It’s good to connect with start-up companies-- I think they understand the value of imagery more than established companies. For one, they have less to lose and are willing to be more adventuresome, and more flexible. Jillian Leigh with Wear Your Love is exactly one of those companies. She creates gorgeous boutique wedding dresses. The style is simplicity and elegance. For our shoot, Jillian wanted the dreamy quality of the beach and I suggested China Beach in San Francisco. I picked it for the granite cliff that would provide both a middle-toned background, and shade in case the sun was shining.
Step back for an environmental portrait and you’ve got a stunning background as well.
It’s challenging to have your images rise above the competition-- which is exactly the point in marketing. Emotion is one quality that can give your pictures a boost, but it’s not always easy to manufacture-- especially if you’re working with a solo model. Research is what every working photographer should fall back on. Jillian shared some of the images that inspired her; I studied the work of other “bohemian wedding dress” sessions; and I plotted out the sun’s travel with The Photographer’s Ephemeris, an online tool. I reviewed my own images as well, and packed my bag accordingly.
I have an deep-seated fear of beach shoots. The sand gets everywhere-- the reflections, the wind, the beachcombers... they're all difficult to manage. Which is part of what attracted me to the shoot.
The images were shot almost entirely in natural light, and mostly (because the day was overcast), without even a reflector. The majority was shot on my trusty Nikon D600 with either a 35-70mm f/2.8 or my 80-200mm f/2.8. A number were shot with a Pentax 645D and 45-80mm f/4 lens.
On the second day of the shoot, Jillian’s boyfriend joined as a model, which revived some of the energy from the first day. You can see more of the images we created at Hurricane Images, Inc.