It took me longer than expected to write this blog post. Sometimes a shoot and a couple means so much to us as photographers that the words get in the way and everything I write just feels like noise.
Larissa and Matt are near and dear friends of ours. Larissa is herself an extremely talented Las Vegas photographer with a clean, bright and vibrant style that I have always enjoyed immensely. Larissa had attended our first off camera lighting photography workshop and her sweet, friendly personality immediately endeared her to us.
As time went on, we kept in touch every now and then and Larissa and Sarah have become good friends, each of them having spent months working out and inspiring each other to keep up the good work. So it was a great honor to have the opportunity to have Larissa and her husband Matt as our clients for a rain themed photoshoot!
It was a concept we did a few years ago with a fashion model, but I’ve always thought that a rain theme worked even better with a couple. There’s something about two people caught in the rain together that I’ve always found romantic.
I made an entire playlist for this photoshoot that I shared with Larissa and listened to myself on a daily basis – a mix of melancholy and romantic music with artists ranging from RJD2 to Portishead. The location for this was right in back of our studio, which lends credence to my friend (and another excellent photographer) Jason Talley’s old saying “it’s not where you shoot, but how you shoot”.
Before you view the photos, please know that this was not HDR photography and in fact, the only editing made to the first photo is the removal of a couple flyaway hairs and a freckle!
Stay tuned after the jump for a little lighting information and enjoy the photos!
Before I start babbling about my lighting, special thanks goes to Sarah for her absolutely flawless makeup artistry! It’s hard to believe, but in at least half of the shots above, there was no skin editing whatsoever!
This was a fairly weird light setup, but completely practical. The umbrella they’re holding in the early shots is actually a silver reflector umbrella and my 22″ beauty dish was positioned so low that it almost touched the ground and pointed almost straight into the sky – only the very edge of the light touched them. Slightly more light was hitting the inside of the umbrella however, which is how we lit their faces – the silver umbrella was actually the key light!
It was around an hour before sunset before we began, so when I metered the sky at the start of the shoot, I underexposed by around a stop to give the cloudy sky a more ‘angry’ look and set my white balance to 5500k (approximate daylight). I then added a strobe off to camera left with a blue gel filter as a rim light. When you’re shooting in rain, every single raindrop becomes a tiny reflector, bouncing and amplifying the light, so if your light is blue, it has the effect of give the appearance of a dark blue sky on camera (and alternatively, you can do the opposite and gel your key light amber and set your white balance for Tungsten).
I added a second strobe for a hair light on Larissa and occasionally brought in a reflector for fill and a speedlight for the shots inside the car.