Palm Springs Windmills Shoot in Southern California!

Beautiful Windmill Shoot in Palm Springs of Southern California!

Southern California Destination

California provides a wide variety of photography opportunities for Seniors & Destination Palm Springs can provide some really cool locations including downtown Palm Springs, Joshua Tree, or the Windmills! If you dream of the wind in your hair, sunshine on your face, & sand on your toes then the desert is the place for you!

Shooting at the windmills on this day was a special treat! Rain – which rarely happens in the Mojave Desert, was hanging out on the local mountains & the clouds provided some amazing filtered light! We headed out after lunch & spent some time driving around the windmills to get the perfect location. The amazing shots that follow are just a few of the gorgeous images we captured.


Let’s Talk Equipment

Off Camera Flash  was used to pop some light into the scene. I used my SB910, hand held & got some beautiful results. I also used my Nikon D810 Camera, my Sigma Art 35mm f1.4, & my Nikon 200mm f2. If you are an interested photographer, you can find these items at B&H here….  

I also love light, all kinds of light – & this day was a treat with Carina, her photog mom Michelle & her dad Fred (AKA Reflector guy/gear grip), as we experimented with our OCF (off camera light) set ups.



Carina has awesome style! Dress to complement the colors of the desert! This rock & roll outfit is perfect. The layers of black fringe & lace, boots, jewelry & hat really make a statement. The colors worked perfect to compliment the colors of the local mountains & really stood out in front of those monster windmills.


Destination Photo Shoot

Enjoy the images from this shoot & hope it inspires you to get out to new destinations.

If you happen to be headed to Southern California & you want your very own destination shoot – then contact me here on my website or drop me a message! Let Sharon Wallace Photography help you make your dream destination shoot a reality!



I can’t wait to get out there again!





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  • Michelle Gomez - These images ROCK!!! Your talent is absolutely amazing!!ReplyCancel

    • admin - It is amazing to be able to have such a great tribe of photogs to shoot with! Love ya!ReplyCancel

  • Angie - Super cool location and gorgeous senior!  Great job!!ReplyCancel

    • admin - She is such a stunning gal with style & a fun location!!!!so much fun shooting her at the windmill farm in Palm Springs, CA!ReplyCancel

  • Jodi Major - What a gorgeous location! I’d love to visit California someday!ReplyCancel

  • Jodi Major - This location is gorgeous. I’d love to visit California someday!ReplyCancel

    • admin - Jodi, I hope you get to come sometime! California has so many fun places to go & unique places to shoot!!!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle Robertson - Such a gorgeous senior portrait session!!!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle Robertson - Gorgeous senior portrait session!!!ReplyCancel

  • Deanna Webber - Wow! These are amazing. She has such great style!! ReplyCancel

    • admin - Deanna, she is so much fun to work with & the location was exceptional!!!ReplyCancel

  • Adrienne - Really unique session! ReplyCancel

    • admin - Thank you so much! It was so much fun & destination Palm Springs has so many cool places to shoot!!! The windmill farm is certainly a fun vibe!ReplyCancel

Senior Desert Boho Chic Shoot in the High Desert of Southern California

Desert Shoot in Joshua Tree California!




This epic Senior Boho Shoot in Joshua Tree California was such a fun shoot! The pink parachute was just one of many looks we choose for the session. Shooting in the desert can be hot, dusty, & windy, but oh so rewarding to get such amazing images. Check out a few of the other images from the shoot!


Yes, we shot a pink tulle skirt!


I love the images from this session!!!!!!


Contact me now if you want to join the Model Street Team & have some epic fun in the desert!




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Celebrating the 4th of July Photographer Style in Southern California Joshua Tree!

I celebrated the 4th of July this week in Sunny Southern California with some photog friends by shooting in Joshua Tree!


There is no better place to celebrate our countries Independence, than in one of the America’s National Parks! We spent the week in Palm Springs where I gave a mini work shop on strobe lighting basics, then took it to the great outdoors in Joshua Tree National Park! Even the park ranger thought we were shooting for a commercial! Wow! We must have looked like we knew what we were doing! I think he was secretly disappointed he wasn’t going to be featured on the next vogue cover! Well, we collaborated for several weeks to style the model’s outfits. There is really nothing better than a bunch of creative minds working together!

