23 Feb 2015

Teresa's Super Kick



adventscape, athlete, Australia, Australian Landscape Photographer, beauty, Dee Why, Fashion, glamour, iori, Isy, model, New South Wales, NSW, Philip Avellana, portraits, Teresa
The Lat Workout


A friend and MUA (Make-Up Artist), Isy Ryder-Healey, organised a photo shoot last Sunday (15 February 2015).  It’s a beauty shoot that we can use for our portfolio.  I’m also asked to do an environmental portrait to place the model in the field playing soccer.  This is a good opportunity to shoot beauty again.  I haven’t been shooting models for quite some time now and I was afraid of getting rusted.

Our model was Teresa Yuol.  She’s a very jolly and photogenic!  I love her moves as I don’t need to fully direct her to pose.  It just flows out smoothly from her.  She’s an athlete-model playing for UNSW Eastern Union in Super League in 2011.  She loves to play soccer (she specifically said it's 'Football') on a Striker.

She said, she first played soccer (or football) in a very young age of 14 year old!  Her position back then was right midfielder for Rooty Hill RSL soccer club for 3 years.  As time passes by, she advanced positions until such time she became a striker.  

She’s very lean and looks very athletic.

This was the first time I shot a dark skinned model.  I was very surprised at how the light falls on her skin!  It’s shiny and beautiful.  You can see the contours on her face and body.  You can see this clearly at my beauty shots and gym shoots.  I am very pleased with the results and creativity is just the limit to what results I can give.


adventscape, athlete, Australia, Australian Landscape Photographer, beauty, Dee Why, Fashion, glamour, iori, Isy, model, New South Wales, NSW, Philip Avellana, portraits, Teresa, stare
The Stare


Beauty Photo Shoot

‘Beauty’ is shooting the model from the shoulder up.  Think of it as a tight portrait focused on the face.  Generally, you have to light the face clearly and beautifully so that it shines through.  The face is very critical to any individual, especially for profitable companies.  Nivea, Avon, Revlon, Clinique to name a few companies that strike the face.  Soaps, cleansing cream, medicine, cosmetic surgeons are general products and services that benefit from the face.  This is a lucrative business that you can’t just take in lightly.

Since Isy needed to showcase her make up prowess, she’s more into Beauty shots.  I managed to grab many different poses and facial expressions from the 2 make ups she did.  The make up would probably take about 30-40 minutes each depending on how complex it is.  We first went with beauty shots.  This was held at Isy’s apartment.  Though this can be done outside, it’s better to do it inside the apartment.  Isy can have full access to her wide range of make ups.  Our theme is low key, thus we organised a black background.

We made two (2) distinct looks for Teresa.  One is with a gold lipstick and the other was with a red lipstick.  Both are amazing!  I’d shoot either look anytime again.  With the first look, with gold lipstick, we had Teresa standing.  So she did many natural poses and giggles.  It’s amazing how you can just instruct someone so little and get the most out of it.  I think she had fun as well with this shoot.  The next look, red lipstick, requires a more serious pose.  We had her sit on Isy’s make up chair.  She looks like a serious business woman on the red lipstick.


adventscape, athlete, Australia, Australian Landscape Photographer, beauty, Dee Why, Fashion, glamour, iori, Isy, model, New South Wales, NSW, Philip Avellana, portraits, Teresa, Side View
The Side View



Lighting Setup for the Beauty Shot

I only did one lighting setup on the Beauty Shot.  My main objective is to lit the face beautifully so that Isy’s make up stands out.  I did so using two (2) lights.  One is the main soft light.  The other is a fill light that contours the other side of her face.  The following equipment were used to take these photos:

  • Nikon D800e Camera Body
  • Nikkor 70-00mm F/2.8 VRII
  • Godox AD360 Witstro with PB980 Battery pack
  • Generic 60cm Umbrella Octa box
  • Nikon SB-900 Speedlight
  • Rogue Large Flashbender
  • Yongnuo 622N Transceivers
  • Godox FT-16 Triggers
  • 2 in 1 80cm Reflector
  • 2 x Air Cushioned Lightstands
  • Reflector Holder

I was thinking to add rim lighting to separate Teresa from the dark background, but Isy wanted to blend her in the background.  This was a non-issue as I wanted the same output as well.

