Stars & Blossoms

Between Stars & Blossoms

Could you set up a shoot in less then 12 hours? I thought I would put it to the test again and give it a go! I’m incredibly blessed to have an awesome inner squad who’s always down for those crazy ideas I have and usually need to happen asap. Partially because I can rarely wait but because this time: those gorgeous blossoms wouldn’t bloom much longer. Cue some sirens, my lack of keeping track of seasons always end up rushing shoots because flowers don’t wait for my lack of preparations. I had a blast though and I had some lovely people on set!

For this shoot I decided to take out my (temporarily) retired “Starry” - this gorgeous dress by Alice Corsets I saved up a long time for and had in my possession since last summer somewhere. I just wanted some really ethereal and beautiful with a contract against the pink flowers. I was lucky to have Saartje on set for this and this beautiful white wig from Websterwigs to bring in that final touch to finish the look.

This set was shot a few months back now I think and I was still heavily experimenting with using artificial light on location - so this was one of those trial and errors and making it happen times! I enjoyed it a lot though. For the first set I used a light pink set to enhance the colors of the flowers a bit, for the second I decided to go for a deep purple and saturate the colors in post-processing. The first set I was more inspired by these vintage postcards so I made everything just more muted and soft.

_U5B3143.jpg

Credits

Model - Lady Louiza
Corset & Cloak - Alice Corsets
Makeup - Saartje Van Den Haute
Halo - Honey & Ember
Photography - Laura Sheridan / Studio Sheridan's Art

Gear

Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 50mm 1.4
broncolor Siros 800 L
Modifier: broncolor softbox 60x100 cm

Retouching

Raw post-processing was done in Capture One Pro
Final color toning, clean-up and alterations where done in Photoshop

Here are some quick behind the scenes I made:

The Dirty Playground

The Dirty Playground

About trying to shoot in the rain and ending up playing in pools

ChloeWater2.jpg

I’ve been wanting to shoot in the rain again for ages - but it’s just something I never got around too despite the belgian weather being ever changing and mostly pretty grey. So we had this great idea eventually to track the rain for two days, plan out everything to be out on set at 6am as it was raining like crazy the days before … Only to end up with some drops and nothing else. So far our idea. And not only that: we found the road being under construction so we couldn’t get to our location as well - which was this very industrial, abandoned looking place on the road.

Just when we wanted to turn around and find a different route, I saw this empty looking industrial terrain with this giant pool and bunches of trash and dirt. And somehow, it clicked in my brain. We decided to shoot right there and then in the water. We didn’t get the rain we hoped for but we sure had some water to play with. Improvise, adapt, overcome. That’s the fun part about being able to create without pressure or expectations from clients.

This entire set was pretty much for out of my comfort zone, both aesthetic and location - but also as I was very unfamiliar with the modifier I was using: the broncolor p45 with a grid (on a siros 800 l). But that was and still is my intention these days: stagnation is a creativity killer and won’t make you grow as artist. I realised that if I wanted to get better at my craft, I need to do everything that I usually don’t do. And I ended up having the time of my life honestly with it! I really love the results and it may not be something I do a lot as my heart lies with studio still - this shoot has inspired an upcoming GenNEXT blog I am DYING to share - all thanks because I tried out that p45 modifier.


Credits

Model - Chloë
Styling - Me & Chloë
Assistance - Sofie from Cosblossoms
Photography & retouch - Laura Sheridan / Studio Sheridan’s Art

Gear used

Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 50mm 1.4
broncolor Siros 800l
Modifier: P45 with a honeycomb grid

Retouching

Raw post-processing was done in Capture One Pro
Final color toning, clean-up and alterations where done in Photoshop

A 3 Year Photography Project: What I learned

A Photography Project: 3 years of shooting Royals, Knights & Shieldmaidens.

How making childhood daydreams come true turned into my business. Here are 6 things I have learned from it.

There it is: I have officially decided to end my longest running series called “Arcadia” after shooting three years for it. Not only was “Arcadia” a childhood dream come true, in a full platinum 100% achieved vibe but it also kind of launched my entire business actually. It has brought me a lot of traffic, clients worldwide decided to book me for it and I started working on a freelance base for the company where I bought my armor for the first time - this summer in august I’m in Germany for two days to shoot for their catalogue and I’m stoked!

But what does one learn from working on a series for the next three years? I thought I would share some of my insights with all of you because this “Arcadia” series pretty much changed my entire life:

***

1. Follow your dreams

So this is something that’s said often but in this case it really was: ever since I was a little kid I was obsessed with anything armor, swords and weapons. I was never really allowed to have any (we used to make them though, with nails through sticks, inspired by the game Age of Empire). It took me a long, long time and a really big impulsive purchase when I decided to buy a set of armor from Mytholon and asked Mara to model it for me in the studio. I was around 26 and just a few weeks into being a full-time artist and photographer in my own studio.

