A Glamorous Doll

April 19, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

This was a fun and very collaborative photoshoot. I met Nessa Boo through a Facebook photography group when she answered a model call for bodypainting shoots-- after some back-and-forth, we settled on doing a porcelain doll look. Nessa had a beautiful red mermaid dress she wanted to use, and I wanted to do a couple different looks with the makeup. We also enlisted Zina Curtean to help with hair and beauty makeup; I did the bodypaint, but having Zina along to help with hair and beauty makeup helped a lot. This was my first time working with a professional Hair and Makeup Artist, but this was also Zina's first time doing makeup on top of bodypaint, so we were all learning something new.

For the bodypaint, I skipped the airbrush again in favor of palettes of Kryolan Aquacolor, which I also used on my Mardi Gras shoot. Overall, I'm fairly happy with how it worked out. The application process was a bit slow, and it took a few layers for me to be satisfied, but we also had plenty of time and I wasn't rushing. While Zina was working on Nessa's eyes and face, I was working on her arms and body, and our efforts came together quite nicely in the end.

In the first phase of the shoot, we did some "normal" porcelain doll looks; in the second phase, I painted some cracks over her makeup and we did more of a broken doll look. We also added some lines down the sides of her mouth for some extra creepiness, and I experimented a bit with elbow joints-- but in the end, I focused on being the cracks on her face and body. I didn't want to overdo it, or go for anything too elaborate (like a spiderweb pattern in the cracks). I kept it simple, and in the end, I'm pretty happy with how it worked.

If I do something like this again, I'd like to do it at a place liked Spooked in Seattle, where I shot last year and is a great place for gothic/Victorian looks and creepy backgrounds. Instead, since we were in a studio with a white backdrop, I went for sparse, cleaner shots. With the cracked doll, I worked with color filters and gradients-- and considered trying to find some textures from the Spooked in Seattle shoot that I could utilize here-- but ultimately stuck with what I had. I feel like the shot to the right, for example, does a pretty good job of portraying emotion and that any more editing beyond what I already did might just be distracting.

You can see the full photoshoot in the set below. At the end, I also included a couple behind-the-scenes pics as Zina was helping Nessa put the finishing touches on her makeup.


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