Canadian musician Mela Bee is getting ready to drop her first EP soon (pre-save it here). A talented singer, you can catch her dropping little musical snippets and acoustic guitar covers on her Instagram and Twitch from time to time. I dropped by her place earlier this summer (when the pandemic was at its lowest levels and things were a little more free) just north of Toronto to make some photos with her. With her newly shaved head, we mixed and matched some of our outfits to shoot with on the palatial property where she lives.
I photographed everything here with my Nikon D750, Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8, and my new Tamron 35mm ƒ/1.8 VC (my new favourite lens).
Y’all know I love a bold colour so we started with a simple mustard yellow tee from Urban Planet.
This low-to-the-ground shot with foreground grass blades is made easy with the D750’s tilt screen.
Mela had these ridiculous striped pants that she showed me, to which my first reaction was “hell no”. But then when I saw them paired with my white lace Urban Planet top, I was like… “hell yes”. It works for reasons I can’t explain. But man, I love that top. I wish I had bought more, but thankfully they have many in similar styles.
I was tracking the position of the sun closely at this time, and right as it started setting below the tree line, I knew our best golden hour opportunity was upon us. This rustic wooden swing in Mela’s backyard made for a nice support.
The best part about bald girls is that when golden hour hits, there are no flyaway hairs to catch the sun’s rays and distract the viewer of the photos. It helps that Mela’s head is a nice shape. She’s the first bald model I’ve ever photographed, and I’m super into it. I keep messaging other friends of mine to shave their heads as well. It was a popular trend during lockdown, but mostly for dudes. More women need to get in on the bald life!
We managed to find the last sliver of direct golden hour light hitting the stone wall near Mela’s pool, so we positioned her there to grab a couple quick shots before the sun was out of view.
Of course, just because you can’t see the sun doesn’t mean there isn’t still great light to be had. We moved over to the little-used tennis court (did I mention this was a huge property?) to shoot in this ridiculously bright neon green bikini and mesh hoodie set I got from Zaful.
Two things made these shots surprisingly difficult:
- The neon green came across so much brighter on the digital sensor than I expected, and quite easily veered into overexposure during my normal post processing. I had to be real careful not to blow out the colours too much during editing.
- The tennis net was more difficult to shoot through than I expected, with my otherwise stellar Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8 lens struggling a bit to lock on to Mela’s eyes in between the netting. I missed a few frames here and there, but I nailed these ones.
Lastly we went back to the beautiful pool to catch the last bit of ambient daylight that was still lingering, and we found a tiny green friend to pose for a pic.