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A spontaneous portrait photography session broke out at a fae-themed clothing swap, thrown by some friends, back in August.
I picked Dani up from her place before we drove about 45 minutes down to Fort Barton Woods in Tiverton, Rhode Island. Once on-location, and after resting a few minutes because of lugging my gear up a small hill to where everyone was gathered, I started looking around to find a suitable spot to offer up some photography, if anyone present wanted to play around.
Naturally, Shayna and I jumped at the chance to make some spontaneous art together!
Photo Galleries: Fae Clothing Swap
Portraits of Shayna
The major challenge we faced was photographing people while contending with the harsh August sun. I wanted the AD200s I’m currently using as my primary strobes to remain as efficient as possible without resorting to light-killing high-speed sync so I kept my shutter-speeds no faster than 1/200, my camera’s max sync-speed, and ISO at 200 for no real reason other than it’s just easier for me to remember and I can adjust exposure to taste by adjusting aperture and while eTTL takes care of adjusting strobe power.
Portraits of Kitty
To avoid that god-awful contrast you get under harsh sun, I kept people’s backs to the sun whenever possible and found a spot in the shade between two trees where I could have fun with composition and framing. By relying on strong back-lighting, Shayna’s faerie-wings positively glowed and any key-lighting on them brought out their shimmering, ethereal qualities.
Portraits of Dani
Of course, I don’t believe in asking people to do things I am not willing to do, myself, soooooooooooo, Dani took a couple of photos…
Portraits of some guy…
Kitsune was there, and we managed to get a few photos done together. She is always so fun and easy to work with, anytime we get together!
The black and white photo of Kitsune was taken with her posed on a downed log, about 50 meters away from where we were, between the trees. Harsh, direct sunlight? No problem at all.
Portraits of Kitsune
Portrait of Sarafina
Portrait of Natan
Additional portraits and candids
Things broke apart relatively early, due to a local having issue with folks gathered at a public location, so I didn’t end up with as many photo of different people as I would have liked. And would you believe that things got straightened out about thirty minutes after Dani and I left to get ice cream?..
Selfies and ice-cream
The last few blog entries that I’ve posted, starting from 14 Dec 2023, have been very helpful for me to write because there’s a consistent theme that’s emerged. Getting back to my roots as a photographer. I see it as right around the time I discovered how deeply photojournalism spoke to me, back when it was all exciting, I was wide-open with idealism, and I craved that way of discovering the magick hidden within other people, through connection.
Clearly, I still do, if the past few entries are any indication.
You know, if I could take anything away from this, it’s that sometimes it’s good for my mental health to enjoy portrait and event photography for fun rather than always trying to grind away at it as a “pro.”
We all need to give ourselves the space to find out what really speaks to us.