Diary of a photoshoot NAHA 2011

"Once you know what you want in your photo, all you have to do is create it...

Some times that is easier said than done.  We had a theme and a certain direction in which we wanted to go with in this series of images. The main thing we wanted to do here was to showcase Hauns’ hairstyles for his NAHA submission.

The first thing we had to do was find some unique mannequins and some how make them come to life. Standard old/aged mannequins wouldn’t work for this shoot, and we knew that at some point some Photoshop would be required. Prior to the shoot we actually tested several approaches and shot them to see how they would look on camera. Once we had a look that worked for us we began prepping for the actual shoot.

One of the main challenges for this shoot was finding enough mannequins to keep each image unique; we actually had several gold, silver and white mannequins in both male and female form. Lighting the metallic forms of the mannequins, while properly exposing to capture the details in Hauns’ hair styling required custom and detailed lighting for each one of the models. This was complicated further by differences in skin tone, height differences, changes in angles and particular positions on location. The greatest difficulty was actually keeping the light consistent from shooting the mannequins to replacing the mannequin with our model and finally matching them up in post when merging the images. While trying to keep all of these things in mind, we still had to try to light things interestingly enough to enhance the environment and keep our surreal aesthetic.

Location is everything; we needed a location that felt like an appropriate “home” for our after hours friends. It needed to have some age and at the same time look like a place frequented by someone/something but forgotten by humans. The particular location we found had that special character we where looking for. In each image we tried to show off different aspects of where we where shooting to bring more character to each of our mannequins. Thankfully, from the help of our friends at the Columbus College of Art & Design, we were able to get into this great location on the CCAD campus that was in the process of being retrofitted and updated.

Coordinating and bringing everything together required the skills and talents of multiple individuals. From the hair and make-up, the props, the location, the talent, to our own individual skills behind the camera and in post, this collaboration wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication of everyone involved. One of the things we are most proud of at Wellcan is having the privilege of creating these types of images with such a great group of people.

Thanks again, stay tuned for more soon…

corbin thomas