Normally I use the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 zoom for a shoot like this because it allows the quick flexibility of changing focal lengths along with a fairly wide open aperture. It is also a VR lens which helps diminish motion blur due to my hand-held shooting. This time, however, I chose the Nikon 85mm f/1.4, one of Nikon's best lenses. I set the aperture for f/2 because I wanted to work with a very shallow depth of field that would allow me to focus on just one or two people and use the others as background. I wanted to create a spontaneous, candid look in the scenes, and find that out-of-focus foreground areas help to achieve that effect. I never changed my camera set up all day.
I love working with the 85mm f/1.4 but it is not a VR lens, and with me moving about rapidly and encouraging the models to also move around quickly to change their expressions and body language, I like to have a high shutter speed to prevent motion blur. The sunny day allowed me to work at a speed of 1/1000 -- perfect for stopping any action in situations such as these.
|4 models in 1 day with 1 camera, 1 lens, and 1 very open aperture. A few samples from the day shoot are below.|