Working with different personalities it is sometimes very difficult to constantly produce images that compete with international standards. Fashion photographers rely a lot on the energy and “out of the box” personality from models to be creative and push the boundaries of conventional photography. This shot was produced as part of a 3-look portfolio for the model, Natalia, for use in her online portfolio for her agent. We wanted something edgy and sexy without stepping on too many toes. The shot was built in concept from a sample photo that we sourced from a Paris Vogue. I believe the key ingredient for any successful image is planning. There are too many photographers that simply pick up their gear and shoot away hoping to “find” that one great shot. Great shots are produced by days and hours of planning and conceptualizing… not by chance.

Original imageAfter selecting the desired wardrobe we started with makeup. The shot required a strong emphasis on the eyes, as this would be the key emotional element in the shot. Lips and skin tone was left natural to give a monotone feel to the skin as this would further enhance the appearance of the eyes. I wanted to create a bit of depth in the shot by only using 1 light from the side. Having a very high key exposure on the 1 side and low on the other pushes the dynamic range of the shot and visual stimulus as apposed to a flat neutral exposure.

The image was originally shot in portrait format but we decided to build in some background and rather opt for a landscape layout.  The use of negative space to the right created a feeling of editorial use and potential branding space even though this was not done for commercial publication.

Extending the backgroundIn Adobe Photoshop various level and contrast adjustments were done and blemishes were removed. The blending of the newly created background and original image also took some time to blend and match the selected colors. The final result was satisfactory with a lot of visual impact. The image was not only conceptualized from a reference picture but also digitally built using software.


Final Image by Hendre Louw


by Hendre Louw
all images © Hendre Louw

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