As a Perth photographer and content creator, photography is more than just the snap of a shutter. While execution is important, like really important I believe developing a strong concept and planning are even more important as they determine the execution of the photoshoot.
This has been one of my favourite photoshoots so far as a photographer, which has become the new face of my photography portfolio.
Paige was looking for a Perth photographer that had a unique flare. So she contacted me through Instagram DM, as a fan of my creative style, she was wanting some promotional material shot for her upcoming musical project.
As a heavy indulger of music, I couldn’t of been any more excited to work with her to create something completely unique.
We wanted to create a portfolio of photographs that were moody with a touch of fantasy and mysterious, with a touch fun.
Part of our pre-planning was to uncover an aesthetic balance to meet each of our visions. Then, we had to carefully calculate what we needed to capture and how it would ultimately blend together in the final portraits of Paige Savill.
Being a Perth photographer, location is just as important in telling a photograph’s story as the subject itself.
For this moody fantasy concept, nothing screams location more than a swamp/ lake surrounded by tall and evil-looking pine trees.
Which was quite easily found.
Not only did the pine trees provide sufficient texture and coverage across the frame but the green colouring of the leaves was perfect for post-editing colour grading to emphasise our concept.
Being a Perth photographer means thinking outside the box to create something special.
Props are used to better support and add meaning to the main subject in a photograph.
So it made sense that since Paige is a musician them some musical instrument or item, an electric guitar sufficed.
Next, the vintage chair, maybe a little extreme for most but by simply adding the chair into the water for Paige to sit on and interact with adds more personality and atmosphere to photo.
Combine all the elements of the props that are the electric guitar and the vintage chair and it draws the eye and grabs the attention of the photograph’s viewers.
Simply, it’s different.
How it Was Captured
While the final photos are one, seamless image, it is an assembly of multiple elements.
We began placing the vintage chair into the lake (it was extremely cold by the way) so just the legs were submerged and so the water level was sitting just above the base.
We also positioned the couch, so it was backed up against the tallest tree coverage area and so when the sun completely rises (yes it was dark, well fairly dark) we wouldn’t get a lot of harsh light bouncing off the water or on Paige.
I wanted that soft light to add to the moody vibes we were trying to capture.
I began by photographing Paige sitting on the vintage chair by herself, going through a few different seating positions such as sitting with both legs on the base of the chair, on the arms while being stretched out horizontally and unfortunately having her feet submerged under the sub – zero waters.
We then varied the positioning of her hands, head and eye focus, allowing Paige’s hands to flow differently across her face as it tweaked its position added depth and mystery to her.
Then it was time for the guitar to make an appearance! Adding the guitar was the final element to a masterpiece.
The guitar encompasses the story trying to be told, it brought everything together in perfect harmony.
Again, we went through different positions, from sitting to standing, legs crossed, up in the air or beneath the surface.
Speaking of beneath the surface, the guitar got a little hydration as well.
I even had Paige make a little splash in the water in front of her so as the ripples of water spread around her it would help frame her in the image and add a little more texture.
Then, just before the hyperthermia settled in Paige and I got out of the chill and got warm again.
I won’t give all my secrets away but to give this story the perfect ending required some post editing.
Once I selected the right photographs that included all the right elements I started adding my tones in Lightroom to manipulate the tree colour, so I could change the dark emerald green colour to a more teal tone which would be finished in Photoshop.
Having the teal tone helps pop Paige out in the foreground more and add to that moody/ fantasy concept.
Dropping the highlights and shadows to give it some mood, bumping up the exposure and contrast a little.
There was more involved in the Lightroom process, but the goal was to get the image colouring to a stage where only minimal adjustments had to be made in Photoshop.
Once the images were brought into Photoshop I adjusted the greens, blues and cyans within the trees until I was happy with the teal colour you see.
I also did a little dodging and burning on Paige’s face to emphasise some of her facial features.
Lastly I added in my own fog effects, you know, for a little extra mood and mystery.
Stepping away as a photographer and becoming a viewer, I enjoy this series over and over again every time I look at it.