I got a call from my fashion photography agent last week for an interesting multi-designer photo shoot at a Bel Air mansion.

The location was only available for 3.5 hours and the 5’11” Russian supermodel for 2.5 hours, so this was not going to be my typical full-day fashion photographer routine where I am in my methodical mode with everything double and triple checked. For rush assignments I rely on experience and go auto-pilot, its more important to have a lot of shots and choose later than being a choosy fashion photographer.

So while makeup and hair was in progress I was busy scouting the mansion for the 3 shots I was assigned to put in the can, I wasn’t going to rely on time of day and optimal daylight since there was no time to ponder such perfection. Instead I was going to force the lighting with six 600 class speedlites which pack a punch in a tiny form factor, as a fashion photographer I have never looked back to carrying large studio strobes after using the speedlites. My assistants were prepping the outdoor shot while I was busy setting up the seven foot parabolic deep dish lighting umbrellas for the indoor bikini shot.

Fashion designer Karina Copado “Poolside Collection” is meant to never get wet!

so shooting indoors was my way of staying far from the cliche pool shot and putting some class into the mix, I had time to get one setup with supermodel Nadya Lavernova and that meant one perfect pose, I opted for a high angle shot to frame everything out except her on the white leather chair…once I was satisfied with the last set of bikini shots I moved to setup the lighting for LA fashion designer Ani Hovsepyan session.

Ani’s haute couture red dress was so perfectly fitting Nadya that she could not even sit

, it was just painted on her body. I went for a cooler color temperature to create even more contrast with the striking red dress and it worked. To isolate Nadya I shot with Canon’s 100mm f2.8 IS L glass handheld from the back of the next room, Nadya was posing perfectly shot after shot as expected and in 15 minutes I got the look I was after.

The last shot of the day was outside the mansion in the expansive Bel Air garden, the wood deck was lined with glass panels for an interesting indoor-outdoor look which was perfect for LA fashion designer Ani’s lime green dress, this was a fun and flirty fashion shot and Nadya was in the mood, I was done with all 3 setups in about 3 hours and while wrapping thought to myself… some days everything which could go wrong, doesn’t.