Pro Golfer Laetitia Beck

Last month I photographed Laetitia Beck, a professional golfer from Israel on the LPGA Tour, for a local magazine. Laetitia was in the Phoenix-area for a few days for the LPGA Founder's Cup and was kind enough to carve out an hour of her schedule for some photography at the J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge.

With the golf tournament in full swing, the only times and locations available were less than ideal - 1:30pm on a practice range being used by the other LPGA players and surrounded by crowds of spectators, plus too short of a deadline to be able to scout the location in advance.
I had not met Laetitia before our shoot, but I had heard she was very nice and easy to work with, and
as this wasn't going to be my first time working with a professional athlete, I really hoped it would turn out to be true. Luckily, harsh light and crowds of spectators in the background were the only challenges that day, because Laetitia could not have been more accommodating, more pleasant, or more humble.

Once we began shooting, Laetitia was down for any idea I wanted to try, and was incredibly patient while I fought the harsh direct sunlight with various lighting setups, especially if you consider it was a record breaking 97 degrees in the middle of March.

For the first few sets I was losing the light battle, Laetitia was wearing a hat low over her face, combined with the sun directly overheard, I had a hard time getting the light on her face where I wanted it. I considered asking her to lose the hat for a few frames, but I really wanted to keep the hat because it was a great fit for style and context, plus the hat belongs to one of her sponsors. Finally we found the right body position & light setup to keep the hat and that's where the strongest set of images was created.

Once I was confident that we had enough cover options from the practice range, we set out to find some shady spots throughout the resort for tighter portrait shots in natural light. We packed up our respective equipment and put them into our cars, I kept just a camera with a 24-70 f/2.8 lens and Laetitia kept just a single golf club. We spent the last 15 minutes talking and grabbing casual portraits near the pool and golf pro shop areas until I felt I'd captured the sets I wanted to leave with.

Laetitia Beck truly was a pleasure to work with, with a humility and shyness you don't see in professional sports very often.


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