Making Unique Portraits

In this post we look at an example of making unique portraits without spending hours in post production.

For this stock photography shoot, the model had very long red hair. We decided to make a feature of her long hair, to make an interesting and unique series of images.


Unique portrait

A unique portrait created using fishing line and parental support

How did we set about making these unique portraits? For the first portrait, we took her plaited hair and attached several pieces of fishing line at different intervals along the length of her hair. Her parents stood on each side of her, holding the fishing line. Then it was a matter of raising or lowering the different sections to achieve the wavy pattern. The total time to shoot this image was about 15 minutes. That consisted of preparing the fishing line, attaching it, and then taking a series of images to get the right look. What about post production? There were small parts of the fishing line visible in her hair and against the white background. These took about 5 minutes to remove in post production. There you have it, making unique portraits version one.

For the second image, the idea was similar, but the execution was different.

Unique studio portrait

Unique portrait created using a coat hangar threaded through her hair

In this case, we unwound a wire coat hanger, and threaded it through the models hair. This time, her hair was in a single plait. This made it possible to create more solid shapes out of her hair – in this case a large question mark. Once the shape was formed in the hair, again a parent held the coat hanger – which protruded from her hair. This one took longer to make. The coat hangar had to be threaded through the models hair, then shaped appropriately, and then the images taken. This took approximately 30 minutes and I was grateful for a very patient model. Again, about 5 minutes was required in post production to remove the coat hanger and parents hand which were visible in the corner of the shot.

There you go,  making unique portraits without spending hours in post production.

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