I haven’t done a single photo shoot outside for nearly 2 month, all because this brutal winter weather. This year is really bad. It’s either rain or freezing cold. I check weather forecast almost every day, hopping there will be a warmer sunny day. Finally, we got one and it’s a Sunday.

I don’t want too many people involved this time because the weather forecast might not be accurate and it’ll be a pain in the butt if we’ll have to reschedule. We went very simple. No fancy outfits or elegant dresses (not doable in this weather anyway) and even no makeup. The team we got is very small, the model, her mom, me and my trusted Profoto B2.

Instead of sunny weather, what we got is dense fog. So the weather forecast is not accurate again, but this time it’s kind of in a way that I preferred. Foggy weather is kind of unusual here in Vancouver. I won’t be able to get that strong back lit, warm and dramatic look as I planned, instead of it’ll be very soft, desaturated and somewhat cold feel.

Technically speaking, my ambient is near perfect, diffused and “color balanced”, but it’s too soft and lack of dimension. There is no shadow. You can easily get a ton of exposure perfect photos but they might be too flat. I need to use my B2 to bring the dimension back. Not having to compete with the sun makes me constantly shooting at low power, but it’s not as easy as it sound. It takes a while to figure out the best combination of power level, angle and distance, at meantime, pay attention your background. On top of that, you have to work with your model to make sure the posing works with your lighting setup. The reason that I’ll never be bored with portrait photography is it keeps frustrating me, it never gives me a task that is too easy. Always something wrong and it changes every time. So as usual the photo shoot that day was frustrating and fun. Let’s call it frustratingly fun.

Big thanks to Cathy who capture those behind the scenes photos. Not just they are good stuff to share with people, they are also good references for me so I can study what I did right and most importantly what I did wrong.

Model: Sophie C represented by League Models

Behind the scenes: Cathy Groome Collis

Photography: Kyle Cong Photography

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