Body painting is an art form in itself. The process of painting a body actually dates to ancient times. The only downside is that nowadays it can only be displayed for a very limited time. But when combined with photography, body painting becomes an everlasting work of art. Oh, and having a beautiful model doesn’t hurt either. This was the case with our Abstract Body Painting photo shoot. We had all of the components and it was only a matter of combining them together. Here is the result.
I have had a pleasure of personally knowing and now working with a very talented body painter / special effects make-up artist Athena. She has been featured on MTV, Fox News, FUSE TV, VH1 and many other media outlets. She was also a finalist last year at the World Body Painting Championships in Austria. And most recently, she was a contestant on Sci Fi TV’s show, Face-Off Season 2. You can visit her website at AthenaBodyArt.com
The entire look was conceived by Athena, I was just photographing the result of her work, making sure the lighting and exposure displays her work properly. As a matter of fact I wasn’t even sure what kind of a look she was going for until she finished her work. This was actually another story in itself. Athena decided to do the paint work on the model at her place and the idea was that I will pick them up once they are finished and drive them to the studio. Imagine my surprise when I pulled up the house and the model was not covered at all. I wasn’t the only one surprised because the entire street was full of cars standing still and guys whistling and screaming all kinds of “compliments”. Apparently, they didn’t even think of covering up the model in fear of smudging the paint. But this wasn’t the end of the story. I couldn’t find a parking at the studio (NYC being what it is) and I couldn’t leave them outside (it’s not easy to get into the studio for the first time), I had to park a couple of blocks away and escort the model through NYC streets. You can imagine the parade that followed. Thankfully it was a relatively quiet time of day, but we still managed to get everybody’s attention.
As for the shoot itself, it was a simple “passport photo” lighting setup. I had two Calumet 750s with umbrellas on either side pointing at the model. The camera was first generation Canon 5D. The lens was Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L primarily set to 70mm. Shutter speed was at 1/160 of a second, aperture was at f/14 and ISO was set to 100.