Behind the Shot | Caity

“Behind the Shot” is a series of blog posts where I provide a little insight.  Behind the camera thoughts sort of speak.  Here I’ll talk about some technical geek speak, camera gear and maybe my thought process to getting the shot.  Every pic has its story so here is mine.

In this particular shot the model is Caity of No Ties Management and her hair & makeup was done by Janet Pippins.

For this installment of my blog series, Behind the Shot, I wanted to write a follow up.  For those that have been following along first off I want to thank you!  If you recall I wrote about a location test I had with the stunning Mia of No Ties Management at a couple of pumpkin patches.  For a quick refresher check it out here.  I want to continue on that story by sharing a picture from a client shoot that lead to that test with Mia.

Back in October I was testing a few locations for an upcoming client look book.  That client shoot was a success. Everything went flawlessly, we had perfect weather, had some shaved ice and no one got bitten by the aggressive goats at the petting zoo.  The vibe of the shoot was to have a fun lifestyle while portraying the seasonality of the year.  Being in Southern California its difficult convey the season change from Summer to Fall.  Basically Southern California only has 2 seasons, Spring and Summer.  I relied heavily on the landscape or scenery of the pumpkin patch to message a Fall like felling in the pics even though the outdoor temperature was in the high 80s.

The pumpkin patch was almost like an amusement park in itself.  There were plenty of attractions like carnival games, a petting zoo, amusement park rides and of course a pumpkin patch.  Basically there was a lot to do and see.  So much that the pumpkin patch was an overload of the senses.  The grounds were covered in hay, the overall theme throughout the dirt lot covered pumpkin patch almost made you forget you were playing in a dirt lot.


Caity.  Sony A7R | Sony Zeiss 35mm f/2.8

In this particular shot, the sun is slowly setting and its giving off this wonderful back light through out the pumpkin patch.  I decided to shoot on the carousel.  Instead of just shooting in front or just having the carousel in the background I had Caity and her sister take a ride while I was in the next row sitting behind them.  This particular shot was kind of difficult in the sense of using the correct exposure since the carousel was spinning.  The sun would be either front light Caity or back light her all depending when the picture was taken.  I opted to shoot Caity back lit because the sun was emitting this nice golden glow.  The difficulty level of this shot would be say an level 8 because I had only a few minutes to pull off the shot in hopes that when I did press the actuation that the background wasn’t cluttered.  I also shot this with a ND filter and a large aperture around f/4.0 to try and blur out the background while keeping Caity as much in focus.

And what good is this blog post if I didn’t geek out on some gear talk.  Throughout the whole shoot I was using the Sony A7R with either the 55mm f/1.8 or 35 f/2.8.  The great thing about this camera is the Electronic View Finder (EVF).  It helped get the exposure down quickly without the need to constantly chimp the back of the camera.  I decided to use the mirrorless camera to try to keep our shoot discrete without attracting too much attention.  I could of used a DSLR cause these days just about everyone owns one.  But with my luck I would get asked to leave because its happened before on multiple occasions.  With a team of 6 people running in & out and around the pumpkin patch I want to be as low key as possible.  The goal of the shoot was to have fun and not get kicked out.  With the latter being my number one priority.  If we got kicked out then I’m dead in the water with an incomplete shoot for the client.

Towards the end of the shoot Caity was approached by one of the staff asking what tv show we were filming for and who she was as if she was a tv reality star.   Apparently the staff started to catch on with what we were doing.  With Caity’s quick thinking we didn’t get kicked out, but we were on the their radar.  At that point we already had all the shots needed for the look book and it was time to warp it up.  I figured why push it and just call it a day.  We’ve been at the pumpkin patch for a few hours and I didn’t want to cause a scene.  I was happy with the shoot and so was the client.  All in all I would say that it was a good day.

Thanks for checking out the fourth installment of Behind the Shot.

-Rodney Alan

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