Cowgirl Shoot with Samantha Skowronek
It was beautiful out yesterday, perfect for a photo-shoot, slight cloud coverage, a nice breeze and a beautiful person and model to shoot with. I arrived a little early at the Cummings Center as I have only been there once before to shoot a charity event and really did not have a lot of time to explore the entire facility. The main goal was create a semi-realistic cowgirl shoot, using natural light in combination with a strobe. The main shooting area we choose was a beautiful barn with multiple horse stalls.
Samantha arrived right on time as she always does, ready to go in her cowgirl attire. She is a real professional, very smart, sweet and master of posing. She makes it obvious why she is currently Miss Oakland County and now in the running for Miss Michigan. She was wearing a white tank top, shorts and brown boots. I supplied a whip and cowboy hat.
We started the shoot inside the barn where the lighting was better as it was all open and allowed to small beams of light as a hair light when needed. The wood was very rustic looking which created the perfect balance for the modern cowgirl.
We then moved outside where a wooden horse fence ran perpendicular to the horse barn. The wood was faded and looked very interesting. I had Samantha sit about ten feet down from where I was shooting to help blur focus in front of her and behind as I shoot down the fence line.
Samantha then mentioned we shoot against a red gate to create some more contrast between the white tank top she was wearing and the fence and it worked out wonderfully. The sun was peeking in and out of the clouds so we had to choose our shots to keep the harsh light off her face. Once we completed shooting in that area we moved to the side of the horse building, into the shade and got some amazing shots of her sitting.
We then moved back into the barn where I got some shots with some beautiful lens flare. I know a lot of photographers try to avoid lens flare but in some scenes it just looks right. Also, we got some beautiful headshots at the same location.
We were thinking about calling it a wrap at that point as I am sure we were both exhausted from the heat and the workday. Instead, we pressed onto the gated entrance to the trailhead, where little glimmers of light peeking through the trees provide some great lighting effects.
To wrap it up, it was a fantastic shoot and I couldn’t have asked for a better day or person to shoot with. The equipment used was a Sony Alpha a77 with a 70-200mm lens, Nikon d750 with a 50mm Lens, phottix flash triggers, Alien Bees B400 and AB Beauty dish.