This semester at University I have been taking a styling module where I created my own photoshoot from deciding the theme, make-up, hair, model, clothing, poses and location.
I knew I wanted to use a pastel pink aesthetic but I was unsure which approach I could take by showcasing a theme or trend. After spending hours on Pinterest scrolling through various ideas and concepts, I finally narrowed it down to candy fashion which is exactly as it sounds, candy used in a fashionable way.
My concept is all about investigating celebrity pop culture by styling props as candy fashion through a millennial pink colour palette. This was highly inspired by pop music videos such as Katy Perry’s ‘California gurls’ and Fergie’s ‘Fergilious’ therefore I decided to hold the shoot in a studio rather than on location to help me capture the aesthetic I wanted to achieve.
Hiring a model
Deciding a model can be a difficult decision to make but I decided to use my friend Grace Cassidy to model for my shoot because she has a natural, girly look. Secondly, she has the perfect facial structure which I thought would be great to paint make-up on. By using my friend Grace, it was easier to organise instead of having to hire through an agency but in the future, I may consider this as a further option.
Hair and make-up
When I was planning the shoot I knew I wanted to create a simple but elegant look for Grace to wear since I was using a lot of pastel colours I did not want the make-up to be too overpowering. I decided to use a lot of pink within the look such as a soft pink eye look, highlighted cheekbones, and a glossy pink lip. This depicts a sweet and playful mood and is highlighted through the use of bright lighting in the studio. To tie the full look together, I used a fever blonde wig which screamed ‘Barbie‘ and ‘Legally Blonde’ vibes all round. This completed the full look instead of using the model’s natural brunette hair which would have not captured the same mood. You could use more vibrant rainbow colours if you wish to experiment more with vibrancy and colour coordinating with the props.
Clothes and accessories
Clothing and accessory choices were endless because there were so many different outfits I could have chosen to use. However, when you are styling another person you need to take into consideration size, body shape, and colours that work well with their skin tone. You also need to ask yourself, how are you going to access these clothes. Are you going to buy them? Use charity shops for finds? Are you going to lend them from a PR company? These are many of the factors you need to think about. Depending on the scale of your shoot in terms of budget and accessibility, you may ask the model to bring their own clothes which I did for my project. I styled Grace in a pink, button-down bow-tied mini dress from Pretty Little Thing which pulled the full aesthetic together along with some white Reebok trainers to make the look more casual.
Candy and sweet treats are always a guilty pleasure in our lives and they are definitely one of mine which is why they had to be used in the shoot. The sweets I decided to use were: Hubba Bubba chewing gum, Strawberry laces, Rasberry doughnuts, retro rainbow lolly-pops, and sprinkles which has connotations of the model’s childhood by portraying an idealistic bright and perfect world. All of these props were easily accessible and are sold in most supermarkets and corner shops therefore if want to recreate the look then it can be easily achieved.
My idea to use the studio seemed the most appropriate option since I had access to backdrops and studio lighting. I decided to use a pink backdrop which was influenced by the aesthetic and styling of the shoot and worked a lot better than white, black or any other colour. Although, post-production allowed me to make the colours pop by placing a layer mask over the image to enhance the saturation and vibrance. If you don’t have access to a studio, this can easily be recreated at home simply by using a pink wall or hanging up a pink bedsheet and using natural lighting. You do not need any fancy equipment to recreate this shoot and you can always make changes when you come to edit the images in post-production.
Always use what you have access too. You do not need fancy equipment to create a photoshoot and especially during these tough times, it is easier to use things you have lying around the house or an outfit you have nowhere to wear it too, use it for your photoshoot.
Feel free to be creative! Photoshoots are a great way to experiment with outfits, make-up skills and different hairstyles. As well as perfecting your photography skills.
Always plan before you take your photos. I have found by doing a full plan of how you would like your final images to look have worked very effectively for me because it makes everything easier and less stressful. An example would be to plan your make-up, hairstyles, outfits, and location therefore you will achieve your aims you set out to create.
My sweet like sugar series
What was your favourite photo in the series? Comment below or tweet me @caitlynheartsxo