Introducing: Tracee

Introducing: Tracee

I would like to introduce my friend, Tracee. She is a new model with some experience with performance and modeling. We have talked about working together in the past, but it has never happened. Now, I’m proud to say, I have some great photos of her.

For this shoot, I decided to change things up a little bit. Normally, I like a clean, blank slate and then create on top of that. I didn’t feel that was right for this shoot. Instead, I wanted a crude, plain non-set: A simple, basic area so I could focus on composition and feel over “glamour.”

I like to work with subjects who are untrained or inexperienced. They haven’t had a chance to practice every action, pose, and expression. It’s good for making art over glamour snaps. I get candid poses and expressions and unpracticed bits. I’ve always preferred those in-between moments, anyway.

Lighting was a combination of overhead sunlight with a pair of strobes to boost it. The plain, random background leaving wires and a poor transition to the floor. The challenge is ultimately in the composition. Any photo can be made compelling with the right composition.

For some shots, I used a portable nylon green-screen as a background, a thick, plain, black tablecloth I got at a thrift store and I alternately draped some lacy material I picked up at another thrift store. Thrift stores love me.

Lately, I’ve been playing around with different lighting situations. I’m particularly interested in conflicting light to get a different effect. Sometimes, this effect can play out as simply filling in shadows or beefing up the light in a low-light situation. Other times were mistakes that I liked too much to stop. I blasted out highlights and crushed shadows, but used a neutral-exposure picture style (Cinestyle by Technicolor) to add some exposure latitude so I can post process the way I like.

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“The Wastelands” with Tiffany

Tiffany W in canyon, posing

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Tiffany W Dynamic Look
Tiffany W Dynamic Look

For this project, I decided to create a new world using story as a creative (and motivating) force. In this case, I came up with a short story – really just an origin story leading to the character “Danika.” The name means “Morning Star” in Slavic. Morning Star being the representation of beauty via Venus.

The story was pretty basic:

The world has moved on. (Busted: huge fan of the Dark Tower novels and comics – the movie was flat). Violence and chaos have lead to breakdown and decay. Scared, the people have moved from large cities and big problems only to trade them for roving bands of Scavages (scavenging savages). Danika’s family has moved to a mountain region where other humans have found an abandoned hydroelectric plant leaving her to find the fabled Green Lands.

That’s where Danika (our model Tiffany on FB) lives. She’s grown now, but she still fights for her family. She is alone but not forgotten.

This is the world in which I wanted to build a series of model-based photos for my newest project. It’s a Wasteland project that has taken several iterations in the last couple years. It’s always been a Work in-Progress for me. Now, it’s a solid project that is near completion.

My last steps will be to combine all of the existing photos from this project, find enough to develop a solid story, then use my photo-manipulation and Photoshop skills to create a new world for Dani to live.

After I shoot the rest of the photos (only one person left to work with), phase one (photo capture) will be complete and the rest of the project will commence so I can populate this fictional world with more people and make a final, more coherent story.