Friday, 27 April 2012

1930s Knitted Hair Portrait

Today I had my final shoot for my knitted hair portrait series. I asked Welly to model for me, a girl who I had met when helping out at an animal casting and she won it! I had always thought she was so interesting looking and very beautiful and was waiting for the right project to ask her to model.

For the hair piece I had looked at several images and actresses of the time. I liked the loose curls in the hair and didn't want to recreate the finger wave I had done for the 20s look. I went for a middle parting in coral red wool. I found that the piece was a little heavy on the right, so I knew I couldn't shoot it from straight on. I also felt Welly had a much better side profile so everything worked out. I felt shooting with the red gel was harder than the others, and the technician made red for me out of two colours.

It was probably the fastest shoot Louise and I had done, as we knew exactly what we were doing, the make up was quite simple and I knew how I wanted the lighting. I had some darker shadows in the hair to reference the images I had looked at in my research.

I think the hair piece could have been better. It needed more volume on the top, and if I had made longer pieces I could have doubled them up to make them visually stronger.

Monday, 23 April 2012


For both my projects I need to consider the commercial context. I have written about this in my sketch book, but wanted to blog about it to reinforce what I am making. 

Project One

My first project is based on Eponine. I have chosen my images to go in Dazed and Confused.  

Dazed Digital writes:

Agenda-setting editorial, world-beating fashion, brilliant photography and illustration, unrivalled music and film coverage, headline-grabbing events, distribution in over 40 countries, and with admirers and imitators across the globe – Dazed & Confused has come a long way since its first steps in the early 90s. But above all, it's still proud to be independent.

With Dazed Digital now one year old, it is now bringing that same cutting-edge and ground-breaking ethos to the web. The world's first Ideas Sharing Network, Dazed Digital posts exclusive video interviews, live footage of tomorrow's music stars, behind-the-scenes fashion reportage, and exclusive features above and beyond what is in the magazine, all alongside daily blogs and submissions from its extended global network of writers, photographers, artists, and activists. Dazed has also taken its long-established tradition of nurturing and supporting new talent to the next level in the Rise section of Dazed Digital, where new talent in music, illustration, fashion and photography is profiled by Dazed's in-house creatives, with a special guest judge each month.

Innovative one-off projects already undertaken on Dazed Digital include a 24-hour non-stop live webcast of film and photography for World Aids Day on December 1, 2006, and Wanted, a digital 'outsider' exhibition that has to date received over 3,000 submissions from independent artists.

Founded by prodigious photographer Rankin and writer and cultural enthusiast Jefferson Hack, and taking its name (and freewheeling spirit) from the classic Led Zeppelin song, Dazed & Confused started life as a limited-run fold-out poster in 1992. Early cover stars profiled by Hack included Bjork, Harmony Korine and David Bowie, who all contributed to the magazine over the years. Also on the cover in the early days were PJ Harvey, Damien Hirst, Richard Ashcroft, ChloeSevigny, Pulp's Jarvis Cocker, Robert Carlyle, Kate Moss and Milla Jovovich. It was during this time that Dazed cemented its growing international reputation for daring to extend its editorial remit beyond fashion, music and film not just to include art and literature, but to tackle local and international social and political themes.

With its fashion, photography and art content long established as the best in the world, Dazed brought its music and film editorial up to similarly world-beating standards with a long list of UK and world firsts, including the likes of Eminem, the Libertines, Pharrell Williams, and Alicia Keys. Under its current editors Nicki Bidder and Rod Stanley, recent cover exclusives have included The White Stripes, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Bloc Party, Zooey DesChanel, Sofia Coppola, Justin Timberlake, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Selma Blair, and Madonna.

Today, still 100 per cent independent in ownership and in spirit, Dazed & Confused is perhaps the most influential monthly magazine in the world. Far from resting on its reputation, Dazed Digital is now pushing its taste and influence into new areas, bringing the brand to life in more ways than ever, and engaging a new generation of switched-on, intelligent, aware and influential individuals.

With this in mind, I  need to be really considerate of the images I make. They need to be up to the Dazed standard. I think it is the next step up for me, as I produce very vintage static images. The editorials and photographers I have looked at in my sketch book are so cutting edge and different, how can I make my work like this? I think the answer is that I cant, I shouldn't want to recreate somebody else's work, but rather push my work further in my own style. To make it more suited to dazed I will not be heavily editing any of it. I may clean up a few strange bits on my photos but I will not do any real skin work. This way the photos stay real and are commercially viable in a world that is rejecting Photoshop in editorials. 

I also want to make my work darker, as I am using natural light in caves I do not this this will be a problem. But not only darker in the images themselves, but with the styling and the expressions my model portrays.

With daze's audience they do expect something different. I do still want to contain elegance in my work, but use my concept to push the way I make my images. It is quite a personal project so I think I will be able to communicate with the viewer well. 

