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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Falling out in Ponchos

I have sat and waited patiently for the fall colors to start showing up, so I could shoot some fall apparel. If you are familiar with the cliche "a watched pot never boils" ... well the same thing applies to watching leaves change color. I have booked and scheduled 3 fall shoots but I don't want ot execute them too early or they'll just look like late summer photos. Finally... it happened, I drove down some familiar roads and saw the change. One of my fall shoots i have on schedule is an indoor shoot with a super busy model that I am just dying to work with again. My other model is a teenager still attending school so that one must be carefully planned. But the third one, the one you see in these pictures, sort of just fell in my lap out of sheer coincidence from networking. I met the model, and found her features striking and her name so unique that we definitely decided to use her nickname; Sa (pronounced SAW). This would be Sa's first modeling assignment but she wasn't too nervous, and the conversation flowed. We browsed some magazines to see what was currently trending. We found the look we wanted as far as makeup goes. I whipped out my iPhone, shot a photo and sent it to the Morina, owner of Moxie Glam ( Now that we had an idea what to build the wardrobe around we decided to go and take a look at some wardrobe based on the ideas I had in mind. The first outfit was fitting of a fall look like no other and probably complimented the makeup idea we wanted to use, but something just wasn't quite right with it. And even though it looked great on Sa, it failed to appeal to me for some strange reason which only the photo gods could answer for. looking around, and looking around, we kept adding to the look. Before long it just looked like rush hour traffic, it had become so busy. I need a stylist and I need one right now, is all I could think. Then i saw it!! A plaid ladies poncho with brass buttons. I had just read an article in Glamour about how 70s inspired ponchos are turning out to be the biggest trend of Fall 2011 New York FashionWeek. The look excited me, and I saw my vision. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with Sa.
On the morning of the shoot, I was already being challenged with a downpouring of Good Ol Seattle rain. I decided to switch to an alternate location which would give us a little protection from the rain and afford us to get at least a few useable shots. Phong aka PHD Photography, my 2nd photographer/videographer showed up a lot earlier than I had anticipated and this was good. We discussed the shoot more in detail due to the weather. He was definitely okay with it, and this is one of the things I really appreciate about Phong, because he is really laid back and flows with the ideas. This also gave us an opportunity to discuss a project that Phong will be the lead photographer and videographer on. The makeup was a bit complex so I knew this was going to take a while plus the model had quite a distance to drive to the location and I-5 traffic is never ever forgiving about this sort of thing. Finally she arrived, and we went to the first shoot location, only to find the access chain locked. How could this be?? I had driven out a few times to survey the area and there was never a locked gate across the road. As it turns out, the weekdays are the only time access is permitted. Nonetheless, we proceeded to the 2nd location where we did have coverage from the rain, but this location only gave me decent headshots and I just couldn't envision my full wardrobe here. After enough of the headshots, we drove to the 3rd and final location. Phong began to laugh hard. Because he knows the area a lot better than I did, he informed me that we would need waders to shoot in that area because it was all marsh and wetlands, but clear as day it was there. Luckily enough I had Phong with me on this day because he knew another area close by, which turned out to be a small park surrounded by this very wetland. Since the rain was coming and going I decided to introduce the leopard print umbrella as an accessory. I think it really added a new dimension to the photos and we had fun capturing some great images, and Sa was very happy with what she viewed on the camera while we drove back to where we had left her and Phong's vehicles parked. As I began to drive off the skies opened up and the rain fell really hard. All I could do was think "Wow". Not sure if I was wowed by how hard and constant the rain fell or wowed about the images I was going to be editing tonight.
Equipment used:
Nikon D700
Nikon 85mm f1.4 (manual)
Tamron 70-200 f2.8
ISO 400, S/S 1/60 sec, Aperture f4 and f8 (you can determine which ones was shot open and closed by looking at the bokeh on the background).

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