I have come to LOVE my outdoor studio here in Montana. I spent the early years of my photography career in big, dark, well equipped studios with a team of pro’s that make food magic. Any light that I used had to be set up and carefully modified and controlled. Often one set would involve 4 to 6 lights. Yes, shooting food was meticulous and challenging. I liked it but I didn’t love it!
(FAST FORWARD to the present) For the last 15 years of wedding photography it’s been a very different experience. Shooting on the run 95% of the time and learning to quickly and efficiently use some flash on or off camera to handle any and all lighting conditions.
Lately I have had a number of shoots at sunset and I find that I love it! The light is continually changing until it is gone… and it all happens in about 15 to 20 minutes. So you have to get it right or go home without… or possibly to a crap load of post production and photoshop work. Luckily my years of lighting experience pays off every time I walk out the door to shoot!
MY OUTDOOR STUDIO…. One main light source (THE SUN) that is on a big dimmer switch and it is slowing going, going, gone. Other light sources are battery powered flash with some subtle color gels to help match the color of the sun at dusk. These have to be continually adjusted, down, down, down in order to gently finesse the light.
LAST NIGHT… Last night was different. The sun was setting gently in and out of smoke from local forest fires and some low hanging clouds. The smoke offered a big soft box effect that was surreal and soft. There was no need to add any flash. We were in a cloud of sublime light!
YOGATOGRAPHY… I was working with my friend Margaret Burns Vap, head yogini at Big Sky Yoga Retreats. We were working on some creative ideas for the Yogatography (see the video) retreat at the end of the month. If this interests you we have two seats left in this creatively fun and challenging yoga and photography retreat for women.
For this photo shoot, our beautiful models were Morgane Vap, Emma Olsen, Margaret and our equine beauties Love and Skywalker. What a work out! And in the end I was very pleased with what came off the card this morning.
Tomorrow it’s weddings as usual, but last night was an exciting time in MY OUTDOOR STUDIO – Montana!