Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Oh My Darling, Valentine

I collect a lot of things, but my favorite thing to collect is vintage lingerie: sheer, lacy, detailed with silken ribbons, or expertly pleated. Each piece is a lesson in exquisite craftsmanship and fantasy.  Valentine's Day was coming along, and I've wanted to do a Valentine's shoot for the past 2 years, but somehow I always end up being too busy to put something together.  
This year, I decided there would be no excuses, I was going to make it happen!  Armed with a variety of vintage and modern lingerie pieces, as well as beautiful flower crowns and hair clips from SerenityCrystal, I started putting together the styling.  I hadn't put something together this extensively in a while, and it felt REALLY good.  I must have had 20 outfits put together by the time the day of the shoot came.
I started out with a big pile, and then I started matching things up; as always, I create a huge mess before I get anywhere.
Here's everything matched up and put-together! Only used about 1/4 of it :P

I originally envisioned these being shot outdoors, but they started predicting rain for the day of the shoot, so I started coming to terms with these having to be shot with a studio light.  I was disappointed, but mostly because I was nervous I wouldn't be able to pull off the look I wanted.  So, I decided to create a set-up on my enclosed back porch, because even if it rained, I figured I might be able to get a little natural light to mix with the studio flash. As well as collecting too much vintage clothing, I also have a veritable collection of vintage lace tablecloths and knitted blankets.  I use them for all kinds of things for shoots, and I figured this was my chance to create something for this shoot too.  I took my seamless paper stand and started clipping and taping the cloths onto the pole to create a backdrop.  This ended up being really heavy and tipsy, but thankfully nobody got hurt. :P I also wanted to create the illusion of the model being on a bed, because I reasoned that having her sit on the floor wouldn't look dimensional enough. Thus, I dragged out an inflatable mattress and dressed it up, so  when the model was lying on it, she would "sink in" rather than just be laying on the flat concrete floor.  

Before adding the mattress and tidying up the scene.
 I originally had cheesy Valentine's decorations to use as props, you can see them in the photo above with the clothing rack, but everything ended up being really soft and pretty, so it seemed like a shame to take away from that. So, instead I headed to my local Publix grocery store and bought a few bouquets of flowers, their 3/$12 deal is hard to beat when I usually end up pulling them apart by the end of the shoot!
I woke up feeling really amazing about this shoot, I was a bit nervous, but I felt like I had worked really hard putting everything together, so I figured I could make it work! I wish I had saved the videos I put together for my Instagram story because I've never recorded myself talking for Instagram before, but the morning of I sounded so chipper describing my styling and set-up. Sadly, I forgot to take a pull-back of the set-up! Equipment-wise, I used an Alienbee 800 with a Paul C. Buff large softbox on the left with the light coming through the screened-in porch on the right. I used my normal camera and lens, an Olympus E-3 with their 50mm 2.0 lens.  Instead of simply exposing for the scene, I shot with a slow shutter speed, most around 1/40 or 1/50 of a second, in order to let in the natural light as well.  To give the scene a hazy but still sharp look, I wrapped the edges of my lens with plastic wrap for some images and a ziploc bag with the bottom cut-out for others. 
Monique Brigham with Modern Muse Orlando was absolutely wonderful to work with, I couldn't have asked for anybody better to make this shoot happen! Monique is a petite model, and this worked out really well, since I didn't have to worry about her being too tall for the backdrop. Her long hair and delicate face made her the perfect sleeping beauty, and her natural posing was such an asset. Sherry Restifo kept Monique's face fresh-looking with natural, glowing makeup that matched the scene beautifully! 

"Oh My Darling, Valentine" featured on Whim Magazine's Blog
Model: Monique Brigham @ Modern Muse Orlando

Top: vintage, lace bra: Forever21. Flower Crown: SerenityCrystal

Bra and panties: Sophie B. Intimates, Peignoir: In Bloom by Jonquil, flower hair clips: SerenityCrystal

Bralette: Forever21, Petticoat: Malco Modes

 Top: Victoria's Secret, Flower Crown: SerenityCrystal

Sheer Gown: vintage, Bra: Sophie B. Intimates

Impossible Project Spectra film

Impossible Project round-framed 600 film

Crystal-pleated slip: vintage

Shrug: Re:deux, top: In Bloom by Jonquil, Panties: Marilyn Monroe Intimates