These flowers and berries inspired me for makeup looks (red and magenta lipsticks--oh yes), as well as headpieces (lacy veils and tissue paper textures). I shot them quickly while on another trip scouting locations over the weekend. A plethora of gorgeous trees and shrubs are in bloom now for Spring—even some holly berries are still hanging out.
When I explore, I’m not only pulling in inspiration for designs, but I’m also making notes about shoot locations and concepts for the following year, as the blooms are already at peak and by the time I have wardrobe, a model, and a concept prepared, the flowers will have faded away. After leaving Oregon, I felt like I lost a year, as I’d mapped out places and plants for 2017.
I’m rebuilding my “inventory” of nature, and even wardrobe, but that feeling of having lost time lingers. However, thankfully, there is more excitement, in spite of losing seasons. Onward to bigger and brighter things! So, I will keep looking forward to sharing new creations, taking it a day at a time.
Today I had a chance to step away from my camera and focus on being the stylist/MUA while assisting with another photographer's shoot. It was a welcome break as I'm normally photographer, stylist, and MUA for my shoots, which is a lot of work. In being behind the scenes, I had a chance to reflect on many of the pre-shoot steps one must do to ensure the best possible images.
While I love Photoshop and feel comfortable with it, my eyes thank me when I catch issues before pressing the shutter button. Hours spent doing "artistic" edits are great, but hours spent fixing errors that could've easily been remedied during the shoot are tedious and waste time that could be spent making more art.
Of course, good lighting and makeup are essential to producing great images. However, I use a few other small things in my shoots to better aid me. These probably aren't what most photographers would consider traditional "gear", but they're essentials for my work. They've saved me on a number of occasions when I've had wardrobe malfunctions, bad weather, or just needed a little extra item to pull off something creative. So here's what's in my bag (outside of the normal cameras and lights):
1. Fabric Tape - I made a video a year ago about why this is so important!
2. Clips - I have a small container of various types (binder, hair, etc.) and sizes. These come in handy for fixing hair, holding props in place, fixing wardrobe issues--if you can clip it, you can fix it! This is an older image of mine, but the vine was secured to Shawnna's hair. The leaf kept flipping and showing the underside, which I didn't want, so I clipped it.
3. Shower Curtain - You can use it whole or cut it up into sections. What I do is lay it on wet ground to keep my models from getting soaked and to keep any fabrics that I may have them seated on from having wet spots. This is incredibly useful if you live somewhere rainy (like Oregon!). In this BTS video, you'll see that I used a shower curtain when having Iva lay down for some shots.
4. Wipes - Since I mostly shoot outdoors, I keep a big container of Wet Ones in the car. I also have makeup wipes too. Keeping hands (and bare feet) clean or catching run away make up, help save you on post clean up.
5. Bug Spray - So this might not seem much like a save yourself from unnecessary post work item, but in a sense it is. If you're swatting at critters, or your model is fidgeting from bites, that makes a shoot not fun. Also, cloning mosquitoes and their bites off skin isn't how I like to spend my Friday nights. This is a recently added item for me, as Oregon didn't seem to have quite the tick and mosquito problem like what I've encountered here in North Carolina (at least not where I would shoot). Normally, I had bug spray with me when scouting locations as I'd be hiking through new areas, unfamiliar with what little critters hung out there. However, I realized today, with the sudden spike in warm weather, it's a necessity for any woody shoots in NC.