Project 2

My second project is the knitted hair portrait series. I decided Selvedge would be my context. They write about themselves:

Selvedge is an independent, 100-page full colour magazine published six times a year. The magazine is image led and has an uncompromising design.
Directed towards an international audience, Selvedge covers fine textiles in every context with illustrated features on fine art, fashion, interiors, ethnographic textiles, important collections, travel and shopping. The latest book reviews, exhibitions and comprehensive listings feature in every issue. The magazine provides a wide-ranging, unbiased and critical overview of the textile world.
The Selvedge readership is composed of all those who claim textiles as their first love, not simply makers and academics. They include professional artists, textile students, collectors, fashion and interior designers, museum curators and gallery owners. Selvedge is also aimed at an audience beyond those with an established interest in textiles. Discerning consumers are amongst our readers. Intelligent and curious they use Selvedge to learn about the history, techniques, artists and designers that made the items that furnish their lives.
We aim to provide a publication which reflects the creative lifestyle and tastes of this group without isolating or restricting readers. The magazine serves as a link to many other areas of interest, inspiration and knowledge. 

I think this is really helpful when working towards my context goal. The work I am creating could fit in the magazine because it fits into the fashion category. Because the magazine is aimed purely at a textile audience it also works, because knitting is such a widely known and accepted craft. Because the viewers have a creative lifestyle they will know more about knitting than the readers of a commercial fashion magazine, as well as having knowledge of fashion, lifestyle and other subjects.  

I do think I can have several alternatives for my context with this project. As knitting is becoming such a wide spread hobby across the world I do think I could get it published on various knitting blogs, such as Knitty, or magazines. Although the work is not wearable to easy to re-create it shows knitters a different side of the craft. 

Saturday, 21 April 2012

1940s Knitted Hair Portrait

For my 1940s portrait I decided to go for an up do with the hair. I liked all my visual research with the curls on top, as I felt it was completely different to the 20s and 30s designs that I liked. I had some problems with the piece, as time was not on my side.

I used my machine to make straight pieces, originally I had been cabling strips, however I could not produce them fast enough. I had also been making in a dusty pink colour and came to realise I did not want two pink shots in the series. I started knitted in a pastel purple and decided to change the rest later in photoshop. Because my piece was limited, my make up artist and I decided the best thing to do would be to comp it together, shooting with the pieces up and down. It would mean more work for me later, but it was for the good of the hair piece!

We had a lovely model come down from brighton. I chose her because of her interesting features and felt should would work well as an alternative 40s girl. She had a persian background which made her really interesting to work with, and gave her lovely big eyes.

I shot against a purple colour, but it was quite dark and I decided to change that later. I knew when I was shooting it that it was not going to be my best image from the series, but was happy with it none the less.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Bronson Caves

After my test shoot I wanted to find some more interesting inspiration images, I came across Brice Bischoff's Bronson Caves on Nonverbal Magazine. I thought they were a fresh and contemporary series that I could be inspired by. The images are surreal, using long exposures and beautiful colours. I think from seeing these it does make me think I can create photos in my own way. I do not want to copy these at all, I couldn't! But I am attracted to the silhouette idea and shooting things more creatively. I do think some of my work is stiff and I need more movement, and maybe this could be my starting point. I think with my final shoot I do want to play around more with my models body movement and use the material more to my advantage. I thought Jess was an amazing test model but she lacked the high fashion element that the girl I am casting should bring to the table. 

All I can hope for is that it all comes together on the day. And that I can produce some amazing photos. My confidence is slowly growing and my team is coming together well!

Saturday, 14 April 2012

1970s Knitted Hair Portrait

Today I had my 1970s shoot. I had a Natalie from Portsmouth come down for it. I found from my research I really liked the Farah Fawcett flick, however didn't want to completely recreate her. I had also been looking at Diana Ross and when casting my models I could see the potential to use her influence with Natalie. Through out my research I had liked the heavy lashes on the bottom lips. I had seen them in my visuals and with my blogger images. 

The hair piece was inspired more by the flick of the era, using tassels to mimic the hair. Looking at the contemporary versions of the 70s inspired hair I like the flatter hair with the middle parting. This was my main inspiration. The only fault in the piece was that I had made it way too long. As I was only doing a headshot I should have realised this when casting on. I think it could have been half the size.

I decided to use the purple headband to break the hair up a bit, and to add a hippy style to it, so that the era would be reinforced. I love Natalie's big eyes and lips, as I felt they referenced Diana Ross perfectly.

I made the piece in green, as again I felt it was quite organic and free. Mixing and matching the stereotypes of the time.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Studio Marisol

There are many artists that work with hair. I think this is an amazing example of hair as high fashion. The oversized piece on the first two images is extraordinary, with the plaits changing size and creating a piece that makes you ask "how did they do that". It creates quite a stern character. I think with big hair it is easy to think of judges hair, which is not contemporary at all. These on the other hand have some kind of life to them. Even the image where the model is naked with the piece covering her face. She looks like a mannequin, perfectly formed, showing this beautifully crafted piece on her head. I like the way you can see the hair as well. It does make me think maybe I could try something like this, going more artistic and abstract, however I am not sure how well it would fit with my vintage era idea. 

Finally I found the fourth image. I love the idea of knitting hair, I think that would be such an interesting thing to do on a larger scale, but I am worried about the production value and how much it would cost. If I am using so many yards of wool for my project and that is costing a fair amount, how much would hair cost?

