When Kelly and I discussed locations for a portrait session, she mentioned the Blue Wahoos Park in Pensacola. Since I had not been there before I took a look at it with Google Maps and thought it would be a great place to shoot. The only time she could shoot was mid morning and that is not my favorite time to shoot, especially on a bright day.
I arrived early to scout the place out. It was a bright, sunny day with no clouds in the sky. This meant natural light was not much of an option. Shooting midday causes racoon eyes unless the subject tilts their head into the sun, but this also leads to squinty eyes. If I have the subject with their backs to the sun and shaded, then that blows out the sky. To compensate for this I used off camera flash for fill light. Photographing this way gives me more control of the light and keeps the backgrounds from being washed out. Also, the sun becomes a second light and adds a touch of highlight to hair. It is a bit more trouble to shoot this way but it gives a studio look to on-location portraits.
We shot for about two hours and it was a total collaboration. I had some spots picked out and Kelly pointed out some spots she liked. I was impressed with Blue Wahoos Park and how it is part of the community of Pensacola. I can see how it is getting rave reviews on a nationwide basis.