How It Was Lit: "Li-Pei"

This summer was a whirlwind of creative chaos and beauty, seeing old friends back and meeting people in real life after collaborating many times and staying in touch on the internet. One of these people is the insanely talented Lillian Liu - who is a fellow photographer and creative mastermind based in Canada - who has been traveling almost yearly to Europe for a massive roadtrip. With one stop being my place here in Antwerp - our little tradition since the summer of 2015 when we got to meet for the first time.

The idea of this shoot was one of these impromptu, lightbulb moments of inspiration, which was after we went for breakfast on a lovely morning walk discussing our ideas. Lillian mentioned she needed to wash her hair before our sessions in the studio … and it took a second or so where I realised how gorgeous that concept could be with her ethnicity and her lush, dark hair. While I did know it could quickly become that-kinda-kitsch-shoot if I wasn’t careful, I knew that my new and current favorite light modifier from broncolor it would totally be possible and make it a piece of portraiture art.

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A while back, Nicole posted a challenge for the Fstoppers community where you could only use a flashlight as your main source of light, with the option of using the available light as well. And ofcourse - I had to try this. Why wouldn’t I? Lately I’ve been feeling incredibly inspired by going outside my own comfort zone, trying new things and challening myself (especially with my broncolor GenNEXT gear! Got a lot to tell about that soon). Though for this one it was all about the basics and playing around with that ultimate diy budget so I took this opportunity with both hands.

I had already invited Maki over for a session, so I asked if she was up for all of the experimenting to come as I had some ideas in mind: using (basic) prisms, my actual fractal filters but also my colorgels and the bare flashlight as it was. I also used some good, old waterspray to give some texture to her and get some reflection here and there (or that I hoped)! And for the rest I kept it as simple as possible, with one exception of course: I had to use the headpiece by KatzLittleFactory because I’m a sucker for those kind of aesthetics …

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How It Was Lit: "Aeons Of Light"

One of the best parts in this industry is the ability to sometimes meet people and work together to create art. In august back I had the amazing opportunity to work with the amazing Royal Black Couture, who visited me for two days of insane creation and connecting over a mutual love for art and beauty. While I had worked various times before withher, this was the first time we met up in person and real life in my studio in Antwerp.

If you’re not familiar with Royal Black Couture - here is a quick introducton: Royal Black Couture is a designer from Austria (not Australia!) who specialises in corset couture, but also gowns and costumes. My admiration / obsession with her work started in my very early stages in my creative aspiring career as she’s a major voice within the industry due to her incredible eye for design, detail and perfect execution of each of these pieces as well.

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