The setup was very simple:

  • Main Light (camera left), Godox AD360 Witstro with Generic 60cm Umbrella Octa box
  • Fill Light (camera left), 2 in 1 80cm Reflector under the Generic 60cm Umbrella Octa box
  • Kicker Light (camera right), Nikon SB-900 Speedlight with Rogue Large Flashbender

It’s a good thing the light spill wasn’t so bad that it didn’t light up the background.  Teresa was very close to the backdrop at this point.

adventscape, athlete, Australia, Australian Landscape Photographer, beauty, Dee Why, Fashion, glamour, iori, Isy, model, New South Wales, NSW, Philip Avellana, portraits, Teresa, hug
Hug Yourself

At this point, I'd like to thank Ralph Arce.  He lent me his Rogue Large Flashbenders and I'm hooked!  I love how simple this accessory is and how quick it is to control light.  It's easy to attach to the flash.  It has a velcro attachment that wraps around the flash head.  The flashbender itself has a bendable skeleton wire that lets you shape (or bend) it however you like.  This allowed me to do the following:

  1. Use as reflector
  2. Add scrim to become a diffusion panel
  3. Wrap the whole flashbender around the flash head to become a snoot

I don't plan to use the flashbenders as main light.  But I love it's flexibility to use it as kicker, hair, rim or back light.



Sports (Gym, Soccer) Photo Shoot

Aside from Isy’s required photos, Teresa required a separate set of photos as well.  She wanted to have some Sports photos as she’s doing some active actions.  This includes the gym, a jumping rope and soccer poses.  The gym is a challenge as it has limited space.  The mirrors reflect my lights and it’s lighting up places where I don’t need it to be bright.  There are also limited equipment (no barbels!) but the machines are fine.  It’s good in a sense that I know what to shoot and how I’d shoot it from.  

I first went with the treadmill but later on abandoned the idea.  I can’t get her to fit and look like she’s enjoying the treadmill due to space restrains.  I then went with other machines that gave me the dramatic gym shots that I wanted.  It’s just positioning the light so that it falls beautifully on her skin and on the equipment.  

I’d admit that I don’t have plans on the gym shoot.  I just made assumptions as to where the light would fall and assumed that THIS particular setup will give an amazing shot.  I constantly change the lighting setup all the time until I hit the jackpot.  I recently did a gym shoot as well so that helped me go through it all.

My objective on this shoot is to have very little ambient light.  All light will come from the flash.  This way, I can control how contrasty my light will be.


adventscape, athlete, Australia, Australian Landscape Photographer, beauty, Dee Why, Fashion, glamour, iori, Isy, model, New South Wales, NSW, Philip Avellana, portraits, Teresa, lat
Lat Exercise


After doing the gym, we went outside on the field to do some active soccer poses.  She wanted to do the jumping rope and a ball kick.  I love doing the ball kick as it has more aggressive poses.  It’s just a matter of getting the right timing so that I grab the best still image I could find.   It took us 10 repititions but at the 5th repeat, we already know what we’re aiming for and what not.



Lighting Set up for the Sports / Active Shot

This one is the easy bit as I don’t need to be very much concerned with lighting.  I just need to show a contrasty feel on the photo with her doing the action.  I used only one light:

Main Light (camera left or right), Godox AD360 Witstro with Generic 60cm Umbrella Octa box

I position it almost perpendicular to her shoulders so give her the much aggressive shadows.  This gives the feel of action, strength, vigor and excitement.  I made sure that she sweats as well so I made her do some warm ups before I could actually shoot her.

The challenge is to capture that one single moment where the action is at it's maximum.  Since I'm using flash, the recycling time is not fast enough to do several pops per second.  So I need to visualise what is the ultimate pose as the action is happening.  


adventscape, athlete, Australia, Australian Landscape Photographer, beauty, Dee Why, Fashion, glamour, iori, Isy, model, New South Wales, NSW, Philip Avellana, portraits, Teresa, super kick
Teresa's Super Kick

As seen above, you just can't pose it or stage it.  You have to simulate the kick in order for you to get that fluid motion of the body and the aggressive facial expression.  The flash fired at the right instant (see the ground) lighting her up at the right instant.  I made about 10 repetitions before I get 1 or 2 great poses.


Final Thoughts

Teresa is amazing.  Football (or soccer) is her game and had came a long way playing it.  

I love to photograph her from the beauty to the action shots.  She has natural poses, but her action shots are so natural.  Isy made a great job doing her make up and the choice of colors.  The light that falls on Teresa is just amazing.  I love playing with my light and posing Teresa in many different angles.

I'd love to collaborate with them again in the future.  Thank you Teresa and Isy for an amazing photography session.

(for more of Teresa's photos showing Isy's makeup, please visit this album)


adventscape, athlete, Australia, Australian Landscape Photographer, beauty, Dee Why, Fashion, glamour, iori, Isy, model, New South Wales, NSW, Philip Avellana, portraits, Teresa, football
Winning Pose Football



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