Adventures of The Man behind

Posts tagged “Portraiture

11-11-11 at La Luz Beach Resort, Laiya, Batangas, Philippines

11-11-11 is a date that only happens once every 100 years. Since most of us don’t live that long, it has been made a special day by many. They say that babies who were born on this date received special media attention, and that there was an increased number of marriages which took place in many parts of the world. Heck, even TV and Billboard ads for a local fastfood chain had something going on about 11-11-11. So I’m sure a lot of you have some epic stories to tell about how you spent November 11, 2011.

Mine was spent on a relaxing vacation and photoshoot session at La Luz Beach Resort in Laiya, Batangas.


The challenge was that my subjects were a completely mixed bunch in terms of age, gender, build, height, and ethnicity, all of whom I have to shoot within a span of a few minutes worth of good sunset lighting. Armed with only a bare speedlight mounted on my tripod, I set to work. I know some photographers who would utilize an umbrella for shoots like this, but I packed light as I didn’t have an assistant with me for this shoot. But I’m pretty very happy with the results. What matters is that I brought smiles to the faces of my customers soon as they saw my work.

Check out the photos:

Family portrait.

The beautiful child. For child photography, perspective makes a big difference. Most point-and-shooters just snap away from standing position. I suggest you try getting down on one knee to shoot at your child’s eye-level. You’ll be amazed at how big of an impact it makes.

Father and child.

The daddy. To those reading this, please understand the anonymity as in this particular instance, I’m mandated by a policy to not mention names or organizations.

Now this is what I was talking about. I did have other subjects for this shoot. Had to readjust lighting and settings to compensate. I’m happy with how it turned out. Besides, challenges like this just make me a better photographer.

Careful framing or cropping, plus using the longer end of a zoom lens, helps to shed a few pounds on the photo.

On location shoots like this, I don’t use a light meter. Why? Because ambient light changes fast, as unfortunately, in this part of the world, there isn’t really a “golden hour”, as it only really lasts for a few minutes.

If shooting group shots with only one off-camera flash, positioning is vital as you don’t want one person casting a shadow on another person.

I just had to include this shot. If there’s one thing Batangas is famous for apart from beaches and balisong knives, it’s bulalo!

Last photo that I’ll share with you guys from this session. The sun flare was captured on purpose. Did you know that there’s actually a science behind shooting sun flares?

Natasha Chystsiakova Photoshoot at Winston Baltasar’s Advanced Strobist Workshop

I’m very grateful to Photographer and Instructor Winston Baltasar for sharing his knowledge to me about the business side of car photography. He invited me over to his studio at a time when I was stuck on a rut as to how I could derive income out of my specialty – car photography. See, there aren’t many professional car photographers in the Philippines. And by “professional”, I mean those being PAID to shoot the intricate niche of car photography. There are many hobbyists, but not many pros.

Being a former Managing Editor for Top Gear Magazine, Winston is more than qualified to share his thoughts about the subject matter. So I dropped by one Sunday, and since he was holding an Advanced Strobist Workshop, I decided to join. Even though I can consider myself to be an advanced strobist, I always keep an open mind an never close my doors to new learning opportunities, even for other types of photography such as portraiture.

Lucky for me because Winston’s model for that particular session was the lovely Russian model Natasha Chystsiakova. So here are some of my photos from the workshop. All of these were shot outdoor with a 2-light setup: A shoot-through umbrella camera right above head-level as my main light, and a bare flash with a velcroed DIY large bounce card camera left at around my shoulder-level as my fill light. You’ll see the two catch-lights on here eyes from the two light sources.

Natasha Chystsiakova THE aSTIG Photography Manila Philippines pic1
Being a Business Consultant, I’m more of a continuous improvement kinda guy. So if I had the chance to do this photosession again, I’d use a large softbox as my fill light to balance out the shadows in order to avoid the harsh shadow on her chin caused by the bag. I’ll also add maybe a reflector to light up the black bag a little more, and perhaps add a hair light.

But either way, I’m quite happy with how the photos turned out. Check out the rest of the photos below and tell me what you think on the comments section. Thanks!