How I used my go-to on location set up for this assignment. What you will need to use to get shots like mine on location is a camera, tripod & reflector. Best to have your model’s makeup and hair done before you get to the location if you don’t have a budget to have a makeup artist for the day. I did have the budget for a makeup artist (Model in the Yellow bikini) to be with me for the day. Model Fee: $1200. Day. – Makeup & Hair: $500. Day – Assistant: $250. Day.
My advice is to find a location (Spot) that is far away from people, or if you can find a private beach that is even better. Best not to have any people about when working to get a fabulous shot of a hot girl’s in sexy swimsuit’s. As you just might get onlookers if you draw attention to yourself and if you did not have the permission to shoot at that location you could have an issue.
For some of these shot’s we went to one of my favorite beach’s in South Laguna CA. It was a bit of a walk to the spot where we planned to shoot, but well worth it! At that spot we had found there was some shade to work with for soft light, being at the location two hours before the sun started to go down I could use the sun by putting the sunlight behind or off to the side of the model so you can use this light to help separate the model from the background. It also helps to use a shallow depth of field so the eye will go to the model that is in focus. Not only do you need to use your lens wide open or you can just use F-8 ½ (Like I could with the use of a 150mm lens) when your subject is going to be some distant from the background, you will also need to have a telephoto lens to help compress the look that will give you the bokeh you need. I was shooting film for this project.
When you use a (Silver) reflector, you need to meter the light that you are reflecting on the model, my trick when I do this is to open my f stop up about ½ a stop for shadow detail. Make sure that you do not over expose the background as it’s all about a balance of light. The soft daylight, the bright sunlight & the reflected light. With having the camera on a tripod, you can use a slower shutter speed, I like to use 60sec for when I shoot with a Hasselblad. In some images like this I might also use a strobe in place of the reflector for a harder light or just a brighter look. When shooting a model in a swimsuit try to use a swimsuit that will jump out with a color or just a cool look! If you are working on a assignment for a catalog or poster, pick model’s that like being photographed in a swimsuit.