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.

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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:

50 Shades Of Summer

50 Shades Of Summer

A “sunglasses lookbook” inspired photoshoot

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*** This project is shot for the broncolor GenNEXT blog ***

I’ve been wanting to shoot a lookbook with sunglasses for a while – I always had some lowkey obsession with interesting looking sunglasses and I’ve been collecting them for the past ten years now. Since I’ve lately been feeling inspired by approaching my work in different themes and directions, I  wanted to dedicate this blog to one of those. Using artificial light on location is one of those and because it has become so incredibly easy to do with the Siros 800 – I’ve been taking any opportunity so far to practice in any light opportunity out there. With this shoot happening at noon – with what is considered one of those “worst natural light” conditions (or it used to be for me at least). Another motivation and inspiration behind this shoot is trying new themes – as I usually shoot  a lot of fantasy inspired work - and I had been collecting a lot of interesting styling in various second hand stores over the past year or two just for that purpose alone.

I asked my model, Saida, if she was down switching the concept of the shoot the evening before and go outside for it instead – which she happily agreed too and we met up in Antwerp city itself. My initial idea was to use a lot of interesting angles, capture the buildings in the backdrop and really give it an urban vibe. But when we went to the first location -  I saw there was a ferris wheel which served as an even better backdrop. After shooting the first set there, in the full sun – we decided to go to another location about 50 meters further as the weather was getting too warm for us to handle. Which ended up being even better than my first idea and we inspired on the spot on how to work it all out, resulting in the remaining results

For all of these I only used a single light, a siros 800 with a 60x100cm softbox , which is what allows me to work in almost any light situation – be it in the full sun like with the ferris wheel or as either a fill in light for the softer sets. Or even to create strong, dramatic light. It’s versatility is incredible awesome and allowed me to create a range of images that are pretty awesome, despite it being just a two-woman team on set where I had to take all creative direction on me. I did forgot my weights for the tripod so we had to slightly improvise to ensure my tripod wouldn’t trip.

Everything is shot in HS (high speed) as I prefer working with a wider aperture, with all of those being shot with a 50mm and an aperture from 1.4 to 1.8 , resulting in a beautiful bokeh in the background.


Shot on a 5D mark II with a 50mm 1.4
Lights used is by a broncolor 800 with a 60x100 cm softbox

Edited in Capture One Pro & Adobe Photoshop

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- Please click images to enlarge -

Some behind the scenes, including “Edward The Duck” we was hanging out with his ladyfriend “Eufrasie” (not pictured) with us for a while.

Battle Fairies: Aelesia the Harbinger

Battle Fairies: Aelesia The Harbinger
- Behind The Scenes -

Can you organise a kick-ass shoot in less in just a few hours for the day after? I had this situation many times by now but every single time it’s like a little gamble, even though the worst that can happen is that you don’t have the results you where hoping for but still had a good time just hanging out with likeminded, crazy creative people … It may also result in some of those “this is it” moments. For me, this is one of those.

I came from a meeting for the spring shoot for Historische Huizen Gent when I passed by the park where I saw these gorgeous trees with the blossoms in full bloom. And as my brain works, I realised in that split second I needed to shoot something cool there. I immediately went to my Riddersquad group on Facebook (an inside joke that became a thing, it’s basically where I post all my calls for my regular team members when I got a random idea) and asked who was down getting dresed up in armor, wings and pretty dresses.

My first response was Lady Louiza and Saartje Van Den Haute who where both free for the afternoon - followed by My Fragility who coincidentally was at the hairdressers to get her hair dyed pink. If that isn’t the universe doing it’s magick, I don’t know what is …

Since I know My Fragility is one of my badass chicks, I decided to give her one of my long-term ideas which I lovingly call my “Battle Fairies” as in my head it just sounded pretty damn awesome. As usual I had 0 ideas how it would turn out for real on set … but in all it’s unfunctional glory - it turned out pretty damn awesome. There is something cool about the delicate nature of the flowers and a flowy white dress worn by this petite pink haired model with fairy wings & this upper body set of armor.

The set-up of our first set. We started shooting in the later afternoon, just before the golden hour.

Credits

Model - My Fragility
Makeup - My Fragility & Saartje Van Den Haute
Assistance - Lady Louiza & Saartje
Dress - Vintage
Armor - Mytholon
Wings - Hellofaerie

Gear

Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 50mm 1.4
broncolor siros 800
Softbox 60x100
an Ikea chair.

Our second set-up. We shot in the later afternoon, with the golden hour slowly setting in.

Our second set-up. We shot in the later afternoon, with the golden hour slowly setting in.

For the sets I decided to bring one of my broncolor lamps, which is the siros 800 and a regular softbox (60x100 cm) - because it’s such an easy and functional piece I knew I could more easily practice and see what would happen. Working with artificial light is still fairly new to me but I really feel I’m getting the hang of it: it’s a pretty awesome and versatile way of working, which also works incredibly well in my style of photography because it feels much more cinematographic. Maybe it is because I’ve been doing almost only studio for 3 or 4 years up until now - I just feel it “clicks” together. Especially because I wanted a lot of color: I decided to use a teal colorgel for the first set: this would complement the pink flowers and her hair and give some colorful depth to my images. I knew the wings (who are more towards a pink/red/black shade) where also pretty reflective so that helped to really bring everything together.

For the second set I wanted a more monochrome color theme, so I switched to a pink gel (which I also used for the b/w set). It’s a different approach and my heart lies most with the colorgasms that the first set is - but I can definitely see a lot of potential in this approach and I really want to try out more of this.

