A couple of weeks ago, I flew out to LA to attend some Grammy events, and during my down time, I setup a photo shoot with a Cali Curly Girl, that I discovered on instagram. Actually, I setup two shoots, with two different women, set for two different locations, on two different days.
That Friday morning, of Grammy Week, my friend Joe was heading out to Venice Beach for his shoot, and the rest of the crew was headed to gigs scattered throughout LA. Once they all departed, I would've been stuck without a ride to get around town. My instagram curl friend, Casey, was going to pick me up from the rental home, and we were going to drive around looking for cool places to shoot. That was fine, but, I suddenly got the bright idea to ride with Joe to his location, and have Casey meet me there.
Thankfully, she was already nearby Venice Beach and was fine with the location change. Coincidentally, Joe's curl friend that he was shooting, was the same women that I was set to shoot the following day. So, I was able to shoot two curls in one stone. Get it? Two curls...? No? Okay, whatever.
Casey Malone, the folk singer and guitarist, and Bianca, the hair natural blogger, met Joe and I at the beach, and it was time to shoot. By the time they arrived, it was around 11:00am, and the sun was shining bright. Joe forgot his reflector, back at the house, and I had borrowed one. Two shoots. A lot of sun. One reflector. Just great.
In a perfect world, I would shoot Casey, while Joe supported me with the reflector and diffuser. Then, Joe would shoot Bianca, while I supported him with the reflector and diffuser. Then, we'd swap models, and do it all again. However, that would've taken more time than we had. So, Joe decided to shoot without the reflector, and I took it with me. We parted ways, to begin our shoots.
Casey and I walked toward an abandoned lifeguard house on the beach, where we captured some cool shots outside of it. While I was shooting, I could see how much I really needed that reflector, or the diffuser panel because of the harsh shadows, caused by the sun.
So, I popped open the reflector, and tried my best to rest it on my knee, as I stood in a "Daniel Son from Karate Kid" stance, while still shooting. I managed to get some shots using this tactic, but the Jack Daniel's that I had for breakfast, threw off my balance a bit. I then tried to hold the reflector out with one hand, and clinch the camera in the other hand, while shooting. That didn't work as well, because I was too afraid of dropping my Canon 5D Mark III in the sand.
After those two failed attempts, I decided to place my jacket in the sand, sit my big backpack on that, and rest the reflector on top of the backpack, with the model seated in the sand. That helped, quite a bit, thankfully.
To make a long story short, it was very difficult to shoot under all of that sunlight (and we couldn't shoot earlier that morning), I didn't have my external flash with me, and I didn't have a 2nd hand available to assist.
Basically, I need a lil' robot. One that I can fold up like a Decepticon, tuck into a compartment in my camera bag, and break him out when I need him to hold the reflector. I'd call him - Reflecton. Corny? Yeah? Okay, whatever.
Here's a photo of Casey and Bianca, and one of Bianca that I snapped as we all walked to our cars. By the way, the denim shirts were not planned.