• Derek Giovanni

Old Roseville is my back yard playground! With the amazing Ella.



Last week I had the pleasure of working with the beautiful Ella. She reached out to me via Instagram a couple weeks ago to see if I wanted to work with her while she was visiting from Isreal. I always love working with people that are not from the area, and I'm glad we were able to find a time to shoot.


We met across from the Boxing Donkey in old #Roseville, #California. This area has become one of my favorite places to shoot. I have chosen to make old Roseville the main emphasis of my @strollatlantic project on Instagram! I love the colors and the combination of old and new architecture in this area. I think the backgrounds are very interesting here. When I'm shooting portraits, I'm always thinking about my backgrounds!


We didn't start shooting right away. I'm not a big fan of whipping out the camera at the very beginning of a shoot. I think pictures start flowing better about 10-15 minutes into a session, so the first thing I like to do is get to know my subjects better. We walked around looking for the best light, I explained my simple methods for posing, I asked some questions about which was Ella's best side, and we chatted about the images that were to come.


Once we started shooting, I chose to shoot with natural light first. I love strobes and I had one with me, but I like to shoot natural light as well. I'm not one of those photographers that thinks one light is better than the other. Use what you have! I actually loved the images we got right away, and I know Ella did too because she asked for two images from this initial set.


When I shoot natural light at sunset, I'm a sucker for placing the sun somewhere behind the subject. Not directly behind them, maybe somewhere close to the edge of the frame. I'm love back-light so why not make the sun work for you, right?


After we took these initial pictures, the sun started setting even more and the light was changing quickly. We continued to shoot natural light while walking around old Roseville. Photographer tip - for fashion style images, don't stay stationary photographers! Make sure to move and take pictures while the model is walking.. more on this in an upcoming blog.


We also found my favorite door in all of old Roseville, and I had to take some pictures against it. I just had to pull out the strobe during this part of the shoot because I knew the light cast by the strobe would add an interesting element to the shot. Thank you to Ella's mother for coming out and holding the strobe for me! I really like the images we got here!


When you find a door like this, you shoot against it!

After we were done shooting at this location me moved over to one of my favorite alleys in old Roseville. I love setting up shots in alleyways because it feels less obtrusive than setting up lights in the middle of the street. We took quite a few different walking shots in this area (most of the video above was taken during this time). The light was changing quickly, so the strobe came out again, and it was during this time that we took my favorite pictures of the evening.


One of my favorite pictures of the evening.

Of all the images I took at this time, this picture spoke to me best. I love everything about it. I love the pose, I love the light, I love the framing, I love the space behind Ella that I could've taken away but chose not to. I love how she's close to the right-hand side of the image. I love breaking photographic rules, and you should too photographers! Pictures like this make me want to keep going on my photographic journey to become an even better photographer.


The evening was wrapping up, but we weren't quite done. There is a bar in this area where the neon lights come on at night, and we just had to grab a couple more images here before the night was through. Here were a couple of my favorite images we took against the neon lights.


Against the neon lights. Thank you Budweiser!

And one more for good measure.. this time with a reflection off of a prism I always keep in my camera bag.


A slight prism reflection.

This was where we wrapped up our session. I was extremely happy with this shoot, and I feel we got a ton of keepers (this set of images is just the tip of the iceberg).


Thank you to Ella and her mother for joining me this evening! If you haven't already done so, please follow her on Instagram (@ella_yanir), and while you're at it, please consider following @derekgphoto and @strollatlantic!


One of the things I hope to do with my blog is to take you on an adventure with me as I work with many wonderful people in and around #Sacramento. The goal is to show you how I find people to work with, and take you through my sessions so you can get a feel for how I shoot. Maybe you'll be interested in joining me on an upcoming #portrait #session, booking or event (the best way to do this is to be added to my mailing list to be notified of upcoming events, but you can also contact me if you want more information).

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