Time for a bit of fun in the sun for this Feature Friday with Annsley Wood at the Dive Motel. Last summer, Annsley and I were looking at doing a styled shoot together. She worked with the kind people over at The Luxury Label Nashville to get some fantastic clothes and accessories to have on hand.

This was great but of course we needed to find the right venue for the shoot. With most venues closed down or on very limited access thanks to COVID, this took a few weeks of calling around before we landed a location.

The plan was for a poolside look and feel so we really couldn’t have asked for a better spot than the Dive Motel in east Nashville. The Dive Motel just drips with character and the design of the pool lends itself well to shallow “just in the water” top down images. The image at the beginning of this article is an example of how the sloping end of the pool lets one shoot straight down over a subject that is in just a few inches of water.

We had a limited time to shoot so we wanted to make sure we made the best use of out time. The Dive Motel space is relatively small so it was easy to shift our shooting spots and create a variety of looks quickly. It also helped that Annsley was able to change outfits very swiftly.

None of this would have some together as well as it did without the amazing work of Amanda Dowd providing hair and makeup. I’ve worked with Amanda several times and she never ceases to impress. Not only does she know how to match the style you’re looking, she’s the epitome of professional.

In addition to the hair and makeup Amanda was gracious enough to help out moving lights and such when possible which also helped us maximize our time. You can see behind her in the photo below the 48″ parabolic softbox we were using during this shoot.

While it looks like very bright and direct sun in many of these images, the truth was the sun was setting pretty quickly on this mid-September evening. Knowing I wanted this to look like a bright and sunny summer day, I pulled out a Glow 48″ parabolic modifier and mounted it on one of my AD600 strobes.

Parabolics can create a directional light but often I see them used with a front diffuser which essentially robs one of that contrasty direct light. Here I left the inner diffuser which creates a sort of middle ground between direct light and soft light. Keeping the box about 20+ feet away helps increase the contrast of the light by making the source seem smaller while the parabolic nature helps boost the output by directing much of the light in a tighter beam.

In the end we had a great time and came away with a lot of keepers. I cold not have asked for a better team with which to collaborate. Thank you Annsley and Amanda for working with me on this shoot.