• Letha Imboden

Do Windy Days Create A Bad Portrait? My Tips for Harnessing the Wind.

Unpredictable Weather

Today is the day! The sun is out, it's not too hot... wait - did a tree just fall over?! In our case a tree DID get knocked over - by the WIND!

If you live in Florida or have visited Florida or have just heard about Florida... you know how completely unpredictable the weather can be! The day of this mini shoot was exactly that kind of day. Sunny, gorgeous and W I N D Y.

So what do you do? Cancel and go home?

Not at all... you go with it - bring a shawl or a blanket, let your hair down and you harness the wind. If you've worked with me in the past, you know I'm all about "going with the flow" and embracing the moment. I mean if you don't bend with life then it's going to knock you down... like a tree *haha*. Yes, I can be a bit corny too!

Tip Time!

When is it too much wind?

We're on the coast; that usually means it can get super windy. I wouldn't recommend being on the beach when the winds are incredibly high (think 45 mph high) because being sand blasted is not a good feeling... trust me on this one. Sand gets everywhere - in your ears, in your mouth, hair, between your fingers... you get the idea. If you've planned for a sandy session, being off shore just a bit makes a world of difference! We played it safe and stayed off of the beaches for this session because we had wind gusts up to 85mph. My poor tree didn't stand a chance (total pun intended)!


I love natural light with a small speedlight and softbox to balance everything out and fill in shadows. But when it's windy out, it just doesn't work so well. Even with my assistant holding it. You've seen her right? She's tiny - she might get blown away!

This is when a reflector comes in handy - we used a smaller one (not a large one that will carry my assistant off like a kit... hmm... I might actually have some fun and create a composite of my assistant "blowing away" in the wind with the reflector in hand!).

And really.... look at those catch-lights in her eyes!

Wind + Hair + Natural Light = What the heck do I do?

We've already talked about using a reflector to fill shadows. The whole idea of a reflector is to literally reflect light back into her face. Think of those old cartoons where a beam of light filters into a room and hits a mirror but the mirror is placed just so that it bounces the light back onto another mirror located across the room and somewhere in all that light bouncing they are able to light a fire. Maybe I'm thinking of Tom and Jerry...? If you know which cartoon, help a girl out!

Just for the record; no, a fire is not going to happen from a reflector!

So not only do we need you to be backlight (the sun behind the subject so that we can bounce it back in) but we're going to have to face the wind so that we can see your beautiful face. So take a moment, observe the sun and the direction of the wind - because on a day like this, it means everything!

Remember to be Creative!

Not every shot needs to be perfectly "hair-free". You can get some pretty great shots when things are a bit crazy! Use your hands - welcome face framing into your session! A simple "tuck your hair behind your ear" is all you need to do.

Photographers - Play with your camera settings a little. For these shots my settings were 2.8, ISO 50 and my shutter speed from 100 to 125. Fast enough to not blur her face and slow enough to see the movement of her hair. I love the way her hair looks blurry! Next time; we're going to be in an open field with a long dress!

Whatever you do - try to not get too frustrated!

And have a little fun while your at it... how fun are GIF's?!


Remember the poll I posted last weekend: Is she coming or going? I have the answer for you here!

She's literally not moving at. But she is most definitely facing me!

So, if you voted "she's coming to me" - then you were right!!

If you look very closely at the image, you'll notice just a bit of her mouth and nose on the left side of the head.

Well played guys... well played!


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Clearwater, Florida  33756

Tel: 727-501-2392


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