Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake

Model: Ms. Jacqui

Hair & MakeUp Contessa

On a basic level it's amazing to me how some people have so much and others nothing. How is it possible that there are still people dying of hunger in the world while obesity is a major health crisis in this country. A friend once tagged on "and yet anorexic body types are what most idolize". And why is it that when we get more it just means we want more as well.... I will shut up now. (to read more about this shoot check out the preview post)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Italian "MAG" article

Italians like me! I got a short article and 6 page spread in the Italian art and music magazine "MAG (azine)". They contacted me back in January, the issue just came out. It's always interesting to me to see which images magazines choose to print. Big thank you to the models !(credits below images)

Model: The amazing Alena (check out her sculptures!)

Model: Self Portrait, Ella

Model: Theda, Cassandra

Monday, February 2, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake - preview

Life has been very busy lately. I finally got around to my first shoot of 2009 on Saturday. It's been nearly impossible getting anything done outside of work with all the OT I've been putting in. Which is why I barely had time to prepare for this last shoot.

The image is inspired by the "7 deadly sins". Basically all the props and/or Jacquis look and pose were supposed to sort of reflect that idea. The food stood for gluttony, jewels for greed and pride, broken glass (didn't show up enough) for wrath and envy, lingerie for lust, sloth was in Jacquis poses and the bubbles but also the general messiness........

My extremely messy studio during the shoot

The setup took me forever. For one the backdrop consisted of three staggered layers which was a pain in the ass to manage. I had one day to make sure I had all the stuff I wanted to use, set it all up and then shoot the damn thing. I got up early Saturday and was in the city by 8:30am to pick up the fur coat that my dear friend Rosalinda let me borrow. I made it up to my studio by 9:00am and got started with all the setup. Jacqui and Contessa showed up a little after 10am. We talked about hair and make up and they got started while I continued working on the set.

The first problem we ran into was that the gold make up was not showing up on Jacquis skin. I've worked with gold many times before and never saw this happen. I'm guessing it's because her skin tones are already on the warm side and a bit darker. I wanted the gold to pop way more. Contessa ended up putting a bright yellow base under the gold which seemed to work best. The hair and make up took 3 hours, I couldn't freaken believe it.... granted I wasn't even done with the setup anyway. Then I got these crazy long nails (~4 inches) that I wanted to use but they needed to be painted black first. I'm horrible at that stuff but did the best I could. The good thing about photography is, unless you're really up close you can get away with stuff being a tad messy. Anyway, we didn't start shooting until almost 3pm.... I was totally stressing out because I still had to set up the lighting and we were running out of time. Then I cut my finger pretty bad with scissors, it was bleeding profusely, thank god I had a heavy band aid stored in my studio. It was a rough start. The two other annoying things were the bubble machine running out of liquid and the damn nails kept on popping off. Every time that happened I had go and glue them back on. Although I worked really fast and definitely could have done better I was pretty happy with the overall shoot.

After we were done Jacqui was faced with the massive task of removing 10 layers of make up, not to mention those scary glued on nails.

I could tell she was panicking slightly when the nails didn't come off right away (which was rather ironic because they kept popping off during the shoot). We had to cut them short before drowning her fingers in glue removal..... oh the things models go through. While the shoot was crazy busy, we had a lot of fun as always. Jacqui is awesome!

Jeanne Dielman

Last week I had a chance to see the movie "Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975)". I could talk about this movie for hours. It was such a unique experience.

You are witnessing three crucial days in the life of Jeanne Dielman (Jeanne Dielman played by the amazing Delphine Seyrig). For 201 minutes (yes over three hours) you watch this single mother who is an efficient homemaker and discreet, one-client-a day prostitute perform her daily routines. I should add until the end you see nothing of her prostitution work. In the course of these three days you are basically following her around as she is cooking potatoes, cleaning the apartment and goes out shopping for groceries.... There is virtually no dialogue. She only talks when she has to. I love how intimate this film is. It's hard to explain, it's not like you get sucked into the movie it's more like you are a voyeur watching from the outside. You get so used to her personality and habits that you pick up on all the subtleties and changes. For instance she never leaves a room without switching off the lights, she always wears the same cardigan while in the apartment. I thought for sure I would get bored with a movie that is so mundane and so long but I never did. You do have to be in the right mood and can't be in a hurry to make it through this movie. The ironic thing is you probably would get bored if you did not pay close attention to all the details, only then can you follow the narrative properly and question the end. Anyway, I highly recommend this movie.

Here's a clip from the movie.... yes boring out of context but still watch the subtleties of this scene.