Posts tagged beach shoot
Mirror Mirror - Balboa Experimental Portrait

I've had this mirror idea in my head for a few months now.  Finally, I found a day and an awesome subject, my friend Amy, to go out to the beach and work with this new concept.  This was more of an experimental shoot to tinker around with lighting and composition a bit. 

Originally, I was inspired by a landscape photographer named Murray Fredericks.  I came across his work and really loved what he was doing with mirrors.  He would bring a giant mirror out into the desert salt flats and photograph the sunsets.  His images had an abstract look which I loved and thought about integrating it into my style of photography.

I love doing landscape photography (check out my other website here) but as I also love shooting portraiture.  So why not meld both of these together for this idea?  The cool thing is, I had this  vintage mirror just sitting in my garage which was perfect for the occasion. I polished it up and we lugged it down the beach to a quiet and more spacious part of Balboa Peninsula.  A few onlookers were quite perplexed with whatever we were doing.  Apparently, it looked like we were setting up a television out on the beach (hey another good idea!). The sky was really clear that evening so once the sun went down it was a nice blue which complemented Amy's pink dress quite well. The vintage frame also matched her elegant look.  We even had some mist roll in and fog up the mirror which gave us a cool painterly effect of Amy's reflection in the mirror.  Each photoshoot is almost certain to have some surprises which in most cases are often challenges at first, but often lead to some serendipity.

I also included a time lapse video at the end of this post where you can see all the behind the scenes action for our photoshoot. Enjoy!

Here's the first go at my Mirror Mirror concept.

Amy's Balboa Portraits & Headshots

Hello friends!

Here we go, kicking off the new year with some hot off the press fashion portraits.  These ones could seriously be used for a blue jean advertisement, maybe Levi's will hit me up. haha.  (Message me below).

So we started the photoshoot with some headshots over by Balboa harbor where I was able to setup and get that nice blue background which I love (If you haven't realized yet, my favorite color is Blue).  The sun had for the most part disappeared behind the houses, so I used some off camera lighting with Hi-speed sync to fill in the subject.  I normally position the model so that the sun would create a natural hair-light, but in this case the sun light was no longer an option and my backup flash was no where to be found.  Thankfully, without the use of the hair light the headshot still came out great!

Since at this time we were chasing the last bit of sun for the day, we booked it down to Balboa Pier.  Golden hour was in full effect at this time as you can tell by the warm light falling on Amy's hair.  The white building I had her pose against also acted as a natural reflector that filled in some of the shadows in the front.  Plus, the white sand reflected some fill light from underneath too.  Pretty cool, when you get 3 lights in 1 without having to setup any lights.  In some cases I would have setup an umbrella with reflectors to give a little better quality of fill, but I felt the spontaneity and freedom of movement would had been limited.  When shooting outdoors like this during golden hour things are changing quickly.  The sun is slowly dimming, the light is becoming warmer (more orange and red in some instances), therefore your Kelvin is changing, and your shutter speed is dropping, plus all of your natural reflectors are becoming less effective, so it's important to work quickly and to know what shots you want exactly.  Although I know some of the shots I want ahead of time, say like a silhouette, a movement shot, a wide angle landscape shot, I also try to stay open to new compositions and ideas that may manifest. For instance, Amy had the awesome idea of twirling and giving her hair some action.  It made for a great sense of movement in the image.  Movement has been something I've been working on recently in my photography, specifically on how to capture such a feeling consistently whether posed or candid. It's definitely a skill that the masters seemingly capture so easily.

The last series of photos we took are California vibing for sure.  Blue jeans, Chucks, palm trees, the beach, and blue hour.  What more could you want!  I'm really stoked on these too!  Check them out and let me know what you think.  Message me below about scheduling a headshot or portrait session with you. :)

Thanks again!
Joseph