Studio / Beach shoot with Joy and Anne

Had the chance to work with model Joy a few weekends ago.  Makeup artist Kahulani did the makeup for her as well as her friend Anne.  We did some shooting in studio, then headed out to Wailea to catch the sunset on the beach.  Quddus Ajimine was our assistant.


 Joy works out a lot and one of her requests was to do shots that highlighted her physique.

We shot this in a storage room next to the studio.  Thanks to a tip I learned from fellow photographer Chaz of After6Media, we used Pam Olive Oil spray to give Joy's body a "wet look". 

We used a Paul Buff Alien Bee AB800 with a 22" beauty dish for the main light, and a Nikon SB26 with a 1/4 CTO gel for the edge light.  It took a couple of tries to get the SB26 to highlight just the model and not give us a reflection off the back wall.  We ended up zooming the flash head to the max and flagging it off from the wall.



For this shot of Anne, we used 3 AB800s.  The main light was modified with a large softbox, the rimlight with a small strip softbox, and we had one light shooting through the panels in the back.

My Vagabond battery was still out for repair during this shoot, so I rented a 1000 watt Yamaha generator from a local rental house.  We took this with us when we went to the beach in Wailea.  Worked out pretty well, so I'm thinking of picking one up in the near future.  Nice to have as a backup, plus you can run the modeling lights of the AB800 from it (something you're not supposed to do when using the Vagabond battery).

For the first hour before sunset however, we did most of the shots using nothing but Quddus holding a California Sunbounce Pro silver reflector to fill in the shadows.



Because this reflector is so huge, it really throws a LOT of light where you want it.  I shot most of these on Aperture Priority mode on a Canon 1d mkII with a 70-200mm f2.8L lens.



When we got near sunset time, we broke out an AB800 and a 5ft PhotoFlex Octodome (with the interior configured to all gold panels) and plugged them into the generator.  Since we were working pretty close to the water, a big safety precaution we took was to plug in a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) between the generator and extension cord.

A GFCI monitors the current flowing through it.  If there is even a slight change (such as if a wave were to wash over the connected power cords, it quickly cuts off the power.  The end result is that you don't electrocute yourself (although you may receive a painful shock).  You can find GFCIs at any hardware store or Home Depot (The Vagabond battery packs have GFCIs already incorporated into them).

Electrical shocks are NOT fun - I know this from firsthand experience.  I try to always use a GFCI when working with strobes on location.



For the shots with the Octodome, I had the camera set to iso 100, 1/250 at f11 and kept experimenting with different shutter speeds to change the exposure of the background.


This was a fun shoot to do.  Now that I've got my Vagabond battery back from repair, going to have to test it out on a few shoots.  Definitely going to look into getting a generator though one of these days. :-)