A few months ago I had the pleasure of doing an outdoor photo shoot for Dacia. I met her at Ohlone College while helping my friend Lawrence with some video production work. Lawrence recommended that Dacia contact me to shoot her head shots as she is looking to update her photos.
I met with Dacia across the street from campus and asked my friend Megan to help assist with lighting. I could have done the shoot solo, but things are a whole lot easier when you have an extra hand to hold reflectors and small speedlite flashes. We started our shoot around 6:00pm both in order to capture the interesting late day sun and also because I didn't get off work until 5pm. We started simply enough, as I placed Dacia in open shade and had Megan hold a reflector to add some fill to her face and create a catchlight in her eyes.
After a quick wardobe change, I had her stand inside an archway so that I could get some texture and color in the background. There was no light to reflect back at her, I had Megan hold an off camera flash, my Canone 430EX speedlite off the camera left in order to light her. In order to create the above shot, I metered for the background, set my settings on manual, and adjusted flash intensity until I got a good exposure.
We then proceeded across the street to the Ohlone campus, which is fairly picturesque. I placed Dacia in the enter of a row of trees, known as shady lane that had some great leading lines. Again, since we were completely in shade, I had Megan standing off to the left of the camera position with my 430EX speedlite providing fill, and mounted on my 5D Mark 3, my 580EX speedlite that served as a key light.
Walking down shady lane we came across one of the school buildings that had a great farm house feel. I shot a few of her on the front porch playing with the golden light of the setting sun. For these I went back to having Megan hold the reflector, but with the gold side instead of the silver that I had used before.
The last thing we shot, after one last wardobe change, was on some bleachers near the softball field. I like the archtectural look of the metal benches and I thought that we could do some cool shots on it. The only issue is that the sun had set by that time and any interesting light had gone. So I went with the use of my two speedlites and hoped for the best.