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angela giraldo shoot - developing style

Published February 11th, 2013

In the summer of 2010 I was asked to do a shoot for a underwear designer in Medellin, Colombia. At the time I was just starting Lightenupandshoot and still in the beginning stages of my craft. It's fun to go back and look at images; sure there are tons of mistakes, but I like the raw feel of this series.

I've made notes on each image that shows my creative process and mistakes that I made at the time. I guess I shouldn't say mistake because it's the photographers vision. Let's just say certain effects that were created were unintentional and this was a pivotal moment in the development of my style today. Well, it continues to evolve on every shoot...but, here you see a style developing.

I'd also like to point out that I had the fortune of working with one of Colombia's most popular models, Angela Giraldo. Working with an experienced model allows me to push the creativity; there's less directing on my part and more focus on the vision.

Some things I would do differently now:

-I shot short on some of the images causing too much distortion for my taste

-I chopped off a lot of toes, fingers, arms, etc. I didn't frame up the shot like I would now


-I learned that speaking Spanish would have helped

-back lighting was something I discovered and the power of backlighting

-I shot a lot of details - something I incorporate now in most shots

-first time working on a theme

-I argued with the designer about which shots were the best (I only delivered 50 images). I wouldn't do that now, just make the client happy

In this series you see images that didn't make "the cut" I often go back and pick out gems later.



I sometimes play with gradients or in the case of the blue area it's actually a blue sky from another photo. Using Hardlight or Softlight I'll blend in colors.


-over exposed shot

-compensated with black and white Lightenupandshoot action

  • August 26th, 2010
  • NIKON D700
  • 31mm / f/4 / 1/60 sec

50" box

50" box overhead. I was comfortable with what I was doing; I just wish I had noticed that at 24mm she's a bit too distorted for my taste.

more swinging

-I love hair. This is one of those experimental moments with hair flinging. You need to just snap away...this is when spraying and praying is your friend.

  • August 26th, 2010
  • NIKON D700
  • 38mm / f/3.5 / 1/1250 sec


lots of contrast. I don't do that too often, but this series was screaming contrast. It was too flat without it.

  • August 26th, 2010
  • NIKON D700
  • 32mm / f/3.5 / 1/1250 sec

window backlit


  • August 26th, 2010
  • NIKON D700
  • 24mm / f/2.8 / 1/20 sec

window kitten

My assistant was setting up the light and the model was playing with the cat. I snapped just seemed like a beautiful image to me. Often the unplanned shots are the best.

-a photo speaks to me. That's how I know I have the shot. Sometimes I don't nail the exposure or have the right this or that, but at least I get the shot.

  • August 26th, 2010
  • NIKON D700
  • 45mm / f/3.5 / 1/1600 sec


I think I used a 50" softbox above...there may have been fill too. I can't remember.

  • August 26th, 2010
  • NIKON D700
  • 36mm / f/3.2 / 1/320 sec

terry effect

The client wanted shots with on-camera flash. I was horrified and tried it. My first attempt at on-camera flash.

  • August 26th, 2010
  • NIKON D700
  • 31mm / f/7.1 / 1/250 sec

back lit

Realizing the power of back lighting for the first time. One of my favorite shots.

Basically she's sitting in the entrance to the front door of the house.

  • August 26th, 2010
  • NIKON D700
  • 29mm / f/3.2 / 1/50 sec

natural light

Natural light - 85% of the time I start with natural light if it's a client shoot. I was fishing for an idea in this series. I think we shot about 50 different images of this floor scene. They actually look cool as a collection.

-High ISO - I realized that shooting above ISO 800 is okay. I don't know why so many photographers have a problem with ISO; get over it and stop reading stupid posts on DP!!!!

  • August 26th, 2010
  • NIKON D700
  • 44mm / f/2.8 / 1/30 sec

swinging floor

more flinging of the hair. I don't think I had any idea that my shutter was too wasn't intentional that I captured the movement. That would go through my mind now...motion blur or no blur?

  • August 26th, 2010
  • NIKON D700
  • 45mm / f/2.8 / 1/30 sec


The location had pot growing out back; I thought it was kind of funny that know one even mentioned it.


white objects

That cat was white...big problem! I look for those things now.

  • August 26th, 2010
  • NIKON D700
  • 38mm / f/3.2 / 1/1250 sec

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Antonio Caballero  over 5 years ago

Very encouraging post. I really enjoy reading it, and basically extracting as conclusion: don't let thinking about the mistakes freeze you before the shooting, or in other words, no te obsesiones con los errores, y no dejes que eso te frene!

Marvin Lewis  over 5 years ago

This is what im talking about ! awesome very informative post. Love how real your were about your thinking and understanding of each image. The the series is awesome

Vox Efx  over 5 years ago


Tony Grisier  over 5 years ago

Love the insight Mikey. You should post more like this.

Miloud Rachah  over 5 years ago

beautyful (y)