A couple of months ago, a friend told me about a hair and makeup artist in Maryville, Tatyana Wilcox Makeup Artist. I took a chance and referred a client to her; when the client arrived at the photo shoot, she raved about Tatyana and hre work - and had even booked her for another event!
So I had to meet this woman and I am glad I did. We hit it off and I told her I wanted to do a shoot with her, just for the chance to showcase our talents. Tatyana got excited - seems she is a movie buff and knew of a location that featured an antebellum style home nearby, one that suggested the infamous Tara plantation, home of Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone WIth the Wind." Would I be interested in doing a shoot using that movie as its theme?
Of course I would. Tatyana graciously approached the owners of the home, who agreed to allow the exterior to be used, and recruited her beautiful daughter, Karina, to play the part of Scarlett. Look at the the styling Tatyana did to recreate that movie legend - superb!
In editing the images, I took the time to acquaint myself with the colors of the original film, and its use of three-strip Technicolor, a process by which three strips of black-and-white film was each shot with a different sensitivity to red, green, and blue. Looking at stills from the film, I noticed that shadows contained more green and skin tones carried more yellow. I did not try to emulate it - rather, I used it as an inspiration. During the shoot, I also supplemented natural light with flash, not only to properly expose the picture but because I had read that the film used in the Technicolor process was notoriously "slow," meaning it needed a lot of light and so the lights on the set were particularly bright (and hot - it is said that while filming the "Wizard of Oz," which also used this process, costumed characters had to be kept well hydrated and several complained that their sight was impaired from spending too much time under the lights).
And why go through all this preparation? Because just taking a picture with a smartphone can't do this. Because parks are nice, and parks are fun, but if you're capturing images to commemorate a milestone - an engagement, a senior shoot - or special relationships - family, friendship - don't you deserve to star in your own movie?
Adding a theme to your special photoshoot does not have to be as detailed as recreating scenes in a movie, but it can add that spice to make it memorable. And it's fun - and that is reason enough to do it.
But a shoot like this takes collaboration - not just between the stylist and the photographer, but including you as well. It's your dreams, it's your fantasies, it's your life. Before we even start, let's sit down over a cup of coffee and talk about making your photoshoot a classic.
Now, let's take some inspiration from Scarlett in her last scene, clench our fists, look heavenward and proclaim: "As God is my witness . . . I will never let pictures of the special moments of my life die on some iPhone . . .!"
(Cue "Tara's Theme" - music swells as the camera pulls back - fade to black)