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Under ideal circumstances, we have plenty of time for every shoot that we plan.
Realistically, we never have enough time. There’s always something like the sun changing the location of the light or people falling asleep or police being called that forces us to move faster than we wish. In this case, it was the weather, and we ended up having to work a lot faster than we ever anticipated.
Shooting outdoors always holds the risk that the weather will prove disagreeable. We scheduled this shoot a month out and two days before were having to warn models that weather might force us to cancel. This was the season for severe thunderstorms, after all, and I’ve not lost a model to lightning strike yet. When the forecast seemed to give us a reasonable window, though, we went ahead.
Mother nature apparently didn’t check the forecast. We arrived at a suburban beach just north of Indianapolis at 6:30 AM. Kat made sure everyone’s lip color was on point, PA Gabe made sure release forms were signed. And our good friend Brian Logan was standing by to help hold reflectors we ended up not needing. At that point, there were some clouds in the distance, but it looked as though we’d have enough time to get a good shoot in.
I was wrong. By the time everyone was checked and ready, those clouds on the distant horizon were getting close. We couldn’t see lightning yet, which is the point at which we pull everyone and send them home, but we knew it was coming. So, we hurried.
A good photographer takes his time with group shots like this. Put the camera on a tripod. Measure light carefully. Maybe even bracket the shots. We didn’t have time for that. The camera stayed in my hand, clouds eliminated the need for reflectors, and models did their best to follow direction and hit poses quickly. We got in the minimum number of shots needed just as the first drops of rain began to fall. By the time everyone was back in their car, it was pouring and lightning was striking too close for comfort.
I don’t do many group shoots. They’re difficult to arrange and manage, the weather is almost always an uncontrollable factor and not many aspiring models have enough discipline to make a Sunday morning call time prior to noon. While we were able to swap out the background and give most the shots a brighter look, doing so takes a lot of time, especially when it involves removing some really unattractive apartments from the scene. I would rather not have to do that much work. So, maybe this was our last group shoot.
Still, we greatly appreciate the cooperation of everyone involved. Our models are: Wendy McLish, R. Skyy Wells, Emily Comstock, and Kat Franson. Kat helped out a bit with makeup (we were fussy about lip color). Gabe Letbetter and Brian Logan provided necessary assistance.
Enjoy the pictures!