We begin our tale just a few short months ago, the wind whipping through the high boughs of the giantess of an oak that leans over my apartment building. It’s shade a welcome respite from the glaring southern sun that blankets all in the unique oppression only it can provide. A Facebook message pops up, an old friend from high school who is curious how I have been and also, hello. She wants me to shoot some photos for her. She wants them to be nude. The photos for her also happen to be of her.
Now, I haven’t shot many nudes, mind, and by that I mean… Well, once, not to put too fine a point it. So, I was somewhat trepidatious about the whole affair as there is this incredibly fine line between tasteful and thought-provoking imagery of the human body -and- lecherous old-man pornography. Seedy images that are nothing if not awkward. I think we all know what I’m talking about, yes? Or, as my compatriot Dan once pointed out, there are already way too many creepy guys out there snapping photos of ladies in little to nothing just to shoot ladies in little to nothing. Don’t be that guy.
I relate my concerns and am most forthcoming. Oh yes. But, she will not be swayed, she is comfortable with me and likes me work and so, relenting, I agree and we set the time and the date. But I, having never been particularly adept nor practiced with portrait work, need to practice. And so I do.
Confetti Makes It Happen
My friend agrees to model for me, to have a spot of fun with a dash of decent photos to take home. We meet in a warehouse space behind a local coffee shop and to keep things lively we’ll be shooting with some confetti. For me, this is all about light setups and angles and working with someone and directing their movements as I always feel pushy when doing so… But, she brings an umbrella and a friend and we get started. She also tells me that really, her friend Jill should be here given the confetti. I seem to recall her worrying Jill would be upset if she saw the photos, too.
The photos were delightful, I will admit, at least to my own mark-one eyeballs and I had the practice I so dearly needed. A plausible result of the shoot, if not probable (which it was), was Jill seeing those photos.
Jill The Designer, as she is known on Instagram, is, to put it simply, addicted to confetti. I am in no way gilding lilies in saying so and I believe she would most readily and happily agree with me. She confetti-bombed me once, secretly, by slipping confetti into my phone case, a fact I discovered two weeks after the sly work had been accomplished. This is a thing with her. She makes confetti martinis; owns at least one confetti dress that I am aware of; is currently making a bid for the Guinness World Record for unique confetti pieces; has various confetti apparatuses including a gun and a frisbee… She is known to squeee when confetti is thrown… Jill. Loves. Confetti. (in fact, hop on instagram right now and search #JillLovesConfetti and you’ll know I speak true)
And so we set up a shoot.
It was terrific fun.
Round 2. Fight!
A month passes. Maybe more, I don’t know. My life and my self are spinning right round baby and I have not the head for time telling. Jill emailed me a photo about a month after our first shoot, a woman in party attire in a bathtub with some few party supplies in the shot. She was taking her ease with a party hat and smoky eyes. Most notable to Jill was the paltry amount of confetti in the tub as it was not filled to the top, rather twas dusted about the shot. And so we had a second shoot. Jill. Bathing in confetti. Again, it was terrific fun.
Jill styled everything in the shots. She set the scene with candy, soap, knick-knacks, confetti martini, did her own hair and makeup… She created a custom blend of confetti even! Again, just look at this setup!
The shoot was difficult as I wanted to use a large soft box but the bathroom was restrictive for such things. I smooshed (yes smooshed ,like when grandmothers hug children) my 42” octo soft box into the bathroom using paint cans to prop the legs up and over the toilet. I disassembled a light stand to rig a half boom to hold the stobe and box over the tub and voila! Let there be buttery light! Here are a couple of behind-the-scenes shots to give you an idea of what it was like… Note the piece of cardboard cut to fit the tub. Jill reseted beneath it so that A) she was able to remain fully clothed and 2) we might be judicious with the available confetti supply.
Let’s bring this rambling affair to a close, shall we?
I was on the fence regarding this whole confetti thing, I’ll be honest. Confetti is a cousin of glitter and we all know that glitter is basically the herpes of crafting- it gets everywhere and it’s impossible to get rid of. So too with confetti. But, and this is a big but, it is entirely too much fun. And so I come to find that I enjoy confetti and I’ll most likely shoot with it again.