| Beach Lifestyle Photo Shoot
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Beach Lifestyle Photo Shoot

The first day of March I was driving back to Pittsburgh from a week long shoot in Nashville.  As I drove my mind was thinking about the adventures photography has taken me on and wondering where I’d end up next.  It was at this moment that I received a phone call from my contact at Gabriel Brothers (an eastern US retail fashion chain).  I was asked if I was interested in shooting their Summer 2013 photo shoot and if so did I have any ideas on where we could pull it off for the last week of the month.  I consulted with my wife who had the idea of taking the shoot to Tybee Island, Georgia.  The client and I put some numbers together and decided to make the project and location a go.  Three weeks later my assistants and I were filling a Chevy Suburban with boxes and boxes of props and gear and hitting the road.  Two locations we needed for the shoot were an attractive backyard and a fishing dock so we decided to rent a beach house on the marsh side of the island for both location use as well as lodging for my crew. The day after we arrived clients from Kansas City and West Virginia flew in and we all met up to scout the locations I had selected.

This shoot presented a few unique challenges… March 2013 was an unusually cold month for the entire eastern United States and Tybee Island was not spared.  Both shoot days saw record low temperatures for the island as well as constant 40+ MPH winds.  I generally use very very large softboxes for my shoots.  One is a 6×4 foot Chimera box and another is an almost comically humongous 8 foot octabox monster.  Even with heavy  C-Stands and tons of  sandbags this type of lighting was just not going to be practical.  For this reason we decided to use a gigantic soft gold reflector held by two very brave assistants to light our subjects for all but a few shots.  It worked out extraordinarily well and the feel of the light was warm and organic adding to the overall theme of these images.  The family barbecue scene needed a fully dressed picnic table and what you don’t see in the photos is that all of the table settings as well as the table cloth had to be stapled down to prevent them from just blowing away down the street.

At the end of two days of shooting with some very cooperative talent willing to deal with the cold temperatures the entire crew was wind and sun burnt.  The resulting images however do a good job of not showing the behind the scenes weather problems and are some that I’m very proud of.  All the shots were created with the Phase One medium format digital camera system and a Leaf digital back and were mostly lit with natural available light bounced and controlled with the largest gold reflector on the market.

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