Working with Madison on these 85mm portraits was interesting to say the least. The HOT Texas heat was beating down on us and our shoot location was a large concrete parking lot that offered very little shade.
But with that being said, I had a great time shooting with Madison and I know she did too. Lots of laughs were shared and tons of complaining about the heat that day.
In the end, the results made it all worth it. Let’s breakdown my portrait shoot with Madison and show you why the 85mm is one of my favorite lenses.
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Madison is a local model to the Dallas, TX area. She has been modeling only for a few years and will be moving to Austin very soon. She reached out via social media to collaborate and I put together a mood boards based on our ideas.
The goal was to do an outdoor fashion shoot, but we knew the Texas heat was going to be a concern. Even with the temperature over 100 degrees that day, we still made the shoot happen before her move to Austin.
This lens is great for subject isolation and creating beautiful bokeh in my portraits. I don’t always shoot with this lens due to the weight. I just knew I couldn’t miss this opportunity to give it a try.
Shooting Wide Open in Direct Sunlight
For this shoot, I shot wide open at f1.4 but I knew I was going to need some help. I ended up using two pieces of gear. I used a Variable (10-stop)ND filter from Gobe to help block out some of the light so I could use my off camera flash strobe.
The second was my Profoto b2 strobe light. This is a 250w light that helped my fill in the shadows and overpower the dark shadows of the direct sunlight.
If you’re interested in learning more about the technical breakdown of using this combination, then make sure to check out the link below.
Location and Shoot
The shoot was at the Shops at Legacy in Plano, TX. There is some great empty parking garages on the weekend that make for great urban style portrait shoots.
The harsh light created some unique shadows for us to play with so we walked around for about an hour and shot within the area. Check out the final images below.
85mm Portraits – Madison Gallery
85mm Portraits in The Sun
Learning From This Portrait Shoot
This shoot was unique for me since I was using a technique I didn’t have much experience using. Utilizing a Variable ND filter along with an off camera flash made for beautiful results.
I was able to shoot wide open 85mm portraits while keeping beautiful details in the highlights and shadows. Even thought I kept the composition of many of the shots the same, I like how the creamy bokeh just melts away in all the background shots.
The 85mm is one of my favorite lenses so I don’t have much to say about the technical qualities of this lens that I have not already said. If you’re interested, make sure to check out this article below on my two favorite lenses.
Working with Madison is always a pleasure and I hope we get a chance to work together again in the future. Who knows, maybe I’ll come down to Austin to visit pretty soon.
Gear Mentioned In This Article
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