Although her grandfather was a photographer, Jenny Sathngam never considered photography until she left her full-time job in the business world and traveled to Australia. Every spare second was spent on the beach teaching herself new techniques; because of this people and water are now some of her favorite things to photograph. 2014 was a good year for her photography business. She stopped shooting what she thought people wanted to see and started honoring her own shooting style, in hopes the work would follow. She’s gone back to shooting a lot of water and outdoorsy scenes and even started a personal project photographing Canadian surfers.

One of Sathngam’s favorite client shoots last year was for the popular outdoor brand, Yeti. The brand wanted a little more of an urban vibe for the photos while still staying true to their strong hunting, fishing, and outdoor roots. Sathngam shares some insight into the planning process and a few final images she captured in the Austin area.

Yet Image 1

Finding the Right Location

Sathngam scouted three different locations near the water for this shoot and wanted to make sure each was accessible for the client and crew carrying all of the necessary gear. She settled on the Barton Creek bridge just south of downtown Austin which is conveniently located next to a parking lot in Zilker Park. Being a popular weekend location for locals to hang out, the shoot was planned during a weekday to help avoid crowds or other distractions.

In addition to the location being public and free, the area offered several different scenes Sathngam could use without straying too far from home base or wasting time getting from one area to the next. “When shooting outdoor locations for projects such as this, I always consider how to keep everyone comfortable,” Sathngam said. “Such as access to restrooms, parking, a place for talent to change, and small comfort items like bottled water and bug spray.”

Overall, Barton Creek provided a very natural and fun environment for the crew and models which created a genuine upbeat look to the photos.

Yeti Image 2

Follow the Light

When scouting outdoor locations for photo shoots, Sathngam likes to scout in the morning or late afternoon. This helps her preview the sun’s behavior and how the light reacts with the surrounding environment. Direct light complimented the concept for the photos and brought out the clear blue colors in the water. Scouting Barton Creek at the planned time of the shoot also helped communicate her vision to the client and choose a theme for the models to follow that would compliment the scenery as a whole.

Sathngam also made sure to consider how the light would change as the team continued shooting photos into the evening. Knowing the direction of the creek gave her plenty of golden hour access to the setting sun.