Shooting with models on location and in the studio
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Photography Blog by Duncan Holmes

Shooting with models on location and in the studio


New Muses and other shoots

Sorry, I know my titles are usually a little more obtuse, but I've been reading up on this blogging lark and apparently I should choose headings that actually mean something!

Anyway, it's been a while since I posted as the Spring rush of weddings and events kicked in, so I thought I'd ignore all those and write a post about my muse project. At the end of last year I felt like I'd left a few creative opportunities unrealised and decided I needed to give myself more of a chance to take a run at these in 2017.

So I wrote down a few ideas, some wildly improbable, some eminently practical and a few just plain daft. I then reached out to find a muse.

In the end I found two. I'd worked with Rachael quite a bit last year, so she seemed a natural fit as someone I knew I could work with and who liked to play with creative ideas as much as I did. A lesser known quantity, but a model I'd promised myself a while back that I'd love to work with again was Caitlin, who I'd briefly met at a student makeup artist shoot in Edinburgh.

Doll and Demon

Being February our first foray into this new set of projects was in the studio.

I took the opportunity to rope in a couple of makeup artists, Rachel Louise Newton to work on Rachael's look and Taarna Swanson to turn Caitlin all demonic. The additional retouching on the doll shots was by a talented retoucher, Donna Colvine.

Broken doll model drinking tea. Photography by Duncan HolmesThe doll was shot fairly simply with a couple of softboxes and against a white backdrop. I always envisaged the possibility of adding to the shot in post production, so Donna's skills were invaluable.

Model in demon makeup lit by gels. Photography by Duncan Holmes



The demon however was a different kettle of fish. We were shooting both looks in a single studio, with a black backdrop against one wall and the white against the main wall. This meant that Caitlin's shots were very much head and shoulder closeups, putting the pressure on her to come up with new expressions for the shots and on me to make the lighting different. I fell back on an old favourite of mine and chucked some gels at the problem. I seem to remember I also had grids behind the gels at some point. Then for the shots against the white backdrop I gelled the background lights.
Studio portrait of a demon. Photography by Duncan Holmes


Gluttony

Model with lollies over eyes. Photography by Duncan HolmesThis wasn't actually my idea but I'll take the credit as it kind of arose out of the shoots Rachael had helped me with. Rachael decided to pig out and I helped. We piled in sweets from the sweet shop and cakes that really deserved better and Rachael did her best to eat most of it. We made a hell of a mess but had a fun shoot, even if I did feel slightly queasy about it. Once again lighting was fairly simple here and it was more about finding a spot on the studio floor to get the right angles at.
Gluttony, model stuffing her face with sweets. Photography by Duncan Holmes


Kikai Geisha

I guess I'd had some subconscious awareness of the Ghost in the Shell movie, though I don't think I'd seen their assassin geisha until after I'd conceived of this one. I was browsing Etsy for a particular mask for another shoot idea, when I came across this mechanistic Venetian carnevale masks. Laser cut metal and a gold sheen and I was hooked and then designed a shoot around them. Luckily both Rachael and Caitlin possessed kimonos, which helped to keep my budget a bit within the bounds of reasonable.
Avant Garde Geisha. Photography by Duncan Holmes


Avant Garde Geisha. Photography by Duncan Holmes
With the help of spectacular hair by Marianna Coletta and fab makeup by Debby Harvey we took a slightly avant garde alternative approach to makeup and shot both models without makeup before bringing the masks into play.
Geisha in a Venetian mask. Photography by Duncan Holmes



This was shot with a beauty dish as main light, a small softbox as fill and then a  hair light on a boom. All against a black backdrop.

Kikai Geisha, Mechanical Geisha in a mask. Photography by Duncan Holmes


Caitlin and Rachael both had different and inventive ways of interpreting the characters the masks, makeup and clothes and it was interesting as we threw ideas back and forth on poses and angles.

Geisha in masks. Photography by Duncan Holmes


Metal Thistle

Tribal makeup and aluminium scale mail. Photography by Duncan HolmesNow this was more of an ad hoc shoot, but it fell neatly in with  my muse project.  I'd bumped into Nihoma at Edinburgh's Capital Sci Fi Con where she had a stall displaying her fabulous creations made from aluminium scale mail. I gave her my card and we kind of muttered about shooting at some point in the future. I bumped into her again at Dee Con and finally sat down with her to set a date. Then with Caitlin returning as model and Kasia Lerch on makeup we were able to bring the shoot to life.
Fierce in Metal Thistle designs. Photography by Duncan Holmes
 Unlike my previous shoots, which had all been at Dreghorn Photography Studio, this shoot moved to the east end and Basement 49. The owner had acquired a couple of old truck tarpaulins from Newcastle and this one made for a fabulous backdrop for the shoot.

Belly dancing Metal Thistle designs. Photography by Duncan Holmes


The other shoots

Viking with Amy

Amy wanted to be a viking, taking inspiration from the TV series. I had some inroads on obtaining sword, chainmail and borrowed clothing  and a shoot was born.  Hair and makeup by Ruth Anne Hawkins.
 

Ruby Trix

I'd shot with Ruby previously so we had a shoot ahead of Rachael's gluttony shoot to capture some of her awesome burlesqueness.




Cher, Melissa and Mikki

Some random ad hoc model shoots out and about as I found gaps in my diary. Enjoying the Spring weather and dodging showers, wind and hail.



Jacki Clark styling Raya

If you've followed my posts you may have seen Jacki's name cropping up on some shoots as she helped me with styling. As part of her studies she needed some fashion shots at short notice, We shot in between torrential rain alternating with drizzle as Chic  played at the bandstand in Kelvingrove park. Makeup by Kirsten Hendry.

Student Fashion, model, copper beech. Photography by Duncan Holmes

Unusual crop, fashion editorial style. Photography by Duncan Holmes




















And last of all a bit of cosplay fun in the Botanic Gardens with Blake



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