Some details and behind the scenes photos from a commercial photography shoot I did in February for La Palmera Mall here in Corpus Christi.
Before 7a.m. I show up to Cinnamon Shore, a vacation community located right outside of Port Aransas. My two assistants are right behind me and we prep for the first shot of the day. While The Collective (ad agency consisting of ArtFly, Snyder & Associates, Olvey Media Consulting), client, La Palmera Mall, and video production company, Enlightened Images all had a creative meeting discussing the ultimate visual look for this 24 month ad campaign, we would mostly be shooting scenes candidly covering the locations and wardrobe the client had in mind.
From the storyboard, our first shot of the day is supposed to be one of the iconic hero images for the entire campaign. Of course, we’re targeting summery vibes. In early February. On the Beach. During the coldest days of Winter 2016-2017. Needless to say, when we first walked over the boardwalk to stage our first scene, I was really bummed by the extreme fog hanging over the dunes, beach, and water; later I would realize that this would be our saving grace.
Carlos (the brains behind Enlightened Images) and I begin to get set up at the peak of the boardwalk – we ultimately are doing two shoots in one for this campaign: one is the fashion aspect, and the second is the behind the scenes aspect (to capture everything that goes into creating the imagery and video.) I decide for my images that I want to work on bouncing some of that foggy sunlight back onto our model (because who wants to drag a bunch of lights out to try to balance the sun when a few sunbounces will work.
Both of our crews frame up our cameras with about 130 square feet of shiny goodness and proceed to blind our wonderful model, Nicole. After a few takes and her walking up and down the boardwalk, we have our shot. Literally 30 minutes with a few different angles, and we’re ready for model two down at the water (but that’s a different story.) After finishing that shot, I began thinking about it. Had the fog NOT been hanging over the water and beach, we would have had the sun at full nuclear backlighting Nicole. Shadows everywhere would have been insanely harsh. We could not have created such a look without that morning fog – I always remind myself that sometimes what looks as if it stands in the way could actually be helping you all along.
When it came to post processing, I provided a proof gallery for the client to select their hero shot so I could get to work creating a warmer image. I knew that the fog would need to be removed, and decided to integrate a sky replacement with some very high altitude clouds to help keep the final shot realistic as a morning stroll on the boardwalk.
For my commercial shoots like this, I (almost) always rent bodies and lenses a few days out. I do this for a few reasons. First, my normal “day job” of photographing real estate lets me rely on having two Canon 6D bodies, a 16-35/4L, 50/1.4, and 100/2.8L. These accomplish all of my usual, daily work. Instead of purchasing lenses that I wouldn’t use regularly, I rent them and invest in other equipment that isn’t as easily rented (lighting, reflectors, stands, etc.) Second, I trust Lens Rentals and the service they provide. I know the lenses and bodies I rent are cleaned and ready for use. No dust, no spots, 100% good to go. For this particular shoot, I knew some of these images would be going on some fairly large areas, so I opted for the Canon 5D4, coupled with the 24-70/2.8L, 70-200/2.8L, and Sigma 50/1.4A
If you have any specific questions about the shoot, don’t hesitate to reach out to me with your questions, I always love helping others out.
A huge thanks to my small crew consisting of two colleagues, Eric Alaniz / Back to Life Photography & Marco Aleman / Fusion Photography. Hair & Makeup by Robert Garcia / Tease Salon. Styling & Wardrobe by La Palmera / Danielle Howell. Art Direction by La Palmera / Amanda Sanchez. Creative Direction by ArtFly / Amanda Garcia. Model: Nicole Light