Every time I look at a project, I ask myself, “What’s the story?” In commercial photography, a team of creatives conceives stories around a concept to sell a product. In editorial photography, the subject is the story, and I collaborate with a writer and photo editor to illustrate that person’s story. Then there are personal projects, where I have the opportunity to mix those worlds together. Whether my job is to adapt a story into an image for a client, magazine or myself, or to simply photograph what or who is there, my process involves an interplay of three equally weighted components that make an image work: light, subject and context.
If you’ve never been to White Sands National Monument in the gorgeous state of New Mexico in the American Southwest, you have truly missed out on an experience. It’s my favorite of the Southwest’s long list of travel hot spots, better even than the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Carlsbad Caverns, the Valley of Fire and the Las Vegas Strip. This 275-square-mile patch of white gypsum in the desert sent my brain reeling with excitement and possibilities. So when an opportunity came along to produce a photography art book that needed one specific theme, I knew where I wanted it to be: White Sands, New Mexico.
In beauty light, there are several tried and true tools and techniques guaranteed to create gorgeous light every time. In this article, I demonstrate the basics of beauty lighting, lighting pattern and fill light options, introducing accent lights and best tools and techniques to get the job done right.