It is always close to impossible to pass up a good project when it presents itself. I got a great message from Abbe Drake in May asking me if I would be interested in working with her on some self promotion pieces. It quickly became apparent through or back and forth communication that she was looking to do something a bit more unique than a pretty picture, she wanted to boldly insert her personality into an image.
I immediately started to think about Mary Ellen Matthews and her work on SNL; Matthews work of combining beauty and personality into portraiture has been an inspiration to me for some time, but this shoot was the opportunity I have been waiting for to actually do something along that thread. Best of all as I was working on the concepts for this shoot, I had a willing subject who wanted to do something out of the ordinary. In the end I wanted this shoot to be just as much about Abbe as a person and personality as it was about me as visual artist.
Abbe and I did a pre-shoot meeting at the worlds conference room: Starbucks. I was so excitedly inspired to talk through the concepts that I just jumped right into it having barely covered the pleasantries of “Hi, how are you, nice to meet you.” Funny today, probably a little eccentric then.
Abbe is a trained opera singer, she currently entering into an advanced degree program for music, so I thought having a little fun with an opera stereotype would be a good place to start. When we were shooting this Abbe was actually singing both serious and light selections.
Another shot with some more dramatic intensity. The background is just a white seamless, the color was added in photoshop.
Here we did a cowgirl shot with a blade of grass found in the backyard. All of these shots are very simple; the intent is to maintain the focus on the subject and their expression.
This was one where we were directly inspired by a SNL image where Ellen Page was swimming on a stool like a fish. Although we were not trying to recreate the shot, we decided to shoot something along those lines.
Abbe is an avid gamer who plays Starcraft 2… a lot. It sounds like the gaming can get a little intense.
We did have a bit of fun with random items found in my prop closet.
Anna Prosser jumped in for a few shots with Abbe (Anna and I worked on a set that we will post soon). Funny thing is that Anna actually brought her animal hoodie with her.
Part of me thinks this looks like a modern interpretation of American Gothic… however, it was not my intention.