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Autumn Flower Fairy Photoshoot

Join me behind-the-scenes, on my Autumn Flower Fairy photoshoot, with makeup Artist Cleo Young and model Amy Holdstock. 

7.29am – Morning of the shoot

Looking out the window on the morning of the shoot, it did not look very hopeful, or anything like Autumn. In fact, think the dullest of all dullest days.  It had been raining all week, so, I guess we were lucky that it was clear(ish).  This, of course, would not have been an issue if we were planning to shoot in a nice warm studio.  However, if you’re shooting an Autumn flower fairy photo shoot, then you need an autumn flower fairy setting.  So, in true creative spirit, we soldiered on and prayed for no rain.

The Looks

We wanted two different looks for our autumn flower fairy photoshoot.  First, we started with a soft flower fairy look and the second look, a mythical pixie.  We had already put together a mood board for ideas and poses, so Cleo, our makeup artist, then put her own spin on the hair and makeup.

Autumn Flower Fairy Photo Shoot - Makeup looks

Costume and Props

Autumn Flower Fairy Photo Shoot - Leaf Dress
You would not believe how long this took to make!

The fairy dress cost just £3.49 from eBay and was perfect for my idea.  I had already started collecting leaves, which were all nicely dried and ready to be sewn onto the dress.  The leaves were sewn on the dress in layers, LOTS of layers. This was a mammoth task and I’m sure I remember my mum saying how much fun she’d had and enjoyed every minute 🙂 We still have the dress wrapped in paper, albeit a bit crunchy now.

Autumn Flower Fairy Photo Shoot - Homemade Leaf Wings
Practising fairy poses

Whilst Amy, our model was getting ready, Cleo told us the hysterical story of how she had made the incredible wings and how she has run along a dual carriageway to get the perfect BIG leaves to make them with.  I still smile when I think of it. I made the bracelet and headdress from foliage I collected that morning… what a creative lot we are!

#TIP Costumes and props play a large role in any creative shoot but don’t have to cost a fortune. Always, keep an eye out on eBay, charity shops or boot markets, for various outfits and props.  I have a vast collection, that can be used as they are, or tweaked as needed.

On Location

Our chosen location was my mother’s back garden (outside my Barn Studio), perfect for what we wanted.  We had some areas that were sheltered and the studio if needed.   Before the shoot, I had already been out, looking at areas to use and took some pics on my phone. 

Autumn Flower Fairy Photoshoot

#TIP  Shooting outdoors can be risky, especially during non-summer months (well actually let’s include the summer months unless you are in the Bahamas).  However, outdoor shoots can be great fun but obviously more challenging, not being in a controlled space (like a nice warm cosy studio).  I would always recommend having a ‘plan b’ and visit ahead (if possible) to take some reference pictures for ideas.

Lighting and Power

A beautiful autumn sun, sparkling through the trees, sun-rays sprinkling over our fairy, and there’s that perfect shot.  You know one of those typical autumn days … Well, that’s what I had in my mindset.  But hey, back to reality with the dullest of dull days. I needed help and fast. Cue PixaPro’s studio flashlight, battery charger pack and a gold and silver reflector. We WERE going to have SUN, even if we had to fake it. 

You can see in the above images, how the light makes a huge difference to the area. You can then adjust the power to suit.

Autumn Flower Fairy Photo Shoot

If you have a look top right of the image above, you can just see the light with the silver umbrella. This became our sunlight.

So, this was Plan C (ah… I didn’t mention that before did I?) but here it is… a Lighting Plan.  It’s a really good idea to have some lights or off-camera flash to use as a backup.  You’ll never know when you may need extra light.

#TIP  I have taken some fantastic images with natural sunlight. Ideally, you don’t want strong sunlight but you may need a ‘kicker’ or ‘fill’ light, as it’s referred to sometimes.  Therefore, you can still keep your ISO down low to avoid noise.   

Look One – Flower Fairy

Look Two – Mythical Pixie

Working on the fairy shoot has to be one of my most fave memorable shoots to date. I thought it to be a simple prep for this shoot, until I thought it would be great to make the wings. There I was, looking like a crazy woman, walking around the streets collecting bags full of leaves and even running down a dual carriage at one point, just to get some nice big ones. It paid off, and after lots of fiddly work, I created leaf wings to be proud of. The shoot was amazing and working with Jane again on her creative shoots was great. The day was full of smiles, girley chats, tea and biscuits.  Cleo Young, Makeup Artist

Check out our behind-the-scenes video below

Equipment

Below is a list of equipment that I used for this photoshoot: Nikon D610 | Gold Reflector | Silver Umbrella

Neewer Studio Flash Strobe Light  I bought a Neewer studio kit, just like the one in the link, when I first started photography.  They were such good value and I learned so much experimenting with them. Even today, I still use them as back-up to my Pixapro lights.

PixaPro 800 Power Battery Charger The one used for this shoot was kindly loaned to me by PixaPro to trial.  However, I was so impressed, I am now a proud owner of two.

Photographer: Jane Kelly | Makeup Artist: Cleo Young | Model: Amy Holdstock | Location: North Bucks
Styling & Dress: Jan Davidson & Jane Kelly | Wings: Cleo Young | Assistant: Jan Davidson

I hope you enjoyed reading my Autumn Flower Fairy photoshoot. You can see more photoshoots on my Portfolio and subscribe to my blog for updates.

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