I spent a few days last week at an event called "After Dark" in St. Louis. It is basically a smorgasbord of learning and shooting for photographers led by many mentors who have mastered their craft in a given genre, style, or technical aspect. As a photographer, this environment is conducive to not only growth of skill, but also to opening up creativity. As you progress through your day, you are consistently working with or seeing models that have been painstakingly prepared for themed shoots. So whether basic beauty shots or avante garde goth or steam punk looks, there are looks everywhere that get you thinking, "now what can I do with that?"
One such look belonged to a lovely model that I had the pleasure of working with a few times through my time there. Her name is Angela Ruth. She had been made up in a somewhat cyberpunk meets siren for a class where she would be shot still but part of her outfit would be moving. This is a new thing in photography called "Cinemagraphs". It's the art of taking a still image and making it come to life through movement. Here's an example from the mentor teaching this class Josh Rossi: https://www.behance.net/gallery/Cinemagraph/9627107
I shot this image from the scene while I was in the background with just ambient light.
It wasn't something I was happy with because it was dark and grainy, not my usual style. A little while later, I passed Angie walking around, she still had her face and hair done, but had changed into a zip up casual top. Because the makeup intrigued me, I asked her if she would mind if I took a couple of "on the run" shots. She happily obliged. The nearest thing to where we were was a green screen setup, so I had her stand there thinking I could transpose her onto a better backdrop later.
Cut to later! After looking at her face for awhile, I decided she looked like a Gothic princess. So I searched for awhile among my stock images and came up with what I thought was an appropriate setting for her. The issue was, her head and shoulders were not enough. So what's a photographer to do? I searched my files for a dress, and since she was also in dire need of a body, I body snatched a lovely young lady named Cassie Waldrop's body from a shoot I had done previously for my fine art work. So presto, chango, "The Illusion" was born. Here are the original shots:
And here is the final. I hope you like it. (And Angela & Cassie- hope you don't mind the model merge!)