Sports Photography: Beach Volleyball

Sports Photography: Beach Volleyball

Commercial Photoshoot With Megan Wallin and Laura Anderson, Professional Beach Volleyball Players

As a photographer based in Sarasota, Florida.  I am always seeking for new challenges and ways to improve my body of work specially during my Commercial Photoshoot and Compositing.

Compositing. Is combining of visual elements from separate sources into single images, often to create the illusion that all those elements are parts of the same scene.

Today, most, though not all, compositing is achieved through digital image manipulation.

Compositing involves the replacement of selected parts of an image with other material, usually, but not always, from another image.

In the digital method of compositing, software like Photoshop commands designate a narrowly defined color as the part of an image to be replaced. Then the software replaces every pixel within the designated color range with a pixel from another image, aligned to appear as part of the original,

Back in 2014, besides my regular commercial work and other assignments that I got done throughout the year, I did my best finding time for personal photography work. Something that I could not do for a while.

I was willing to experiment, to take my knowledge  into different fields of photography and completely get out from my comfort zone . Change is good they say!!

That’s why. It made sense to me back then, to start analyzing weaknesses and strengths from my portfolio as a starting point for this new series I was about to began.

Most of my Commercial portrait photography is done at a studio or at a location. I try to do my best to accommodate shoots upon clients schedules, propose of the shoot and concept. Location, Location, Location!!  They say!!!

Talent is important too, right??

The pre-production stage of a photoshoot is one of the things I enjoy the most, besides shooting.  because that’s when ideas kick in, either by myself or brainstorming with a creative team. I believe that planning and structuring a shoot is a great tool to use most of the time.

But as a photographer I’ve learned over planning and over preparing is a must! Specially when you have the trust of a client for an important advertising campaign.

Be ready for contingencies when pressure is on!!!

By now, It’s been a bit more than 5 years on business for me and one of the things that happens sometimes, even though we plan ahead, is the fact that, is getting harder to get people together for a photoshoot, because of schedule conflict, bad weather, location not available at a time needed or some kind of logistic issue that does not allow a full production team to get together and successfully accomplish a photoshoot.

That’s when Compositing comes handy.

Compositing, done professionally, I believe is a tool that every commercial photographer should be able to execute with confidence. It’s a very powerful tool.

Compositing allows you to shoot different subjects and backgrounds efficiently and most of the time even reduces logistic cost.

Compositing goes beyond cutting an image of a subject and pasting that image into a background using photoshop. That’s just the bases of it, the starting point. Even masking an image the right way, takes time, precision and attention to detail.

When Compositing, we need to be able to visualize a final product in our own minds first, since we are not in the actual location.

Personally, I like to shoot my backgrounds first, then work the poses and the angles of the photoshoot with the subject upon that. Either way works fine, it’s just my preference.

As long as you keep proportion, angles and depth accurate, you should have at the end a successful Compositing.

The goal is to create Compositing that is dynamic, vibrant, impressive and realistic.

I was not strange to Compositing myself, I have done some of that in the past, for personal project and clients. I use several photoshop techniques that I picked up from other photographers and also some that I develop myself because I think they make my images look a lot more dynamic and realistic.

Just keep in mind that even though, traveling and crew expenses will be reduce while working with Compositing. In the other hand, Post production cost will increase.

For us photographer it’s a good thing since clients are spending more money on us and not on expensive locations and travel.

One Compositing can take between one to two hours to be created, not including shooting time. In a couple of occasions it took me eight hours Compositing two images. Just doing post processing, plus two hour shooting time.  Experience is a big factor here.

As mention before, I’ve have done my share of Compositing, but never a true series of them.

I’ve have chosen to develop a series of Compositing based on sports. This series began in 2014 and will continue growing throughout 2015 with different sports disciplines.

For this particular shoot, the theme was Beach Volleyball.

I did not want to use just a couple of models from an agency for the shoot, I wanted the real deal.

I use actual professional beach volleyball player. Because they have a special body type and also I wanted subjects that can perform and also understand the concept of the shoot. True athletes like Megan Wallin and Laura Anderson.

Having a professional team as part of the production, enhances the outcome of the photoshoot. Rule one before you start shooting!!

Digital photography will continue expanding through Compositing. Because the possibilities are endless.

© Enrique Pino’s Photography All Rights Reserved. All images on my photostream are under the protection of US Copyright Law. This image cannot be used, printed, downloaded, or reproduced in any way either personally or commercially without prior written consent of the photographer.

About the Models:

MEGAN WALLIN

A third generation Floridian, Megan grew up in Sarasota and was a varsity athlete in volleyball, basketball and track; she was named Florida Athlete of the Year.   She received a full scholarship to play volleyball at Michigan State, as a captain she helped the team to three NCAA tournament appearances, and was named to the All-Big 10 Academic Team four years in a row.   As she enters her sixth year as a pro, Wallin is excited to compete on the 2015 tour.

• Ranked among the top Ten beach volleyball teams in the United States; top Florida beach volleyball team.

• 2013 highlights: 2013 Champion of the National Volleyball League Cincinnati event, Champion of the Waupaca Boatride Tournament, captured 3rd place at the Hermosa National Volleyball League, ranked in the top 15 on the AVP Tour.

• Beach Community leader: Siesta Key Beach Volleyball Club (Sarasota, FL).

© Enrique Pino’s Photography All Rights Reserved. All images on my photostream are under the protection of US Copyright Law. This image cannot be used, printed, downloaded, or reproduced in any way either personally or commercially without prior written consent of the photographer.

LAURA ANDERSON

Beach Player turned Fitness Talent
Laura is a native of Indiana and grew up in suburban Chicago. She attended Augustana College, where she played volleyball and majored in English. After college, Laura transferred her volleyball skills over to the beaches of Chicago, while working downtown at the board of trade and attending DePaul University completing her Master of Education in counseling.
Although beach volleyball began strictly as a social outlet, in 2012 Laura took 7th in the famed Aspen Motherload tournament and her drive for competitive success took over. Determined to play at the highest level of beach volleyball, she packed her bags and moved to Hermosa Beach in 2013. In 2014 she played in more than 15 local SoCal based tourneys and traveled across 10 different states.
Starting unranked in 2013 and finishing the 2014 season by qualifying for the main draw AVP Manhattan Beach Open lead Laura to develop a unique fitness and nutrition philosophy in order to compete against the world’s best. Her enthusiasm and philosophies for health and fitness prove contagious as she begins her private practice for individuals seeking training and wellness counseling.

© Enrique Pino’s Photography All Rights Reserved. All images on my photostream are under the protection of US Copyright Law. This image cannot be used, printed, downloaded, or reproduced in any way either personally or commercially without prior written consent of the photographer.

BEHIND THE SCENES VIDEO