We’re on location for a Sax Girl photo shoot and, as usual, the weather gods are conspiring against us.  That’s how it seems anyway.  The plan is to shoot a cool, girl saxophone player picture with a beautiful sunset background, but typical – the sky’s covered with impenetrable cloud.  It’s supposed to be summer!

Ever the optimists, we’re fuelled by the enthusiasm of our model, Emma-Jay Constantine, who is for one night only, female saxophonist extraordinaire. We live in hope the clouds will shift, so we soldier on.


The Making Of A Girl Sax Player Photo | by Sharon Henry

Our shoot setting is ‘the Guns’ at Ladder Hill. A frothy sea spray smell wafts up from West Rocks far below, and gourmet cooking drifts down from Rosie’s Taste 4 Life restaurant nearby, making it hard to concentrate.

Emma-Jay’s standing on a designated rock, steady in heels that’ll break the likes of me.  She looks fantastic in a midnight blue cocktail dress with a net skirt that catches the strobe lights perfectly.

We’ve just finished applying makeup (on Emma) in the back of the car, then picked our way over rocks to this spot on the cliff edge, next to the rusting WWII guns.

Makeup in the car can only mean it’s a location shoot.


Behind the scenes on the Sax Girl Photo Shoot.


One of the 6-inch calibre Mark VII Elswick coastal defence guns at Ladder Hill, earlier in the day before our shoot.


Saxophone photo shoot at Ladder Hill Guns with just natural light, before turning on the strobes.


Sax Pic, Rocks & Cereal Boxes

Although we try to keep equipment to a minimum on location shoots, there’s still a good amount of gear to cart around.  We like being prepared, which means having the right accessories on hand to prevent getting caught out.  This includes cereal boxes for gobos, masking tape and old curtain strips filled with stones to stabilise the flash stand against the wind. It’s all a good advert for recycling.

The Breeze 2 Model

Even though we’re shooting outdoors we’re not relying on natural light. We have a 90cm soft box in front and a snooted back light firing at Emma, who is no stranger to modelling for WTSDN.  Our previous adventures together have included a bikini shoot at Banks Battery, and of course, Emma was our Breeze 2 model in 2016.


Crashing The Sax Girl Photo Shoot

Today’s shoot is featuring a big saxophone borrowed from my uncle who used to play in a brass band.  Having never held such a musical instrument before, and to make this girl sax player shot believable, I was given a crash course in basic handling and fingering for saxophone players.  A quick lesson I’ve passed on to Emma, whose previous experience matches mine.

Turns out though, she’s a natural air saxophone player and starts channelling Lisa from The Simpsons from the get-go.  We’re impressed and set about shooting the girl playing saxophone like she’s a pro.


Sax girl photo shoot final result – model Emma-Jay Constantine rocking the look at Ladder Hill Guns.


Saxy Sax Photo Shoot – All Done

Not so impressed with the light though!

The weather worsens so we’re forced to ditch the sunset idea and make do with the gloomy sky.

But, we’ve ended up with a sax image we all love and perversely prefer to a luminous sunset.  A saxophone girl seemingly playing her heart out with a dramatic, skyscape background.  Good thing we didn’t give up.

Despite the weather, we had fun on this shoot, and chalked up another first for us, taking saxophone pictures.

We’ll be planning similar shoots throughout the year so subscribe to the blog for updates straight to your mail box.

If you’d like to see other photo shoots we’ve done on St Helena and in cities around the world, click here.


Take Our 7-Day Photography Challenge

Hope you’ve enjoyed this saxophone player photo shoot post.

If so, you may also enjoy having a go at our 7-Day Challenge, which includes testing your skills at your very own photo shoot. The Challenge is basically a no-pressure set of 7 photography exercises to do at home over 7 days. We designed this series after completing three Project 365 Challenges and realised how setting a daily target can really do wonders for improving a photographer’s skills.

Our 7-Day Challenge is a Free Download which you can then save to your laptop or phone for later reference. Good luck, let us know how you get on.