If I want to stay fresh and exciting in my work, I need to draw inspiration from a variety of sources. I am inspired by movies, music videos, clothing, locations, props and really try to just let my mind be free. If you do fashion and conceptual photography, you know that sometimes you have an idea that percolates in your head for awhile. It sits there and you wait for just the right moment to shoot it. The right moment was when I shot it for Fault Magazine. This editorial, Rorschach, was something I had been meaning to do for awhile. If you look at my work, you can see that I frequently like to play with the idea of symmetry and repetition. I enjoy when mirroring an image or creating a repeated pattern helps to make the image and scene more surreal. Furthermore, I love symmetry as a strong element of composition. Its funny, when I first started in photography I learned that a symmetrical composition was relatively 'weak and undesirable'... yet now I embrace the balance and peaceful energy (and abstract qualities) that it provides to my images. If you flip through my portfolio you will see that it is a visual tool I utilize frequently. Several years ago I saw the movie "Watchmen" based on the popular graphic novel. I enjoyed the visuals, costumes, and score of the film (great Smashing Pumpkins song in there!). In particular, the character Rorschach got my creativity flowing and I began to form an idea around creating a mirrored-image editorial reminiscent of ink-blot test. Rorschach is a character whose ink-blotted face changes to create intriguing abstracts. It wanted to create an editorial that would border on abstract but still have fashion/form be a central element. For this shoot for Fault Magazine, I was able to put my desires for symmetry and play on Rorschach into practice. I worked with creative team: Wardrobe: LSC for 4 Season Style Management Hair/Makeup: Griselle Rosario Model: Lizzy from MC2 Publication: Fault Magazine
When developing the concept of the shoot, I instructed my wardrobe stylist that I needed clothing that were black and white, and structural (or had graphic elements). I remember when she showed me two outfits in particular that just SCREAMED ink blot-- I was thrilled. For makeup, I instructed Griselle that I wanted something graphic and that would feel like and ink blot test... something that perhaps had texture and graphic elements to it. Finally, I told the model that I needed really graphic poses that looked great in silhoutte. I needed a strong silhouettes (and asymmetrical poses that I would mirror later) in order to achieve the visual dynamics I was seeking. The final mirrored looks were all achieved in Photoshop CS5 using lighten and darken blend modes, and layering the same image on top of itself. My model had perfect skin and a great look-- almost alien-esque in appearance but still stunning.
When creating this editorial, it was a challenge to envision what the final results would look like. In the image above, for example, I shot the raw image with only a slight idea of how it might appear in the end after the mirroring effect. As I worked in Photoshop I 'struggled' with the push and pull in my mind of HOW abstract to make the piece. Do I make the entire editorial all about repetition and graphic elements? Or do I play more with symmetry and layering? In the end I embraced both options in the post-processing effects.
This editorial is in the current issue of Fault Magazine, available online and on newsstands. I included the portrait of our model, Lizzy, below to show you an idea of the versatility of the model as well as how hair/makeup/wardrobe plays a transformative role.