Now, this one is perhaps my most ambitious photo project to date. And I suppose technically there are some faults with it as far as the lighting goes. But that’s okay. I loved the experimentation involved in trying to piece everything together so that all of the elements were lit appropriately. It was really exciting to envision a final product and try to execute it, not only on my end but working with the models, a real-life couple named Erin and Jake wanted to do something like this for fun.
I remember talking to Erin over the summer about a photo shoot (at the final 90 Minutes show, in fact), and I got a really good feel for the kind of photo shoot she wanted to do, which was not a typical “cheesecake” kind of deal. She wanted something dark and ominous, and somehow later I envisioned this idea of a bride slashing her groom to death while cutting the wedding cake. I emailed her my idea and she loved it, and eventually we scheduled the shoot for the weekend before Halloween (somewhat fittingly).
So we meet at the studio (one of my first extended studio sessions there), and did some normal portrait shots of her (for her mother) while Jake prepped some fake slit throat makeup on—though you can’t see it clearly in the final photo. Then we arranged the setting accordingly and we did take after take getting all of the elements lit as well as I could manage. Her face is lit by a strobe through a gridded reflector, Jake’s face is lit by a strobe through a strip box, the bloody knife she’s holding was lit by yet another strobe through a gridded strip box, and there was a giant soft box above me (I was laying flat on the ground as I shot this) providing a soft fill. I later darkened the scene in Photoshop to make it more ominous. Oh, and that cake was photoshopped in (if you couldn’t already tell); from a cake I shot at a wedding I did the previous year.
As a final note, while spraying her gown with the fake blood, some of it spilled onto the wall behind her, and my efforts to scrub it out distinctly fell short, and the main photographer in the studio, Brett, eventually had to re-paint over it. Sorry about that…