Monday, January 9, 2012
The 12 Peacock
A peacock can spread it's tail feathers and stop traffic dead with admirers. I doubt if there is anyone out there that would disagree that peacocks are one of the most magnificent and majestically beautiful birds on the planet. In the atmosphere of 12, I thought it would be great to start the New Year with something beautiful and majestic. Pulling inspirations from a dear friend and acquaintance, I dedicate this shoot to that friend; Ms Lanna Barrones. After viewing some of Lanna's works and hearing her encouraging words, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with this particular shoot. Now came the fun part; the selection process, I pretty much knew what I wanted to use, but after spending almost an entire morning in the fabric store with Jah; my makeup artist, dealing with color selection, let's just say "we had our moments". It was a hilarious day, as well as a very decisive one, because once we cleared this challenge, we had a very nice view of the big picture. At least for me, what I was seeing in my head (see my hand drawings), made me realize what my finished piece would look like. So let me break this shoot by category:
Wardrobe- would be simple yet colorful. Lanna had done a shoot in an open field which I thought was beautiful. Fall colors using a beautiful natural colored dress with an oversized train. For me, I wanted vivid, and I needed somethat that would make the final shot possible. Having a typical dress, no matter how long the train, just wouldn't work, so after a long discussion with my makeup artist, we headed to the fabric store. Once we arrived, again, Jah, asked me to explain how were we going to do this shot? LOL. I am not sure if she ever really caught on to the concept, but she really got into the whole matching fabrics. So much that I had to take a break and walk away from them because not only were we dealing with the colors we also had a fixed budget for the shoot. Finally we made a decision and surprisingly we were well under budget at the cash register.
Hair-I am very fortunate because I have access to the two most creative hairstylist on the planet. A lot of people might sometimes say this about someone they know, I mean it. A discussion about hair with these two means I only have to mention an general idea, and get out of the way. It is that simple. Ashley requested peacock feathers, and the hunt was on. Wasn't much of a hunt, because I knew exactly who to go see for something as unique as peacock feathers, and I had an ample supply of them, full length and again, still under the project budget. Thank you to the crew at London Couture (http://www.lcvintage.com/), "you ladies and gentlemen really put a new meaning to customer service". All I had to do at this point was sit back and let Ashley do her magic, (Kristy had to sit this one out to recover from a surgery. "We wish you a speedy recovery Kristy".
Makeup- Jah is another very talented part of the team who doesn't have to write anything down ( why am I starting to feel like the only person who have to write things down to remember them?). Jah described the color scheme and if I wondered if she had grasped the concept when we were looking through fabrics, there was no doubt in my mind she knew exactly where this was going when she talked about makeup.
The Model- Serenity had previously done a hair show and watching her walk that show, I said it in my head about her "A Peacock" (well actually female peafowls are referred to as peahens). I simply told her "give me that same attitude you did during the hairshow". We were now ready to go into 2012 with our first shoot.
This shoot consisted of three elements. A location shoot, a beauty shoot, and a fashion shoot.
The location shoot- I used a large softbox. I ordered a 28 inch beauty dish, which I had hoped would deliver before the shoot, but that didn't happen (It did deliver the day after the shoot... you gotta love em right?). Shot at an aperture of f16, shutter speed of 1/125, and an ISO of 200, shot with the 70-200mm f2.8. I really wanted to capture the texture and vivid colors of the feathers, make up, as well as the fabrics, and these settings seemed to do the trick perfectly.
We then went in studio for the beauty shot- used a gridded strobe and a 17 inch beauty dish. I also back lit the background with 2 snooted strobes. I shot the beauty at an aperture of f8, shutter speed of 1/160 and ISO of 200. I used the 85mm f1.4 for this shot.
The fashion shoot- The fashion shoot was shot with the 24-70mm f2.8 at an aperture of f18, shutter speed of 250 and ISO of 200. I used a large octabox, two gridded strobes for side lighting and a hair light and a studio fan to give the fabric a blown look. The fashion photo is a layered process which I knew I wanted to capture so the model was instructed to give me a shot where she tossed the ends of the fabric into the air and another shot where she gripped them as seen in the photo. I then placed the layers on top of one another with the tossed fabric being the back layer on a new layer. I then used the eraser tool in photoshop to expose the tossed fabric area of the bottom layer, and that is how I got the super high fashion look from what was simple toss of a cloth. You can learn the layering tecnique by clicking on this link if you are unfamiliar with how it is done: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DA8TgyTruV8&list=FLZyFxJsZLAIqMJArXUPUmyA&index=87&feature=plpp_video