Hello! It's been a while since my last blog post - and one of my goals is to start posting once a week, taking you on an exciting journey of the projects, products and work I am currently doing and loving - a little insight into a crazy, beautiful world at Peachy HQ.
A couple of weeks ago, I collaborated with awesome local photographer Melody Strong and gorgeous Silks Aerialist Fran Chanderbhan, to create a theatrical-inspired photoshoot with Fran in her studio for her new teaching business Aerial Silks Newark - surprise surprise, the studio was in Newark, nestled in a quiet room just inside a training gym, between banging dance tunes and fearful-looking gym equipment.
From Concept to Collaboration
Melody and I first started communicating over Instagram, way back before the hazy Summer, when she was finishing off her photography degree at Nottingham Trent Uni and I was preparing to finish my Level 3 Diploma in Hair and Media Make Up - I love meeting fellow creatives on social media, especially local ones and am always excited to talk collaborations and ideas with people like myself, who think outside the box, so I was excited to meet Melody and talk about potentially working with different lighting patterns and the potential for on-location shoots.
Melody and I both had the 'lightbulb moment' and discussed using an aerialist at our first meeting back in the Summer. If you follow my adventures on Instagram, you might be aware that I have recently taken up learning aerial skills as a fitness and performance challenge and, whilst discussing the beauty of some of moves with Melody, we discussed the possibility of using a hoop or silks to create some haunting, beautiful images.
Once the location, model and general theme were discussed, we took to Pinterest to look for aerial inspiration and I put together a rough face chart of the circus-inspired look I wanted to try on our model. I tend to work very loosely with face charts, I find moodboards and face charts really useful during the creative process, but I also like the freedom to change my ideas and try new things once I am more familiar with the model - time permitting of course. In this case, I was heavily inspired after reading 'The Night Circus' by Erin Morgenstern, a book I found truly engrossing and beautiful - with a largely black, red and white front cover. It provoked some really interesting imagery of Victorian traditional circuses, complete with a little bit of magic and macabre.
Arriving at the gym and making our way past several intrigued gym enthusiasts, carrying kitbags and lighting equipment, I wasn't sure what to expect from the shoot, or how limiting the use of aerial silks would be. Fran was a fantastic model, happy to go along with my basic hair and make up ideas and experienced with having make up applied. A quick makeover using an elaborated version of the black and red circus-inspired theme I designed and we were ready to go.
We spent a good few hours trying different positions and playing around with red and blue lighting, reflecting on a black background. Fran uses hammock silks in her performance and teaching, which I had not been used to - having had some experience with straight silks. The use of the hammock silks gave us some really interesting images and positions to work with.
The beauty of shooting with the hammock silks is the beautiful sitting position Fran could accomplish, allowing for some fabulous close up shots, such as the one below - which is probably my favourite!
Products wise, I used the following to create Fran's beautiful clown looks, with curled and backbrushed hair to create a more free version of a Hollywood wave.
Base: Kryolan Aquacolour in White mixed with Body Shop Liquid Foundation in Porcelain
Cheeks and Under Eye: Kryolan Blush in Deep Red blended with NYX Glitter in Red
Eyes: Sleek 'Au Naturel' Palette blended with NYX Glitter in Red
NYX Gel Liner in Black
NYX Voluptuous Mascara in Black
Lips: Kryolan Lip Palette in Colour 'LC104'
Excited to see the results of our collaborative efforts, I was so pleased with the dark, theatrical and haunting effect of this image collection - deciding to keep the costume fairly simple, to enhance the beautiful lines of Fran's aerial work, the inclusion of the clown ruff - made and embellished by me, really brought the hints of a circus performing character to life. We all loved how the lights reflected onto Fran, creating a cold atmosphere...
A huge thanks to Melody for her hard work behind the lens for the day and to Fran for being such a graceful and beautiful model - I look forward to working with you both again soon!