2. Make that crazy purchase if necessary, even if you’re being hold back
(but first, make sure you got that rent covered)

Back then, chasing that dream was an expensive purchase I kept quiet about as I néver did anything like it and I valued my life a bit, since my parents where (rightfully) protecting me from making financial mistakes. I did accidentally spill the news when we where driving to the sea for a weekend. I never saw my mom turn around and look at me with that intense stare only moms have … and turn back after a long silence with a face of “you know, let’s just Laura do her thing” . So there was that. I survived that.

Did I regret it? Yeah. Way before I spilled the news and way after too. But did it feel kind of badass? Hell yeah: I had a SET OF ARMOR. Childhood dreamgoal completed.

3. Give it your everything

Kind of like number 2, but when I had the armor and I shot THE shoot that became “Supremacy” - one of my most iconic shoots up to this date - I knew it was something new. Something that was “me” and I wanted to create, something that would change. I decided right there and then on set this would become a series. We would see how I would finance that you know. Problems for later. It felt awesome. I edited it to it’s finest details. I posted it online and it became kind of history there immediately. I set up new shoots immediately and channeled all these ideas I had cropped up inside. I was always kind of super obsessed with the Arthurian tales, the book “Mists of Avalon”, Celtic mythology and warriors. Combine that with a lifelong gaming obsession and there you where: inspiration and visuals collided into one.

4. You néver know how a ball will roll

The key to this is: credit. I always credit everyone. Even if I have purchased a piece. Partially because I don’t really hold secrets on my sources of wardrobe and clothing. A lot also has to do with me working with independent designers and I don’t lie awake of giving them some traffic through my work on my own channels (I do not let them use my work for free though on their channels but thats another topic). But also you may néver know how “a ball will roll” as my dad likes to say: Mytholon, the company I bought my armor from, found my work after I credited them in my work. I’m going to Germany in August to shoot the 3rd catalogue commission for them and there have been various other projects and they licensed work of mine for their business.

5. Trademark turned into jobs

Also unintentionally, but awesome in a way: it became a trademark style of mine. One that I got booked for plenty of times. Clients from literally all over the world came to my studio to channel their inner warrior queens and kings as the series so deeply reasonated with them. Also mentioned in number 4, it also brought various commissions, licensing and opportunities. Directly by the company I bought from but also from other companies and independent businesseso out there. Basically a niche turned profiteable!

6. Practice makes perfection

Since it’s such a distinctive style and genre: I had a great amount of fun but also challenge with this because I was forced in a way to stay within my genre, reinventing myself using the same techniques, costumes, props, post-processing techniques and additions like fire sparks, smoke and snow. It learned me to work cohesive, even thought the entire project was three years - and learned me to put an end to it because my aesthetics had changed too much eventually, helping me understand my own aesthetics and style. The good side of this is that I have an amazing collection of images that originally took me various hours to finish and I can do now between 20 to 45 minutes. I understand the process behind my work and can more easily recreate within this genre, if the commission ever arises, delivering a great final product my clients will enjoy.

“Supremacy” - the first “Arcadia” and up to date, one of my most iconic shots. Also the shoot that kicked off this project. I use this image for a variety of projects and promotion as it’s “commercial” enough to be used in a public setting while being a great introduction for anything more “out of the ordinary” . There is also a huge source of interest for this in light of recent trends and honestly: Mara (the model) has that face you simply don’t ever get tired from. Living muse this one for me.

“Supremacy” - the first “Arcadia” and up to date, one of my most iconic shots. Also the shoot that kicked off this project. I use this image for a variety of projects and promotion as it’s “commercial” enough to be used in a public setting while being a great introduction for anything more “out of the ordinary” . There is also a huge source of interest for this in light of recent trends and honestly: Mara (the model) has that face you simply don’t ever get tired from. Living muse this one for me.


Want to see more?

Find the entire “Arcadia” series here.

Want to own a Fine Art piece of this series?

Some of them have been listed in my store .
Can’t find the one you want? Just send me a request and I will see what I can do!

Want to learn how I made these images yourself from start to finish?

I’ve made a(n online) class specifically for this genre and trademark style I do. You can book yours now by contacting me on the 1-on-1 class page (form below) or directly by mailing me at contact@sheridansart.com

Need new content for your business?

Are you looking for work similar to this for your next book or music cover? Or you have a LARP business in need of some eye-catching badass promo images? Or you want to license an existing one?
Just get in touch and we will work something out!


This one has been in my weekly top images on Pinterest, racking up thousands of views every week and traffic to my website.

This one has been in my weekly top images on Pinterest, racking up thousands of views every week and traffic to my website.

“Eye Of The Storm” has been one of my most well-know pieces out of this series: it’s been licensed but also has been used a source of inspiration for private fine art portraiture sessions by clients worldwide.

“Eye Of The Storm” has been one of my most well-know pieces out of this series: it’s been licensed but also has been used a source of inspiration for private fine art portraiture sessions by clients worldwide.

This image was licensed for a bookcover, after being found on Pinterest after looking for a potential image. He decided my work was the best fit for it and left it like it is.

This image was licensed for a bookcover, after being found on Pinterest after looking for a potential image. He decided my work was the best fit for it and left it like it is.


