Portrait Inspiration – Retro LA Style and Lighting Tips

All images of Model Angela Lindvall for Elle by photographer Nicholas Moore

I have always loved a little LA Style it kind of reminds me of Sydney. This shoot recalls as whole lot of things including the  fab Julianne Moore in Tom Ford’s film A Single Man.  Throw in some beautiful light, a wonderful caftan and I am gonsky. Just missing an up-do!

Lurving the styling and that beautiful hat, oh and put a pool in any photo and Carla’s in love. The model has her back to the sun and is creating her own shade. Wonderful trick to do in full sun.

Most magazine shoots are made up of a variety of shots. Environmental shots where the model is a part of the location but the environment is almost the hero, tighter full length shots of the model, plan Americain as they say in Paris which is a classic crop just below the navel of the model and then tighter portrait shots like this one..

Loving this environment pic. Just missing the gorgeous Colin Firth on the set of Single Man..

Now if you are around my age you will probably remember the ‘Banana Lounge” that beautiful model Angela Lindvall is reclining on. I see a ‘Banana Chair’ and I am a sixteen year old kid in a floral cotton bikini with sun streaks chatting with my best buddy.


1. My guess is and I maybe wrong but this shoot was inspired by Tom Ford’s heavenly styled movie A Single Man.

2. I loved these sun flooded images. You really feel like you are on holidays looking at these pics and I love how the photographer hasn’t avoided the sun he has played with it.

3. I use this ‘get out of jail’ technique on bright sunny days. I turn my subjects back to the sun which creates their own shade. You then simply expose for the skin. You will notice the highlights are blown out on the left but the lighter shade part of the pool  is also correctly exposed which is a similar exposure to the shade created on the skin.

4. Photo 4 has been taken in direct sunlight but in my opinion not at the hottest part of the day. Probably in the morning or in the afternoon judging from the shadows and the relative softness of the direct light. Always a great time to shoot people in direct light.

5. Love this last pic of the beautiful Angela smiling. This pic has been taken in open shade with a little mixed light probably because is this was taken in direct light as per the previous shot the white would have been bouncing off light and would have had too much flare.

“Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.”   Maori Proverb


I hope you enjoy these little tips. If you think they could help someone please feel free to share.

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6 Responses to Portrait Inspiration – Retro LA Style and Lighting Tips

  1. since I am from LA, I adore these shots + Stunning! xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

  2. Catherine says:

    Wow so beautiful. I’m quite a banana chair poolside babe and these shots do make me think of sparkling Sydney arvos! xcat

  3. La Contessa says:

    YES CARLA!I remember the BANANA LOUNGE!!!XXX

  4. I think I am smitten with that hat in the second shot- but then I am a sucker for hats and retro ones at that. xx Corrina Tough

  5. Liz Thomas says:

    Always love the tips you leave us with. They’re very helpful to know!

  6. Igor says:

    I can’t wait to get my hands on this book. It’s been almost impossible to get it in Europe up to now, but in May it will be finally launched and then oh then I will indulge in this beautiful book!! I will appreciate it big time as I used to live in Greece 10 years ago as a student. Thanks for the interesting interview! Cheers, Igor.

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