Monday, 9 April 2012

Tests and Developments

After talking to my stylist about my project she suggested shooting at winspit caves in swanage. There has been a few people who have shot there, she knew it from a music video she had helped out on. I decided to go with an open mind, as the shots she had shown me looked really interesting we did a quick location scout before going to do the test. I was originally more interested in the ruins next to the quarry as I thought they could represent the paris riots. However upon seeing them I wasn't sure if that connection would be quite weak, and that I should just go with shooting against the rock and experimenting with material for the texture.

I think the shoot went really well, these are my most successful images from the day, I have a few more I am happy with but don't want to completely ruin the surprise with my next shoot. I think because the location is well known in this area I am a little comprehensive with shooting there, however we were told to make the most of our Dorset location for these projects as I probably wont be living here again. I wanted to use the rock as more as a background, getting inspiration from the previous editorials I had looked at and the advice to look at Ryan Mcginley's cave series. I think these inspired me to go out and do something different to what I usually do and the results for my test have come out well.

The styling is still not quite there or consistent, so I need to work closer with my stylist to bring it together more, we still need to source a few more outfits and put it all together for the final series.

Overall it was a great day, watch this space for the final shoot!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

The Hunger Games

Judianna Makovsky

I recently watched The Hunger Games at the cinema, I wasn't really interested in seeing it, in fear that it would be like Twilight, but I did really enjoy it. My favorite character quickly became Effie Trinket, played by Elizabeth Banks. Not for her personality or in terms of the story line, purely because of the styling used. The whole Capitol had incrediable costumes, and it made me think back to the Edward Sissorhands references I had looked at earlier in my project. The stylist Judianna Makovsky created elaborate costumes, helped visualised by the author Suzanne Collins. Like Scissorhands I liked how most things were matching, and how the Trinket wore several different styles throughout the film.

Everything is over the top, the big cuts, wigs and patterns on the outfits. They have been so thoughfully designed. I liked the use of the pastel colours in the hair, especially the purple. If I were to style my project I would want it too look like this. It is always great to see styling like this in films, at a higher budget and consistency than most celebrities. I love how it is set in the future, I keep coming across futuristic feelings to images and films which I think helps with the re-touching I do. Showing that the future and the past can be envisioned at the same time. 

Monday, 2 April 2012


This week I have been looking at the Asian Models blog again for inspiration for my editorial. I think looking at it does open me up to so much more than just flicking through English magazines. I have chosen four editorials that have caught my eye and that I could use to influence my work. I have chosen them for different reasons and will write notes on what I like about them.

Rony Shram - Harper's Bazaar Vietnam

I love how she is laying down with her eyes closed

The hair and make up is really beautiful, love the lipstick

I think what I love the most about these images is the energy and feeling I get from them. The shoot looks like it has a high production value because of its location. The lighting and tone of the photos looks very sunny and cheerful, but then we take a double take with the model as she seems in her own world and maybe even a little distressed. I think she looks like a socialite, in her expensive apartment and on the roof top contemplating. The backdrop of the city is exciting, I think because of her posing it does make it seem like it is very still, rather than a busy place.

What I could take from this shoot is some of her poses, I want to shoot something much darker, but I do really like the look of worry in her face. Is it worry, or dis-interst? I think the images are very interesting and I would love to take something from them and incorporate that within my shoot. 

Flower Power by Mark Segal - Vogue China 

This is another shoot that caught my eye on the blog. I think what i really like about it is the cold tone to the images, it has a real winter appeal with the use of the background and tones used. The first thing that drew me to it was the material over the models face, how it changes her identity and you are unsure of who she is. The images have movement, I think my favourite is the one with the material over her, as her body is dramatic and shapely, matching the flow of the fabric. I think these images do look like campaign standard, rather than an editorial, maybe it is because of the background. I don't think these images have as much as a narrative as the story before, maybe it is because I see them as more glossy.

The darker eye make up does draw my attention in more in shoots, thinking bout it for my project. 

I love the dramatic use of material in both these images

Snake Wave by Kim Tae Woo - Vogue Korea

I think these were interesting to me because the model does not look typically asian. Her hair colour made me look instantly, rather than brushing over them. I then noticed the texture of the rocks around her, which is really beautiful. Because these images were taken on such a sunny day it does look exotic, like the first series I looked at. Again I do not thing they have as strong of a story line as Shram's photos, but they are unique fashion images. The rocks do really interest me, as I have been looking at texture for a while now. Smugglers bay could have potential rocks like this? Would it reflect my storyline or should I just run with something I find visual interesting? 

I really love how the light picks up the texture, I think I am more interested in the background than the styling of the images.

The rocks look a little bit like out of space.

Desert Rose by Whee Kim for NuYou 

I think I was attracted to this shoot because of the previous images I had looked at. I like the idea of shooting against rock more and more because I have never really done a location shoot and feel it would benefit my portfolio. I am looking at lots of bright images, but I feel I would want to create slightly darker images. I do really love the square crops with this series and that is something I would like to do with my work. I think these images are a little bit off topic with what I am researching but I think I should look more into texture and what that could mean for my images.