We could shoot this in the studio, but would definitely not get the same depth, and it would require that we build a small set from scratch. Best bet was to find a location that would suit the shoot. This we found in the Deja-Vu guesthouse in Pretoria (South Africa) The room we worked in was large enough to accommodate lighting kit, Model, Photographer, Videographer, and assistant, as well as a jewellery supplier (Thanx to Jade from Irene Village!)
Next step was the model. We posted the casting call on various sites, and Marike Loots (engaged the day before the shoot, she is now happily Mrs De Kock! – find her profile on www.stockmodels.co.za) seemed like the perfect applicant. We generally do not shoot a large shoot with a model that we have not previously worked with and in this case we made no exception. Having worked with Marike previously, we knew she could pull off the look we were going for and had the perfect hair and body type for our look. Although this shoot was inspired by Chanel and Julie Ordon, we definitely wanted our own look and feel, not copy the Chanel poster ads.
The day of the shoot we brought in Desiree (from: Makeup by Desiree) to give us a very natural base makeup from which we could do effective photoshop work. Because of the type of lighting we were going to use on many of the shots (very directional single light bare bulb to single unit large softbox) we could not afford to have any makeup application that would look “pasted” or “caked” The sidelight would let it stand out something fierce, and would then extend our Post Processing time quite a bit.
From the video, you will see that we used various combinations of lighting for a series of looks from the same model. Unlike Rights Managed Stock represented by the traditional agencies, we Microstockers need to be able to give more options to clients of the same scene and scenario. This really extends the potential profitability of the shoot. Personally, I feel that the shots we did that is close light, quick falloff from large softboxes. The silk sheets we used was quite reflective, and handling burn-out was a challenge, but the flipside was that the reflective properties of the sheets meant that we could get very nice shaped reflective light, creating soft specular highlights and a very nice 3-Dimensional feel to the images without extra reflectors and lights.
All images copyright Sean Nel
The shot to the left is from the same series and used in Natural Medicine (December 2008, page 86) as a full page article header.