You know you've got a great model on your hands when she's willing to sit on a ledge that has a 40ft drop on the other side! 

If there is one thing I love about portraiture, it's how challenging it can be. Every subject is different, every setting with different lighting needs, and the poses, oh man. Poses are downright difficult for me at times.

In an effort to get more comfortable with portraiture, I've been conducting a series of "impromptu" shoots. I make a post on Facebook calling for subjects, and I take the first one to reply. I've found it provides a great variety in models, and it's helped me get more comfortable with shooting on short notice, without any pre-planning. In my eyes, that is invaluable.  

This time around, I had one hour with my new model, Erica, a YouTube fashion blogger. Needless to say, I was pretty excited to see what would come of the shoot. I packed light, opting to see what damage I could do with just a single light setup.

So let's get on to the images, shall we? 


Erica had a great sense for styling in the images, which makes my job all the easier. Check out the highlights in her hair! 

  • Canon 6D
  • Canon 70-200 f/4L IS USM
  • Manfrotto "Nano" 6' flash stand
  • YN560EXII speedlight 
  • Wescott 43" shoot through umbrella


Overall, I was very happy with the results. For the relatively short amount of time we had to shoot, about 45 minutes, we came away with some great images. I do wish I had brought a reflector as well, but then again, there is something great about the simplicity that a single modifier brings to an image. For the small spaces we were working in, my Canon 17-40 f/4L might have been more appropriate. This was my first shoot with the new flash stand and umbrella, and I was very happy with the two. The stand might be a tad short when I'm used to 10' stands, but it's at just the right height to produce some fantastic catch lights when paired with the umbrella. Plus, the Manfrotto mounting head is solid as a rock. I plan on buying many more for future stands, though this one will probably last me at least a couple decades. 

Until next time! 

Probably my favorite image from the entire shoot. The sunset went from drab to a burst of color in just a few minutes, making for a beautiful background!