The shoot on Monday began with a phone call the week before about donating photography services for a fundraiser for a local school district. The sister of one of the models is helping to raise donations for this fundraiser. My past experience tells me that, though the package will likely get sold or won by someone, it will just as likely not to get redeemed. Strange in my opinion, but true.
So in order to not only provide a donation product, but also something that will get used and give benefit to the person winning/buying the product and to my business in a form of promotion, I have decided to produce a tangible product instead of a service. My friends will be helping out at the Mardi Gras themed fundraiser by utilizing their incredible talents – one will walk around on stilts and the other balance on a ball or do other acrobatic tricks.
With the knowledge of both the theme and the participation of my friends in this event, I decided to ask them to model their roles for me for a photo session. The final photo is to be made into a print that will become my donation to this fundraiser. I proposed this shoot on Sunday, 15 January to my friends. The only day they both had available this week was Monday, 16 January. YIKES! Could we really pull together a quality shoot in one day?!
Fortunately, this is exactly the type of theme for which they are prepared! Tricia, the wife/mother of this family is super talented in many facets. She has wardrobe and material readily available. Though it did require a late night on Sunday and even part of the shoot-day to prepare, the costumes were ready in time. She is such a creative soul! The makeup came quite easily to her as well. Her marionette part was complemented with the doll-like makeup she gave herself and the puppeteer’s mustache on her husband was a sweet finishing touch to his appearance. They already own a zip-line that became the tight wire and their recent purchase of stilts was already factored into the shoot.
My vision for the photos came from their description of using the stilts and having Tricia act as a marionette. I suggested a tight wire and brought in the red-striped background from previous shoots. The shoot day was mostly prep time – finishing wardrobe, constructing the scene and cross bar. The marionette’s strings were not part of the shoot. Keeping the stings taut and still allowing the necessary movement of our marionette as she balanced on the tight wire was going to be near impossible, so it is the one item I opted to add in Photoshop later. The final image going to print will include design elements to make it look like a retro poster advertising Dr. Moon and his Incredible Life-size Marionette (Bride – not sure that I will keep this). I hope to produce three such prints.
The photo session on Tuesday began as another fundraising idea. The group, VOLVE (see link), is hoping to purchase a rig that will allow them to do acrobatic stunts. Tyrone, the organizer of this group, is raising funds for this purchase and I had suggested we produce some images that they could sell as prints. With about a week’s notice we brought together two ladies to help us out as the “flyers” with Tyrone (Ty) as the base for this acroyoga themed shoot. I envisioned highlighting the “flyers” and fading the base into the background, so I asked Ty to wear black and the girls to bring a variety of colors as well as some neutral wardrobe pieces.
Sky and her mother Kim came to participate bringing a ton of clothing with them. Brittany also modeled, bringing with her a large amount of choices. The resulting costumes worked well, but it was the talent and hard work of the three that really made for amazing results. Some simple lighting and a little post processing in Lightroom resulted in pieces I cannot wait to print and hang on my wall.
I pray these will also be prints that sell well and contribute in no small way to the purchase of their acrobatic rig.