The concept continues. My original intention wasn't to drag this concept as far as it has gone, however, with both Scooter and my schedule, its worked out better if we simply take our time on each individual shoot. With three shoots under our belt, I’m looking forward to wrapping this series up within the upcoming month. It’s been nearly 6 months to when we first started this project.
When I met Amber Nethery, I knew I wanted to do a shoot with her, I just didn’t know what. So when I came up with this idea of “Fiction” and needed alternative models, she was at the top of the list. Her and I have a great relationship and I knew it would be a lot of fun to finally work with her. Scooter and I didn’t have a solid plan going in, but by now I was used to it and just rolled with it. This would be the first “Fiction” shoot in my home studio, so I was both nervous and excited all at the same time.
For nearly 8 months I had been saving this old tube television set for the proper shoot and concept. When “Fiction” came a long, I knew I finally would have the opportunity to use it. From the beginning I had had this vision in my head of the subject smashing the TV and glass flying everywhere. However, I wasn't all that confident that I could replicate that vision to reality.
The date was set for a weekday evening, our schedules were so hectic that we only had one day within a large window to make the shoot happen. As always, Scooter and I didn’t touchbase until the day before the shoot to discuss the concept and look. We tossed a few ideas back and forth and he gave me a preview of the wardrobe. I have to admit that when I first saw the outfit, it didn’t blow me away like some of the others. Nevertheless, I knew we could make it work.
Amber came straight over from work and Scooter and Tammy arrived shortly after. After the last session with Tammy, I trusted she could pull out some quality work and Amber was up for anything. As she went into hair and makeup, I had a once over of the outfit; It was pinned in quite a few places and looked rushed, but I could see the vision there. The first look was different, a hair blowout in the back and smoked out cats eyes, I was on the fence. It wasn't until Amber slipped into the outfit, that everything clicked. It was like placing the last 4 pieces of a puzzle together, once they came together and you could finally see the completion, it was a breath of fresh air. I had to push the energy to get there but, once Amber stood in front of the backdrop, Scooter perked up and the game was on.
I thought I knew Amber fairly well. Quiet and cryptic, she upholds a equivocal persona, but she has a side that many can’t tap into once they develop that psychological pattern of who they think they are. In other words, Amber brought out an inner fire and passion that I simply didn’t see coming, she took direction and with swayed with flawless vigor. The poses she pulled didn’t come at ease and many models would have buckled in an instant. She had done this before.
The energy in the room had taken a leap forward and within an hour the images had become my favorite of the entire series.
The second look was the biggest challenge. Maintaining the overall theme of the “Fiction” series, the second look would be manic and crazed involving some heavy use of Photoshop. This time around I wanted to explore the vision I previously spoke about. Glass, flares and color everywhere. We started with smashing the TV, surprisingly it wasn't an easy feat. Initially, starting with a baseball bat, when that didn't succeed we moved onto an iron hammer, that did the job.
With the broken television setup and Amber ready to go in her “crazed” look, we tried a few positions, many requiring the assistance of someone holding her! Amber rocked it out and used her “horror movie” background to portray some incredible expressions of true screaming. I seemed to remember looking the back of the screen and the colors popping and coming alive before my eyes, the image was creating itself in my head. After nearly an hour and a dozen poses we wrapped up the shoot to high-fives and applause. I was pumped for what we had achieved, but like always, for me the work had only begun.
As soon as we said our goodbyes, the editing process kicked off. I knocked out the first image that same evening. The challenges of the second image nearly killed me and took several weeks after the shoot to reach completion. As I do with most heavy “photoshopped” images, I take a break and come back the adjust from there. It took several passes before I got close to anything I thought would work. The second image had nearly 30 layers, everything from motion blur to film burn. The vision came to life with hard work and a lot of persistence, there were many instances where I thought I had failed and simply couldn’t bring the vision to reality. However, with perseverance and patience, I’m confident we actually pulled it off.