Swimwear Photography with Shelby Lee
I like to do as many swimwear photography shoots as possible during the spring/summer seasons. As with many of my beach/swimwear shoots, I love to use Point Pelee National Park. It has many beaches on both east and west sides so morning or evening, the light is useable. We just pick the beach based on sunrise or sunset.
My model on this day was Shelby Lee, a gorgeous blonde model who needed images for Maxim’s Finest contest. Shelby was super easy to work with, had previous modeling experience and was very receptive to suggestions with posing and expressions. I will definitely be working with Shelby again!
Lighting the Shoot
For many of my shoots, I will use a combination of natural light, strobe light or a mixture of both, whatever it takes to get the best light on the face of my subject.
Of course, the best time to shoot portraits is during Golden Hour, that hour after sunrise or before sunset. The sunlight is low, softer and not as harsh as mid-afternoon sunlight.
This was my first shoot with Shelby Lee and also my first beach shoot with the new Strobepro battery-powered strobe. This strobe has high speed sync (HSS) and automatic through-the-lens (TTL) support. This means I am no longer tied to the sync speed of 1/160s as I am restricted to when using my Alien Bees on location. I am also now free to adjust my light strength on camera with full auto-flash exposure. HSS means I can shoot portraits in mid-afternoon sunlight, basically allowing me to troubleshoot and remedy light problems with fewer limitations. These were my reasons for buying the Strobepro and also because I think some of the more expensive brands are overpriced and I don’t want to pay just for a name. I want value for every dollar I spend. So I bought the Strobepro and am extremely happy with its performance.
We began shooting under some pretty harsh mid-afternoon sun, even at 6:00pm. I forgot to charge my strobe fully the night before so it had a 75% charge. We planned to shoot some really cool sunset shots with Shelby but could not as the battery on my strobe died after about 200 full power flashes. The realization quickly came to me that if I wanted to use this strobe (or any battery powered unit) under extreme lighting conditions that I am going to need spare batteries, or at least make sure it is fully charged before taking it on location.
We continued to shoot using available light and created a pretty sweet set of bikini images of Shelby for our portfolios.
As always, below is a gallery of images from Shelby’s shoot. Also, check out my Swimwear Photography page to see more swimwear images and other swimwear blog posts.
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