Thursday, March 3, 2011

Anna Maria Island (Florida Mini-Vacation Part 3 of 4)

So, after leaving bVo's place in Tampa, I drove a little further south to Anna Maria Island, where my buddy and fellow photographer, Don Giannatti was teaching one of his lighting workshops. I drove down to just hang out with him for a few days on the beach really, but it turned out to be kind of a sweet deal, I got to hang out with and help other photographers for a couple of days while crashing at Billy Kidd's condo, which is right on the beach. It was a beautiful location, beautiful weather, and great company.

First, let me give Don's workshop a quick plug. If you are new to off-camera lighting, and want to gain a better understanding of it, Don's workshop is for you. I've hung around two of them that he has taught now; he gives solid information and teaches from example. He shows the attendees how to light using the gear they actually own and have brought to the workshop with them. The guy has a solid understanding of how light works and how to manipulate it, which is what photography is all about in its most basic form. On top of all this, Don gives sound advice and input on the business side of photography, ethics, etc. His workshop is totally worth the price of admission.

So, back to Saturday morning at the workshop. I went out for a walk by myself along the beach and found a spot that I thought might make a great shot for a Corona type ad. All I needed was one of the models Don had modeling for the workshop, a couple of people to hold reflectors for me, and a beer or two as a prop. I went back to the condo, got Don's okay to take a few minutes of one of the models time, and then asked Rio, one of the models, if she was game for my idea. She was, so I helped her pick out a bikini for the shots I had in mind and then headed back down to my location with her and a few other photographers, who wanted to try to learn something from watching me work. It always makes things a little more interesting when you're put under pressure like that. All of a sudden, it went from me just casually trying out an idea, to feeling like I had to create these impressive shots, and look like I knew what I was doing! Welcome to the world of commercial photography. Here are my three favorite shots I got from that location:

Click on each shot to view it as a larger image.

This is Rio. She was a good sport and easy to work with. 

Yes, this is a pretty sexual shot, but I promise it would sell some Corona if you put it in something like a Sports Illustrated as a full page spread.

Great expression here.

 And, here is another shot I got of one of the other models that evening:

I never caught this models name, but I simply just had her hold the position she was already in  for me, and look into my lens. That's all she really needed to do with eyes like that. 

Here is another shot I got of Rio. I think this is my favorite of her, because it is just her being her. She wasn't in model mode at this point. It's also a favorite because she has her dads Florida State sweatshirt on. Go Noles!

Here is a "grab shot" Josh Anderson caught of me as Don was trying to do a portrait of yours truly. Don was having issues with the radio slaves, and Josh was smart enough to move in and take advantage of that. Great eye and capture on his part, I think:

And, here are the portraits Don captured of me the next morning before I had to head back towards the reality of my life back in Atlanta. Cool shots he got of me I thought:

I had a blast being there. Just getting to meet and hang with other people that share my interest in photography was kinda nice, and the tropical location didn't hurt things either. Don was as cool as the other side of the pillow, as usual. And our host, Billy Kidd, what a cool guy himself. I think I'm gonna try to make it back down there for this annual December get together this year too; it was too good of a time not to.

1 comment:

Don said...

Yeah... great having you there, buddy. Really great time. See you there next December when we all do a book on the fishermen of Cortez. That will be a blast.