Over the last year, I've been spending a fair amount of time exploring available light portraiture. I guess, in a way, I approached photography backwards from the way most people do it. I was so intrigued by gadgetry and especially flash photography that I breezed right past using available light. So, over the past year, I've spent time understanding light dynamics as they exist naturally. It's really different for me because I would prefer to have a plan prior to arriving at a location but purely available light photography forces me to evaluate the situation in the moment and see what I can make of it.
A couple of weeks ago I went to Bull Creek Park with Laura. In fact, I was teaching a class on available light portraiture and Laura said she'd model for it. It's been tough this year finding days that are NOT raining - rain is kind of new thing her in central Texas! Now, Laura is a great model. I met her a few years ago when she came out for her first photo shoot. At that time she was somewhat nervous but she quickly bloomed into a great model. Well, wouldn't you know it, as soon as they start getting good they move away? Laura is heading out of town for the summer then over to Europe now that she's done with college - so this session/workshop was a bit of a last hurrah for us to work together. Photographically, I figuratively tied my hands behind my back. I limited myself to a single camera body with a single lens - an 85mm f/1.4 lens. This is a lens that I love but I don't shoot with much so it forced me to think differently and compose my images differently. Even as I taught my students, I managed to find some magic spots and got some great images of Laura. Go change the world, lady!