Tershia’s Sunrise Session at Virginia Beach’s Oceanfront.

The air was chilly but Tershia always brings the heat.

Man, this weather has been nuts. Warm, cold, broiling hot, then cold again. It’s been hard booking outdoor sessions too far in advance because the weather has just been crazy. Sooner or later, though, you just have to pull the trigger and just get out there.

Such was the case with my recent session with Tershia. We’ve teamed up several times in the past but we have never done a sunrise beach session together. Come to think of it, we’ve never done a beach session period. It was on our to-do list and we wanted to do it.

We had already cancelled a previous beach sunrise session as it was only going to be in the mid to upper 40’s at “go” time that weekend. We agreed that we would try again the following weekend as it was supposed to be in the upper 50’s at the start of the session.

Then the predicted temps dropped to mid-50’s by mid-week and started to slowly drop even further as shoot day approached. We remained in communication the whole time, right up to the evening before we were to to team up. Her commitment didn’t waiver once.

I, being part wolverine (there’s a funny story behind that nickname that I’ve already shared once), don’t give cold temps a second thought. She, being a quarter my size, was front and center in my worry zone. We made plans to keep her as warm as possible with the number one rule being that the session was over the moment she wanted it to be. No questions asked.

I live 45 minutes away from the oceanfront in Yorktown, nowhere near the water, so the conditions I leave home in are not the same as the oceanfront. When I arrived at the spot for the shoot, the thermometer in my car read 52. Not too terrible, I thought. At least it was warmer than last weekend.

Then I opened my door.

Hello wind. Not terribly fast, mind you. I’d say a good 10-15 mph constant but still, there was a definite wind-chill that I hadn’t counted on.

Tershia didn’t blink an eye. She stepped out onto that cold, wet, hard sand barefoot and did her thing. You know that saying about the Devil whispering into a woman’s ear that she couldn’t withstand the storm and she replied she WAS the storm? Tershia WAS a firestorm. There was something magical about the light and the wind that just matched her inner energy perfectly.

I had my changing smock hanging on the light stand just outside the shot. People that have worked with me know the one. She would put that on between set ups to try to warm up or at least block the wind.

As always with sunrise, the best light is at the start of the session. As the sun rises, the light gets worse so we transitioned to available light. The tide was going out and this magnificent patch of wet sand appeared. I saw that and we immediately shifted to using that to add a reflection to the images.

Despite her putting her best game face on, it was apparent that Tershia had reached her limit at this point so we called it. Normally we would shoot for another half hour or so but I knew that I had put her through enough. It was time for a warm shower, a warm drink, and some warm food.

Working with Tershia always results in incredible images. I knew we got some truly stunning images as the following shows. We are going to team up again for another beach session…just as soon as the low temps don’t go below 80 :-).

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