A beautiful young woman makes an ideal foundation for a stunning beauty portrait made with available light.
If you are attracted to this type of imagery, start collecting props – the veil is twenties-era bridal finery that I picked up years ago at a second-hand store. These types of stores are marvelous to plunder for the looks that will set you apart from the crowd. I have an entire collection of vintage dresses – they work on so many different women; you just clip them in the back if they’re too roomy. The rest of the head-piece I fashioned from silk flowers, the bird and butterfly from a dollar store, and a nest from a home decor shop. The backdrop is one I painted onto a canvas paint cloth from a hardware store. I set up the studio in the front room of my house, using the ample natural light from the large bank of windows behind me as the main light. I used my 50 mm f 1.8 lens, shot at about f2.4 to make the backdrop go soft and creamy. The orange flowers were a last-minute addition; it truly was a spring-inspired moment as these flowers were blooming in profusion on my backyard fence. I love the contrast of the orange with the teal dress; opposites on the color wheel always create a wonderful tension as well as balance. And voilá – the goddess of Spring – and my model Ricki’s birthday just happens to be March 21 – kismet!