Paint Splatter!

So I’ve found myself with a little more free time this spring than I’ve had for several years, which has been really lovely.  I wanted to use some of that time to put together some photoshoots that have been kicking around in my head for ages but I’ve never had the time to work out. 

Last week I finally got a chance to put together a paint splatter/drip shoot.  I love the idea of taking photographic portraits with a ton of added colour.  I also,  dabble in acrylic painting, mostly abstract, and I thought I could mash these two things together to make some really fun shots!

Seven brave volunteers stepped up to let me cover them in paint and take their photos.   I set up my studio, covered EVERYTHING in plastic drop sheets, squeezed acrylic craft paint into some condiment bottles with perfect nozzles for drizzling paint, my thoughtful roommate put out a giant platter of snacks for everyone and we got to work!

Click on any of the images to see them larger!

Miranda was first.  Miranda is an old friend of mine from High School and although I follow her many adventures as a performer, in clown, burlesque and other mediums, I hadn’t actually seen her for years.    We went pretty light on the amount of paint used, but went for high impact neons to go with the amazing makeup look she arrived in.  I’m really happy with the way they turned out and strangely, I love a couple of the images in black and white.

Alex was next.   Alex has an incredibly gorgeous voice and I have worked with her both as a director and a fellow cast member in several musicals.  We went a little heavier with paint here- getting braver!

Travis is a newer friend and I was so happy he was up for the craziness! He was the first model where we tried smearing the paint across the face once it had been applied.  He managed to smear it pretty artfully and even got a huge glob stuck in his eyelashes, which looks really interesting in the photos.

I’ve actually known Joey for a long time as he’s a good friend of my brother, but I only recently started working with him.  He’s pretty awesome and definitely knows his way around a puppet.  (actually now that I think of it 4/7 of my models are puppeteers)  Joey was the second attempt at a smear, and we ended up with almost a full face mask of bright green and blue paint.  Luckily, the colours set off the intensity in his eyes and I think the image really works.

Kira is a super talented performer and puppeteer that I’ve had the pleasure of working with as a Director (She was my first Kate/Lucy in Avenue Q) and as a fellow performer.  She kept us laughing through her whole shoot.  I believe she declared herself an Easter Egg.  About halfway through Kira’s shoot my cat was suddenly hoisted into the frame.  He was being super friendly and loving all the attention, but is not super thrilled about being in the photos.    Kira also demonstrates the issue that almost all of my models faced, watching the tiny drips coming off of your eyebrows.

Emma took my request for ‘a bold lip’ to the extreme!  We tried a new technique in applying the paint with Emma.  I had her lie down on the floor and splattered lots of paint of her face by flicking a paint brush, and then adding some globs afterwards.  I really like the way this turned out, and the glob above her eye looks like a cat, and that makes me happy.

I’ve known Jacquie for several years and hired her as a performer many times.  She is all the talented and a delight to work with.  Her shoot was last, so we had lots of time to play.  We started with a sort of Pollock-esque application of paint and built it up from there.   She also gave me about a thousand different emotions and faces throughout the shoot, many of them with more than a slight hint of crazy - which was amazing. 

All in all this was a really fun shoot and despite the fact that I was SO tired when we were finished, I was glad I had the opportunity to shoot so many people!  I’m hoping to get another chance to play with this technique soon!!

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