I was first in contact with model Abby back in October when she was in the process of moving to and getting settled in St. Petersburg. We were able to schedule a model portfolio shoot this week on a beautiful Florida winter evening using the new Dali Museum as a backdrop, a location I had been wanting to use for awhile.
Not only did I get to try out a new location for this shoot, but also some new strobist techniques, like what I am calling the "sandwich lighting" technique seen in the photograph above. I placed one speedlight on each side of Abby with no front or backlight intending to create dramatic and defining shadows. The bokeh is a result of lights strung on trees.
When I first mentioned my thoughts for this shoot with Abby, I said I wanted to make some of the images dynamic, involving motion in some way. She was all for a jumping shot and I did not realize while shooting just how many times she jumped until I started the editing process at home and saw over 20 shots to choose from! Abby's vertical leap is very impressive. This was a fun shot to make.
We started out the shoot with some natural light shots around what I call the "wishing tree" behind the Dali Museum where visitors tie their entrance bracelts to long green ribbons, often with wishes or messages written on them.
Anyone familiar with Dali's work will recognize the melting clock image. This is part of a bench in the very nice grounds surrounding the museum. I had Abby start by lying down on the bench, but I found myself liking this pose much more as overall I was looking to make less traditional model looking images.
Over the course of the shoot Abby and I found out that we have some very rare things in common, including our college majors, having visited Thailand and that our parents currently live in the same small area of Florida. Along with Abby's ability to come up with numerous, great poses, this made the shoot one of my most enjoyable ever.
We started the shoot at the ideal time allowing us to begin with natural light shots, moving toward twilight shots before ending with some night shots making use of the lights of the Dali Museum for the background.
It was very nice to meet and work with Abby and I would recommend her for anyone who needs a model for a project as she is professional, very easy to work with and of course beautiful. You can see more of her work on Model Mahem.