The models came early & had their makeup done & then we began to pull their outfits together. Everything from color, to jewelry to the Free People flag scarf & a giant pink parachute! How we wrapped so many epic looks into one shoot is beyond me! We had so much fun!


If you are interested in mentoring with Sharon Wallace Photography or in any of my basic lighting hands on workshops. just click the link here to get on the list!


Enjoy the images!




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How to Shoot Portraits in the Sun


How to Shoot Portraits in the Sun!

Here are some great tips & tricks for shooting portraits in the sun!

Here in Southern California the sun almost always shines!

To get excellent portrait shots in the harsh light of the sun, you can keep the following tricks and tips in mind!

If you love this information & you are a photog who wants more fun free tips, Click here now to sign up for more free tips that will come straight to your in box!


  • The Golden Hour!

Shooting during the Golden Hour can have amazing results. If you can time your shoot to shoot during this last hour before sunset, then go ahead and plan your shoot for this dreamy, golden light. This amazing time light washes the subject with a warm glow & produces some beautiful images. Look at the golden light in this image & the beautiful long soft shadows!







  • Scrims

Scrims are a great tool to produce shade in the full sun where there is no natural shade. In this image the building had a narrow strip of shade, but it was not big enough for the model to get in complete shade. What did I do? Well, mom held up my 86″ Westcott white parabolic umbrella to create the shade I needed for the shot! It made for some pretty amazing soft white highlights! You can achieve this look with a white reflector, white umbrella, a scrim, white chiffon, white shower curtain, or almost any other white see through material. You simple place this diffusion between your subject and the sun to create your own shadow. I love the results! This allows me to get in and get some beautiful shots any time of day – so I am not limited to shooting the hour of sunrise or sunset. When shooting in partial shade, watch out for hot spots or dappled light. If you have ever shot under the trees trying to get shade you know exactly what I am talking about. Those tiny little dappled hot spots or slivers that hit the subject in the most annoying places. Now that you know how to remedy those hot spots, go ahead and scrim it to create a nice little soft light. If you can add a little reflected light into the subjects eyes, you now have the makings for a beautiful portrait. In this image the ground was a off white dirt/gravel mix so you can see the horizontal catch light bouncing back into her eyes.







  • Full shade

Shooting in full shade is definitely an option if available for outdoor shots in the sun with great results. I always look for spots with covered shade that additionally can reflect some highlights into the subjects eyes. Watch out for color cast. The warmth of the brick worked well in this image. You can use a reflector, the sidewalk, or add a speed light or strobe when shooting in full shade to bring out that beautiful catch light in your subjects eyes. In this image, no reflector was used but the light of the full sun/sky was captured coming in between some pillars, from the perfect angle to create a natural catch light.






In this image the subject was in the full shade of a building. The ground was concrete and reflected back up into her face creating the perfect fill light and beautiful catch light in her eyes. No additional reflector was needed. This shot was captured around 3:00 p.m. in the harsh light of the California Desert in Palm Springs.








  • Clouds

Clouds, whether they are floating by or it is overcast act like a natural scrim & create a beautiful giant soft box for shooting! I love to shoot in these conditions. In the following image shot at midday, the sky was gently overcast & it had begun to mist a soft rain. The results were beautiful! You can see the direction of the sun was coming from above, but instead of the typical shadowy racoon eyes, her eyes were beautifully lit and the reflected light from the lake bounced back into her face softening the already diffused shadows and adding some catch light.






  • Spot exposure meter

One trick I use to expose my subject perfectly while shooting in full shade is to use my onboard spot exposure meter selection in my camera. I always check my histogram to make sure I am capturing the information I want. This is much better than using the jpg version image that pops up on my viewfinder. This one trick, (ok 2 tricks), will elevate your photography to new heights. In the following image the subject is on a path in the woods. I used spot exposure to get the perfect exposure on her face. Light from outside the wooded area behind me was spilling directly in at a slight angle to fill her face with a nice soft fill light.  If you look closely at the catch light in her eyes, not only can you see the horizon behind me creating her catch lights, but you can see the silhouette of me in this catch light.





