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Dusk and Her Embrace – Shooting People

Don’t let the title mislead you, this has nothing to do with the Cradle of Filth song by the same name. This post is delayed by about 2 months, since the shoot was originally done in April — but I felt the need to finally get some of these images off my hard drive and online. For the record this shoot was not mine by any means, instead Megan had asked if we could do a fashion shoot at a nearby location in the latter stages of the afternoon, as she was hoping to use some of the strong light present in early Autumn sunsets. The shoot would be with model Micke Mouton, a friend of Megan’s. As for me, I would be an assistant on this shoot, braving my feet in the ocean to hold reflectors.

We made sure to leave Somerset West quite early to ensure we were there on time and didn’t have to rush, it would also allow us time to find the right locations and see how lighting would work. After the 20-or-so minute drive, we arrived and walked down to the beach area. On this day, we were lucky in that the beach wasn’t very crowded, which it can get at times – meaning the model and photographer could feel more relaxed in their work.

micke mouton
Model & MU: Micke Mouton
beach model micke mouton
Model & MU: Micke Mouton
beach model swimsuit
Model & MU: Micke Mouton
model micke mouton
Model & MU: Micke Mouton

The first outfit that Megan began to shoot on Micke was a swimsuit piece – she had a few ideas in her head as to what she wanted to do with this look and it would require Micke to brave the rather nippy early Autumn waters. My job started here too as I held a reflector up for a while as we waited for the waves to roll in, Micke now in the sand and taking it like a champ. After Megan got her shots that she needed it was time to head to another part of the beach where the focus was a rocky backdrop, and at this point I was tired of just holding the reflector, I wanted to try my hand at taking some photographs of people too – so I requested from Megan whether or not I’d be able to hop on her shoot and just grab a few shots of my own. I, unlike her, didn’t have any lighting equipment and would be relying solely on natural light and my wide aperture of my Canon 50mm F1.8.

I grabbed a few shots here and there as we moved around and tried some different stuff. I tried to include a few spontaneous shots as well, far more my cup of tea.

The light was now turning golden and giving Megan what she had hoped for in her original conceptualizing stages, so we moved closer to the shore and found some rocks for Micke to stand on. This was also time for an outfit change, now with Micke wearing a dress by Esmare Carstens.

sunset model beach
Model & MU: Micke Mouton
Dress: Esmare Carstens
megan-davies-micke-mouton
Megan and Micke looking deep in thought over what is next.
Model & MU: Micke Mouton
Dress: Esmare Carstens
Micke mouton and the sun
Model & MU: Micke Mouton
Dress: Esmare Carstens
micke mouton beach
Model & MU: Micke Mouton
Dress: Esmare Carstens

Again this was mostly a case of me helping Megan get the shots she needed, though I also managed to grab a few with my free hand while assisting.

I have never been one much for taking photographs of people, people need to be told what to do – I can’t even tell myself what to do. And it requires a social mechanism I think that I sorely lack, so any portrait type photography I do take, tends to be mostly spontaneous or without the model posing directly for me. One thing is for certain though, I’ve taken a few photographs of people, but Micke leaves very little, to nothing needing to be done in post-processing and is one of the few models out there that seems to give seeming perfection straight from the camera.

Bryn De Kocks

Bryn is a passionate and opinionated antinatalist and naturalist with a love for nature, the ocean, photography, severe weather and music. He spends most of his time looking for new birds within the Western Cape, taking landscape photographs or behind his computer being a nerd.

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