I always recommend that photographers have a story in their head as they’re approaching the shot. What is it your trying to convey to the viewer? What message does the outfit, the pose, the location convey? If you pull together a story in your head then that will dictate many of the other factors in the image. No point putting your subject in hard dramatic light if you’re trying to tell a soft romantic story?
In this instance Paul Watson brought this dress to our workshop in Jersey earlier in the year. It reminded me of a Flamenco Gypsy and so we set out to evoke that sort of mood. Firstly by using flash to underexpose the ambient light on a parched area of grass and secondly by positioning Sophie on a ridge in the dunes and using a low vantage point. This had the advantage of highlighting her against the blue sky and by shooting from low, extending her legs to look even longer.
She moved the skirt around to complete the mood. I used the sunglasses as an accent colour but also to protect her eyes looking into the sun.