  • Hoodman

For around a hundred dollars, you can purchase a Hoodman Hood Loupe.  This handy gadget gets placed over your LCD screen allowing you to see your screen in full sun. This is a great tool to have if you shoot outdoors frequently. You can purchase them at most all stores that sell professional camera gear. I linked you to B&H above. The Hoodman blocks out the extra light & comes with a diopter so you can set it for your vision needs. This time saving piece of gear allows me to check my settings & results in full sun without running over to the shade after each shot.



  • Check your histogram

When shooting in less than optimal situations, such as full sun or night time – learn to use your histogram to check to see if you are capturing the proper information digitally in camera. You don’t want to blow out your highlights or your blacks so much that you are losing information. Read your camera manual to see if your camera has histogram capabilities & how to view it. Canon users can view their histogram when shooting in live view which is great for night time shooting.



  • Location

Scout out your location at the time of day you are planning to shoot. You need to see if your plan is going to work with the sun. You may need to change your shoot from morning to afternoon or daybreak to sunset to capture the look you are wanting.


  • Back light

This topic would not be compete with touching on back light. You have the opportunity to rim your subject and set them apart from the environment with back light. Position your subject with the sun behind them. I like to move off center then to get some amazing shots. I love shooting at a narrow aperture so the background typically is overexposed unless I am using a strobe or speed light to help pull down that environmental exposure and fill in the subject. Don’t be afraid to move around to get the look you want. Move up, down, right & left. The following images were created in back light.






Most importantly, get out there & have some fun shooting. Don’t limit yourself to shooting only a couple hours a day. Get creative & use your environment to shoot some really awesome portraits in the sun! I hope these tips & tricks have given you some new ideas to try with your photography adventures.






If you liked this blog & you are a photog & want more freebies, CLICK HERE to sign up for my free tips. These will come about once a month into your in box! Yeah! Everyone likes free!

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Sharon Wallace Photography: How To Fly With Photography Equipment

How To Fly With Photography Equipment?

You may be asking yourself “How do I fly with my gear & get it there in one piece?”

Well, if you have ever boarded a plane with your gear, spent the day bumping around in flight & running through the airport, only to arrive at your ultimate destination & hear the sickening tinkle of broken glass when you pick up your bag, then you know what I am about to share is important…..

One word – Pelican!

I recently met up with Court Anderson & his delightful dad in their Pelican Color Case Showroom in Carlsbad, CA to look at the cases & pick the one perfect for me. Now, I have to admit I had done the usual online looking at sites, You-tube videos etc. & I thought I knew what I wanted….but just to be sure my Nikon D200 f/2.0 would ride comfortable, I called them & asked to stop by for a test drive.



Court & his dad gave me a warm welcome and had the very case I thought I wanted out ready for me to try out, (black with red handles & latches). I asked a gazillion questions. Court showed me all my options for liners like the Trek pac. Ultimately I choose the 1510 black case with red handles. The grey insert & a gadget bag insert for the lid. Can I just say I am tickled pink!




Just look at this warehouse of color!


Pelican cases are indestructible & if it does break they will replace it. Lifetime here folks.

The case is waterproof, and has a gasket especially made to equalize the pressure.

I definitely will be visiting Pelican Color Case again!!!



Now I did the roller skate wheel hack so I will let you know how that turned out!

In the case right now, 2 Nikon full body cameras, the D810 & the D700, the Nikon 200mm f/2.0 -(the beast), Nikon 24 f/1.8, 50 f1/2, 85 f/1.8, the Nikon 135 f 2.0DC & the 105 f 2.0DC, the Sigma 35mm, the Nikon speed light SB910, Pocket Wizard triggers Flex & the Mini, batteries, chargers, cards, lens caps, etc. Wow, it holds alot!!! This little case will get me to my destination safely!


Thanks Court! Awesome Customer Service!

To see more of what my preferred gear is – stay turned… Next week I will walk you through “What’s in my bag”!





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