Most of my work is very "pop-y" - high contrast, deep colours, huge post-production... This time I wanted to do something very different.
Nina Boldt is a singer from Germany, now living in London town. One Sunday afternoon we got together and took over a friend's bedroom. For this particular shoot, I wanted to evoke a light, hazy atmosphere - like a scene from a French art-house film. Naturalism was important, but at the same time I still wanted to push the edges of reality a little. A combination of natural and artificial light would be in order.
After pushing a lot of junk to one side I gelled the windows with diffusion. On sunny days windows tend to blow out; this time though the weather was likely to be grey. I really did not want to risk seeing the street beyond - it would just be one more hassle in Photoshop. By gelling the windows I could guarantee a nice, solid block of white in the background and soften the sunlight at the same time.
Bedrooms can be tricky places to make interesting. The environment needs to be carefully arranged so that any objects that appear in the background do not detract from the overall composition. A good starting point is to clear out everything that can be easily moved. Certain items can then be reintroduced if necessary. In the above photo we added a guitar. That was it.
The last ingredient was the smoke machine. Before the shoot, I was very wary of the raw images looking too "digital" or "real". Bedrooms are very familiar places after all, and modern photographic equipment does nothing to obscure reality. In addition to opening up the lens - thereby knocking out the background - I accentuated the depth effect by hazing the room. Distant details were thereby washed out and artfully smoothed over. Nina on the other hand remained sharp and fully formed.