What started out as wanting to do a photo shoot based on bright colors and crazy patterns, once @MartaBlicharz and I visited a costume store to pick up some wigs, we quickly realized that the readily available Alice in Wonderland theme might be too overdone (especially so right after Tim Burton’s version of the movie was released). We ended up purchasing diamond checkered stockings and two wigs and then continued down to pay a visit to Value Village to see what kind of patterned black and white clothing we could dig up for both of us.
Once we roamed around the mothball-like smelling clothes, inspiration struck left and right and we quickly decided to base our shoot strictly on black and white with patterns for contrast. The thought of Beetlejuice came to mind – I remember watching the cartoons when I was little, so when we got home (after doing some further shopping and picking up themed accessories), I decided to cut up some paper using my cutting board in order to create an obscure floor. Laying those out on the black background inside my urban loft was quite a puzzling trick. Late into the night, I eventually succeeded and realized these tiles wouldn’t look like much without a reflective surface. The next day, Marta and I went out to the Home Depot + Rona and picked up some plexiglass sheets to cover our set’s floor. No longer did we have to endure readjusting the tormenting pieces of paper as they were sliding around ever so slightly, disconnecting the corners, anytime the air conditioner jumped on or one of us walked nearby.
Makeup was done by Marta Blicharz herself, she painted both hers and my face, which she loved doing, I mean… how often do you get to paint on a live canvas? As she’s a traditional artist it goes without saying, she knew what she was doing. During her makeup session I began setting up the lights, diffusers, and reflectors but not without the occasional shot of the makeup session.
When the set and Marta were prepared and ready we began by taking a few lighting test shots and Marta began getting into character. Due to the fact that the shoot was more of a fantasy shoot, each and every pose had to be exaggerated and unusual. The resulting images are a cross between a mime performance mixed in with a bit of the gothic and our take on what would be living and thriving in Tim Burton’s basement aka his imagination.
This personal shoot was not only a learning experience but showed Marta and myself how to really incorporate our own imaginations onto the screen. After I shot Marta on one evening, the following evening we exchanged roles where she shot me and I got to model. It goes without saying that her poses are much more eye catching than mine since she has modeling experience and I have experience sitting in a comfortable office chair.
Some post processing was done to give the images a bit more of a surreal feeling. Things like the plexiglass seams, loose hairs from the wigs, and a few makeup touch-ups were common.
After the editing process (which is still continuing since there are over 40 great shots to choose from), I printed two versions of the top image at 19×13 inches on Epson’s ultra premium luster paper for portfolio/book use. Shortly thereafter I decided to check out ABL Imaging and placed an order with them to get a 28×20 inch metallic print. The result is absolutely amazing. The extra glossiness creates the exact vibe both Marta and I were feeling and we’re extremely happy with the results – therefore we’re offering these prints up for sale.
I hope that you enjoy the results – comments are welcome and encouraged.