At the end of February, I had a conversation with our studio partner Bill Whitmire. I explained that a German photographer commented on an image I posted at 500px who had photographed Ophelia Overdose.
Several years ago, Bill told me about Ophelia and I started following her immediately. She's a talented German model who creates very elaborate dresses and costumes, does her own makeup and hair, and often retouches her own images.
Bill's response about the post at 500px was that he hired her for a shoot the following week. Come to find out, he had inquired about a shoot some time ago, and she finally contacted him when she was going to pass through Chicago.
Bill and I often share photoshoots, and it wasn't unheard of for him to ask if I would like to work with Ophelia, too, and share the images. There wasn't a whole helluva lot of time to prepare since the shoot was literally a week away, and my business schedule was jam-packed.
After the shoot, I decided to use an image of Ophelia as my March Photo Challenge image with the theme "Stranger." I felt like it was such a cool coincidence that I was able to finally work with someone I had a long-time affinity for. She's someone I never figured I'd meet. And now that we worked together, she's no longer a stranger.
The shoot itself was a great experience. She's every bit as talented as I assumed she was. Her personality is fun and jovial.
On site, I got a bit star struck, I admit. When I gave her the cash I counted out for the hire, I counted out an entire $100 less than the needed. When she figured it out, she shyly approached me to let me know I shorted her. Oh man, I was embarrassed. It's hard to make such a silly mistake, and I've been beating myself up for about a month now about it. :(
We ended up primarily photographing her with my Hasselblad. Unfortunately, none of the lighting setups were mine. But the image I chose above was the closest to something I might have setup, so I ran with that one.
The outfit she's wearing was one she constructed. She had with her a white and black wig. Bill and I leaned toward the black one.
For the lighting, there are images below that you can take a look at. There's a key camera right and a fill below and camera right. Camera left there's a beauty dish with a green gel on it and above her there's a highlight with a blue gel, which I darkened from its out-of-camera strength.
I completed the image as a composite. I wanted to give her more of a story than just shooting her on a gray backdrop. So I shot plates in the studio with a very dark feel. So you wouldn't know exactly where she is, but it would be somewhere. I felt like she looked like some sort of thief or ninja intruder, like a Catherine Zeta-Jones in Entrapment.
That I know of, Bill hasn't finished any of his images of Ophelia either. We were going to post at the same time, but I wanted to make sure I posted my Stranger portrait in March. So it's going up today, by the skin of my teeth on March 31.
Take a look at the Behind the Scenes images below. Share any questions you have with me on Facebook or here.