Katherine Bonnin photographed by Stevie Chris


Commercial and portrait photographer, Stevie Chris, shares his story on creating these cheeky beach photos.

Katherine Bonnin photographed by Stevie Chris

I had been thinking of a set of images I could market towards the travel, hospitality and tourism industries that would be both impactful and fun with a lighter feel, but wanted to approach it with a more humorous twist. I conceptualized three images you could envision being used for billboards in these markets, and got my team together.

I use a mix of lights but Einstein flash units are my go-to workhorses. They are always consistent and on the money, easy to control, and great for dialing in just the right power for each head. I used six Einsteins for these images all in a very similar setup, with minor adjustments. I knew the consistent color temperature would match the one o’clock daylight light I would end up shooting when getting my backplates. I had to depend on that consistency.

My main light was a bare bulb raised up high to mimic the sun and its position. I also had three Einsteins behind an 8×8 scrim, along with a ceiling bounce fill and a kicker, all set up making sure the model had room to move around. The sand itself acted as another subtle source. I had to make sure the lights hit it just right to keep it natural. That said, I had to really dial in the harsh sunlight feel, but still keep control for the details I know I’d need in the end composite, and the Einsteins were perfect. After all that, I worked on the composite with my talented friend Taisya of PictureBox Creative finishing everything up!

Katherine Bonnin photographed by Stevie Chris

Study your idea before setting up a single light. Make sure you know what you’re lighting for and why. Control it for the mood and message you’re trying to create whether it’s one light or ten, a beauty dish or huge scrim. Don’t use something just to use it. Sometimes it’s just a quick smack your forehead kind of moment realizing you ONLY need this or that. Also, ALWAYS have good music playing to go along your vibe when shooting.

Stevie Chris photo shoot behind the scenes

Einstein™ Flash Unit

About Stevie Chris

Photographer, Stevie Chris

Stevie Chris is a commercial and advertising photographer with a propensity towards the slightly (or very) surreal or dramatic. Simply put, Chris wants to create eye catching, fun and/or meaningful work with incredible teams!

FOLLOW STEVIE CHRIS: Instagram | Website |  Facebook | Twitter

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