I ended up with a full day Sunday to take photos, so I went all out with the drag makeup, which took an hour to apply (here’s a link to the tutorial I attempted to copy; obviously I failed at replicating her look but it at least got me somewhere interesting).
Using the softbox for this shot; lots of light on the face and sharp shadows. Also, I wore some different foundation for this shoot, and the results were a little splotchy, IMHO. I can tell on the neck more than anywhere.
I’ve ordered a new backdrop but didn’t have it in time for this session, so I was using the same brown background I’ve used for over a month. Quite honestly, I’m completely bored with it, so I wanted to be able to at least change its color while processing – something that isn’t as easy to do as you might think. The mottled background means it blends too easily with my skin and other clothing tones, so I knew I’d need to wear something that would completely contrast with it or editing would get too messy. I also needed to cover as much of my skin as possible to avoid it blending into the background, too (I wasn’t able to change the background color of the photo above, by the way – too much of my skin matching up with the backdrop).
No softbox here, using a Speedlite mounted on the camera and bounced off the ceiling. Much softer light, but more shadows. I aimed a ring light at my face to help eliminate some of the peskier shadows this lighting tends to create.
I decided on a costume gown I got for 75% off at the grocery store right after Halloween – it isn’t exactly season-appropriate, but it was a good contrast for my backdrop, and it was surprisingly appealing when moving to boot. An interesting ombre effect on the skirt and sleeves, and an awesome overlong bell-shape to the sleeve all created interesting images when flinging the cloth around. I was very pleased with both the color and movement of this thing when I saw the photos (you can tell I was able to change the backdrop color on these easier, too):
As you can tell in the shots above, I got bored with the short red wig (since it doesn’t incorporate any movement into the shot), so I switched to one called “Cool Kitten” from Gothic Lolita Wigs (it’s now discontinued). As a kitty wig, this thing sucked; the little cat ears were just some wig hair wound around two little styrofoam triangles, and didn’t stay put at all. But when thinking about what hair to wear with the dress I remembered this wig, and thought it might work to use the styrofoam ears as a base for some flowers and give the whole outfit something a little more Renaissance-faire and less Gothic-bride. Worked out great.
I also played around with my two Speedlites a bit to create some cool shadows. White balance on these shots was a bitch though, and I came out a little green, so I just decided to go with it and added a vintage filter to exaggerate the effect. Not as pleased with these as the others, but it’s something different.
And of course, there was jumping:
In looking over all these photos, I fear they may have suffered from the I-must-edit-every-shot-I-like-now syndrome that takes me over at times. I edited pics from 4 PM to midnight, and at some point in all that work I got sloppy, as I always do. When will I ever learn? Oh well. There are loads more from this shoot I can process more slowly and meticulously throughout the week.
Including photos with props, like this one!