Headshots on the road

There’s a song by Bonnie Raitt, called “The Road is My Middle Name”, these days I feel like I’m living it. Since August, I’ve been driving around the country, from Seattle to Boston to Washington DC to Daytona and the road doesn’t stop there. Well technically it does, into the ocean, but I stop before that happens and head another direction ;-).

As a result of this insanity, many of the tools a I might normally have available to me, I’ve been without. Like a reflector, can’t find that thing anywhere at the moment. But that doesn’t stop me. As photographer’s we have to play the role of MacGyver from time to time, or daily.

While in Atlanta I did a quick headshot session; the weather was actually kind of perfect, it was an overcast day, so I had that nice diffusion. But I needed to reflect some light. I knew I wanted some catch lights.

Now sometimes you can find a wall or something to use to reflect light, but knowing the location, I knew there really wouldn’t be many surfaces like this about.

I knew, one quick, easy, inexpensive option I could come up with to solve this dilemma. Foamcore (or gator board, depending on your location).

I found a Michael’s on the way to meet my client, and they had foamcore in a variety of sizes, in white and black as well. So I picked up a 20”x30” sheet of white foamcore for $2.99. Boom! Done!

Here’s a few of the images from the session.




I was shooting with the Fuji XT-1 and the 35mm f/1.4 lens. So a relatively short focal length, but on the Fuji it works well for headshots. For these kinds of shots, I tend to get a bit closer, especially with this focal length, so this meant I could hold the foamcore myself, while shooting. But I also had some help! Her son was with us, and he’s interested in photography so he got to play assistant a bit and hold the foamcore for me.

Anyhow, fun day, fun session.

Oh and if you’re wondering what I said to make her laugh like this?…


“Make a duck face for me!”

Daytona Beach

On a recent trip to Daytona to visit some family, I took a day, for myself to chill at the beach. I’m an earth sign, but am so drawn to the water. I blame that on growing up in land locked Atlanta! So whenever I can, I like to head to the beach.

The day was warm, the sky was clear and I had my fun Fuji XT-1 with the 35mm f/1.4 lens to shoot with. This camera is still pretty new to me, so I’m trying to shoot with it as much as I can.


I love these little birds who hang out at the beach. Often they’ll walk or fly away from you as you get close to them, but I tried to move slowly to capture this fella, and his reflection.

Edited in Lightroom 4 + Alien Skin Software Exposure 6 with the Polaroid 600 Preset (plus some customisation)


There’s a pretty cool pier, which had probably 15 – 20 people fishing off of it, I liked this perspective and waited for this guy to take off.

Edited in Lightroom 4 + Alien Skin Software Exposure 6 w/ the Kodak Portra 400vc preset + a little blur


Now you can photograph a ferris wheel and show off the entire thing, or a few cars, or one, so many options. For this shot I decided to get directly below it.

Edited in Lightroom 4 + Alien Skin Software Exposure 6 w/ Time Zero Film preset + a curves adjustment.


And another perspective of the Ferris Wheel, this time showing off some of the cool clouds in the sky. I love clouds!

Edited in Lightroom 4 + Alien Skin Software Exposure 6 w/ Time Zero Film preset + reduced the highlights


And there’s always joggers, walkers and people on the beach. I saw this guy was jogging and captured him, if you zoom in on the photo, he’s fully off the ground.

Edited in Lightroom 4 + Alien Skin Software Exposure 6 w/
Kodak Ektar 100 + Curves adjustment (slight)

I have to say, if it was the height of summer, I’d probably not have visited this boardwalk, simply because I’m sure it’s super busy. I like to see things in the off season, where you have more of the folks who live in a place. You know?

This morning I popped over to catch the sunrise, well at least part of it. Someone is a night owl so they didn’t wake up quite early enough… regardless here’s an iPhone snap from this morning.


More to come from the road… Oh if you’re on Instagram and want to see all my photos from this epic journey, check out #kateontheroad2014 :).

~ kate


In case you didn’t notice, I apparently love to do road trips, especially mini day trips to check out new landscapes, cities, etc… Armed with my recently acquired, gently used Fuji XT-1 & my 3 Legged Thing tripod, I drove up and over to Maine, landing in Kennebunkport.

Here you’ll see Brian and my new camera are enjoying the views, houses, on the coast. And we had yet another fabulous day.


I took my time at the first little beach I found, shooting with my X100s & the XT-1, on the XT-1 I currently have the 35mm f/1.4 lens, so between the two I have a couple of nice options of focal lengths, that work for me.

It was a little chilly, but that didn’t stop people from walking on the beach, wouldn’t you on a day like this?


Camera: Fuji X100s; Software: Lightroom 4/Exposure 6

I really loved the combination of clouds and water here and opted for a black and white conversion.


Camera: Fuji XT-1, Lens Fuji 35mm f/1.4; Software: Lightroom 4/Exposure 6

Birds in the sky, flying south for the winter, perhaps!


Camera: Fuji XT-1, Lens Fuji 35mm f/1.4; Software: Lightroom 4/Exposure 6 (preset: Polaroid 669 Yellowed).

And finally this gentleman was just enjoying the view, I don’t blame him one bit!


Camera: Fuji XT-1, Lens Fuji 35mm f/1.4; Software: Lightroom 4

I really enjoyed this little day trip, always fun to get out and explore. When did you last do that??!

~ kate

photographer. educator. seattle.