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Bikini Photo Shoot At Banks Battery, St Helena

Look 1 - Bikini photo shoot inside the stone tunnel at Banks Battery.

Look 1 – Bikini photo shoot inside the stone tunnel at Banks Battery.

What To Wear In 30 Degree Heat | Sharon Henry

Heavily laden with enough kit to equip a mobile photo studio, we march the dusty path, like many soldiers before us, in searing 30 degree heat. Trekking to the shoot, our destination is the historic Banks Battery fortifications near Rupert’s Valley.

Our mission; a bikini photo shoot with model Emma-Jay Constantine, framing her beauty and youth against the magnificent backdrop of the abandoned military lookout point and outlying pebble beach.

It takes 35 minutes steady hiking to reach the sea defence wall of Banks Battery, built from cut stone in the late 1600’s. Our backs are drenched with perspiration caused by our backpacks. Darrin’s camera bag weighs 11.5kg, full with the camera, two lenses, four strobes and enough AA batteries to send the Duracell bunny on a round-the-world sprint. I’m carrying two light stands that are awkward to grip, 3.75 litres of water, high heeled shoes, lip gloss and a host of miscellaneous items that might come in handy. Emma’s carting her modelling wardrobe; a variety of tiny bikinis.

We take a few minutes to cool down, watch the white surf frothing around the rocks and gaze toward the boats moored in James Bay across the way. But, we are eager to get started so whilst Darrin readies the strobes for the first set, which is mercifully under the cool shade of a stone archway structure, Emma changes into a white crochet bikini and slathers on sun lotion to give her skin an extra sheen.

I check her makeup for signs of ‘melting’ but Estee Lauder’s Double Wear hasn’t budged and Emma’s pretty face is immaculate. I applied her makeup two hours before and kept it natural using brown and grey tones for the eyes, brightened the cheeks with a touch of blush and used bronzer to enhance her natural glow.

What to wear in 30 degree heat. Bikini photo shoot at Banks Battery, St Helena.

What to wear in 30 degree heat. Bikini photo shoot at Banks Battery, St Helena.

The Banks stonework provided a great frame. Bikini photo shoot at Banks Battery, St Helena.

The Banks stonework provided a great frame for this look. Bikini photo shoot at Banks Battery, St Helena.

The first location is amazing. Having worked together before, Emma eases confidently into model-mode. Darrin is shooting through the dark archway tunnel against a glaring sky and ocean backdrop. The four flash heads are mounted on a single light stand, firing directly at Emma to combat the sunlight. The outcome is stunning.

The green bikini worked a treat against the rugged terrain. Bikini photo shoot at Banks Battery, St Helena.

The green bikini worked a treat against the rugged terrain. Bikini photo shoot at Banks Battery, St Helena.

The stone work was quite rough for this shot.

The stone work was quite painful for this shot.

Perfect weather for this shoot.

Perfect weather for this shoot.

We relocate to the battlements above the archway overlooking the sea. Emma changes into an emerald green bikini and slips on gold strappy heels. I’m capturing behind-the-scenes shots with our Panasonic Lumix and trying not to laugh at Darrin who is contorting his body in an array of unnatural positions to work the angles. This set is all about using the natural hard sunlight. I particularly love the raw appeal and elongated lines of the ‘crawling’ shot. The pose however, is not kind on Emma’s hands and knees so we strategically position smooth stones to make it more comfortable.

Look 3 - working the cobblestone battlements.

Look 3 – working the cobblestone battlements.

Emma looking effortlessly fabulous.

Emma looking effortlessly fabulous.

A red tunic is added for the next ‘look’ and we use the patterned cobblestones and a bushy tuft of grass for the backdrop. As Emma moves through a repertoire of poses, I angle a reflector to reduce shadows on her face.

Making it look easy in the heat.

Making it look easy in the heat.

Behind the scenes on this photo shoot.

Behind the scenes on this photo shoot.

Bikini photo shoot at Banks Battery

Conscious of time and light we move to the beach where unfortunately the sea is a little too choppy. The original idea was to shoot in the surf on the pebbled beach, but the growl of hundreds of stones dragging in and out with the waves deters us. From experience on another shoot, this can cause painful bruising on the feet and ankles. Instead, we work as best we can on the beach itself and as the sun starts to dip Emma ‘rocks’ a green scarf and cut-off denim shorts she frayed the night before.

Working the pebble beach as the light is already beginning to fade.

Working the pebble beach as the light is already beginning to fade.

The sea was a little rough to venture into, but was still a good backdrop.

The sea was a little rough to venture into, but was still a good backdrop.

We are quite determined to get an ‘in-the-water’ shot. Darrin scouts the safety of a few rock pools in the area. We get the thumbs up and Emma tentatively wades in holding fast to Darrin’s hand. With inquisitive five finger (pilot) fish nibbling her toes (some people pay good money for this privilege) Emma slowly sinks into the water, although she is wary of breaking waves and jumps each time this happens. Between us we work the angles around the rock pool with camera and reflector and one eye on the swell.

The late afternoon sunlight brings a wonderful glow to the shoot.

The late afternoon sunlight brings a wonderful glow to the shoot.

The light and location is perfect but it’s a small window and closing fast. Darrin quickly immerses himself in the pool for close ups, mindful not to get the camera wet. This is the shot of the day.

We see the most startling, vivid sunset and Darrin is lucky enough to catch the green flash. Then we hastily pack our gear and scoot back along the coastal path, reaching the car in darkness.

Final look of the day with Emma.

Final look of the day with Emma.