Some more practical stuff is: because I always try to avoid any disturbances to my location and set I’m working on and at the same time, also want to avoid any composing and/or altering my work; I had to diy and wing it a bit. I have a deep love and respect for any composite artists out there - but it’s just not my thing at all. So I brought one of my posing chairs and asked my model to stand on it (usually where there was a gap between the branches), bringing her high up in the flowers without any alterations to my location. It also allowed for some gorgeous angles from my side, which was an extra plus.

How it was lit: Wynvyre (part 2)

In my previous blog I shared the first part of this session I shot with some of my favorite people - while my original intent was to work with just one light on set; I found myself incredibly inspired by how everything came together and I wanted to try something I wanted to do and try for a while: how does light (the absence) of light affect a shoot when shooting the exact same concept and styling? How does color changes the mood? And what would happen if we add more lights to enhance details in hair and make-up?

This session was perfect for it - as it had a beatiful hairstyling by Eline that would look incredible when using some backlit light; with also the red of the dress being an amazing combination with teal, my favorite kind of colorgel to use. While our first set was a minimum set-up of only using one broncolor light and an octabox; I’ve used almost my entire set of lamps for the following session: a siros 800 with a softlight reflector, my picolight with a fresnel and the move 1200 l with the octabox. I also changed the backdrop from dark grey to black - as I wanted just a minimum of “color bleeding” to distract from my subject. Lastly I kept the reflector on the right to ensure there wouldn’t be too many deep shadows.

It’s a set-up I never tried before - but I really loved how it all came together, better than I had anticipated in advance actually: I decided to use my picolight with fresnel on the left as the main highlight point of my image - giving just a little bit more strength so it would draw our eyes first there. Because broncolor their gear allow me to go even a tenth of the strenght, I could really work it in detail how much I needed, while equally doing the same on the other side to ensuring that my softlight reflector would give enough strength without dominating the scene. I wanted both lights to give a backlit feel in the hair and give a beautiful rimlight on her face and body.

To compensate the mostly backlit set, I used the octabox to fill in the remaining of the portrait I was taking - as I still wanted all the details of the make-up, hair and and styling to be clearly seen.

In post-processing I only enhanced the colors, mostly the red and teal, finished with some minor dodge and burn and cleaning up some distractions. For this capture one pro has been a massive gamechanger as I’m able to work much more in depth with my color work without affecting the quality of my images.


Want to read more about part 1? You can find my first blog where I shot the same set with just one light and a reflector by clicking the link!

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Gear I’ve used

broncolor move 1200L + octabox
broncolor picolight + fresnel attachment
broncolr siros 800 L + softlight reflector p
Giant white reflector

Shot on a Canon 5D Mark III with a 50mm 1.4
Edited in Capture One Pro & Photoshop

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Credits Creative team

Model - Luce Del Sole
Makeup & Hair - Eline Deblauwe
Dress - Maria Heller designs
Spine Necklace - Eero Hintsanen
Photography & Retouch - Laura Sheridan / Studio Sheridan’s Art

Light Diagram

Made with the light Diagram Creator

Made with the light Diagram Creator

My home studio: Part 2

If you didn’t see my previous post (my home studio), I highly recommend checking it out as it’s the first part of my small, humble home space where I’ve been working for the past two years on my business. I thought I would show a bit on where I spend way too much time when I’m not shooting but basically everything else: from writing blogs like this to my post-processing, emails and also some gaming each now & then.

When I’m working with clients, table are taken out and all set-up - transforming this place in an instant studio filled with music of their choice, tons of talking and giving people some serious make-overs that the studio has been know for.

But for now since I temporarily closed bookings due to too much work, I’ve been working mostly on my own here these days which has been a great breath of fresh air for me. It also made my space a bit more personal, as I tend to leave a lot of my personal belongings around. But for the biggest part, this is how it often looks. I wanted my space to be personal and cozy - both because I spend so much time here but also as I’ve heard from my clients they actually loved it felt like such a personal space. I’ve been playing into that a bit.

My room itself is kind of the same size as my studio, a bit wider maybe. And it works perfectly for what I need: I use half the space for wardrobe and storage (long live Ikea!) with the rest being an instant “interior” styling with some of my favorite designs or pieces I can’t store away due to space. There is also a bunch of flowers and plants basically everywhere I can: without those I feel this place gets cold and uncomfortable.

The dinosaurs I got to explain is a joke of my boyfriend, but I left them as they make me smile basically every single time I see them guarding my old camera collection.

My desk is one with two screens: one is for Netflix/Youtube so I can listen to some of my favorite series and movies when I’m editing or Spotify which usually is playing game music (like right now). My computer is one build by my boyfriend (as it’s his “old” one) - don’t ask me for the specifics. I don’t know. It works like a beast though and it even has lights in it so I’m happy. The rest is pretty straightforward: keyboard and mouse with an ergonomic mousepad (health first). A blanket on my chair because I get cold all the time.

Some of the corners are currently stacked: either with pieces I’ve sold and need to ship in the next day or two or some collabs (because I had to ship them back and I don’t have new boxes yet). It’s the safest place right now to keep those stacked as either my wardrobes are full, I’ve been working in the studio in the past days. It’s also a spot the cats never come, which is only extra points.

My view is on a park. Which is amazing. Again, green and nature makes me happy and I love hearing the birds - especially now with spring and summer. And my screen of course, duh.

So I hope you liked the insight in my cozy office! Again it’s humble and small, but again: it’s my space. I can work here, I can close the door at the end of a long day (and night). It’s at my home space as well so I can walk from work straight into my living room and welcome the cats anytime they need my immediate attention for cuddles (which happens every hour or so).

And it’s my space. It’s cool.

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