Model Shoot With the Fuji Film 35mm f2 R WR

Since purchasing the FujiFilm 35mm f2 i've wanted to put it through its' paces during a model shoot.  The effective field of view being 53mm on a full frame camera, I thought this would be appropriate.  I know this isn't an ideal portrait lens and that there are many other lenses by FujiFilm that would be more appropriate.  In addition to this lens I also own the 56mm 1.2 and love it for portraiture, but for this shoot I was looking for a wider field of view.  

Here in Northern California we are blessed with some of the most beautiful stretches of coastline that exist on this amazing planet.  I've always wanted to do an implied nude/nude photoshoot at one of the local beaches but the stars hadn't aligned until recently.  I have been working with an amazing local model that I found on modelmayhem.com .  Marie Jean is great to work with and I love the results we are able to obtain together.  After a short conversation she suggested the location and we set up the shoot.  My hope was to include the sunset but the weather gods weren't on our side.  The fog rolled in and wasn't going to lift.  We decided to go ahead with the shoot regardless.  I actually prefer to shoot in flat light or overcast skies.  You don't have to worry about harsh shadows or trying to balance the light on the model with the light of the sun.  

Marie Jean, Northern California coast.  Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens

I'm a run and gun photographer.  When I shoot outdoors I don't like to lug around a ton of equipment.  I love natural light and believe that you don't always need a flash to make a great image.  Don't get me wrong, I love working with off camera flash and have done so often.  I usually reserve flash photography for my indoor work or when the light is just too harsh to balance with reflectors.  For this shoot I was lucky that all I needed was my Fuji XT1 and the 35mm f2 lens.  

The focus speed is fantastic with this lens.  There were a few times where I switched to manual focus and used the focus peaking feature.  For this shoot background blur or "bokeh" wasn't as important to me.  Most of the shots have distant backgrounds and this lens handled them beautifully.  

Marie Jean, Northern California coast.  Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens

Lately i've been exploring shooting implied nudes.  I have set out to push the boundaries of my photographic abilities and experiences.  I believe that you will never improve your craft unless you get outside of your comfort zone.  I was lucky enough to be working with an amazing young lady that put me at ease and was generous with her experience, suggesting spots and poses throughout the shoot.  

Marie Jean, Northern California coast.  Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens

Marie Jean, Northern California coast.  Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens

Marie Jean, Northern California coast.  Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens

Marie Jean, Northern California coast.  Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens

I've gotten to the point where I no longer have to worry about my equipment or settings.  I shot film for close to 25 years with a manual focus camera.  Settings come naturally to me.  The Fuji system is as close as I can get to using an old school film camera and is much like my old Nikon FE2.  The 35mm f2 lens is unbelievably compact and a joy to use.  The only draw back that I could possibly mention is that the provided lens hood is practically useless.  I can't imagine it makes much difference at all when attached.  There are aftermarket hoods available, but so far I haven't needed to use one.  This camera lens combination made this shoot effortless and fun.  I wouldn't hesitate to use it again in the future. 

Marie Jean, Northern California coast.  Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens.  Converted to B&W in Lightroom.

Marie Jean, Northern California coast.  Fuji XT1, 35mm f2 R WR Lens.

There are additional images that include nudes and semi nudes.  I have placed them in a separate post which you can access HERE.  Marie Jean can be found on modelmayhem.com and on Instagram.  I look forward to working with her again in the near future.  

My First modelmayhem.com Shoot

About a year ago I signed up with modelmayhem.com .  I wanted to expand my photography skills and start working with models.  I have been working on building a home studio.  Backdrop, backdrop stand, sofbox for my speedlite and a not so steep learning curve were complete.  I didn't want to subject my friends and family to the time that it would take for me to be comfortable shooting with this setup.  So I put it out there to a few models that I was interested in someone that was patient and that could deal with me fumbling a little.  We as photographers must admit that we do fumble a little when we attempt a new type of photography.  Mistakes will be made and it will take time to perfect your abilities.  

A few weeks later I received a response from a model and the correspondence portion of our potential meeting began.  After a few e-mails we arranged a meeting at a neutral location.  You have to be careful.  This goes for photographers and models.  While modelmayhem does some screening, you must protect yourself.  Bring a friend as well, if it makes you feel more comfortable.  So we met at a local coffee shop, more to get a feel for each other and see if it would be a good fit.  I asked a ton of questions as well as presented what I was interested short term as well as long term possibilities.  The meeting went well.  We then scheduled a time to meet for a shoot.  Like most photographers I do not have a dedicated studio.  My setup is in my garage.  It is neat and clean and with the backdrop setup it actually looks the part.  I shared this up front as I didn't want there to be any surprises.  She asked if she could bring a friend.  I told her that, of course, she could.  I believe that any photographer that says you can't bring a friend is someone you should avoid.  I went the extra step to tell my wife that I would text her if everything was going smoothly.  Safety, safety, safety is the name of the game.  

The shoot went well.  Some of the shots were great.  Some of the shots were not so great.  I also learned the limits of my equipment.  My SB600 Speedlite overheated.  It would still work but needed time to cool down.  I'm thinking of switching to dedicated LED's or may spend some money on professional strobes that have dedicated power.  I have to thank the amazing model Molly Scott for her patience, professionalism and her poise during our first shoot.

Below are my favorite images from that day.  I am looking forward to our next shoot and have to say that I may be hooked on this type of photography.  While it is more labor intensive than my regular shoots, the results are worth it.