I am so glad that I finally got the chance to do a collaboration with my old friend Danny.
He runs a couple of very successful Instagram accounts, and I knew our styles would compliment each other well.
Danny and I chose to create portraits together on the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, CO. We also chose a morning shoot because it was going to be a hot day!
We started by creating content for Danny’s Disney Instagram account: dannysdisneylife
This entire photoshoot was done on my Nikon D750, and I started with my favorite lens: my Sigma 85mm f1.4.
Danny was hard at work on his phone for a lot of our shoot!
For these first two shots I placed one off-camera flash in between Danny and I at camera right, and another one inside that split boulder with an orange gel from MagMod on it. This set up, paired with the morning sun filtering through the trees created a dramatic look. I chose an orange gel because a lot of Danny’s Instagram posts feature an orange filter.
Next, we headed over to the classic Pearl Street alley with rainbow bricks to complete the photos for his Disney account (with his Minnie Mouse jacket).
You can probably tell just by looking at this photo that the bright sun was a challenge during this shoot.
To compensate for that beautiful Colorado sun, I had a neutral density filter on my lens that took out several stops of light.
Without this filter the low aperture and blurry background plus a shutter speed low enough to sync off-camera flash would have been impossible! Without the ND8 filter I would have had to choose between flash and aperture.
Next, I swapped lenses to create a more wild, artistic look with my Lensbaby Sweet 35:
This entire effect was done in-camera. The Lensbaby system is really unique and their Sweet 35 Optic lets you use the movable barrel plus manually selected aperture to create a “sweet spot” that is in focus and everything else blurs outwards from there. I love playing around with this effect and this alley was the perfect spot for it!
Next, we focused on material for Danny’s main Instagram account: dannydafshionista. I went back to my Sigma 85mm lens and snapped this shot from quite a distance, utilizing a pole covered in flyers for some close-up bokeh and color on the left side of the frame:
One of my main goals with this photoshoot was to create a Instagram filter style look just with the use of creative lighting.
I did this using a teal gel from MagMod on a flash below Danny on camera left:
When the flash nearly hit the lens straight-on, this had the effect of both giving a bit of color pop to Danny, as well as creating a teal blur in the corner of the frame. That couldn’t be the only lighting though, or that would have been one poorly lit portrait! I also had a light stand with a shoot-through umbrella (like this one) and off camera flash in between Danny and I to camera right. This shoot-through umbrella provides a nice, soft light and is fairly portable.
Both Danny and I loved the grungy look of this stairwell on Pearl St., and it complimented his pink shirt well:
For this shot I used my Sigma 20mm f1.4 Art lens and a speedlite in my hotshoe with the Bounce from MagMod on it. The Bounce helped create a more diffuse light on the whole scene, rather than just a harsh light on Danny. (I promise this post wasn’t paid for by MagMod, I just really love their stuff!)
Pizzeria Locale on Pearl St. in Boulder has this spectacular bright, glossy white tile wall out front, and we knew we had to get a shot in front of that:
Again, I used the teal gel on from MagMod on my off camera flash to create a more interesting look for this photo. This time, the gelled flash was on a mini-light stand behind Danny pointed up at the wall.
As we were headed back to the car, we saw these gorgeous rose bushes outside of the Dushanbe Tea House and had to stop for a couple quick poses in front of them:
This shot was taken with just natural light, but I still wanted my lens wide-open for the background bokeh, so I had to bump the shutter speed up to 1/800th of a second.
This photoshoot was such a blast, and I can’t wait to work with Danny again!
Interested in collaborating with Bonnie Photo for your own photoshoot? Just send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org