Back to the Big Red (Senior Portrait Session)

The Big Red – Dubai’s desert, one of the few places I go back with a smile on my face. The sunrise is amazing, the peace and tranquility relax your mind and the dunes unleash your imagination.

I used the same equipment (my Nikon D7100 with the 1.8G 50mm). I started shooting around 5.30 AM, for about 2h (already around 7.30 was already hot and the dunes started to heat up). I took about 600 frames from which I made a 2 step selection (first I selected only the images in focus/eyes open/facial expression and the ones where I obtained the artistic effect while in the second step I selected the ones that I like the most – being subjective of course)


Yes, the image was tempered a lot in Lightroom so the colors would come out this way. Only one thing bothers me from the whole capture – her left hand – the one on the sand …its not completely straight.


I like the image above a lot however when its displayed on a mobile device, because of the mobile’s device screen is different than the laptop/monitor display screen, the quality is not the same. On the laptop, the silhouette is not completely dark, the level of details and white in the silhouette is significantly higher.


One of the top 3 images from this shoot, at least in my opinion. The wind indeed helped a lot. I absolutely love this image.


Composition wise I got what I wanted from the capture, tonality wise as well. My only small issue is with the sky – I would have preferred to work a little bit more on it to try to obtain a blue shade.

I know that I’m going to get back and take a look at this post so I would like to write some conclusion I took after this photo shoot :

  • before shooting, check the model’s outfit (check if the bra is matching the blouse/dress, if the dress has any hanging strings, if the dress has/doesn’t have sand marks on it, if the blouse/dress is adjusted on her body before actually clicking the image)
  • communicate more with the model and tell the model to stay still and not move after she/he hears the shutter taking the picture (this way I can adjust my position better keeping the same pose and facial expression for the model – especially when the model has a great pose/facial expression)
  • don’t rush (even if the model is rushing to get it over with it)
  • since I shoot in the desert a few times, plan the poses and the perspectives better so  on location you have to rely less on inspiration/creativity on the spot and more on a carefully planned session. Although its against the principles of photography as an art, there were instances where I looked back on other shoots and I was thinking – Wish I could have done this shoot as well, I forgot about it. 6-10 poses and perspectives and the rest of the photo shoot can be based on “on spot creativity/inspiration”.

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