03 Shoot pool-side portraits
The location of a portrait shoot is one of the most important things to consider. “The right location can add so much character and depth to your shot,” says photographer Dave Kai Piper. “The small blue tiles and the wooden edge in this poolside example complement the model’s clothes. All the elements work together and for this reason attention to detail should never be overlooked.
“This image is a combination of natural ambient light and flash. We used a single Speedlight with an Orbis ringflash adapter to modify the light. Don’t work with big lights next to a pool – electrics and water don’t mix!”
As the flash light from the Orbis ringflash can’t travel a great distance, Dave advises shooting your model at close proximity, shooting from a variety of angles and keeping strong eye contact.
“You want to pace yourself on a shoot like this and engage with the person you are photographing,” he says. “Worry about the subject, not the camera, and show them what you are working towards so you have a joint goal in mind.”
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* Think about hair, make-up, clothes, settings and how these elements will work together.
* Use a prime lens such as a 50mm f/1.4 for sharp features and blurred backgrounds.
* The eyes are the most important element in your portrait, so keep the focus on them.
* To see video of Dave Kai Piper’s shoots, click here.
PAGE 1: Shoot a seasonal still life
PAGE 2: Shoot a high-key portrait
PAGE 3: Shoot a pool-side portrait
PAGE 4: Shoot a late-summer sunset
PAGE 5: Shoot birds in flight
PAGE 6: Shoot a seascape at dusk
PAGE 7: Shoot moving water
PAGE 8: Shoot at sunrise
PAGE 9: Shoot from a boat