When the weather turns warm I instinctively head outdoors. I recently rediscovered the Lake Merritt botanical gardens in Oakland. I used to live right up the street from this lovely 7-acre garden and never took advantage of it like I am now. I belong to a “women only” photography group and we met up one spring afternoon at the garden and I realized then what a true gem it was and that I didn’t need to go all the way over to San Francisco’s botanical garden to shoot in pretty landscaped nature.
My first shoot there was for mixxCollection with model Ania Chanelle. The highly talented makeup artist Bethany Eskandani created a very soft natural looking makeup and styled the hair. The golden afternoon light was so strong I didn’t even need a flash. I had my assistant Polly hold a reflector instead. Above Ania is wearing the Mara peplum top which has a textured weave. Below she is wearing the Clariss midi tank in white with the Nella skirt in turquoise jersey cotton.I adore working with clothing designers and my goal this year is to collaborate with more as well as fashion bloggers.
My next shoot at the garden was with Jenn Vee and the amazing makeup artist Carol who both came out on Mother’s Day to create some great images. This first look was very spring and boho-bridal. Usually those rocks have water running over them to create a waterfall, but you know California drought. Still a lovely shot with natural light no?
What I really liked about this next shot is how the afternoon light really highlights her from behind and I am using a strobe on her from the front.Here Carol is pumping up the color on Jenn’s lips to go with the bright fun colors of her outfit.The flower is a little too close to her face, but pose was so nice. I have the Speedlite 60 flash on her from the front left as a fill.
This cool branch structure has a bench to sit on and is one of my favorite parts of the garden. Can’t do much about the chain link fence though in the back….overall this was one of my favorite shoots and the enthusiasm and energy from these ladies was what made it such a fun day.