So last year I created an image called "The Thread of Life" inspired by Greek mythology for which I did some research on "The Fate Sisters" (by research of course I mean I Googled it). Thanks to my intensive knowledge-gaining process I obtained the following information: "The Sisters of Fate" aka "The Fate Sisters" aka "the Fates" were originally known by the Greeks as the "Moirai." In all of the different versions of the myth there are always three entities.
These three ladies, sometimes referred to as "the Sisters of the Night," were usually depicted wearing white robes ... but this is my picture and I decided to scrap that and go with black. My goal was to create lovely modern-looking sisters that all resembled some sort of fortuneteller/gypsy/witch. I have been plotting the image in my head since I wrote this post about "The Thread of Life." In that post I said, "I really enjoyed doing some research on them and hope to one day do a photo shoot of the sisters themselves!" Well I wasn't kidding and thankfully my friend Laura picked up on that and graciously volunteered in the comments of the post.
Let's just talk about this Laura character for a second. She is an absolute delight and a FANTASTIC model. When she is not posing for three witches like a total boss, Laura runs her own blog called "Roam + Golightly" in which she talks all about travel and, "maintaining a creative and adventurous life amidst the chaos of the real world." Definitely check her out, but be warned you'll want to book your next vacation pronto.
It's rather rare for me to envision a photo, plan the shoot, create it, and not have it change at least a little bit from my original plan. This image was one of those rare occurrences where the end product was exactly what I had dreamed it would be. I didn't run into any weird editing problems, or things I wish I'd done differently, or....anything. It just went so smoothly. I believe a lot of that had to do with the fact that I was planning it for almost a year. I know in the past I've said that you don't always need a plan (and I still completely stand by that), but I'd also like to add that sometimes having a super solid plan in place is SO AWESOME!
I think it was the lighting that really made this image come together so easily. I knew that I wanted the thread of life and the scissors (of death?) to be glowing and casting a warm golden light onto the faces of the sisters. To achieve this look I actually borrowed a page out of the Phlearn book! Unfortunately they don't really have an actual book that I'm aware of, but they have created more than enough AMAZING tutorial videos to make several books ... if you could make books out of videos that is .... Anyway, I realized that their Pro Tutorial "The Island of Morel" was kinda similar to my idea and I was sure to be able to pull a lot of tips and inspiration from watching it. So yeah, I watched it and I was right.
As always, everything Aaron does is oozing with inspiration and sprinkled with lots of little nuggets of knowledge. The one nugget in particular that I made good use of was the ping pong ball lighting. Yup, you read correctly - the main light source in The Fate Sisters was a ping pong ball. Check out this behind the scenes video (below) from Phlearn's Island of Morel shoot and then go buy the whole tutorial and watch the crap out of it.
It was really fun to do a shoot where the lighting was so stylized and crafted to work perfectly with my final edit. If I had tried to realistically paint in the glowing light on their faces, it would have been so hard and taken SO long. It was quite nice to have my raw images already looking SUPER COOL and close to my vision before I had done any editing at all.
By taking the time to plan positioning, lighting and styling, I was able to finish editing in probably half the time it normally takes me. I was done so quickly I think it confused me. I kept opening it and trying to find things to change or improve upon, but when a picture is done it's done, and it will usually let you know. So a HUGE thanks to Phlearn for bestowing upon me the fantastical knowledge of the ping pong ball light. I enjoyed Macgyvering it together and will without a doubt be using it on future shoots!! And again a gigantic thank you to Laura for doing a rockstar job of helping to bring The Fate Sisters to life!! :)