This photo was taken on a beach on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. The best time of day even in Hawaii is facing the setting sun at around 4 to 6 p.m. This time is known as the "Golden hour" You will often hear me refer to the Golden Hour. I know it is my favorite time of day, and I would argue that it is most Photographers favorite time of day.

If you can not use this time of day, then use a photo bounce and use the gold side. It will create a golden glow to the subject. It works even better with blonds.

I like working with subjects such as this who is easy to direct.

If you have not thought about taking acting classes you should, it is great working with models who can take directions and be able act out what requested.

For this photo I asked the model to think of being in love and think about her boyfriend and of course it was easy to draw the heart. Funny harder to get rid of all foot prints

I took several different versions of this photograph and found that this was my favorite version. But once you have a shot like this you should be ready to display emotions like missing a love, upset about a love, and even fun emotions.

If you find yourself near a beach, I would suggest a beach pic be added to your portfolio but don't go with the normal bikini... Don't always try and be sexy, beaches are great for all kinds of portfolio photographs. 

I mentioned in the last section the glow, here is an example of that very effect... I took this photograph on the same beach but because the sun was too high in the shy at this point I decided to use the worst time of the day, which is from 10am to 4pm the sun being directly over head has an effect of creating shadows around the eye sockets and bad skin tones.

So in the photo I had the subject stand on a sand cliff about 5 feet above me only inches away me, and placed us so that the sun is directly behind her head to create a halo effect, then my assistant held a 5 foot round photo bounce behind me with the gold side reflecting the sun onto her face. The only hard thing? Yes trying to keep here eyes open - wide and bright.

A little photoshop and she has wings.

Don't be afraid to add portfolio photographs that have such effects... Ad agencies want to see what you would look like in a ad type photographs.

If I had a choice and planned out this photo before we got to the beach I would have planned a white flowing dress and created several versions. But I did not and since she was wearing brown shorts, I just did not like the brown anywhere in the photo.

I also have tried versions with the model having bright blue eyes and bright red lips, it was a bit better but had a fake effect.

I like the high amount of detail in her hair, look at the right side of the face, and the color and detail of the hair.

I might have also like a necklace, I have thought about even a plain white ribbon as a necklace.

I love when I find such a fine photograph that was totally unplanned, especially when we were just sitting under a tree waiting until the sun moved, which was 2 hours later.  

This is a great photograph which was taken at a ren faire while on assignment...

This photo did require some photoshop repairs... Mainly removing hands from people in the crowds, and items on the back wall.

The model is a guest bully dancer at the ren faire, so I found it a great costume.

This is one of the problems with being on assignment for a different topic. I was there to cover another topic and saw this subject. I can't also ask her to stand still during a performance. So this is a great example of just a great photograph. Not too much potential to use this photograph

Let's look at the photograph:

I love the detail of her hair, and the chain parts of the costume. I was sad to discover that the tattoo on her side was not more clear and defined.

I think her tattoo would have been a focal point of the photograph if it was indeed in focus and the entire tattoo insight.

Normally the image of a belly dancer would be thought of as a sexy photo, so to really look at this photo as a sexy imagine, I would like to have seen more of a frontal view, as well as a better angel on the chest, I would have also prefered to have her stare into the camera. 

Each time I take a photograph like this, I do keep mental notes just incase there is a next time.

You as a subject should do the same


Since I was at the Ren Faire I thought why not take several interesting photographs. I hate to say this out loud, but I don't get much time this days for simple hobby style photography.

So with that in mind... If you can add a photograph to your collection like this, you should try.

Here are some notes as to the details you would want:

First the primary subject is very crisp and clear.

Second the crowd in the background should be seeable but not enough that you can tell who they are, or even that they are anything but a nice background image. The only other way I might think about using the background subjects would be in a performance setting to show they are enjoying it. Either thru their eyes of smiles.

I enjoy taking photographs of "colorful characters" especially in costumes. They make for a great photograph.

This is a great example of truly showing how depth of field to isolate a subject. One of my collage professors once said a great photograph can be as busy as hell - but you should still be able to tell 99% what the story is in the photograph.   


I thought I would include one more from that day, and show the nice costumes which can be found at a Ren Faire....

Of course I am talking about the girl with the tails around her side, I am not all together sure of what the tails are there for... But they are cute and they add depth to the costume. The googles on the top of her head once again add depth but not too sure about function. But then again when was a costume concerned with function?

I could have waited a little longer and gotten the girl without the flower power side kick but I felt a real world situation photograph was more appealing. 

If I was really looking to compose the best photograph, then I would have removed the side kick and the crowd behind. I did the most I could with depth of field and made the background blurry.

Most models do not collect photographs such as this for their portfolio's because the setting are too extreme, but if you do get the chance, please take it they are totally worth every cent.