Kirsty Jones Kite surfer, profile portraits.

Kirsty Jones Kite surfer, profile portraits.

I have known World Champion kitesurfer Kirsty Jones for many years, the first time I met her we shot a news article on a freezing West Wales beach in the pouring rain to promote a channel crossing world record attempt. We lost touch for a while and then in 2008 I was asked to shoot some images to promote the new indoor surf machine at Swansea’s new leisure centre, I needed someone to photograph using the machine who could surf and lets face it, for national newspapers someone who looked good on a board too. Kirsty agreed straight away and we met up and spent a morning surfing together and getting some great shots for the press release. She asked if I could take a few profile shots for her while we were there as she was having a new website put together, it was the least I could do as she had done me a great favour by posing for the surf machine shots. But instead of ‘snapping’ a few headshots I said I wanted to arrange a proper photoshoot. I had some new portable lights and wanted to try out a few ideas and she was the perfect subject.

Kirsty had recently recieved new swimwear and accessories from her sponsor Animal and she wanted some shots modelling these items. As it turned out, the day we arranged turned out sunny but no wind, so kitesurfing was out of the question, but this was more about Kirsty than action shots. We chose Oxwich beach on the Gower Peninsula, it was close by, was pointing in the right direction for the late afternoon sun and had quite a steep beach which meant at high tide I could get very low to the water without having to go out very far. It’s a very protected beach so it’s often very calm, a plastic bin liner was all i needed to keep splashes off my camera.

We packed up and jumped in the car and headed over to Langland beach, which has a more rocky landscape. The plan was to bring my lighting equipment on to the beach and light Kirsty in a very dramatic way to contrast against the beautiful Welsh coastline. A simple three light setup was used to create very different images to the usual surf brand images we shot earlier.

Here’s a little video I shot behind the scenes on our shoot. (more picture below the video)

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