Amie’s photo shoot

Last week I had the privilege of photographing Amie, a Pilates intructor and dancer extraordinaire. She needed some head shots that could go on the websites of various businesses she works with, so she asked me to take some pictures.

I loved photographing her–and it didn’t hurt that she is a stunning woman. Nope–didn’t hurt one bit.

I tried to get some different angles and some different expressions so that she had different feels to choose from. Serious and professional (and gorgeous) . . .

. . . or happy and carefree (and still gorgeous).

We met at Hollywood Beach, right next to my apartment, and the lighting was perfect. Cloudy skies but no rain–in my opinion, a portrait photographer’s dream. No harsh shadows to deal with–just a bright, soft light and a neutral sky.

Perfect for complementing Amie’s already beautiful skin.

During the shoot, an older man and his wife stopped to watch us, and he challenged me with utmost authority, barking “Hey! Where’s your light?”, and explaining that I couldn’t have chosen worse light to work with.

I, of course, politely begged to differ. I think of it this way: the clouds act like a big diffuser thingy in the sky.

If he could see these shots, I think he would see the error of his ways.

What is your favorite kind of light for photography?

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15 Responses to Amie’s photo shoot

  1. Layla says:

    Wow she is really pretty… the 5th picture down (the first color one), I felt that she looks a lot like Jane Seymour in my opinion :o)
    I know it’s none of my business, (but maybe you could care less)?, so naturally you don’t have to answer if it’s personal, but all the photo shoots you’ve been doing lately… do you get paid or do it complimentary?
    Thanks for making frequent blog updates it’s one of the highlights of my day!!

    • Jenna says:

      That’s a great question! Yes, I decided to start charging. It’s a lot of hours of work between the shooting and the processing, but I charge what I like to call an ‘amateur rate’–much less than a professional photographer. =)

  2. I agree! Cloudy is the best!!!!!! These photos are amaaaaazing.
    Mystery question of the day: The wedding I shot recently (on my blog a couple days back if you are interested in peeking, but NO judging! :) We can’t all be super amazing at this….) was shot on a cloudy, rainy afternoon. I could’ve done without the rain, but the cloudy day I was excited about. Turns out, it was actually the other kind of cloudy, you know, the squint-your-eyes-everything-blown-waaaay-too-bright-to-edit kind of cloudy. I am struggling to tone down these shots to allow dress details to show up etc., but my real question is about camera settings:
    What should’ve I done with my ISO’s etc. to help with this cloudy day gone bad?

    • Jenna says:

      Hi Tonya! I would have dialed down the ISO to maybe 300 or 400 if it was bright out (you can go as low as 200 on my camera). This would lower the camera’s sensitivity to light and probably help avoid the dreaded blown-out shots. I can’t wait to see the results of your wedding shoot! I’m headed over to your blog right away . . . =)

  3. Cloudy is definitely best – like you say, big diffuser thingy!! I took my cousin’s senior photos and she wanted them done right in the middle of a summer day! Ack, I couldn’t convince her otherwise!
    And I try and shoot under a tree or covering of some kind when it’s too sunny out.

    Beautiful photos, and stunning subject :) ~Megan

  4. Light clouds! She’s a stunner!

  5. Sarah says:

    beautiful! wanna make a trip to bloomington to photograph me? :) just kidding…kind of.

    • Jenna says:

      Unfortunately, after my sister Erica moved to Kentucky, our last ties to Bloomington (at least ties strong enough to elicit a visit) were broken . . . But are you planning on being in Chicago any time soon? Because I would totally love to photograph you guys. =)

  6. Veronica says:

    OK< these are awesome!!! I totally agree, a cloudy sky is PERFECT for photography reasons. I have thought that since I discovered it in the winter, but never admitted it b/c I was sure I was wrong and that a person that actually knew something would disagree. I had the same thought as you–it gives a great amount of indirect sunlight, which is always what I'm looking for when I take food photos. Often it is too shady in the shade, but if the sky is covered with clouds, it's perfect. I'm sure Amie is thrilled with these head shots.

  7. Natural, Soft, and an OVERCAST sky is the very best to shoot with! Your photos are gorgeous!!! Great work!

    JB @

  8. Kimby says:

    It seems like colors pop more when it’s slightly overcast. (I like to do autumn photography on those days.) Natural sunlight with “dapples and shadows” is my favorite. (Don’t have a clue what settings I use on the camera — I just point and shoot, lol.)

    What a lovely subject! The pic of her laughing and looking down (# 7 I think) is my favorite. I also liked the second B&W — potential caption: “Bricks and Bone Structure.” Wow! Great job, Jenna!

  9. Circe says:

    How rude of that man to try to school you while you were working. But you get the last laugh with these beautiful shots. Your friend Amie looks a lot like Anne Hathaway.

  10. Joanne says:

    I’m with you on this one…that man has obviously never done real photography before! These pictures are stunning Jenna! WHEN I visit Chicago (hopefully in the near future) you’re officially commissioned!

  11. Jen says:

    Your lighting was definitely perfect! The key with outdoor photography is always to avoid those harsh shadows.
    The pictures are very nice!!!

  12. I love these pictures and I love cloudy diffused light!

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