This editorial is one of those instances where the entire creative team just completely understands each other's vision. I was approached by my wardrobe stylist to shoot this concept, Golden Goddess, using pieces by the incredible designer Laurel Luxe. I have photographed for Laurel many times in the past for look books, advertisements and in numerous fashion editorials. Laurel creates a wide range of interesting metallic body pieces from headdresses to body cages, to dresses made of metal linked chains. The idea would be to feature her gold pieces and the theme would be powerful, elegant, and well... gold.
I instantly knew the model I wanted to photograph, Mari Agory, one of my favorites of all time. She is powerful, regal looking, with endlessly long legs and is absolutely incredible at posing. I reached out to Major Model Management to be able to have the opportunity to photograph this beauty once again!
I began looking online for inspiration and found several golden themed shoots where the subjects were adorned with golden paint or gold shimmer. I decided that I wanted a similar effect, but likely painting the subject wouldn't be necessary. Instead, I asked my makeup artist to use baby oil and other substances to make the skin shimmer and placed my stunning model in shiny poster board set I had created. Together with my team I had built this little metallic "room" out of 4x8ft foam core and white poster board glued to it.
If you look at this page from Chapter 40 of my book Creative 52, you can see that the original image was FAR FROM GOLD (cool, silver and not glowing), and instead I achieved this final effect in camera raw.
Knowing I could tweak my color to help simulate a glowing gold effect, I lit the model with a single beauty dish when in her metallic set. In Lightroom's Develop Module (similar to Adobe Camera RAW) I drastically tweaked my white balance to give the photo an extremely warm color tone. The resulting photo was exactly what I envisioned for this editorial and after cleaning up any imperfections on the skin and background, I had my final image.
I also loved the glow of her skin and jewelry, so for each look I photographed Mari against a black background with a single beauty dish on her face, and two strip lights (Broncolor light bars) to help separate her from the background. This gave a stark contrast and helped her to glow from her surroundings. These simple clean images help stay true to my style of clean, bold and graphic. The simple elegance and glowing nature of the scene was exactly what we were trying to capture.
I've got to say... I absolutely love these images. EXACTLY what I envisioned.
Wardrobe: LSC for 4 Season Style Management
Makeup: Griselle Rosario
Model: Mari Agory for Major Model Management
Magazine: Idol Magazine
Click the images to enlarge