We shoot for ourselves on a regular basis. It is a way of keeping our skills up, pushing boundaries and trying new things. I set out to create grungy editorial portraits that borrow from Dan Winter’s and others’ style. I’ve been on a set building kick recently. I did it for my wife’s Antarctic graduation photos, and again for this shoot. I wanted a grungy abandoned looking room.
Rather than finding an actual abandoned room with the the right look and dealing with all the complications that come with an abandoned building, I built a set using 4′ x 8′ panels covered in ReStore purchased wall paper. A little work with an air brush, some rags and square of cardboard weathered the walls in perfectly. The other props are all items that were around the house. Set building has its limitations, but you can accomplish a lot with a small budget on some projects.
Editorial Portraits With Pets
My vision for the shoot included a tall woman in a gown and a tall majestic dog. One of our normal collaborators, Stacy, fit the bill for the model. One of our favorite hair and makeup artists hooked us up with a friend’s beautiful great dane named Larue. As a bonus, she only lived a few blocks from us simplifying logistics.
The great dane star of our shoot was not a trained performer. She was a pet and definitely a daddy’s girl. Her human father spent quite a bit of the shoot crouched behind the small chair. If he left, she would follow (after all, she is a good dog). She also didn’t really understand that she was a 110lb dog. In her mind, she is a perfect lap dog. Poor Stacy got squashed a few times.
This shoot ended up being mostly about simplification. Building a set let me control what was in the photos, and the condition of the background. I added a hint of a old picture to the background rather than a picture. Working in my home studio gave me the time to setup, and light the set before the talent arrived. And, finally, the controlled environment kept everyone comfortable and safe.
Grungy Editorial Portraits
Once our K-9 talent left, I used the set for a few more editorial portraits of Stacy wearing a couple of different outfits.
The blue sleeveless jumper is by far my favorite subset of these grungy editorial portraits.