In february we worked on our first themed shooting; Lady in Red. The goal was for photos by clay to get some images published in the Surreal Beauty Magazine's february issue. It was a fun photo session and we did quite a lot of planning, and preparing ahead of time was key to make it successful.
First we wrote a shot list, which is nothing more than a list of all images we wanted to have. Together with the shot list, we created the props list. In other words, as we researched for this shooting we wrote down everything we found interesting and which props we would need to make it happen. Here's a list of all props used:
- 6 red party ballons
- 10 paper lanterns (red, yellow and black)
- 10 small flashlights to light the lanterns (an idea that really didn't work the way we planned)
- 1 small black veil headpiece (made by yours truly)
- 1 red veil skirt (also made by myself, but never got to use it. Pity)
- 1 bubble machine
- 1 smoke machine (couldn't find one to buy, so tried to make one myself... epic fail)
We also went to Wallmart and found a lot of red decoration on sale that we used for props. Probably left over from Christmas
Last minute I remembered that I needed a decorative umbrella. But I didn't have time to get one, so I called my photographer friend Fon Denton and he kindly let me borrow his.
Whith all of that in hand we started planning the shots to make sure we efficiently use our time with the model and don't forget to use any props we've prepared.
From here we had a pretty good idea of how it would go. We don't like planning 100% of the photo session. We usually plan about 70-80% and then go with the flow. New ideas always pop during the shooting.
Below you'll see a series of behind the scenes photos and videos
The little tree behind the model was the only tree that had some leaves, except for the big pine trees. So, I used an off camera flash (camera right) with a red gel to light the tree and make all leaves look red. I also closed my aperture to block ambient light, so we had the illusion it was night. The model was lit by another flash unit in a softbox to avoid hard shadows. You can see a little of the softbox and stand on the above video.Check the images below.
This photoshoot lasted around 3 hours. As the main goal was to get the model and photos by clay published, we had a lot in mind and we got right to it. We started about 5pm outside. Below are some more images.
By the time we finished shooting outside it was around 6:30pm and it was pitch dark. The camera was having a hard time focusing, it was cold and it was time to go inside and finish this part of the journey.
A little bit after 8pm we finished. We were all tired but happy with the outcome. As I went through all the images, still on the back of the camera, I knew that we'd had an awesome photo session. The amount of work we all put into it had paid off. Then we were ready for the second part of this publishing project. It was time to start selecting and processing the images. It was hard to select the best ones since there were so many good shots.
The Surreal Beauty Magazine is an all online magazine and it has an unusual timeline. They publish several issues in a month and usually photographers have 2 to 3 days to get the images to the magazine. Everything is done online. They ask for the images, photographers submit their best ones and if they don't make it they let you know right away, otherwise photographers are asked for high resolution version of the images. Images need to be ready for printing, without watermark. On the email photographers need to credit the model and send an image release. All of this is done in 2 our 3 days. So, we went through the entire process in a timely manner (it was actually our third submission to Surreal Beauty Magazine, so we were used to the process) and submitted several images. A day after we submitted the images, we got an email back asking for high resolution of two of our images. And that's it. Done deal. A successful collaboration that paid off. Yes, it was a lot of work, but worth every effort. Below are the two images (in fact not my favorite ones, but it isn't my magazine)chosen by Surreal Beauty Magazine.