On Friday evening I mentioned to my family that since I had no scheduled photo shoots on the weekend that I was considering going to Key West or Naples on my motorcycle to take pictures of the sunrise and sunset. My daughter Allison piped in and said she would like to go. She was not even going to get off to work until 2:00 pm. How would I ever get a sunset shoot in with that schedule? Sunsets are our west coast (Naples, Marco and Sanibel Island, Tampa, etc.). I was convinced her mother to hang around and take her.
Allison off work at 2:00 pm, 45 minute ride home, 2.5 hour ride to Naples..... You do the math. It was going to be tight. Sunset was scheduled for about 6:15 pm in Naples.
Off we went. Allison put on her makeup in the car. She is a very good makeup artist. Frankly better than many I have worked with. She has obsessed for years with YouTube videos on makeup like I have obsessed with photography tutorials. She requires very little if NONE retouching in the editing process. I usually add just a little clarity and sharpness to her eyes.
First challenge, find the right beach since I really don’t know Naples. I have shot there 2-3 times before but certainly did not necessarily know how to get there. We headed for downtown Naples and I knew the beach was just west of the city. Sure enough I was right. Luck would have it we found a parking place.
Allison had to change in the car (get totally naked to change into her swim suit). Awkward. I told her many models are forced to change in the car all the time. I put up a screen on 2 windows and she changed into her swimsuit.
I was very concerned about 2 things driving west to Naples: getting there in time, and the weather. It was cloudy, rainy, and very flat lighting all the way there. I was thinking mostly likely the shoot was going to be a bust. No good lighting. God is sort of in charge of when they bless the photographers with good and or perfect light. Right before we arrived, the clouds cleared, and sure enough a beautiful sunset was about to unfold.
The shoot went fantastic. Allison was at times very awkward with the session. She knew we were sort of on stage with all the Beach observers watching us. I was used to that and frankly really like it. She was very conscious of it. She even refused to do some poses she had planned on doing because she was embarrassed. I convinced her to do a few, and she did a great job. She is very photogenic and easy to shoot.
We had a great shoot, a great evening, dinner at Outback with my favorite food of all .... Prime Rib. Our hotel was OK, but not the level I was hoping for. We went back the next morning to the beach to relax and get a few more casual photographs in. I really enjoyed watching and photographing the Kiteboarding. Was a very windy day. Bad for photography, but great for wind sports like kite surfing.
All in all a great trip. A father bonding weekend so to speak. We actually had a great time. No arguments and disagreements. Hey why would she argue, she had me for the weekend.
Photo tip from the weekend shoot: 1.) Golden hour - enough said, 2.) use CTO filter on flash to balance ambient light of the setting sun. 3.) High Speed Sync, allows higher shutter speeds to create the beautiful bokeh effects.