Contest #63: Win an X-Drop Backdrop Kit (a $120 Value!)


The Challenge

In this Lightapalooza Basics photo contest, we are asking to see a portrait of your most beautiful subject. This can be a portrait of a gorgeous model, your lovely spouse, a beloved family member, your darling child, or even a cherished pet! We want to see how you best capture your favorite subject.

The Prize

The winning participant in this Basics photo contest will receive a Westcott X-Drop Backdrop Kit. These backdrops kits are an essential tool for on-location and in-studio portraiture with easy assembly and light-weight travel.

This week’s Basics winner will also be receiving a Lightapalooza 2013 Golden Ticket, which enters contestants into the year-end drawing for the Lightapalooza grand prize. This is our last round of photo contests, and thus your last shot at winning a coveted Golden Ticket! Good luck!

The Inspiration

In this inspirational video, boudoir photographer and Westcott Top Pro Jen Rozenbaum walks viewers step-by-step through an intimate photo shoot illustrating the best communication practices between model and photographer. Jen suggests simple talking points and directional techniques to ensure both client and photographer are comfortable and relaxed throughout the shoot.


36 Responses to Contest #63: Win an X-Drop Backdrop Kit (a $120 Value!)

  1. ndharv85 December 16, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

    This was a candid shot spontaneously in a local restaurant in Capri, Italy in natural light coming through a window. We walked in for lunch and the owner’s daughter was sitting in her mother’s lap near a window. She became animated at the sight of 8 loud Americans eating lunch. Shot with Canon 1D Mark IV, ISO 800, 1/160 at f2.2. on my 50mm f1.2 lens

  2. Paul Bradley December 15, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    Even though I love all of my clients I just can’t be happier photographing anyone more than my son, Gavin. This was actually in the middle of a maternity shoot at our house. Gavin came outside and stood in front of the couple and started posing. At first he posed with his hands on his knees (like a sorority girl which let me know that I needed to limit his time with his mother and her old sorority alumni friends) but did manage to stand still long enough to capture this. Thank you for looking!

  3. Tail Snaps December 13, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    This is our cat, Gavin Mewsom (named after former San Francisco mayor, Gavin Newsom). Layered the red fabrics on the red chair and used a gold hued duvet cover for the background. Shot with the Apollo 28″ softbox and speedlight.

  4. Jim Tincher December 12, 2013 at 11:38 pm #

    A recent photo shoot. Theme was diamonds and glitter. This was the model’s first shoot.
    Nikon D600 1/80
    ISO 1000
    Nikon 24-70 at 62mm f/8

  5. HHH December 12, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    My Beautiful Scarlet O Hara AKA Jillian
    Camera Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XSi
    ISO 400
    Focal Length 65mm (104mm in 35mm)
    Aperture f/10
    Exposure Time 0.005s (1/200)
    Name IMG_0846.jpg
    Size 3724 x 5501
    Date Taken 2011-10-09 16:42:49
    Date Modified 2011-10-09 21:59:36

    File Size 4.78 MB
    Flash flash fired, compulsory flash mode
    Metering pattern
    Exposure Program portrait mode
    Exposure Bias 0 EV
    Exposure Mode auto
    White Balance auto
    Color Space sRGB

  6. Christine David December 12, 2013 at 2:26 am #

    This is a photo of my stunning niece Danielle. She was diagnosed with alopecia during her senior year of high school. By the time prom rolled around she was completely bald. This pretty girl, who once had thick, luscious ringlets of hair, now has none. But her beauty continues to shine through her piercing green eyes.

  7. Hayley Ng December 11, 2013 at 8:37 am #

    As I’m currently living the busy life and having busy friends, I often find it difficult to find someone to sit down and photograph. This was until I looked in the mirror and realized I had a subject to photograph whenever I was available! Here is a self-portrait I did on a Sunday afternoon. Just me, my camera and my tripod.

    Shot with a Canon 6D, f/4.0, 1/13sec, ISO 3200 with natural light coming through a small window.

  8. snydersnapshots December 11, 2013 at 3:00 am #

    My son and I went about 20 miles east of Great Falls, Montana to get some star shots last summer. On a whim I had him look through his camera at the North Star, while I photographed him with the Milky Way behind him. I used a Nikon D700 and Nikon 24-120 f4 lens. The exposure was ISO 800 at f4 for 30 seconds. I painted him for about 15 seconds with a small LED penlight.

