Sometimes I have so many ideas I don't know where to start. Sometimes I feel like I'm grasping for ideas. What I've found time and time again is that I truly enjoy some boundaries, but also complete creative freedom. Yes, I know that doesn't seem to make sense, but it truly does. Let me explain. When I have a particular theme or goal in mind, this helps give me direction in the shoot. When shooting fashion editorials the magazines typically have themes for each issue. Previous themes I've shot for have been "Ice", "Ever Upward", "Holiday", and more. By keeping these themes in mind when planning and executing a shoot it helps me make decision about wardrobe, styling, creative techniques, poses and much more. For this reason I often tentatively title my shoots even before they have been shot. Giving it a title helps me move the entire shoot in a single cohesive direction and helps me better communicate this direction to my creative team. Also, when using a title or a theme it really helps me start to flow creatively as I associate different clothing, poses and other concepts to that main theme. For example, one shoot I tentatively titled "The Raven" and I used clothing that look like bird wings, accessories with feathers, and poses like a stork. That title really help me come up with unique approaches to my imagery.
For this editorial I was shooting for Papercut Magazine. The issue's theme was "Red". If you've looked enough at my work you know that I LOOOOVEEEE red. Red is such an aggressive, eye-catching color. It is bold and allows me to create arresting imagery. When laying out my portfolio I sometimes use Red as a thread to pull the viewers eyes through the photographic series. I've been thinking a lot about my style recently. When I shoot usually the style comes naturally, but I do keep it in the back of my mind. I like things that are clean, and bold and graphic. I want images that can stand alone and grab someone's attention. Because of the theme red, I wanted to do an editorial that "screamed" red to me. I knew already that all of the other editorials would incorporate this color, and I need to have more bold imagery to really capture attention. When I was shooting the editorial it was on the very end of autumn, and the leaves on the trees were bright yellow and some red. This got me thinking... what if all of the leave in the forest were bright red? What if there was an entire autumn where the leaves turned blood red, like a stain of beautiful violence across the forest? I wanted to have a pale model, elegant and pure against this blood red stain. I discussed with my creative team and we also decided upon red clothing to make her pale complexion pop even more.
Samantha, our model from Muse, was an absolute sweet heart. She was patient, and excited, and just loved the images. She kept telling me the entire shoot how happy she was that everything was going so smoothly and that everyone was so nice! I could go on a bit more about the technique of the shoot, but I'll just give it to you in a nutshell. Basically I photographed the model again solid yellow leaves in Central Park (right outside my apartment). Photographing against solid yellow would make it easier to change the leaves to red in post production. I used only natural light, and used a diffuser and reflector (from California Sunbounce) in most of the shots. In Photoshop I smoothed out her skin and changed the leave red, and her skin REALLY was that pale in real life! Beautiful! To see some of the behind the scenes shots (gives you an idea of some of the pre-photoshop appearance) see the gallery below.
I worked with an awesome creative team as always: Wardrobe: LSC for 4SeasonStyle Management Hair & Makeup: Johnny Gonzalez Photo Assistant: Nicole Puckette Model: Samantha from Muse [galleryview id=52] [galleryview id=53]