Visuals are everything. Aaaarrrrything. As an online entrepreneur and blogger rookie, you need portraits. Good portraits. For which there usually is no money when starting out.
So for my new blog and brand I schedule a beach photo shoot with a friend who is an amateur photographer. Motto: Better half-pro shots than none. Perfectionism, go home (till I have the money to hire the pro team)!
“Be prepared” – heeding Baden-Powells, plus hoping to have at least some pics if the shoot does not work out well, I decide to do a dry run the day before with my then boyfriend. Who is not a natural born photographer but can hold a camera. So I think.
As my brand and blog are supposed have a beachy summer look, we drive out to the Baltic Sea for some great sunny beach shots.
It is the beginning of April. Temperature: 10 °C (50 °F). East wind: 5 Bft. Windchill factor: 4 °C (39 °F). Time: About 1:30 pm, full sunshine.
By now every real photographer’s toenails begin to curl big time, and the pros know how this is gonna end. That’s why they are pros – and we aren’t.
After we find a quiet spot on the beach I hand my boyfriend the DSLR and take off my winter jacket. I have chosen to wear a light blue blouse with a dark blue cardigan, accessorized by a green felt necklace with some red in it. Why? God only knows.
We start shooting. I vaguely remember a blog post about poses. Something about not standing straight. So I writhe and wobble and wriggle about, trying to smile. The wind blows my hair in my face. It’s cold.
My boyfriend takes some shots – I try not to look into the sun. Result: Half of my face is shaded in the pics. I turn more towards the sun. In the same instant I know that Manfred Mann has written “Blinded by the Light” when modeling for a photo shoot.
Face Yoga to the rescue!
My eyes water. It’s effing cold. My nose starts impersonating Rudolf. I take off the necklace and put on a scarf – did I mention it was cold? Drops are coming out of my nose. The tissues are chilling at home. My lips start going to shreds. The lip balm is chilling at home with the tissues.
The 5 Bft wind does what a 5 Bft wind is meant to do, and my hair starts dancing like Roy Purdy on speed. The brush is chilling at home with the gang.
I put on another scarf. And a beanie. All of this really screams summer.
I did not bring a mirror. I should have. The sun is hurting my eyes. I put on sunglasses. After about 20 minutes I wave the white flag.
That Foreigner guy must have been Manfred Mann’s photographer when he wrote “You’re as Cold as Ice”. Tomorrow’s beach photo shoot is supposed to last several hours – with much lighter clothing, read: shorts and bikini. I feel a certain reluctance.
At home I put the card in my laptop to view the pics. We still managed to shoot about 100 of them. Some looked quite ok on the camera display, so who knows, maybe I can use a few.
I view them. The only way I could ever use them is for a blog post about a photo shoot gone wrong.
They all have some different “interesting” aspects to them. In about half of them the horizon is completely aslope. I slightly overrated my bf’s camera holding abilities.
Never mind, PhotoShop deals with that – or so I hope, until I find out they need so much straightening that I am always cropped.
Who needs feet when they can have a lot of sky?
So here’s a little choice of what I get to see:
My hair looks as if somebody with a hairdryer is standing right behind me and blows it in the air. It is all over the place, mostly in my face or above my head. And it does not look like those cool shampoo ads. More like a Facebook ad about “10 ways to get rid of napped hair”.
The green-red chain does not match the blue apparel at all – what was I thinking? That blue cardigan appears heavily washed out in the bright sunlight. Which might be due to the fact that it is heavily washed out.
Where the Pixie was my mind when dressing up like that for a photo shoot? Maybe I can sell it as shabby chic.
The collar of the blouse is askew and looks weird. My bust looks weird, too – note to self: Wear that push-up next time!
In one half of the photos my eyes are closed. In the other half I squint as if there was no tomorrow. Midday sunshine, yeah, hell!
In the scarf pictures I discover that I forgot to take my hair out from underneath the scarf, which gives it the shape of Munch’s Scream. My boyfriend never noticed since he was busy holding the camera.
The pics with the beanie would have desperately needed that mirror – my hair is either squashed flat or sticks out.
I’m sure that if someone had wanted to create a fun fail shoot, they would not have succeeded to make it as thoroughly botched as we did.
So I close the laptop and take a deep breath. At least I’m warm now. I call my friend. We postpone the shoot.
The Mighty Bib
Just put on your most natural smile, k?
Oh look, there’s a ship. Hey, heeeeeeere! Get me outta this photo shoot, please!
Pirates of the Baltic! Arr, arr!
Red scarf, red beanie, red nose. Summertime!
Wow, you managed to crop my finger right… here! Also, great way to wear a scarf.
Bring back the 60s!
The Hair-Scarf Xing Technique originated in the 17th century and was invented to protect one’s hair from blowing in the wind during a painting shoot.
The straighter the horizon, the more tilted the head!
Me: Look at my bootiful hair!
Every hair stylist ever (and their dog):
Golden rule of photography: Always put the horizon in the middle!
Practice makes perfect!
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