This summer I took my model to the ocean for a photo shoot.
Sounds simple enough, right? Well you need to remember we're in Maine, nicknamed Vacationland. People flock here from everywhere. Summertime is the busiest. Many arrive ready for a bellyful of lobster with the beach as their destination. It was a beautiful warm July day and it was no exception.
How I found a parking space on a side street adjacent to the ocean with a sand path for the rentals is still a mystery to me. It was perfect. A long stretch of sand where cottages line the streets located between two very busy/popular beaches. My model hadn't been to the ocean yet this season and she was already bubbling with joyful emotion. Laughing and giggling, her whole body was already wiggling as we parked the car. Her eager enthusiasm was uplifting. It was like taking a young child to the beach.
The salty sea has a distinct smell that arouses the spirit long before you reach the sand. Excitement was in the air. We had been trying for awhile to find an open moment for this day, but busy schedules made it difficult. Our anticipation coupled with the perfect weather had me imagining a wonderful shoot.
I came prepared.
We found a nice open area in a sparsely filled section. I laid out an old bed sheet on the sand. My bag was full. I unloaded it telling my model, these are the skirts, these are the tops, hats, scarfs etc. I had shopped for white clothes, borrowed white clothes and gathered lots of accessories. The sheet looked like a clothing store. As she looked at every piece, I explained that she could mix and match any of the pieces. Even if they didn't exactly match, they were all various shades of white and I could paint them to look like they did. I had been wanting new photos to work from and the moment had finally arrived.
She picked her favorite skirt. It was a long flowing one. I told her to go dance at the water. I love this model. She has such elegant movements, perfect for the look I was seeking. Still giggling, she bounced to the water's edge. I followed with my camera. The sun lit her up. The breeze was gentle and consistent. I couldn't have picked a better day.
People were gazing. She didn't care. Still like that child, she began to dance in the water. She was totally uninhibited by the onlookers. It wasn't long before what seemed like every man on the beach wandered by. I've never seen so many males walk the beach without a sweetheart by their side. How they slowed their gait as they circled wide around us. We laughed. She continued to dance.
I took shots from the left, shots from the right, shots from the back. The sun made different patterns as I switched sides. She made many costume changes and with each one, she became a different character. Sometimes she strutted, sometimes she flowed. She threw things up into the air. The sun danced with her every move.
Every piece of clothing was soaked by the time we were done. She was exhausted. It had been quite a workout. As we stopped, nearby sunbathers came to talk. They wondered what we were doing. They had been entertained by my little beauty. People had their reading material, but not a book was opened while we were there.
As we walked off the beach, an older couple stopped us. They had decided we were taking pictures for the cover of a magazine and wanted to know which one and when it would come out. She did look very beautiful out there dancing in the sun. It's no wonder they imagined this scenario.
I returned home with nearly 1000 pictures. Certainly there are a few real good ones to work from.
Do you work from photos? Do you go on photo shoots to set up the pictures you desire? How about still life's? Do you ever set them up and take photos? It's a great way to have original material. Pick the perfect day and you could have enough material to work from for a year!