Charlotte Long sent me a message asking for photos for her portfolio. She wanted something quite edgy, using the colours black and gold. I replied with interest as black and gold is one of my favourite colour combinations! With a creative and narrative focused background, I wanted to transform black and gold into a story. So we created the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
We wanted to find a blonde model with a strong high fashion look. Something which was surprisingly difficult! Between us we messaged so many models but none of them quite had the right look we were after. It wasn’t until Charlotte mentioned her friend Ieva that we discovered the perfect model was someone we should have asked first! Ieva is so striking and her presence in front of the camera is out of this world!
I got in touch with the brilliant stylist Sydney Clark, who I’ve worked with on many different shoots, always brings something new and exciting to each shoot. I knew I had to get her involved in the shoot as I trust her to produce very high standard work.
On the day Ieva and Charlotte were the first to arrive. Charlotte set up an area to create Ieva’s make-up and I decided to do Ieva’s hair. When I was young I went on a beauty and hair day course and learnt quite a lot in a small amount of time. Since then I watch a lot of tutorials and experiment with looks on myself. I crimped Ieva’s hair, brushed it through and backcombed it to make it huge. Charlotte created striking black eye make-up and brought out her cheekbones. Whilst we were creating the look Sydney arrived and started setting up her clothes and accessories.
We decided to start with lighter colours of clothes and less make-up. To start, Sydney focused on shades of white and silver/gold, gradually bringing in darker tones, finishing on a black catsuit. Every two looks Charlotte would change the make-up. First adding gold lipstick, then gold leaves, gold eyeshadow in the inner corner of her eye and dark red lipstick. I changed the hair style several times to suit the outfit and make-up too. I brought the hair back, off her face, and with the help of Sydney, we put jewellery and feathers in her hair. I felt we had formed the perfect team. We worked so well together, bouncing off ideas and creating a friendly, fun atmosphere. I really loved directing Ieva, even though she needed very little direction, she understood and moved appropriately. She took time to look at her hair, make-up and clothing to decided what angle would look best.
I wanted to make the photos look good as a set as well as working as individual images. I like to write down the settings which I use in Photoshop so I know what works and what doesn’t. I wanted to bring out the golds and darken the shadows with a hint of blue in selective colour. I love using selective colour in Photoshop as you can do so much with it! I would never get rid of someone’s moles or freckles, make them look skinnier, because I believe all of those things make people unique, special and beautiful. I celebrate beauty! I’ve been thanked by models who like to see their freckles and marks, feeling upset that other photographers have removed them. I use Photoshop mostly to change colours, bring out details and dodge and burn.
I want to thank Charlotte, Sydney and Ieva for being so fantastic at what they do. They really excel in their areas of work and I would highly recommend them. I hope I have the opportunity to work with them in the future.