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I head to the beach for an outdoor portrait at Point Grey with Natsumi.

I think Natsumi might have been the first person I properly met when I arrived in Vancouver last year.
She had responded to a Craigslist ad for stuff we were selling, when we realised that we hadn’t quite downsized enough from a 3 bedroom to a 1 bedroom apartment.

As she was leaving, she mentioned she also lived in Kitsilano and had just moved back to Vancouver after many years away living Montreal and asked if I would like to have tea sometime.

Since then, we have had many teas and coffee after yoga – she is usually either my Vinyasa or Kundalini buddy and we had been talking about her joining me for a session for a while.

Outdoor portrait in natural light of a woman standing on a rocky shoreline with moody skies looking out over the water while the wind blows her curls around her face by Vancouver contemporary portrait photographer Angela McConnell

My vision was for a windy, moody day on Point Grey Beach just down the road, which is a beautifully rocky and raw shoreline – preferably without too much rain as I am not a huge fan of shooting in persistent rain (obviously challenging in Vancouver).

Originally we were looking at shooting in Autumn when I hoped the weather wouldn’t be too cold, but with a gusty enough breeze.

Well the wind and grey days never really turned up, until November when it was getting quite chilly and so the idea was shelved until this Spring.

Outdoor portrait in natural light of a woman on a rocky shoreline with moody cloudy skies and the wind blowing her curls into her face by Vancouver contemporary portrait photographer Angela McConnell

In terms of styling for this session, I was thinking about dresses or skirts that would catch the wind and have a fair bit of movement, and in darker tones to tie in with the “hopefully” moody weather.

As usual, I have random bits and pieces that I have collected and kept with me through various moves over the years so some of these made an appearance – the lace shawl, the feather epaulettes were both acquired at some point in Melbourne.
Then there are the continual purchases of chunky necklaces that I purchases whenever I notice them on sale – best bargain I think is the $3 necklace!

So as you can see, I am still really into chunky layered necklaces, usually the bigger the better to make a statement piece.

Outdoor portrait in natural light of a woman on a rocky shoreline wearing a large silver breastplate necklace and long chiffon skirt billowing in the wind by Vancouver contemporary portrait photographer Angela McConnell
Outdoor portrait in natural light of a woman on a rocky shoreline wearing a larger silver breastplate necklace standing facing the wind as it blows her hair away from her face by Vancouver contemporary portrait photographer Angela McConnell
Outdoor portrait in natural light of a woman on a rock shoreline on a moody cloudy day, wearing a billowing chiffon skirt and the hair blowing her curls around her face by Vancouver contemporary portrait photographer Angela McConnell

I improvised a wrap skirt from 4 pieces of chiffon, but wanted the top to remain tight and fitted so that the focus was of the flow of the fabric.

This was all shot in natural light and as the day was quite moody, it was for the most part quite diffused.
We did get some breaks in the clouds so Tara jumped in with a white reflector which was used as a scrim to try to cut down the harsher lighting.

I really love images with obscured faces, in fact I was working on a series of images of partially or fully obscured faces for a while a few years ago, and I find at some points this comes back into my images in some way.

Outdoor portrait in natural light of a woman standing on a rocky shoreline with moody clouds looking straight at the camera while the wind blows her curls across her face by Vancouver contemporary portrait photographer Angela McConnell

Fun fact – it was still quite chilly down at the beach and Natsumi had stuffed, pocket warmers down her yoga pants to keep warm.
We also had a thermos of hot tea, shawls and warm coats so that she could warm up in between shots.

MUAH Tara Ariel

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Vancouver contemporary portrait photographer

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