  9. cjcmarquez December 11, 2013 at 2:10 am #

    My beautiful girlfriend shot in natural light on the lawn on the main part of our campus.

    Canon 6D + 50mm.

  10. jonlhung December 10, 2013 at 11:13 pm #

    This, hands down, is my most beautiful subject. He may not be the most cooperative, or even the most patient subject, but he is my dog and the love of my and my fiancee’s life…besides one another.. of course :)

    I love this one because I waited what seemed like an eternity to get this photo. But when he was getting tired and about to fall asleep, I just knew it was the one chance to catch him yawning.

    Zeus, shot with Canon 6D @ 85mm f/4.0 1/250 ISO 10000, indoors with natural light.

  11. melissa3339 December 10, 2013 at 7:07 am #

    My friends son. He loves the guitar! Has to have it with him always. Who knows! Shot with natural light out doors. Canon 5D Mark III, EF135mm f/2L USM, ISO 160, 1/800, f/4.5

  12. TiffanyC December 10, 2013 at 1:35 am #

    My favorite and most beautiful subjects always have and will always be, my children. My husband is an Air Force reservist, so on some weekends when he has reserve duty we pack up and head out with him. This portrait was taken in our hotel room using window light with a Nikon d700 & 50mm 1.4 at ISO 400 160th f2.5. I love this photo of because it captures all their personalities perfectly. My daydreamer, my comedian, and my very focused perfectionist.

  13. Lesley Carol Scott Vines December 10, 2013 at 12:05 am #

    This image was created as a print wrap and is of my beautiful youngest daughter Becca during her “Fall Foliage” session. It was taken using off camera flashes using my Canon 5D Mark II my settings were f4.5 1/125 200 iso

  14. michaelcarlos December 9, 2013 at 9:49 pm #

    My Icelight arrived last week (courtesy of a Black Friday sugar rush), and I grabbed the nearest subject the moment it arrived. This just happened to be my regal Shetland Sheepdog, Duncan.
    I used a Sekonic L758-DR to meter where the Icelight fell (to get nice contrasty shadows and a darkened backdrop to accentuate the tree lights). The Icelight was on a stand positioned about 5 feet from Duncan. Photo was taken with a Canon 5D Mk III on a tripod. Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L Mk II at 70mm. ISO 640 (because my pup moves quickly). f/4.0 1/6 second.

  15. mbrooke0806 December 9, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    Senior Pictures taken at the Fort Worth Stockyards in front of a gorgeous light blue house with a windmill.

  16. Sandra Burchett December 9, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

    This was a shot that I submitted to a local magazine. I took the model to a jewelry store, and they decked her out in over 1/2 million dollars worth of diamonds! The model and I were both really excited! Make up and hair was done to imitate Marilyn Monroe. She was an amazing beauty!

  17. Kevin December 9, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    Not sure on this contest for the most beautiful subject. It was a hard selection. I picked a model that is my go to when doing any kind of equipment/studio testing. Love her red hair, she has amazing lines and body angles. And people continue to comment on her facial structure.
    Best cause she is such a hit with the fans, I would have to select Alexis as my most Deverse Subject

  18. Kim Scot December 8, 2013 at 10:55 am #

    Winter’s Sorrow
    Nikon D80 70-300mm Lens
    No Reflector or Flash Because I wanted a really cold and dreary look.

  19. Digital93 December 6, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

    Denise is our favorite model, she work great, understand your idea, and she have a beautiful face and expression with the perfect geometry between the eyes! and her soul is the last touch for complete the circle! Nikon D300, natural light

  20. Dave Birch December 6, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    shot using a Sony a77 and the 15-50/f2.5 kit lens…ISO 100…1/200 sec…using the world’s greatest speedlight modifier…the 26″ Westcott Rapid Box…(deflector plate: shinny side towards the light + outer diffusion panel)

  21. sengpiehl December 6, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    My beautiful niece Amelia! She slept through the entire shoot :)

    window lighting
    Nikon D90
    35mm @2.5
    ISO 500

  22. DavidIanJohnson December 6, 2013 at 12:48 am #

    Portrait of a friend. Used a single-continuous light source, no reflectors.

  23. RKruegerPhotoNJ December 4, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

    This was shot in my boudoir studio in November with one of my favorite models, Marlene. In fact, it was my first shoot with my new Ice Lights that I purchased at the 2013 Photo Plus Expo in NYC.

