Stylized 1950s Beach Shoot

What better way to enjoy the heat of the summer than with a stylized 50s beach shoot? 

The era of the 1950s was filled with elements of class, fun, color, and style. Stars such as Marlyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and Elizabeth Taylor defined the era with pincurls, glamorous makeup and bold fashion. After being pitched the idea of a stylized shoot, I knew that a nostalgic, throwback to the iconic 50s would be a blast to put on. 

Because summer is a crazy time for most, finding a model was a bit of a challenge, especially since we were looking for a specific look to match the timelessness of the period. Fortunately, Ms. TaraLee messaged me on Instagram, and offered to help us out. With her bright, blue eyes and long blonde hair, she fit the archetype wonderfully. 

As is the way it works in the Panhandle Plains, we were hit with some serious wind when we met at the dock of Lake Meredith. Although it took my boat twice as long to get to the location, we did finally make it to the sandy shore of one of the many coves in the area. What happened next was nearly magical. 

Have you ever planned something, pictured how it will pan out, and then just have your expectations completely and utterly blown out of the water by something entirely better? That is basically what happened when TaraLee stepped in front of the camera last weekend. My team and I were so impressed with TaraLee’s natural ability to channel the stylized 50s beach shoot vibe we were going for.

Even though this was her very first modeling gig, you’d never know it. She was timeless, classy, professional, and best of all a joy to work with. Despite the wind knocking that statement-making sun hat off of her head 37 times, and our boat getting stuck in the sand (yes, it took seven of us to move it back in the water), she rolled with every obstacle with a smile on her face. 

When in the middle of the shoot, I am never afraid to put myself in less than ideal situations to get the shot. Usually, I am found in the middle of a street, belly down, calling poses to my models while shooting behind my 400mm lens. That usually draws some attention from both pedestrians and drivers alike. Even though I left the 400mm behind for this shoot, my 300mm still called for me to wade in the waves about chest deep.

There may or may not have been a few close calls with the water-the uneven sand below my feet was a less than ideal surface to work with. But my mentality is that if we can get the shot with only a reasonable amount of risk, it is 100% worth it. I can honestly say, I really think that the choppy water, gusts of wind, and several stumbles in the waves paid off in dividends…but, I’ll let you be the judge.