Blog #194 2/9/17
Making fashion images is not – to use the cliché – rocket science. With careful casting one (in this case, me, the photographer, attempting to create something fresh and new), selects a willowy, fabulously beautiful model, surrounds her with talented hair and make-up artists and a visionary stylist who dresses her in great clothes, and makes sure the lighting is pristine (which is to say, not only not intrusive, but unique and magical). Then all you have to do is focus and trip the shutter. The work is pretty much done. Except that it’s not.
In fact, creating a theme for a fashion story that is imaginative and original… that is the challenge, and it’s a big one. Actually bigger than that, even daunting.
The opportunity to make original, visually interesting fashion photographs starts with a unique idea that comes to life through brilliant (hopefully) collaboration.
When I was planning to create a magazine fashion editorial using clothing from different lands I consulted with talented fashion stylist Nikko Keflas. The idea: utilize designs informed by the styles, art and culture of various places on earth. He understood and sought and brought fantastic designs from many international designers.
A rather standard approach when placing more than one model in a photographic frame is to have the models stand or sit together as a group. I wanted to find another way. With the help of my assistants, I constructed a circular wall made of two sheets of 4’ x 8’ white, reflective plexiglass turned on their long sides. Prior to the shoot dates I worked with a few dancers to figure out how eventually to position models, and what the ideal number of people in this odd enclosure would be. While I was creating this setup, Nikko was gathering a remarkable cornucopia of clothing.
It turned out that three fit perfectly, a bit snug and close enough to blend the designs of the fashions, creating visually unique and unusual collages of color and patterns.
Positioning myself on a ceiling-supported ladder in my studio’s 12-foot ceiling, I was able to direct my camera exactly in the center of the circle.
I wanted the lighting to be soft; I bounced a broad array of lights off the white ceiling. It produced a broad and delicious area of light.
Posing the models in an interesting and still energetic manner was an additional challenge, but the models were game, and limber, and we developed a series of fashion kaleidoscopes. I accompanied these with individual fashion photographs of wonderful, international styles.
Designs from Asia
Designs from Russia
Designs from Mexico
Designs from Africa
Though the circular design was initially intended for its visual novelty, in the end I felt that it was a fitting metaphor for our planet from which the designs are drawn.
Models: Tatiana, Laiz, Cristen, Karen, Katja, Aisha, Sherry
Glitterati Incorporated, the publisher of the Retrospective, Schatz Images: 25 Years is now offering the two- book boxed set at a discount from the original price. The set comes with an 11″x14” print of the buyer’s choice.