Swimwear & fashion photoshoot with the Fujifilm X-T1 & X100T

I've just returned from an amazing trip to the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria with my family, where I also had the opportunity to photograph some incredible models. As I was travelling with my girls, I was a bit restricted by how much kit I could carry with me (although you may not think it when you see what I took with me). After a lot of packing and re-packing, I decided on taking my ThinkTank retrospective 30 bag packed with: 2x Fujifilm X-T1's and an X100T. Samyang 12mm, Fujifilm 35mm f1.4, 56mm f1.2, 16-55mm f2.8 & 50-140mm f2.8 lenses. I could have just taken the two zooms, but I knew I'd be shooting some stuff in low light, so the fast primes had to come with me (not to mention the fact that my eldest Daughter, Regina, would be shooting too, so Dad was nominated to carry kit for her too!) For lighting, I took two Yongnuo YN560 III speedlites, some Phoenix Strato II wireless triggers, a Godox light pole (to save space, this would mean having someone hold it instead of having a light stand, but it worked out ok) and a Lastolite 8-in-1 Tri-Grip reflector.
As the sun was quite harsh, even later in the day when we were shooting, my main options were to either shoot in the shade using flash or with light bounced by the reflector:
I chose to use the reflector as I found the quality of light was simply beautiful, so why try and improve on nature?

shoot in the sunshine using high-speed sync on the X100T:

use the sun to backlight the model and use the reflector to bounce some light into her face to lift the shadows:

or I could use the reflector without any cover on as a diffuser:

This last option is one of my favourites for headshots for a couple of reasons; it's relatively inexpensive and it gives a beautifully soft, diffused light on the models face. Ask any photographer who knows their stuff and they'll tell you that a larger light source is softer than a small one and the closer that light source is to your subject, the softer the light gets. This is why a simple diffuser, placed a couple of feet away from your subjects face on a bright, sunny day creates such lovely portraits. Here are a few examples straight from the camera, with no editing whatsoever:
Direct sunlight creates harsh shadows and causes the model to squint

Adding the diffuser creates a lovely soft light on our models face.

Later in the day, as the sun got really low and close to the horizon, I opted to shoot using only the available light and directed the model into positions which used the shadows created to shape her body:

These are all techniques which can be applied to any kind of shoot from a simple portrait session to a wedding - the principles remain the same. I took a short behind-the-scenes video on the GoPro to show just how easy it was the take the diffuser shot (so easy the models mum could do it, as you'll see on the video). Check it out on YouTube at:

Here are a selection of some of the other shots we took using the techniques mentioned above:


Making a fraction of a second... last a lifetime


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