Product Photography: Raspberry Mazohyst

Lookbook: “Ghastly Bathory”

By Laura Sheridan
in collaboration with Raspberry Mazohyst

The same piece worn by My Fragility in a beauty project. Hair & Makeup by Eline Deblauwe.

The same piece worn by My Fragility in a beauty project. Hair & Makeup by Eline Deblauwe.

I realised I never shared one of my favorite collaborations ever with Raspberry Mazohyst - an amazing Polish designer who walks the line between the dark fashion and fetish aesthetics. I’ve been admiring his work for a long time and I had the pleasure of collaborating with him on a variety of projects in the past year or two ro so. Thought this was the first time I photographed one of his collars in all it’s pure and simple glory and it’s still one of my favorite projects to date.

There is something about his designs that make my heart sing: I love the aesthetics that fetish fashion has but it has to have that line of sensuality and indepence, beauty and strength. I wanted to capture that yet also enhances the materials he uses in his work. Since he uses a lot of hardware and pvc in his work, I wanted to do something very clean lit to embrace and enhance his vibes, while keeping the colour pallete to an absolute minimum to not have any distractions.

The first set I did was shot on my black mannequin against a black backdrop; this resulted in a very chique and luxury kind of feel - exactly what I was going for. The second set I shot on a piece of black plexi with one light source to show the transparancy. One detail I absolutely love is his branding on the side, which also made for an awesome detail shot.

For more work you can check out my Jewelry gallery or follow my related IG account here.

If you’re a designer & are looking for images like this for your webshop and social media, don’t hesitate to get in touch! I would happily work out a special concept just for you!

Collaborations: How to start

Collaborations

How, where and when to start in the creative industry

One of the best and most “affordable” ways to build a portfolio featuring amazing creative or fantasy designs (beside renting) was reaching out to others through the internet. In fact, it’s also what made the entire foundation of what the studio is right now - it did take about almost ten years roughly from when I started serious until what it is now. It was definitely a road where I’ve learned a lot, by experiencing, making mistakes, listening and doing this. But it’s been one of the most wholesome experiences of my entire career and I would love to talk more about it!

Before I continue, I want to address two very important factors:

1. Cheap doesn’t mean it’s free: While I did say it’s a more affordable option over buying, it is still an investment. And it takes a lot of work, time and communication to ensure all parties are happy: so I will be breaking it all down in a few articles to come for all for all of you! But it’s a hell lot of fun, it can be way more affordable than buying - though I also highly recommend doing this as well.

2. This is my experience: so it’s slightly biasedd on what I’ve heard from designers and have learned. While I try to write this as objectively as possible - the golden rule to always keep in mind is that people may have their own system and you’re working with another person. Stay polite, stay honest and stay true. That’s half of the work already no matter the case.

So what ARE collaborations?

A collaboration is when two or more people decide to team up together for unpaid, on one or multiple projects to bring an idea to life, either national or international or a combination. In a case of international collaborations, usually item(s) are shipped to each other but I’ve had various cases when I teamed up with international models that brought pieces with them when they traveled to me too work on ideas.

Collaborations are an amazing opportunity to meet new people, create work of entire new levels and as a way to challenge yourself and each other to create epic new work for yours and theirs portfolio. For others it’s a way to break away from client assignments or to try & learn new techniques to showcase and attract new clients. And for others it’s a creative breath of fresh air.

The core is always the same: it’s to create new work on unpaid or tf base to add to one’s social media, website and ideally (online) portfolio.

When & how do you start with these?

Honestly and in theory: you could start at any time with this, even if you just picked up a camera. But in practice, there is a bit more too it: You’re working with other people so it’s not simply a matter of “ask & receive” - but a matter of “ask and work for the team greater good” and being aware you will most likely be reaching out to complete strangers to trust you and send you something to shoot that needs to be send back unharmed.

When reaching out a first time, make sure you have at least some (recent) examples of your work. It could be your website or just your Instagram even or even just a collage showing some examples. Keep your message straight and short and explain you’re interested in collaborating - if you have a theme or concept, add it straight away as well in a line or two. And ask if they would be interested. Like I said: nobody needs an essay. Just make clear who you are, what you want and what you have to offer (both as person and with your work).

I cannot stress enough that when reaching out, you’re probably working with strangers at first. Your interaction matters just as much as the results: be patient and understanding, even if you receive a “no” answer or in cases: not even a respond. Nobody owes you to send free items to shoot and you’re the asking party. While I get this is frustrating - you don’t know what’s happening behind the screens. Maybe they forgot, maybe they don’t do well with sending a negative respond, maybe they are tired of too many requests, maybe you didn’t read a FAQ or bio where they state they don’t do collabs or tf, maybe something came up, … There are plenty of reasons and in the best case - you simple leave it there as well. It’s definitely not ideal and I will be honest I don’t always respond either anymore in times when it’s just too much or many; but on the other hand I’m also a firm believer that we are allowed silence at times even if social media makes us believe we don’t.

A collaboration from not so long ago between myself, Royal Black Couture and Tinotenda Mushore

A collaboration from not so long ago between myself, Royal Black Couture and Tinotenda Mushore