I did a shoot with Shirley on Aliso Beach in South Laguna, California. We set up the shoot by email, and initially, Shirley was a bit nervous about how it was going to go, but I assured her that it would be fun. After all, how could it not be? We’d be hanging out on a beautiful beach, the wind in our hair and the surf at our feet, with my camera riding along as an unobtrusive observer. I couldn’t see how it wouldn’t be fun. When I met Shirley, I was struck by her radiance. She positively glows, and it was indeed easy to get fun and beautiful photos of her.  I think the ocean brings out a sense of joy in all of us, and it didn’t take long for us to relax into a flow of playful shooting.

Shooting contre jour in that brilliant California sun provided dramatic accent to the already spectacular setting. The ample light also afforded me the luxury of high shutter speeds, even with my camera dialed down to ISO 50. One of the reasons I really like Canon DSLRs is that they have the ability to shoot at ISO 50. Sure, high ISO speeds are desirable in low light conditions, but low ISO speeds are also handy because they allow me to stop down to f2.8 in sunny conditions. Anyway, because of the bright light, I took the opportunity to encourage Shirley to move, jump and dance. Freezing action amps up the fun and energy levels of a photo.

Shirley’s in the process of choosing her final images from the shoot, but I couldn’t resist sharing these few samples of our fun afternoon on the beach.