Monthly Archives: April 2014

Edinburgh Fringe Salon Photo Shoot: Candy Girl

My previous blog post, “Leopard Lips”, describes a beauty concept shot at the Edinburgh Fringe Salon in collaboration with Josh Sommariva, Chelsea Ross and Maria Carmela Chierchia.

Beauty model with Candy Girl themed hair, makeup, having a great time doing her hair.

Just having a good time.

The second concept for the shoot was a fun theme, “Candy Girl”. It is difficult to imagine how much work actually goes in producing a series of pictures like this. The hair and makeup were quite involved and took a few hours. Setting up the lighting equipment, getting good exposures and colour takes about half an hour. And I can’t remember how long I took pictures for, but it took quite some time. You want to make sure you get the best out of the model/hair/makeup, especially given the time and effort that goes into it. And then the pictures are retouched to make them look as good as possible.

Beauty model with candy girl themed hair, makeup and nail with lipstick and makeup brushes,.

It’s makeup time.

But in spite of all of the hard work, we had a great time with this idea. I think the photos speak for themselves. And our model Cerri seemed extremely comfortable in front of the camera, even though she is not a professional model.

Beauty model with candy girl themed hair, makeup and nails showing off her dazzling smile and nails.

Showing off her Candy Girl nails.


Edinburgh Fringe Salon Photo Shoot: Leopard Lips

In some of my previous posts,  “Shelfie” and “Couch Potato” in particular, I explored conceptual photography using Photoshop composites.

There is a more traditional way of photographing concepts, which involves hair, makeup and styling. I say traditional because it dates back to film photography, i.e before Photoshop or to the days when Adobe only referred to the kind of clay used to build houses, to paraphrase photographer Joe Baraban.

Beauty shot with leopard lips

The leopard lips are essential to the look, even though they are just a small part of the image

In a collaboration with Josh Sommariva, Chelsea Ross and Maria Carmela Chierchia, I recently did a photo shoot at the Edinburgh Fringe Salon exploring a couple of conceptual ideas with hair and makeup.

Beauty shot with tilted head and leopard lips

A slight tilt of the head can make a big difference in the look of a portrait or beauty shot.

The first such concept revolved around leopard lips. Our model, Saskia, was to play the role of the unattainable dream girl, in a Catwoman kind of way. The look I asked Saskia to give me was really out of character, because she was very approachable, friendly and a pleasure to work with in person.


Couch Potato

As a former academic, I obviously believe in the value of education. Which is not to be confused with the education system, but that is a different matter altogether. So I always try to learn new things. And as a scientist by training, I also love technology.

Philippe Monthoux as couch potato, Photoshop composite of Philippe on a couch and a potato

I felt pretty miserable living the life of a couch potato

Given the large number of people online consuming visual content, the demand for imagery has never been greater. The flip side of the coin is that it is even more important for your images to stand out.  By making use of recent advances in technology, one can create images that were simply not possible (or practically impossible) to create before, which guarantees that the public hasn’t seen this type of photograph over and over. It gives your pictures a chance to stand out. The ever improving digital darkroom software is making it easier to create fantasy images by combining elements photographed at a different time and/or place. So I decided I wanted to get better at creating photo composites in Photoshop, and I gave myself a few assignments. The photograph above is the latest in the series.