I joined Instagram about six months ago hoping to share my photos, and also to make connections that might lead to new photo opportunities. I have enjoyed getting feedback on my photos, and discovering many excellent photographers in Japan and around the world, but the connections have been slower to come. Last week, however, I did get to meet the lovely Tomoco, thanks to Instagram. Tomoco lives in Mie, but had plans to meet a friend in Nagoya and had a small window of time (4:00 to 7:00 in the afternoon) before the meeting so we hastily scheduled a portrait session. As I don't get many portrait opportunities, I like to make the most of the sessions by utilizing a variety of lighting situations and locations. The day we met had clear blue skies so the light at 4:00 was still too harsh for direct lighting. I had hoped for clouds, but the weather didn't cooperate, so we had to look for open shade. Trees can work, but if the leaves are not thick enough, bright areas show through, so I prefer being next to buildings.
As the angle of the sun got a bit lower in the sky, I decided to try some back lighting. With back lighting, I was able to add highlights around Tomoco's head, while allowing her face to be lit with soft, indirect light.
Though it was my first time to meet Tomoco, I was immediately struck by her beautiful hair, which looked nice back-lit and also in indirect light.
Another thing I noticed about Tomoco was her hands. I think she would make a good hand model.
By around 5:30, the light had softened a bit, and we were able to move into more open areas.
We had planned to go to Noritake Gardens, but it was too sunny, and the park would close before the golden light time of day, so we went back to Shikemichi instead, where I am always drawn to the dark walls.
Besides changing locations and lighting, I also like to capture different moods. In this sense, working with Tomoco was a fascinating experience. Other than suggesting where to stand, I didn't give her any instruction, but just let her do her thing. Sometimes she seemed to go to a sad or faraway place.
But, then she would smile, and it was like the sun suddenly coming out from behind the clouds.
Generally, Tomoco liked to look off into the distance, or down at the ground, but once in awhile she would suddenly look at the camera, and it was like a jolt.
As afternoon moved into evening, the light changed again, and we were able to get a different look, using direct light and flash. At one point, a taxi approached from behind, adding to the night atmosphere. For a hastily planned, one-off afternoon session, I was pleased with the variety of looks we were able to achieve, and working with Tomoco was a real pleasure.
You can see more photos of Tomoco taken by other photographers at her Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/sari.moco/?hl=ja