On a cold and sunny day in Barcelona I got together with Aisa, my lovely and consummately patient model, to set about shooting a pair of high key, predominantly white and rather stark but elegant photographic images. I had in mind my model, The Painted Lady, to be painted white to resemble an alabaster or marble bust within a white set, in this case sat at a white table with a white background behind. To break up the white I added a splash of colour, a crimson venetian mask and some red beads to one photo and red lipstick and red nail varnish to the other.
I tasked Linn Dembacke, the make-up artist with the job of painting Aisa white and she started by applying the body paint with a sponge and finishing off with a couple of coats of white spray which also covered our model’s hair, which I did want but sadly some of my lighting equipment too, which I didn’t want. During the shoot Aisa had to remain very still as the paint tended to dry and crack, even moving the pearl necklace a little caused it to flake off, so Linn had to be on hand to keep reapplying it with a brush. Later during post-production, any patchy or cracked paint that wasn’t dealt with during the shoot was cleaned up and retouched in Photoshop.
Creating The Painted Lady
Keeping the lighting fairly simple, a Profoto Octa softbox slightly to the left of camera and close in to the model to give a soft light and a honeycombed and diffused spot just above the camera to pop some light into her eyes. The white background was lit with a couple of strip lights behind and to either side of Aisa.
Photographic Equipment used
- Canon EOS-1Ds Mk III
- Zeiss Planar 1.4/85 ZE
- 2 x Broncolor Grafit A4 generators
- 4 x Pulso F4 flash heads
- Profoto Softbox RFi 4’ Octa
- 2 x Profoto Softbox RFi 1×4’ striplights