My wife Victoria and I have to keep our skills up just like every other professional, and while we do regular shoots such as family and senior pics, those types of shoots rarely allow us to flex creatively enough to learn new concepts and ideas, hence why we search out projects like this to practice various lighting set ups and new photographic techniques to incorporate into our repertoire.
The first thing we do is scour the internet for a picture or idea we would either like to recreate or expand upon. Granted recreating another artist work isn’t the most original thing in the world but the process of studying how another artist created something in the absence of them telling you is a great educational experience. For the spider woman shoot I found the picture on the internet and instantly fell in love with it, it was created by a photographer named John Farrar, who is a most phenomenal photographer. Here is the original picture we found:
After saving the photograph the first phase of the project began, recruitment. Like usual the recruitment process began by posting the photograph on our Oni Studio facebook page and asking for volunteers, the photograph generated many responses, including a KISW rock girl, but for some reason or another I never picked out anyone.
One day while at work I saw a girl from the side and for just a second a picture of her in a skimpy super hero outfit flashed through my mind, (creepy I know) and I asked her if she was interested. Her name was Kat, and she readily agreed, stating she loved to have her picture taken and always wanted to try a professional shoot. Heres a pic of Kat similar to what I saw that day:
This phase has pitfalls as well though, once someone has been picked the wife and I move along with other parts of the shoot process such as deciding on lighting and background trusting the model is doing what she needs to do. Sometimes the model will have done nothing claiming she has no idea where to buy outfits, can’t afford outfits, or hasn’t had time, ect. This usually means we have to find a new model. However Kat seemed to take the assignment seriously and not long after our first discussion informed us she was in Burlington shopping for a new outfit, impressive!
In the meantime we were trying to get availability from Ashley our makeup artist, and I started to sympathize with my wife a bit more. Since this was the first time I had headed a project I was unaware of the challenges that came along with it. First I didn’t have anyone’s number, true I could have gotten it but I have a phobia about saving numbers in my phone, (weird I know) so relied on facebook as my communication tool, which in my opinion was ineffective as Kat and Ashley would message me, and I would lose it, or they would lose my message,
Anyway, finally after multiple schedule failures we all came together for the shoot, Kat got straight into makeup, here’s a few pics of the process:
Just sitting down, getting started!!
This was about an hour into it I think, Kat is finding out this is harder than she thought!
Last thing is the lips!
Finally after over two hours of Ashley applying the makeup we are done, in my opinion this is some of Ashley’s finest work, she was very self critical, but everyone in attendance was more than happy!
We then moved on to the shoot itself, Victoria and I
had argued (errrr debated) over the light set up, we wanted to recreate the lighting we saw on the photo, you learn a lot trying to copy lighting, its very exploratory and you pick up new tricks and techniques you can use in paid shoots, however again it’s not very original. This was one of our first attempts:
Uh oh! Something we didn’t take into account, Kat being nervous in front of the camera! After a bit she really loosened up and started having fun! However, we like for the models to do a little more than have fun, for lack of a better term and especially to be invited back for more projects they have to be able to focus and “bring it” or emotionally connect with the camera and viewer. We think Kat pulled that off in these next few pics:
Hope you enjoyed our first major blog post, we hope they will get better and better, tune in next time for our next upcoming project, codenamed, “The Kiss” here is the concept photograph by Tanya Chalkin:
Our next upcoming project, if you’re interested in volunteering contact us for further information, volunteers will receive a high resolution printable disk of the shoot, a chance to work with us again, and our undying gratitude!
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