Back for the third time in front of my camera is redhead model Ashley, who I previously photographed in 2013 and 2018. We went back to where it all began — the beach.
For our sunset beach shoot we headed to Queensland Beach, a provincial park in Nova Scotia. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts to plan things out, I still can’t get a handle on tide times. I looked at all the charts, determined that high tide was hours and hours and hours before we were shooting, and thought all would be good. Nope. The tide was still in, and given that this beach is in a sunken crescent butting up against the road, that means 90% of the sand was underwater. The other 10% was absolutely crammed full of people, and the last thing we wanted was for a bunch of people gawking at us. It was time for plan B. We headed back the way we came, to another smaller, unpopulated crescent known as Seawall Beach. It doesn’t seem to be an “official” beach in any way, but there was a place to park and a place to shoot, which is all I need.
This ribbed blue Zaful string bikini paired well with Ashley’s blue eyes. The sky and water weren’t particularly blue at this point since it was a bit cloudy and we didn’t get much of a sunset.
The sun did part briefly and gave us a little bit of colour in the sky, but only for a very short period of time. I’d already prepared my Godox AD300 Pro on a light stand paired with the Godox AD-S85 softbox for just this moment. I can’t say enough good things about this combo for on-location shooting. The AD300 unit itself is so small and compact, it will fit in the water bottle pocket of just about any camera bag. And because it uses the proprietary Godox accessory mount instead of the larger Bowens mount, the softbox folds down smaller than anything I’ve ever seen. This is an elite travel kit. The light balance between foreground and background was perfect:
Before the sky faded, we did a quick outfit swap and I turned off the Godox — and somehow we got pretty much the same results, thanks to the sun (facing Ashley) being diffused through the clouds (essentially a big softbox).
Many times (like, many times) I will ask people to shoot at the beach and then when we get there they’re like “BTW, I’m not going in the water”, which leaves me absolutely perplexed. Ashley is not one of those people. She’ll do anything for a photo and that’s why I love her. Red bikini bottoms also from Zaful.