A couple of months ago I gave myself the assignment of shooting a fashion editorial that represented the concept of time. I created a running list of what represented time to me: age, motion blur, clocks, a moment in time (action), floating subject (defying time and gravity), old vs. young, and more. I wanted to take this abstract concept and turn it into a firm manifestation of an image. This is my first attempt as capturing time in an editorial... and I definitely see more to come! The resulting images I have shared below were featured in the most recent issue of ZINK magazine! Zink is a great publication that combines fashion, fine art, photography and entertainment in a beautifully designed publication. Below is the lead double page spread as it appeared in Zink.
You can enjoy a bit of behind the scenes video below. Thanks to Triple Scoop Music for the great song I used!
I finally decided on the concept of mixing motion blur combined with the idea of duality. In each shot I would have one image of the model in focus (still), combined with another shot of the model in motion. To me these shots represented the idea of change and internal struggle. Perhaps the blurred form is the conscious of the model, or even her alter ego. Maybe it is her past digging at her subconscious. If you see a variety of shoots I've done in the last 12 months, I love the idea of duality and to continue to explore it. I feel that all of us play multiple roles in life, and life is a balance of figuring out who we are and what we want out of life. Maybe thats why I love the idea of time and duality! To execute this shoot I had my camera on a tripod. For each look I took dozens of images, all using the modeling light of my strobes. I never actually had the strobes fire because I was working with a narrow depth of field and WANTED motion blur in some images (not possible if using strobe). In the first set of images for each look I would shoot using a faster shutter speed (and higher ISO) in order to freeze action. Then, with my camera still on a tripod to keep the background somewhat consistent), I would shoot a second set of images with intentional motional blur. I would slow down my shutter speed to 1/30 sec, 1/8 sec, or even 1/2 sec in order to give my subject ample time to move and blur within the photo.
I did the post-processing of my images in Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop CS6. I took a variety of steps to make an old, timeless looking photograph. I would start by turning the image black and white, and eliminating a black point in the image (in other words, I made it so there was no true solid blacks). This helped to make the image look old and worn. After this initial change, I did a slight split tone to the image in order to give it some slight blue tones in the image. I felt that the blue tones made the image a bit more mysterious and referenced some older printing techniques. The next step was some general retouching. I did very minimal traditional retouching on these images because I wanted them to feel raw and untouched. The final step in the processing was adding a variety of grunge textures. I used images I found online as well as my own stock textures to give a scratched, torn and worn look to the photographs.
I worked with my usual amazing creative team on this shoot. Working with a strong and reliable creative team is essential to the success of any fashion shoot. If you are striving to become a fashion photographer, this is one of the first places to start. Build a creative team that you trust so that you can focus on lighting, working with the models, concepts, and the business side of photography.
My team included
Model: Chelsea from Major Models
Hair and Makeup: Griselle Rosario
Wardrobe: LSC for 4 Season Style Management
I frequently demonstrate poses for my models as a way to illustrate what I'm looking for... but sometimes it leads to pretty ridiculous photographs! Unfortunately, we didn't even end up using this pose in the final editorial! By shooting on a tripod I was able to take multiple frames (one with longer shutter speed, one with shorter shutter speed) and combine them together in post-processing while still having the same exact background! LSC is one of the best in the industry. Her wardrobe, vision and professionalism is striking. When I come up with a concept for a shoot, I send her general mood boards and inspiration, and she always pulls amazing creations for me! Griselle applies makeup to our model Chelsea. I asked for something a bit dark and dramatic, as a way to emphasize mysterious an uncertainty. All images captured with the Canon 5D Mark II.