Light and Composition
When setting up a portrait type image like this, the two things I am thinking about most are composition and lighting.
From the standpoint of composition, I am usually thinking about how the subject will look relative to the background. I look for ways to use the background for framing and composition. In this image, it was important for me to show the ocean, crashing waves, and the walls of Fort Morro, but I still wanted the image to be about the person. What I did was to visually split the image in half down the middle, and imagined giving half of the image to the person, and half to the location. I even post processed each half of the image separately to emphasize the separation.
I used a pretty simple technique when it comes to lighting. Short lighting is the style of lighting in which the light source illuminates the side of the subject’s face that is turned way from the camera. In simpler terms, the subject’s face is pointed between the light and the camera. It is one of my favorite lighting techniques for female subjects outside because of the slimming effect it has on a person’s face, not that this subject needed it. Creating the lighting effect was simple. I just had her turn her face slightly towards the sun. Luckily it was overcast enough that the shadows were nice and soft and no other lighting modifiers were needed. If it was sunnier out, I may have incorporated a diffuser or reflector.