The media is constantly editing photographs to portray “the perfect image” especially when it comes to women. The majority of the time the images we see of women in the media have been altered so that they have unrealistic body proportions as well as their skin being edited to look blemish and wrinkle free. Every little detail is edited from their skin, size, colour of their teeth and eyes to untidy strands of hair and creased clothing. With my project I decided I would still edit my images in the way that they would normally be edited for typical beauty photography but would change factors in the earlier stages. What I mean by this is that the make up/styling of the photographs would not be what people consider to be beautiful in everyday situations for example, using make up people would not wear in order to be seen as beautiful or being covered in unusual markings or colours that may not be considered to match. I just want to have a go at pushing the boundaries of what is considered beautiful by the normal everyday standards and see if things out of the ordinary can be perceived as beautiful although they may be different and a lot more creative.
When I started researching into this topic I found many examples creative and unique beauty shots which was great to see. I included the work of amateur photographers as well as professional well known photographers, I think this is a useful way of working as you get a massive difference between the two but in a very good and inspiring way. I knew a few people I definitely wanted to look into where photographers I had seen featured on America's Next Top Model taking creative beauty shots (www.keithmajor.com, www.mikerosenthal.net and www.peterbuckingham.com) and then continued from there. I knew my work would not be too the extremes of these shots such as using live bees on models faces but I would certainly try and make all my images creative and different with the help of a make up artist.
So, enough with the explanation! I've been focusing on this project for a few weeks now and managed to get some of my friends to agree to model for me. I decided to do these shoots with female and male models just to see the difference between the way the shots come out as well as using colour digital shots and black and white medium format. I also managed to get a make up artist to agree to do the make up for my photoshoots. I'm working towards producing 6 final images but plan to experiment a lot more than 6 times throughout my project. I want to experiment with different textured make up as well as different colours and using a variety of models is good for working with people of different genders, skin tones, hair colours, eye colours. It makes the photos completely different and shows how diverse beauty can be. Up to now I've worked with 1 male &3 female models and I'm still editing through my shots. I also have a roll of film to develop but will have to wait until I go back after the easter holidays for that part.
During my shoots so far I've been using my sony a230 dslr and the borrowing a college meduim format camera. They have all been studio based. I've only used 2 different lighting set ups. I've been using the same lighting set ups for both the colour digital and black&white film.
So far I feel that my project is going well, I think I've been pretty organised throughout this project which is unusual for me and it seems to be working. Everyone I've worked with has been great and I'm happy with the shots I've taken so far.
So here are a few examples, hope you like them!