While planning future photo shoots some time ago I have ordered a long red wig. I have had certain ideas about the concepts I can use this wig for but I haven’t gotten to those shoots yet. However, while shooting a fashion session I was rummaging through my bottomless box of props and pulled this wig out to try to match it to a futuristic style we were going for. The model saw the wig and was absolutely enamored with it. The makeup artist liked the wig as well and got a matching color lipstick. After long and tedious strengthening and brushing procedure we shot the Wicked, sexy and wild concept with it but deep in my mind I thought we have to do a pin-up boudoir session using this wig. So I essentially had to build a bedroom scene to match the look. And that’s exactly what I did.
Building a bedroom pin-up scene might sound like a serious undertaking but in reality it is just a matter of getting the right props and linens to match the look I was going for. Some props might not even match precisely, but it’s mostly about the overall look and feel of the image. The bright red wig was clearly overpowering the entire scene, so I needed to match the color and give a golden-red tone to most of the elements in the image to even out the saturation and create a seductive atmosphere.
The main challenge of this session was the light setup. I had to have the main light shine on the model, secondary lights highlight her body features, while additional light throws a bit of lust by bouncing red throughout the scene. The main light was coming from a large softbox. The secondary light was a large softbox as well, but it was set to one and a third stops lower than the main light so that it would only marginally light the scene and not let any harsh shadows appear where the main light was not hitting. But perhaps the light that really makes these shots pop is my Speedlite with a red gel, which was in the back. It was positioned to face the wall so that the red glow would bounce off of it. And finally I had another Speedlight setup on a side to highlight model’s curves. But that secondary Speedlite was set to two stops lower than the main light so it was barely making any difference, and I actually had it off for many of the shots.
This session was shot on Canon 5D Mark II with Canon 85mm f/1.2L lens. I exposed model’s face with the main light and shot the entire series on the same settings in manual mode. The shutter speed was at 1/100 of a second. Aperture was at f/2.5 and ISO was at 160. The focus was actually manual on many of these shots because camera’s metering was acting up a bit.
The main and secondary lights were Calumet Travelite 750s. The backlight and highlight units were Canon Speedlite 430EX II. Both flashes had red gels on them. However, the highlight flash unit was either minimal or not present in many of the shots.