    Shot with my Canon 5D Mark III and 24-70 f/2.8L at 70mm. ISO 1250, Aperture f/2.8, Shutter 1/80″

    For lighting, I used both of my Ice Lights on stands with the Westcott tilting brackets, one camera left at full power, just above and in front of her, and the second lower on camera right, dimmed down to just get some subtle fill on the left side of the image.

  24. Breanna Ridgeway December 4, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

    This is my family. my sister and nephews. I photographed it right before sunset hit at f4, 1/1250 at a focal length of 18 in Raw on my Nikon D60. I didn’t use any other lights, just natural sun. Added a warm glow filter once in photoshop. I think the most beautiful thing can be true happiness and so that’s why I choose this photo.

  25. Hector Vazquez December 4, 2013 at 3:10 am #

    Best way I can explain this would be “The babies first smile”….This was in my home studio with only an 24” umbrella, d7000 and my 50mm 1.8. Hope you like it

  26. jaimietull December 4, 2013 at 12:53 am #

    This was a concept shoot I put together for my photographer & model friends and I. We used a Beauty dish, Ring Light and bubble machine and of course one of the model/photographers.

  27. December 3, 2013 at 10:47 pm #

    I used natural light and my Nikon D3200 with my 35 mm fixed lens. (ISO 400, f1.8, 1/500) This is my cherished pet. Meet Chalupa! A 7 yr old Chihuahua who means the world to me. She had back surgery when she was 3 yrs old for a ruptured disk, was paralyzed, and learned to walk again. Chalupa is sporting her Japanese dog kimono (that I bought for her in dog clothing store in Japan on a trip). She is comfortable in front of the camera, as you can see from this photo. I like how she is looking directly at me with her eyes and the catch lights in her eyes. I would love to win this backdrop for pet photography!!

  28. Becky Kempf December 3, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

    My most beautiful subject is my granddaughter, Sylvie. I took this picture with natural light in the late afternoon when the sun was lower in the sky. I used a Panasonic Lumix GH2. Story behind the shot – Sylvie’s life is fast-paced and hectic. Her parents work long hours and her brother is a special needs child who takes a lot of attention. I wanted to slow life down for her and give her a chance to “pause.” We went for a walk in the woods and the field and picked wildflowers along the way. The dogs and cats went with us. I had props, like the chair, set up in advance along the way and I snapped pictures as we walked and talked.

  29. Lauren Denise Rogers December 3, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    I’m an absolute sucker for photographing a gorgeous redhead. Katie posed for me out in the cold snow, which provided glorious fill light in this natural-light portrait. 1/500, 1.8, 100ISO, 5dmkii, 85mm prime. I love the beautiful light flickering through the green trees, it’s such a lovely contrast to that bright red hair!

  30. spectaclephoto December 3, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

    This is a picture of my daughter and my most beautiful subject. I spent an hour hanging strings with star stickers. I hope you enjoy!

  31. Eric December 3, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    This picture is of me late Grandmother. She never would stand still for a pic so get a clear pic of her was hard. Wish I had been able to spend more time with her.

    Canon 60d
    70mm at f4
    1/50s shutter speed
    Iso 3200

  32. James Lout December 3, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    This is a photo I made of my beautiful girlfriend Amanda.
    Canon 5D III, Tamron 28-75. 1 Canon 600ex-rt Speedlite in a 26″ Rapid Box just out of the frame above and a bit to the right of the camera..

  33. Karen Vaisman December 2, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    I photographed my daughter with 4×6 studio softbox and Wescott 80″ shoot thru umbrella outdoors. Nikon D4.

    Karen Vaisman

  34. Ray December 2, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    My daughter Shay.
    Natural light and foam board reflection
    500 at 2.8
    iso 200
    145mm focal length 70-200 vrii
    Nikon D700


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Grand Prize Sponsors:

Adobe - One Year Creative Cloud Click in Moms - Lifetime membership - $195 Lens Pro to Go - $500 Gift Card NAPP - Annual Subscription, PSW Passes, Educational Materials Super Digital City - Ice Light - $600 Henry\'s Photo Video Digital - $500 Gift Card SanDisk - $500 Prize ThinkTank Photo - $415 Airport Security™ V 2.0 Rolling Camera Bag Prize

Weekly Prize Sponsors:

Erin Manning Photography Cardinal Camera - 4 Prizes Hernan Rodriquez - Signed Book Joe Farace - Educational Books Pro Studio - 4 Prizes Super Digital City - 3 Prizes Midwest Photo Exchange MCP Actions