In photography it is always great to have a plan, a creative vision if you will, to set a shoot in motion. It is even better to have the flexibility to deviate from that original plan and run with whatever inspires in the moment. This shoot is a testament to both.
In keeping with my love of light and shadow, I began creating the original shoot in my mind sometime the beginning of last week. The idea was to shoot a model in pure darkness, illuminated only by a hand held flash bounced off a refracted mirror. I was thrilled with the excitement of how it would all pan out... so thrilled, in fact, that when I wasn't able to book a model for the very next day, I did a test shoot with my Valentino mannequin (known socially as "Valentina").
Lucky for me, I was able to hook a model for the shoot within the week (this is made much easier when you have a model sharing your apartment). We started off well. Adjusting flash refractions... adjusting camera settings to accommodate for the rapidly changing ambient light... so on and so forth as you would in any normal shoot. All was well. The light wasn't quite as stunning as when I tested with the mannequin - a disappointingly ironic coincidence - but in all, we were making progress... and good images.
Then my exterior flash began to die. Not entirely conducive when we were just about to move into the "motion" segment of our shoot. After waiting 2 long minutes for my flash to juice up (eternity in a photographer's world), I shut it off and said "Let's do something different".
Being the Juergen Teller fan that I am, and having wanted to introduce starkly lit motion images to my portfolio for quite some time, up popped the built-in flash, open went the bulb, and swoosh went the girl. All in all, we shot for 20 minutes collectively with more than half of the "film" being spot-on. A photographer's dream.
No makeup. No stylist. No hair. Just a photographer and her subject, a vision to boot, and the willingness to abandon that original vision for a progressive gem.
Look at what we got: these images are now available in my "fashion" and "fine art" galleries.