I don't know about you, but I always have the most intense, vivid dreams. In my dreams, I often have the ability to fly - something that 'Awake Me' is extremely jealous of! For this shoot, I wanted to create a dream-like state of mind, also known as oneirophrenia, kind of like in Alice and Wonderland. I wanted to emulate that out-of-body, otherworldly feeling, almost like a hallucination.
This was such a fun shoot, even my dog, Zeus, wanted to get in on the action. I hope this blog helps you if you decide to do something similar, and all else fails, hopefully, you just enjoy some fun images!
Materials ($40, Total)
Fake Snow ($5 per bag, 4 bags)
LED Lights/Christmas Lights ($20)
Bed Sheet (Trust me, just use one you own! Any color, but I used white.)
When gathering materials, I didn't feel like investing in any sort of backdrop, so I pulled the sheets off of my bed, gave them a wash, and called it a day. I, personally, used a backdrop stand that I already had, along with some clips I borrowed from my parents' workshop, but you could easily just tape or tack the sheet to a wall.
Seeing as December is only about a week away, Christmas lights were not hard to come by. I ran out to my garage and dug through my existing decorations until I found what I needed. Initially, I draped the lights over the front of the sheet, as I envisioned them looking like stars, but found that my camera had difficulty picking up all of the lights, making half of the bulbs look like they were burnt out when they were not.
I also used a strip of LED lights that I already owned that had a remote control so I was able to change the colors. If you know me, you know that my bedroom is Star Wars themed, making these LED strips a casual item around my house. I laid out the strips on the floor, then fluffed my fake snow into clouds and put them over top.
As far as hair and makeup, my model, Alexis, has a very youthful glow to her, which I wanted to shine through. The combination of the theme with the blue dress she brought inspired us to go for an Alice in Wonderland kind of look. Simple, doll-like eyes, a bright red lip, and flushed cheeks. Just for fun, I added in fake freckles to make the makeup pop.
The actual shoot took about 30 minutes to set up. Fluffing up the snow was far more time-consuming than expected. I also learned the hard way to make sure not to buy the snow with glitter, yikes! The shoot itself ended up taking about an hour. If you try this shoot, you'll learn there is a lot of hit and miss in positioning the lights just how you want it, but it was a blast. Ultimately I ditched the Christmas lights I had draped over the backdrop, and just utilized the ones on the floor.
Of course, I videoed behind the scenes of the shoot but did not notice that my phone quit recording 8 minutes in (just my luck!) But you can check out a little snipped of the process above. Ultimately, we were able to create something really dreamy and almost futuristic. I loved the way the different colors showed through the 'clouds'.
There were three main lessons I learned this shoot: get more snow, ditch the distractions, and overshoot. I really wish I would have had just two more bags of snow, that way I would have had more of the foreground covered and more space for my model to lay.
I also quickly learned that the lights that were draped over the backdrop were not only extremely distracting but backlit my model more than I wanted, making it extremely difficult to see her face. Those lights were very quickly taken down.
Lastly, overshoot! My camera reacted very oddly to the LED lights, and I often ended up with a strange black strip in the middle of my images. I'm not sure if the LEDs somehow mess with the camera's sensor or what because in normal light, my camera had no such issues. So overshoot, that way if your image is ruined by the black strip, you'll hopefully have another image in the same pose without said strip.
Ease of Shoot & Prep
This was so quick and easy to set up. I honestly felt like a child building a fort.
Price of Materials
Most of the materials were things I already had around the house, and the things I did not already have (fake snow) are things I can reuse in my house for the holidays.
Quick, easy, and to the point! Just remember to shoot at night, otherwise, you might pick up some unwanted light!
Even though they aren't what I planned, I loved these!
Overall, I had a ton of fun with this shoot. The images we created had a little more of a neon, Tron vibe than I had expected, but I really love what we created! It was a ton of fun!
Overall Experience: 4.6/5
Alright, now that you've seen Zeus, nothing else matters, so I'm going to let you get back to your day! Thanks for stopping by, and see you next time!