC pipe, or maybe wood. Or you can buy 5 in 1 reflector diffuser.

 

All in all it was quite exciting during our San Francisco photo adventure. I must say that I liked the photos towards the end of the shoot near the Embarcadero the most.

 

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Terisa at the Pier near the Ferry Building. Shot at ISO 100 at F/9 at 1/200th of a second.

 


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