Last week I had the opportunity to dabble in graduation photography in San Diego, when a senior graduating from high school and an aspiring photographer requested our services. She wanted something a little bit different than the norm. You could say some unconventional graduation pictures from a San Diego photographer. She had mentioned that she wanted to possibly shoot at the beach, with some rocks. With that in mind, I suggested a few beaches that had rocks and to preview them during the weekend. I suggested we sit down for a free consultation to go over a few details, of course these days that is like getting blood out of a turnip. So instead, I told them to give me a call the day before to let me know, which beach they decided on. Since, I downloaded a few new apps on my phone, “Gold Hour Calculator” and “Photography”, I was set. I just opened up the app, clicked on the map of where I thought I was going to shoot and voila, the Golden hour occurred at 18:41 or 6:41PM depending on what time you prefer. My phone call never came and normally I would have called, but the client is… let’s just say has a different time table than most. On the afternoon of the shoot, I got a text saying that they were running a little behind and of course, as you know people tend to be busy and they never made it to check out the beach. I suggested that they reschedule, since time was an issue. They did not wish to reschedule, so I told them to meet me at Oceanside Pier, in Oceanside, CA. Call it my go to spot for beach shoots. It’s nice visually with not a lot of people; unless there is some type of event scheduled. To make a long story short, the client showed up on time, we did a quick walk-through of a few different areas to shoot, and got started. I wanted to really focus on using my Tamron 24-70 lens, since this was portrait type shoot, which worked out great. Later on when I needed a little bit closer shot, I brought out the trusted Nikon 70-200. The one thing that I did a bit different was change the standard aperture. Now most of the time when we think portraits 5.6 pops into our mind. I noticed when I was playing with my Photo Tools app that it suggested using 11.0 for portraits with a background. The lighting was perfect, the shooting spots were pleasing to the eyes, and the client was ready to go, no makeup or change of clothes required. I have to say, it was one of my most perfect shoots. The stars were in alignment.
Well, I hope I have given you some valuable tips to think about, before planning your next shoot. It’s not all bad, just be clear and informative, it will save you a lot of headaches. Remember nothing is set in stone and there is not perfect formula, so go out and have some fun.