This month has turned out to be quite a busy one, but I’ve been lucky enough to get a few tests in to keep my motivation up. I really love testing out ideas and working creatively, so I think it’s important to keep pursuing personal projects and shooting for fun occasionally too! I often work with Marlene Olsson, who is an amazing hair and makeup artist, so when she suggested we do a shoot together, I jumped at the opportunity.
Marlene had recently done some hair styling classes to improve on her already huge knowledge of hair, and had some ideas she wanted to test out. We put together a rough mood board, and got Erin from GTR in as our model. But our stylist unfortunately had to cancel at the last minute, leaving us with no garments.
Luckily, I was ready to improvise.
I have a few go-to garments that I keep in my wardrobe for such occasions. Lots of kimono and flowey pieces, which can be adapted to many different shoots. I had also been to the Japanese festival the day before, where I picked up a few other vintage kimono. So I wasn’t worried.
Going in with no real plan was kind of good, as it forced me to be creative with my set, garments, and lighting. I usually gravitate towards darker, shadowy lighting that is moody and has a high level of contrast, so I wanted to create something entirely different with this shoot. I wanted to keep it light and high-key, and very soft.
Hair and makeup took about 3 hours, so I had time to build my set slowly. I wanted to work with texture, so I draped and hung various fabrics and paper form around the studio. It’s amazing what you can create out of nothing.
Above: final makeup checks, and me posing for a lighting test. (haha!)
For garments, we improvised as well. Without giving away too much information, I want to say that my favourite outfit of the day was a vintage kimono worn inside out, teamed with a bed sheet that was used as a maxi skirt. Like I said, improvisation.
Not having a set plan ended up being a great thing, as the shoot developed and changed organically, and we got some amazing results. Also we got to use the smoke machine, which is always a bonus in my books!
So, this begs the question- why am I always on the floor?
I’m always trying to look at things from different perspectives and try to capture my subjects with different angles. I often find that a low angle can be more dynamic. But some subjects don’t photograph well from below. On this occasion though, I ended up laying at Erin’s feet and looking right up at her. Often not a very flattering angle, this just worked. But you’re going to have to wait to see the results :) I’ll give you a hint: there is a David Bowie reference.
Also a huge thanks to Josephine for coming along to hang out and assist. I hope you learned a lot!
Photog: Steph Doran
HMUA: Marlene Olsson
Model: Erin @ GTR Global
Assistant: Josephine Tut