Dana Point Harbor, especially the Ocean Institute, is my favorite spot to visit whenever I’m in Cali. Even though it’s 50 miles away from my parent’s house in Walnut, it’s well worth the drive. It’s peaceful, calming, and the water is easy to access. It’s also a great place for photo shoots!
I did a casting call on Model Mayhem, looking for a model with specific measurements. I have a used wedding dress I purchased on eBay for only $50. I previously bought it for a wedding simulation workshop with my photography group. Because the dress is inexpensive and just sitting in my closet, I’ve always wanted to do a trash the dress session. It was very important for the dress to fit the model like a glove. Luckily it did!
I was able to get my hands on my Dad’s camera, which is a Canon Rebel t1i with the 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 kit lens. He received the camera and lens brand new as a Christmas present back in 2009. I researched on eBay and the lowest price the camera now is selling for is $155 and about $70 for the lens, so everything totals about $225. The pricing is based on the “Buy It Now” price.
I studied the Canon’s button layout and menu a little bit prior to the shoot. Thanks to a Google search, I was able to setup back-button focusing. During the shoot, I had the model stand near the water, which was far away from me. With the waves crashing in, it was hard for her to hear my voice and the camera’s shutter. I felt a little bit out of place shooting with the Canon, especially with the focus points. The button functions were much different than what I’m used to. I had to stop periodically to make sure I had her in focus. I didn’t want to use my off-camera flash system because I needed to gain more familiarity with the Canon.
I switched back and forth between the Canon and my same Nikon setup, the D300 with the 50mm f/1.8 lens and Yongnuo YN-560III speedlight. Since I didn’t use the 18-55mm kit lens, even though it came with the D300, everything totals slightly over $400.
I also switched back and forth between using natural light and off-camera flash. In addition to my “Shooting on a Budget” project, I also wanted to scale back and just use natural light. Unfortunately, because the lighting was a little harsh (even on a partly cloudy day), I wasn’t enjoying the washed-out white skies and flat lighting that comes with shooting with natural light. Lighting was much more gorgeous when I shot away from the sun, with the model having to look at the sun.
Model – Katie (Model Mayhem)
Dress and Veil – All purchased from eBay
Camera description is included in each pictures. The first 3 images are from the Canon camera and the last 3 images are from the Nikon camera.