While on a trip to London I had the opportunity to photograph Courtney Cruz. She is also from Los Angeles, we were both attending an event in London and decided to take some time for a shoot after an evening event.
Since it was after dark we were limited to the light we could find in the hotel and in my room. We shot in the entrance to the hotel, the hallway, my room, the bathtub, and the shower. This is one of my favorite images from that shoot, and one that I can share here.
With only one recessed ceiling light in the shower, there were only a handful of positions that I could put her in that were flattering. This one looking directly into the light is very glamorous, reminding me of a film noir look. Her makeup was perfect and held up well for the first few minutes in the shower. I find the photo beautiful, intimate and sexy.
Some of the thoughts that went through my mind as I took this photograph was that I wanted kind of a Rembrandt style lighting so I had her turn her head slightly towards me so that the shadow of her nose connected with the shadow on her cheek closest to me. I also wanted the tip of her nose inside the line of her far cheek, generally a good idea when photographing someone’s partial profile. I chose a shutter speed of 1/60 of a sec to allow the water from the showerhead to blur, but fast enough to freeze any possible motion. I used an f/5.6 aperture as it was wide open for the Canon 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 lens shooting at the 135mm focal length on the lens. The ISO was set to 640.
The biggest contribution was of course Courtney’s expression. She is so comfortable, so confident, and clearly at peace in her shower. And this in lukewarm water! You can’t use hot water as it would steam up the lens of your camera.
I chose to convert the image to B&W as the lighting photo really made me think of an old Hurrel image.
I hope this was helpful in your photography pursuit.