Sometime last November, I had gotten this intense inspiration to shoot something that centered around one simple theme whether it was a color palette, a style, or a mood; but to establish a series of photographs that focused on one constant with a few variables. I had never really done something like this before as I typically shoot a number of different looks per session, allowing the shoot to progress organically while providing minimal direction unless necessary.
Needless to say, I thought this would be an excellent challenge to better hone my directing skills as well as working more with pre-production planning.
I approached a long time colleague of mine, Leecee (a professional makeup artist and the model in this shoot!), with the idea and she and I began the preliminary steps. It took a few days of emailing back and forth various ideas and moodboards in addition to assembling the wardrobe and figuring out a story, but once we settled on a backdrop (a beautiful, colorful house in this case) we were finally able to get the ball rolling.
Thousands of images were shot using the same look and style (a maid/mistress) but with variable scenes within the house ranging from a vintage styled kitchen to an eclectically dressed sitting room. It was a nice change of pace, taking the time with each shot making sure everything looked right in the current segments before moving on to the next scene.
After the shoot, I initiated the standard post-production procedures of selecting the images to be retouched, then colored them in accordance with their setting or mood. As a lot of the images were more decadent and playful, they were retouched in much the same way, using a vibrant tone à la Ellen Von Unwerth.
Since this shoot, I’ve started conducting subsequent shoots in much the same manner, taking a more proactive approach over the scenes within the camera as opposed to the reactive methodologies I’d frequently use in the course of my career.
It goes without saying that if you have an idea that you’ve been dying to shoot, definitely go out there and shoot it! In the same respect, if there’s a certain method or style of shooting you’ve been wanting to try out as well, it never hurts to experiment.