The Queen of Fire – My Autumn Photo Shoot Project

A Story About the Worshipper of Fire

I did this photo shoot at the same time I worked on my Halloween photography project, at the same location, with the same model. The only difference is the theme of the photo shoot. In this project, I wanted to create a story of a woman who gains her strength from fire to perform various magic and ritual. I also used some properties such as a dagger and candle to enhance the mysterious atmosphere.

This project was created for my photography class assignment. It was a monthly individual project and has to be submitted to get the certificate. As I had only four days before the date line of submission, the preparation of this photo shoot was very rushed. Fortunately, I managed to get some good pictures.

I wanted to share some of my work in this article, and I am waiting for your comments and critiques about them. Hopefully you like the pics.

The Concept and Preparation

The Lady in Red
I was inspired by Melisandre, the “Red Woman” from Game of Thrones TV series. I am a big fan of this program, and Melisandre is one of my favorite characters. Beautiful, mysterious, hot, wicky, and ambitious; those are the characteristic of the “Red Woman” that I wanted to show in this project.

In order to achieve the scary, mystical, and horror atmosphere; I arranged every elements of the photos in very contrasting composition. The bright, flaming red dress of the model successfully formed a beautiful harmony with the dark lighting, low exposure that can be found in the most of the background of the photos. To enhance the grim, funerel, and horror atmosphere I added some particular properties in the photos such as candle light, knife, and witty mysterious looking doll. This effect is later strengthened by applying blood on the face of the models. The story within the photos can be freely interpreted by the viewers. It can be a story of blood lusting woman, about a girl who performs dark sacrament and turn herself into undead, or maybe a story of ancient ritualof particular clan.

The final result of the combination between the horror, the fashion, and the model is indeed surprising. The photos show a figure of scary, mysterious woman. The models radiate strong horror atmosphere, brings out the feeling of fear to the viewers, reflects her lust for blood; but at the same time she looks very beautiful, attractive, and implies the luxurious gratification of sensuous desires.

Behind the Scene

The process I did for this project

The first time I did for this project was rewatching all the episodes of Game of Thrones where Melisandre strongly influence the plot. I wanted to capture her mysterious beauty and her loyalty to worship the fire. Then I contacted my friend, Dechen, a Bhutanese girl which I found suitable for this role. As I told you that we have very limited amount of preparation, I planned everything almost on the spot.

The location of the photo shoot is only a small room, as I don’t need too spectacular background. I wanted to focus more on the model so I didn’t want the background to distract the viewer’s attention from her. I used two type of lenses for this work, the standard kit lens, and a fixed lens. The whole photoshoot took about three hours, including the make-up and properties preparation. The most interesting thing was an encounter with an old uncle who worked as a professional photographer for National Geographic. He told me that he used to take a lot of photos with his Leica camera, and he gave me a lot of advice about this art.

The post-processing stage was only about an hour. I used Adobe Lightroom, which is very handy for this kind of work. I create an editing template, save it as a preset, then applied to all photos. The next step is just working on the small detail on each photos, which took only about half an hour. In conclusion, I am very satisfied with this project.

My personal photography tips

Some tips to make you enjoy this art more and take better photographs

Be creative
It sounds easy, but kind of hard to do. Being creative is not only about creating something new. It is also about changing the perspective of a people toward something. In terms of photography, creativity connects with innovation. You need to see your subject from different perspective, frame them into an unexpected composition, and attempt to surprise people who view your photos.

Be passionate
Passion is very important in any kind of arts. In photography, you need to have passion if you want to succeed. Try to enjoy every moment of practice and every moment of learning. Think that every time you press your shutter camera button, you are a step closer toward your dream. The more images you click, the happier you are. Thus, if you have passion, it’s only a matter of time to be successful.

It’s not about the camera, but the person behind it
Don’t ever think not to take picture because you don’t have a good camera. Indeed, good camera is important to help you take good pictures, however it is not a compulsory thing. An okay (or even poor) camera can take a lot of beautiful pictures if it is used by a good photographer. In the contrary, a good camera would never create even a single beautiful photo if the person behind it has no passion, knowledge, and creativity.

Always try to have fun in photography
Be happy whenever you take photos, and those photos would make you happy. As simple as that. Have fun, then you could create amazing photography works within no time.

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