I am a horrible at drawing. Let’s be very clear about it. I see images in my mind, frequently super neatly, especially Estranged Sex ones or the ones which concept is clear and unequivocal. When what I want to say is so well defined then so are the images so that when I finally publish the image, there is actually no surprise for me at all.
When I work on other more emotional images, sometimes they are more blurry, more like a reverie, they invoke a feeling, so I work with the feeling during the shooting and afterwards in photoshop. When I am done there is an “Aha” moment, because I see it for the first time, complete and finished, this does surprise me.
Why would I anyway transform what I have already imagined into images? What’s the purpose, after all if I have already seen it, what do I obtain? Actually the creation itself its quite cathartic and putting the images outside my mind quite a relief. I can then see them still but they are no longer inside. I have sublimated an idea or a feeling, processed it, done something with it and left it outside.
I sense some lightness.
Cinderella started out like this.
Its pretty basic but as I said, I suck at drawing. It is shameful I know, but it is true. It contains all the elements though. A woman, in lingerie, and men queuing with an invitation. The production had begun.
I had the perfect location in my mind so I started negotiating with them. For this shot, the location was the deterrent. I knew the rest was not going to be such a challenge, but location was key. i dont have the means to create the perfect scenario for my shots, I would love to, but just dont have the means, so I have to find the perfect location each time.
Locations are great in that they are already there, and the handicap is always that they were never built to be used as photography scenarios. Lighting setups, camera setup and even compo are affected by this and there is a lot of sacrifice to be made. For me its either this or nothing, so I choose this.
I had already worked in this room doing some editorial work for a magazine so when I imagined Estranged Sex 28 – Cinderella, I imagined it in this room straight away. They were kind enough to lend it to me in exchange of some publicity for this same magazine so here I have to be grateful to both of them.
As you can see room is both gorgeous and tiny.
It did my head in but with the joys of Photoshop managed to do the shot dividing the room in 3 bits. you will see.
As I am quite shy with my drawings, in order to explain my idea to potential team members I had to do a dodgy photo collage.
And we were on. Got the models, including pleasant surprises such as my boss and an old photography friend, of course both my assistants, some estranged sex recidivists… Some of them had to have their hair died, or shave, or allow their beards to grow wild. We had such intimate conversations… XD
When they were all on board I did my final reference. I asked them for selfies in underwear, naturally.
It always surprises me how alike my last sketch and the final image are. Of course not the body or facial expressions, this was built upon are just the whatsup shots they sent me for compo purposes. But the picture was already done.
Anyhow I bought the clothing, searched for the ideal make up artist, gave her the necessary references… Hey one has to aim high when impersonating Cinderella…
Printed the flyers, visited the location, took lighting decisions, prepared everything and it happened.
Left home around 4am and by 6 am my assistant and I were already pre-lighting and setting everything up.
There was a reason to be so early and it is I knew location was small, so small. I had to run a lots of tests, try out some compositions and decide which set up to go for.
Hell by the time it was 11 am we were quite tired….
And it all went as planned. It was very pleasant because I could direct them without having to think about my acting as well. Often I have to run back and forth to see how they are doing and how I am doing and its is more stressful for me. Because their part was separated from mine, I could see them whilst shooting, so could talk to them one by one as I kept pressing the shutter, give them instructions about their role, and often end up laughing.
And so did I when it was my turn, as it turns out I am quite shy when it comes to shooting in lingerie with others..
Just to let you know the perfect shot was taken with my assisstant there in the middle XDXDXDXDXD. Of course there were other nice ones, but this one was just perfect and it often makes me laugh how frequently the perfect shot is that one where the lights dont trigger, or something else. No problem. We photoshop assisstant out.
After Cinderella I had to work, I went with all my flowers on and shooting went well but by the time I got home, 20h later I was not same Cinderella.
One day I will write about photoshop, because it is pretty cool how it enhances shots. I just wanted to leave you with this layer mask, I find it is pretty cool.