From the Pages of a Magazine

While I love taking pictures of the horses and the lovely light in the morning and evenings, the clouds took a toll on my creativity a bit and I had grey overcast skies and pictures that didn't pop.  I spent some time just out and about with my camera on the farm for some inspiration (Cloudy with a Chance of Inspiration) and was pretty happy with what I found and created.  Then, I came inside and while warming up I settled on the couch under a blanket to read a magazine and one of the photographs really caught my eye and I thought it would be fun to recreate it.

On a side note, this particular magazine I had never purchased before or even heard of, really, but saw it one day and picked it up with the idea of checking out the fashion photography inside.  I really enjoyed everything about the magazine...the pictures, the articles...just fun.

So, I came across this particular picture inside and was intrigued by the model, her dress, her pose, her hair, the lighting, the darkness, and the feel of it.  I looked closely at it to see it from the perspective of recreating it...where was their light source?  What about her was so captivating?  Why was the setting so provocative?

I started rummaging through my closet for a dress and shoes, decided to try to create a little bit of a different look at first and not copy verbatim, set up my camera and tripod and this is what happened!

I took a few shots of the couch first to get my settings.  The top photo is natural light and you can see that there is no shine to the surface of the leather so I needed to add some fill flash.  (ISO 200, f5, 1/60)

This second photo shows a couch with more shine and more like the picture in the magazine.  

So here is my little makeshift studio...our living room complete with Christmas decorations!  All the stockings hung with care and the little Christmas tree filled with ornaments the kids have made over the years.  Perfect, right?

The living room studio

Not sure why I decided to choose this dress or to put my hair up in such a wild woman way but I guess it was because of the emotion that I first identified with from the picture....confident, prowess, and alluring.  It was not capturing the magazine shot exactly...the dress did not have enough contrast with the dark leather of the couch and my hair was not sophisticated like the model.  So back to the closet I went and adjusted my  wild hair!  Also, it was not comfortable for me to lie on my left side for some reason so I decided to just flip the photos in post processing!

First attempts

Once I realized the dress did not provide enough contrast I found another but I didn't have one that had long sleeves so I made do with this longer, strappier version.

Final outcome

The original

I understand how people are uncomfortable in front of the camera because I have been so willing to be in front of it, too.  Seeing pictures of yourself definitely pushes some buttons but I think self portrait work can be a very important part of not only a photographer's journey, but a personal one as well, and I've come across some really fun artists who do great self-portrait work (like Christine H. McConnell whom I just found a few weeks ago)...and it is doing just this...finding inspiration and having fun creating the mood, the setting, the lighting, everything!   I hope you have enjoyed watching me create my own version of a photo I saw in the pages of a magazine and maybe I've even inspired you to try something like this yourself!

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