I always love helping new brands come to life through photography and that’s exactly what this shoot was all about. I worked very closely with Abigail, the owner of Botella Bikini, to come up with the concept for the launch of her new swimwear brand. They have a very unique design featuring bottle openers which was super fun to work with. This was their very first shoot and set the tone for their overall branding. I find it very rewarding to help new brands define their visual identity and create visual branding that is consistent, strong and recognizable, and tells the story they’re trying to convey to their target audience. Which is what I helped do for Botella. I fully produced the shoot including scouting locations, hiring the crew, and directing the styling for the shoot. I also did a lot of prop styling.
For this shoot I really needed to use reflectors (or bounces) to help create optimal lighting scenarios for the models. In the later half of the day, the sun was very strong. We were shooting outside along a pool and in order to incorporate the pool with the swimsuits, we could only shoot in a couple of directions. We were very limited in how we could move around. I brought a 6×6 Neewer reflector that comes with silver, gold, and solid white and a diffusion panel in the middle. We had tons of options but it took a lot of experimenting to get the lighting right. At first we were using the silver reflector but it was just really strong. The sun was too bright for the gold and silver sides. After a little experimentation, we found the white was the most suitable for the current lighting situation. The sun was coming in to the side of the models for most of the shoot, so I had my assistant stand on the opposite side and use the bounce to reflect the light back onto the models’ shaded sides of their faces to balance out the light and make them a little more even. And it just gave the photos a little more pop and contrast because the models are well lit. So they stand out more against their backdrop. And as you can see in the photos, it gives them a polished pop that makes it feel more professional and editorial.
Soooo my tip here is to always have a reflector that you bring with you to every shoot. Especially when you’re shooting outdoors or shooting in a natural light studio. And use it strategically when you have sunlight coming from just one direction and you have to shoot based on your location. Sometimes you only have access to light coming from one direction. Sometimes you don’t have direct light or soft light. Using a bounce to help lighten the shadowed side can be really key to creating well lit images. And I also recommend experimenting with different sides of the reflector until you find one that works the best for your current lighting conditions.
I hope this helps with your next photo shoot!