Building a Photo Shoot From the Ground Up

     Each time that I sit down to write a blog post about a recent shoot, I find myself wondering where the ideas for the shoot actually come from. A lot of times, I find myself writing about specific accessories that made a particular shoot a success and this post is definitely going to be about the mask we used here to make this such an awesome set. I am a firm believer in building up a concept or theme rather than just shooting images for the sake of shooting. I want purpose behind my images, a visual story, maybe even one that has the viewer asking more questions than are answered; a real sense of wonder has to be my goal.

     For this shoot, I was dying to use one of the ½ face bunny-style masks that we've all seen before. It reminds me a bit of a noir-vintage-cabaret style piece and I totally love the vibe. We built our scene around the mask itself. After the fact, I kind of get a bit of a dark and moody Alice in Wonderland vibe too, though that definitely wasn't the original concept (and makes me want to shoot a dedicated Wonderland scene, any takers?). Because the mask is the focal point in the scene, I wanted to keep wardrobe simple and to the point. The mask is black, so the wardrobe should be dark to match. The dark lipstick is a great touch that adds an extra layer of contrast to portion of her face still exposed below the mask. The black bodysuit with simple jean shorts is causal enough and still lets her face and the accessory take center stage.

     Location was easy for this one, we shot along one of my favorite bike path in Fort Collins, Colorado. Several times per week I ride my bike along this route and every time I have thought to myself what a great location this would make for a photo shoot. Loads of texture and lots of different kinds of plants allowed us to shoot multiple sets each with a unique feel and color to them. Add in some creative post processing and each set can feel like a different time of year.

     One set filled with bright oranges and yellows; leaves swirling about reminding me that fall is still to come. One winter filled scene, full of colder tones and a hint of snow falling from on a chilly day. Another set darker and gloomier than the rest, with dense foliage enveloping all around.

     This is definitely a session that I'm super happy with. Something about loving it when a plan comes together haha? Between the mask, a simple but sensible wardrobe, and a killer location to match this session was a complete success. It goes to show that when all you have to start with is the most basic idea, in this case wanting to create a shot around a bunny mask, a little bit of deliberate details really tie everything together. If you're reading this and you have an idea, a concept, or even just a single accessory that you feel would make a really awesome session, then send me an email and let's talk about turning an idea into a reality.