Making Something From Nothing: Behind the Scenes "Tropical Mist" Beauty Editorial

One of the things I love most about what I do is that I get to create. Sometimes this means getting your hands dirty, glued, wet, painted or who knows what... Earlier this year, I photographed a beauty editorial inspired by the idea of a misty summer night. With that as my main concept, I went ahead and created a Mood Board on a Pinterest Board to share with my team. 

Now that I had my mood board ready, I had a better picture of the overall look and feel of the shoot. One of the things that I really wanted to achieve was to make it look intimate and at night. I have a small studio so I had to work with what I had. After all, it's all about what works for the camera. For my set design, I used a black seamless paper, a plexiglas sheet I got at my local hardware store, and only three plants: two ferns and a palm. I chose these because these plants were big (which helped in hiding most of the seamless paper) and they also give a tropical feel which is exactly what I wanted. In addition, I wanted to add a misty look, ergo the fabric steamer. When using the plexiglas, I had my model sit behind it with very little distance in between while I shot right in front. This was a bit tricky because I needed to avoid photographing my own reflection and I wasn't using a Polarizer filter. Then I positioned my steamer right beneath the plexiglas in order to get the steam on both sides. I also used a spray bottle to add some "mist". 

As for lighting, I used 4 lights: 2 Alien Bees B1600 with a 20in Grid and a quarter CTB gel on the key light, and a 10in grid with a full CTB gel. I also used two old strobe heads with a full CTO gel on each. Below is a diagram with more details. 

This was a fun shoot as I was able to play with gels and a slightly more complex light set up than what I normally work with. As a photographer, it's always good to challenge yourself every so often. This helps you build your creativity, practice new techniques or refine old ones. 

Take a look at the video for a complete behind the scenes access.