It has been a mad couple of weeks, so I am sorry for the delay between blog posts! But I have a free evening so nobody panic, it’s all good, I’m good, you’re good, we’re good, and this blog is good. Yes.
So here it is, The Golden Touch.
Last year I shot a piece called Midas Touch. But I didn’t like it. I hadn’t shot it right. It didn’t sit quite right with me. So this year, I decided to shoot a new set of images with a golden twist, and this time, I think I got it just right.
It isn’t a photographic story like the majority of my work, but simply a set of images with beautiful golden tones, expressing glamour, wealth and beauty. The corrupt obsession of the world.
Once I had the general concept for the shoot down, I popped over to my studio with the idea fresh in my mind and pulled out a gorgeous sparkly, golden dress from my styling wardrobe. Having built up my props and costumes over the past two years, sometimes I am super lucky to have the perfect outfit already there on the clothing rail! So now the idea and outfit was ready, it was time for the next step!
Primarily this is a beauty shoot and the key to a great beauty shoot are these three things.
A great make up artist.
A perfect model.
A lovely lighting set up.
Well, I was lucky enough to get a beautiful model, Serena Marija, and a brilliant make up artist, Ashleigh Bunce. I guess I just had to make sure I captured it all with the perfect lighting!
I wanted to the images to be shiny, golden, flowing and glossy. So rather than use a typical studio backdrop, I decided to purchase some gold crushed velvet. This allowed a beautiful movement in the background, of flowing lines and warm tones. However, this is of course, is a reflective and shiny material so you need to make sure you don’t allow your key light or back lights to fall onto the backdrop; I will explain how a few paragraphs down, after Ashleigh Bunce explains how she created this exquisite make up look.
‘For this photo shoot Linda had given me a brief outline of what look we were aiming to achieve. As the theme was very gold and shiny, I wanted the makeup to compliment the concept perfectly. I made sure the skin was dewy and fresh using Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation and my all time favourite highlighter by Jemma Kidd. This was a beauty shoot, so I had to make sure her skin was flawless and perfectly contoured. Any imperfection would stand out painfully on camera.
Ashleigh Bunce at work!
Serena’s eyebrows are amazing to work with, they are perfectly groomed and amazingly full and bushy, so they didn’t need much filling at all just a quick coat of mac brow set. Any make up artist will tell you how much they love big eye brows!
The eyes needed a dramatic look, in order to stand out on camera, but fit in perfectly with the overall golden, beautiful look we wanted to achieve. Therefore, I used all shimmers and golds to create a contoured winged smokey eye. To create this I used the Naked 2 Pallet by Urban Decay and the lovely Mac eye shadows. In addition, I also used one of my favourite low budget eyeshadow powders, Barry M Dazzledust in ‘tan’. It reflects perfectly on camera and adding a little to the inner corner of the eyes makes a huge difference to the overall look. It can be used for cheekbones as a bronzed/highlighter too! Finally, I finished off with a gel liner by Illamasqua and added cluster lashes to the outer corners of Serena’s eyes with a nice layer of Lancôme Noir Hypnotic Mascara.
Ashleigh Bunce creating the ‘Wet Look’ using baby oil.
Whilst Linda set up the lighting I wet the models hair down and brushed it back to bring more of a focus to her face. I then covered her chest and arms in baby oil to create the ‘wet look’ effect. Be sure to work with the photographer closely here, as you don’t want to over shine the model. It all depends on how the photographer is lighting the image, so be sure to always ask!
After a series of images had been shot with the current look, I then went on to paint gold ‘gloves’ up her hands and arms with Graftobian Cosmetic metal powder and a mixing medium. This is highly pigmented, and literally looks like metal once applied to the skin. The models beautiful skin tone worked perfectly with the ‘wet’ look, and the golden tones of the make up. I was extremely pleased with the outcome, on and off camera!’
Now you know how the amazing make up was acheived, let me explain a little more about how to avoid ‘spill light’ falling onto the backdrop. In this case, I used a 42cm White Beauty dish, with a white ‘sock’ to capture the amazing highlights Ashleigh had created on Serena. I set up the beauty dish to my right and a couple of feet above my shooting position, angled down at Serena. This allowed the main fall of the light to be on the model, and then fall ever so gently on to the backdrop, avoiding a horrible shine or over exposure on the velvet. If I had the light lower, aimed straight on at Serena, the light would of fallen onto the background quite harshly. Make sure your subject isn’t too close to the backdrop too or avoiding spill light will be very difficult to achieve.
I then needed to achieve a ‘rim’ light on the model which is a beautiful back light that highlights the subject and allows them to ‘pop’ out from the background. I also had to make sure that these lights did not spill onto the background and ruin the effect I had already created from my key light. So, I placed a light on either side of the back drop, directed at the back of the models arms and head. In order to control these lights I used a set of ‘barn doors’ & a ‘snoot’. . These modifiers allow the photographer to direct and control ‘hard light’ – a light that isn’t diffused, or softened. If you would like to find out exactly what barn doors do and what they look like – Click here – http://www.photokonnexion.com/?page_id=9094. To find out about a snoot, click here – http://www.photokonnexion.com/?page_id=8989.
Finally, as a ‘fill light’ I placed a golden reflector in front of the model to the left, to literally ‘fill’ any harsh shadows with a little soft light.
So that’s it! Nice and simple. If you have any questions regarding photography or make up, please do comment below! Do you like the final images produced? I hope so!
Have a great week!
Linda Blacker ALUK