Carrie Ellis’s first beach session at First Landing – Part I.

Communication and outfits are key elements to the success of a session.

Carrie Ellis is a Virginia Beach-based newcomer to the world of modeling. She contacted me recently to do a portfolio-building session. As I love working with those in the modeling scene I couldn’t say yes fast enough.

As meeting up prior to the session would be impossible we communicated through texting and social media. I can’t tell you how glad I am that we live in this day and age where this is a viable option. While I much prefer a face-to-face for several reasons, I’m glad to have this option as an alternative. The more we communicate before a session, the clearer the vision of the session becomes, and the more successful the final results will be.

The first thing I always establish with someone looking to do a session is that, while I shoot most everything, I always work within the client’s comfort zone. What we shoot is really up to them. They are in control of everything. They decide what we shoot, where we shoot, when we shoot, who sees the final images, et cetera. They are always in control and have the final say in everything.

Carrie-Ellis-beach-session-9

Carrie Ellis sporting a white bikini in the dune grass of First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach.

Trying to push someone past their comfort zone is a big, red flag in my opinion. This is a huge indicator of a bad photographer. Don’t even get me started on this topic or else I’ll go off on a rant. Maybe I’ll write another, separate blog entry on that topic later.

So, now that the parameters of the session are set, we next set out to pick out locations and outfits to match the overall theme of the session.

When it comes to outfits, my belief is that you can’t bring enough. I’m well know for my “sayings” and one of them is “It’s better to have and not need than to need and not have.” Too may times the client over-edits their outfit selections and end up only bringing 2 or 3 outfits. Worse is when those paltry few images don’t work for the location we’re at. I like having a variety of choices for a variety of reasons.

I often ask people to send me pictures of the outfit candidates while we are still in the planning stages. On a bed or floor is fine but having them wear the outfit is best so I can see how it fits, flows and such. You really can’t tell those things when it’s just laying there. This helps immensely as we can weed out the ones that won’t work and I can plan on poses, positioning, et cetera.

Carrie and I worked through several outfits in the planning stage so what she brought to the session was perfect. The beach has so many different “looks” that involve so much more than what just a couple bikinis can cover. Communication and outfit selections were so perfect that a session that usually generates 10-15 “keeper” images resulted in 25-plus images I want to show.

It went so well, in fact, that I’ve decided to split the resulting images into two entries. This is Part I. Part II will be coming soon, I promise.

Carrie-Ellis-beach-session-1 Carrie-Ellis-beach-session-2 Carrie-Ellis-beach-session-3 Carrie-Ellis-beach-session-4 Carrie-Ellis-beach-session-5 Carrie-Ellis-beach-session-6 Carrie-Ellis-beach-session-7 Carrie-Ellis-beach-session-8 Carrie-Ellis-beach-session-9 Carrie-Ellis-beach-session-10 Carrie-Ellis-beach-session-11 Carrie-Ellis-beach-session-12 Carrie-Ellis-beach-session-13 Carrie-Ellis-beach-session-14 Carrie-Ellis-beach-session-15 Carrie-Ellis-beach-session-16 Carrie-Ellis-beach-session-17 Carrie-Ellis-beach-session-18 Carrie-Ellis-beach-session-19 Carrie-Ellis-beach-session-20 Carrie-Ellis-beach-session-21 Carrie-Ellis-beach-session-22

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