COMMENTS

  • February 15, 2015

    Very daring but OH! so beautiful … when it is so hot you need your speedo to keep cool guys

  • Alan Wade

    February 12, 2015

    Great photography, i am proud of you guys…keep rocking.

  • Simon Henry

    February 11, 2015

    Awesome pics πŸ™‚

  • Shara Robinson

    February 11, 2015

    Wow, what amazing pictures, Emma Jay is beautiful and Darrin and Sharon, you both are so good at what you do, i think Breeze would sell St Helena, the pictures are out of this world. Keep them coming….. πŸ™‚

  • Jolene Anthony

    February 10, 2015

    Wow! well to the Model, the photographer & make up artist, simply fantastic, keep up the good work Sharon & Darren πŸ™‚

    • February 10, 2015

      Will do our best Jolene, thanks for the feedback. Will have to think up some more great locations to drag Emma to πŸ™‚

  • Louanne

    February 9, 2015

    Beautiful Photography & a Beautiful Model. πŸ™‚

    • February 10, 2015

      Cheers Louanne, thanks for your comment.

  • Andrea

    February 9, 2015

    Absolutely AWESOME photography! πŸ˜€ Job well done guys.
    And such a beautiful model to work with aswell!! x

    • February 10, 2015

      Thanks Andrea. It’s always a good feeling when a shoot comes together so well.

  • Leoni du Preez

    February 9, 2015

    Wow … your photos are So amazing ….I scroll past work email to get to your mail and blog first …. Keep up the excellent work !!

    • February 10, 2015

      Thanks Leoni, your comment made us smile, what a nice thing to say. cheers πŸ™‚

  • February 8, 2015

    Absolutely Stunning Emma-Jay…… Brilliant photography, location and make up…Well Done Darrin & Sharon πŸ™‚

    • February 8, 2015

      Thanks ‘pinkdoor’ for your comments. Everything certainly came together just right on the day πŸ™‚

  • Julie Fowler

    February 8, 2015

    These pictures are so professional, what a great job, well done guys! Emma-Jay your beauty could build you a bright future πŸ™‚

    • February 8, 2015

      Thanks Julie, much appreciated. Always great having your support. That’s a lovely thing to say about Emma.

  • letitia

    February 8, 2015

    omw that’s really stunning pic’s

  • NoleenS

    February 7, 2015

    Beautiful pictures Darin and Sharon. Your model is a natural. Well done.

    • February 8, 2015

      Thanks Noleen. Always helps having such a lovely model to work with.

  • February 7, 2015

    Great work, stunning photos, stunning model, lighting, backdrop. Brilliant.

    • February 8, 2015

      Thanks for the comment Paul, much appreciated.

  • Eira

    February 7, 2015

    Great photography Darrin and Sharon, why won’t you get Carol Odean to be a modal next? She has natural beauty as well. πŸ™‚

    • February 8, 2015

      Thanks Eira, good suggestion.

  • Linda George

    February 7, 2015

    Beautiful !! Emma is so natural n such a beautiful face.. pics were Fantastic.

    • February 8, 2015

      She certainly is a natural in front of the camera, Linda. Very nice person too.

  • Delma

    February 7, 2015

    Stunning!!! amazing pictures πŸ™‚

  • Anita Constantine

    February 7, 2015

    am actually speechless just don’t know what 2 say…but Darrin Sharon..thanks for yet another amazing photo shoot of my beautiful daughter Emma-Jay…

    • February 8, 2015

      Thanks for your comment Anita, it has been a real pleasure creating these images with Emma. And we had a lot of fun πŸ™‚

  • February 7, 2015

    Beautiful photos. Stunning model

  • Tina

    February 7, 2015

    Great pictures. Well done Emma, you’re a natural.

  • Sandra Henry

    February 7, 2015

    Beautiful shots………well done again to both of you!

  • Elaine

    February 7, 2015

    Another brilliant photo shoot, you 2 never ceases to amaze me. Well done Emma x

    • February 7, 2015

      Thanks Elaine – now if we could somehow get at those beaches on Ascension, that would be fun… πŸ™‚

      • Anita Constantine

        February 9, 2015

        will send a container full of sand up 2 u..xx

  • Shirley Gough

    February 7, 2015

    Fantastic!

  • Patricia Williams

    February 7, 2015

    Wow! Really professional photography! Awesome shots Darrin, well done to your model, shes beautiful!

    • February 7, 2015

      Thanks Pat, a beautiful model makes any photographer look good, and it was a super location.

  • Patrick G Henry

    February 7, 2015

    Really amazing photo’s Victoria Secrets would hire you two any day….wonderful job.

    • February 7, 2015

      Hey, thanks Borbs. We wouldn’t say no to Victoria Secrets!! Haha πŸ™‚

  • olivier.pascal@napoleon-bonaparte.eu.com

    February 7, 2015

    Hi Darrin and Sharron,

    How are you? Breeze is amazing, congratulation! Have you eventuallly gone to the US or to UK to start with?

    Would you be willing to write an article on NapoleonBonaparte, owner of the recently registered brand INVINCIBLE ESPRIT, distributing outisde St Helena the four existing spirits you know well, and owner of the “to be launched” brandy, INVINCIBLE, around the 200 years commemoration taking place in 2015?

    Alternatively or additionally, include advirtising elements in Breeze and/or other media you may be in connection with?

    Looking forward to more of you,

    Kind regards,

    Olivier

    • February 7, 2015

      Hi Olivier, thanks for your comment. We’re on St Helena at the mo, but we’ll be travelling soon. Will drop you an email. cheers πŸ™‚

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