Boho and Sunflowers Part One - Jennifer

Now it's back to the very beginning...

My very first model shoot took place on 4th of July weekend in 2015.  It was through a Meetup Group that I've mentioned many times, run by Marebeth Gromer.  This shoot took place in Davis, CA, about 70 miles east of San Francisco.  It was a late afternoon / evening shoot in a sunflower field with models dressed up bohemian style.  I got to the location at about 6pm and it was about 95 degrees!  But that's summer in the central valley of California.

We had the opportunity to photograph three models:  Jennifer, Kourtny, and Isabel.

This week we'll look at a few shots of Jennifer.  She was actually a last minute replacement for a model who dropped out, and she happens to be the mother of one of the other models.  What better way for her to try out modeling than this?

During this shoot, I had my Fuji X-T1 for less than six months and I only had one lens, the 16-55mm f/2.8 lens, which on a crop body is the equivalent of a 24-70mm lens's field of view.

Here's one of the first shots I took of Jennifer.  She was already posed and several of the photographers were already taking shots of her.  I found a spot and snapped the photo, leaving the shutter on auto, but opting to shoot wide open.

ISO 200   16-55mm lens at 55mm   f/2.8   1/420sec

The next shot, there was a nice shaft of light shining down, and someone was bouncing light onto Jennifer's face with a reflector.  There seemed to be only one good position to capture that shaft of light and thankfully I got it because the sun was setting rather quickly.

ISO 200   16-55mm lens at 27.4mm   f/2.8   1/450sec

Next is one of my two favorite shots with Jennifer.  Everything about it is perfect, except ... the upper left corner, there's too much light.  I had shown this to a professional photographer and while he liked it, he said that the light in the upper left corner was a distraction as the eyes are drawn to the brightness.  Also, the leading lines don't draw our attention to Jennifer, but to the brightness in the upper left corner.

ISO 200   16-55mm lens at 55mm   f/2.8   1/180sec

This last shot, I basically had Jennifer all to myself for about two minutes while the other photographers were focused on the other two models.  I saw the opportunity for an old west-type photo.  Of course, I had the image in my mind, but taking pics with the camera and just hoping that I could alter it in post-processing...  Thankfully it turned out just the way I wanted it!

ISO 200  16-55mm lens at 55mm   f/2.8   1/17sec

Post-processing for all of the above shots were actually done in Aperture; I didn't have Lightroom at the time.  Had I had Lightroom, I think some of the results would have been more polished.

I learned a lot after just taking these photos and showing them to a few fellow photographers.  Most important was the balance of the composition.  Leading lines may look cool, but what are they drawing your eyes to?

Photos of the rest of this shoot, will appear in upcoming posts.