After going thru my clothing collection, Dezabell scheduled a whole afternoon with me to develop her modeling portfolio. We shot in only one of the outfits we’d planned on, and did less cheesecake pinup, more fashion, and more variety. Sometimes, you get into a mood or follow a whim, and that’s exactly what we did.
We started with minimal makeup, outdoors, on one of the coldest days yet. I wanted to prove that I can shoot senior portraits, and Dezabell had never had professional pictures taken for her last year of highschool. These pictures probably belong more with my general art and miscellaneous on KMurrayCreative
She wanted a fireplace behind her for a romantic boudoir look, but the backdrop was put away. Since it’s quite heavy and my boyfriend was busy, we decided not to bother him. I have a small faux fireplace that’s a space heater in my rather messy loft. We decided to make that work. Here is what we started out with:
What you can’t see is the lighting that I was using. It was two really super bright video spotlights, and I didn’t think too much about them except to get them out of my way and not pointed directly at the model. I think one was pointed at the plastic covered pinups on the wall, and the other was pointed at the ceiling. I am not sure why I decided to put the white butcher paper on the floor.
Anyway. She had brought something with her, but I put her in a vintage lace slip and had her wear some of my black nylon stockings. The pearls are hers. She was curling her hair for a pinup look, and I told her to just keep it bobby-pinned up.
A few more fur coats on the floor.
Decadent, classy, luxurious boudoir.
I did her makeup. Her eyes. For the first time, I put faux eyelashes on someone else! I am ridiculously proud of myself for this. I also lined her eyes and gave them the smoldering romantic look that was in my head.
There was clothing and clutter everywhere else except this small space we’d cleared; while Dezabell wanted to nap on the soft sheep fur rug under the vintage fur coats (I think this shows in her dreamy, relaxed, expressions), I worked around her and somehow avoided sitting on heels or tripping over suitcases (I’m glad that I’m in fairly good shape)!
Below are our results. It was extra hard to choose the best from this set.
Why shoot pinup, when you can recreate a 1920s flapper look? I just bought 3 vintage cloche hats, and one of them fit Dezabell perfectly. We started styling this third look around the felt cloche hat. I put her eye makeup on heavier and roughed up her cheeks, and gave her the “Clara Bow” look with some vampire red lipstick.
Too bad it was cold outside, because the over size shirt and long pleated skirt recreated the mid-1920s drop waist look perfectly. We shot most of this behind the studio in the alley.
It was the bee’s knees, dahling.
This vintage Navy outfit is, so far, the only one we’d previously planned on shooting. My boyfriend’s business partner’s band was setting up for rehearsal in the studio, so rather than getting out the lighting that they’d just put away, we just used what we found. Dezabell finally put her hair down, and we changed the lip line to more natural, but still fire engine red for a classic Pinup look. She’d brought along an old Navy or Coast Guard hat, and it made the perfect prop!
In our heads, she was a famous singer doing a sound check under a spotlight. The pictures with the mop and flag were totally playing around with “random crap in the background”, although I am sure you could read deeper meaning into them. We moved outside and laughed a lot, when more people started coming in.
Our last look was a more corporate look. Dezabell fit my pinstripe jacket and skirt perfectly, and wore it over a black lace shirt. Because of the angles and her lace top thigh highs, many of these pictures edged into sexy glamor. If I were shooting a strictly professional corporate “environmental” portrait, I’d use a higher necked polyester or rayon camisole or top, and opaque tights.
Fighting for the last of the natural light by the window, we were both tired, but you can’t tell. I powdered her face to make the rouge look more naturally pink, and she lightened the bright red lipstick with a paler pink (which blended in for a perfect rosebud color). She put her hair back in a low loose pony tail. A previous model had left her glasses in my car, and they made the perfect prop for a totally different look.
We shot 5 looks in about 3 and a half hours, between 1:30pm and 5pm. 1/2 of those hours was spent playing with my birds at home, since they love to meet new people. We probably could have shot faster, but lingered on the 1920s look and goofed around a lot in the Navy outfit. None of this was how we’d planned to spend our time originally.
It’s so fun to play dress up for an afternoon!