CeCe Smalls Beach Session, Part II.

We had to cut our last one, earlier this year, short due to overwhelming bugs.

Viewers will recognize CeCe Smalls as she was one of the first beach sessions I did in 2021. They will also know that we were forced off the beach before sunset, which is always prime time for such events, due to being just swarmed by flying, biting, bugs. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can read about it here.

Needless to say, as we were getting amazing images then, we agreed to team up again as soon as possible to not only finish that session but also to build off that one. I’ve always said the second session results in better images than the first one as we have a base of trust and understanding earned from the first session to use as a jumping off point. We know how the other works, what they are looking for, and how to bring out their best.

The same thing can be said about a third, fourth, et cetera. Every time we get together, we start at the last end point and go up and out from there.

The same knowledge can be used for a successful sunrise session where we need to be at peak levels right at the start of the session. I can’t stress the importance of confidence in each other for these sessions as we are hauling our butts out of bed at 3-330am for them.

Cece is a consummate pro. Always prepared, always on time, fearless, always open to suggestions and has her own. The fact that she is a blast to work puts her at 11 on a scale of 1-10. If someone were to ask me to build a dream team of models, she would be on the list.

The best part of this session is that we started with exactly what we couldn’t get in the last one. Her, in the water, against a glorious sky. The water was calm when we started and provided an amazing reflection of the colors and subject. Conditions even managed to improve a little more as we shot until the water was almost glass-like near the end.

Now, I love shooting at the oceanfront but it’s nearly impossible to actually go into the water due to wave activity. Above all else, I am happiest when we are in the water.

Yes, I said we. At this location, in these conditions, we were able to get in there and get the money shots. Her, me, the camera, and the strobe unit. At first I was at the water’s edge, laying on my side to get her against the luscious colors of the sunrise.

But we both knew where the best shots were. Slowly we pushed deeper and deeper into the water. You can actually see the waterline creep up her legs in these images as the session progressed.

Once the glory that was the sunrise began to fade we transitioned into available light work mode and went deeper into the water for headshots. We were free from the restraints of strobe and could get more reactive. This allowed me to go into a meditative mode and just be one with the whole situation.

There we were, two people sitting cross legged, in chest deep water. We were gently rocking with the ebb and flow of the warm currents, with no extra people around, in near silence, doing what we love to do.

Pure bliss.

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