Portrait: Ethereal woods

This enchanted forest of eucalyptus trees was one of the prettiest locations we’ve photographed in this year -minty fresh smelling too! Originally we had the portrait session with Chrissy scheduled to take place in her home town, but upon finding this amazing spot, we just knew it had to be taken there. After a quick picture-text she was sold on the location. Beautiful dress + breathtaking location + engaging subject = insert deliriously happy sigh here. =D When everything comes together like this, we get so giddy inside we can hardly contain ourselves. ;p

The resulting photos are below… but keep reading and you’ll see a bonus set of beach photos too!

Above: Chrissy brought along the perfect goddess dress that flowed so beautifully in the breezy afternoon. I loved how this wider frame turned out… the endless maze of trees behind her felt like an entrance way to a fairytale straight out of a C.S. Lewis creation.

Below: Chrissy looks so tall and regal.

Below: The “Ethereal flight” sneak peek photo from a few weeks ago.. one of our favorites. Kay calls this the Princess “Nah meh nu nah” photo lol (butchered spelling no doubt!… Thai(?) movie where the princess floats down from the heavens with her sisters to frolic in the ocean and a prince comes upon them; he is so taken with her that he hides her “wings” leaving her stranded on earth… anyone know the title?).

As if the amazing ivy-covered trees weren’t enough…there were calla lilies growing everywhere too! How incredibly perfect was that! This place could not have been more picturesque!! Here’s a detail photo of Chrissy’s blinging crown and the lilies.

Of course, I wasn’t going to let this opportunity pass without a photo of her in crown and sash. But, we wanted something different than the usual pageant pose and glued on smile that I’m sure has been done a few thousand times already.

After the session under the trees, we rushed down to a little jetty by the beach. Being our first time there, we struggled to find parking and barely missed the magic light! Dang gonnit! But of course, we made due anyways… “didn’t get all dressed up for nothin!” (another probably misquoted movie reference ;p.. name that movie!)

It may not seem like it from the photos, but it was super windy and cold on the beach… cool thing about it though was the wind gave Chrissy a semi-Marilyn moment.


Hope you’ve enjoyed the photos. More of Chrissy’s session to come!… the more playful pinwheel theme. Stay tuned.

BTS info:

Chrissy, thanks so much for braving the breezy afternoon with us. You were awesome out there! A special thanks must also go to the wonderfully talented Karen Her for her hair and make-up work.

The forest photos were all taken under natural light using mainly the D700 + 50mm f/1.4. With the right frame and proper direction of light… the results can be magical. From time to time, we did use the TriGrip diffuser to diffuse the dappled lighting that fell across her face. Unlike the usual disc reflectors, the trigrip diffuser works great outdoors because of it’s rigid handle.

With the beach photos, because we missed the golden hour, we were forced to use a bare flash (Nikon SB-600) to light her up. Umbrellas were a definite NO under the super windy conditions. Without the flash, the quickly fading ambient back light turned the subject pitch black… this goes to show how great the auto-focus of the D700 is. The infra-red focus beams from the SU-800 wireless flash commander was all that was needed to get pretty darn good focus from about 20-30 ft away in very dim light (what I would photographically consider to be total darkness).

  • Viola said:

    I love these photos! Lol I was telling Su about the movie and he knows it! I'll have to ask him later again what its called hahaha.

  • @Viola: Yes, please get back to us! I want to go try to find it online...I didn't know the name so did a search for Thai princess movie and pornographic pictures came up. yikes!! lol

  • Jane said:

    Perfect setting and subject. She's gorgeous!!

  • Amy said:

    I think the movie is called "Huam taim 7 leeg ntxhias. LOL. Or something along that line. Hope that helps. :)

    Gorgeous photo!!. <3 it.

  • Kab said:

    Beautifully done and great concept. I have to ask. Was your subject standing on the small green stool then you cloned out the stool in post-processing?

  • bao bai said:

    She is damn gorgeous! And both of you always doing a great ass job lol.

  • Susan Lee said:

    totally love it. amzing pictures.

  • Kia said:

    The English name of the movie is The Peacock Princess. It's a classic!

  • xia said:

    nice. where were the photos of the forest taken?

  • cynthia said:

    simply enchanting photoshoot! love all the ivy vines and how lucky calla lillies growing there too! very clever to have her standing on the stool, making the illusion of her floating in the forest....love it!! ^_^

  • Myss Vwj said:

    gorgeous photos. where is the location in this place at in California? I always enjoys the photo shoot. I would love to book with you guys when you guys come back in California (:

  • grace said:

    Wow.... that is a breath taking location!

    I've seen that movie, many years ago.... my MIL has the movie too. She actually nicked named one of her granddaughters-Sarina, Na Me Nu Na, because when she was younger she would stay with grandma and watch that movie, over and over! I will have to ask MIL for the title or go raid her VHS collection. =P

  • grace said:

    ok, I found my MIL's VHS.... it's called "Huab Tais 7 Leej Ntxhais", here's a link to buy the movie:

    http://www.hmongabc.com/store/product.php?productid=17261

    • Thank you everyone for your thoughtful comments. =)

      @Grace: Thank you, thank you!!! <3

      @Myss Vwj: We were in San Francisco...I never knew how beautiful it was but now that I do, I am itching to make another trip!

  • Lori said:

    That's the peacock princess movie :D I found clips of it on youtube LOL

    Beauuuutiful shoot. I want to build a little cottage in that forest and live there o_o

  • That forgest is soooo fairytale-like. Took my breath away... I need to start looking around Minnesota for some locations and play with my camera (I know I always say that, LOL).

  • Joe Prete said:

    Beautiful! The third and fifth portraits from the top are fantastic. Excellent example of the art of portraiture.
    It's not often that we see quality work like this!
    Joe Prete

  • Mary said:

    Beautiful portraits as always... :) love the statuesque'ness of the 2nd beach one.