Join me behind-the-scenes on my Autumn Flower Fairy photo shoot with makeup Artist Cleo Young and model Amy Holdstock.
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.
Autumn Flower Fairy photo shoot
Costume and Props
Our 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 mother saying, how much fun she’d had and enjoyed every minute 🙂 We still have the dress wrapped in paper, albeit a bit crunchy now.
Cleo (makeup artist) made the incredible wings and when she told us the stories of how she had to collect them. The thought of her running along a dual carriageway, in order to get the perfect BIG leaves, still makes me smile! I made the bracelet and headdress from foliage collected that morning… what a creative lot we are!
We wanted two different looks for our Autumn flower fairy photo shoot. First, we started with a soft look for the first set and once we had the images we wanted we started on the second look. We had already had a mood board of ideas and poses so Cleo put her own spin on an elf-like twist.
#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 tweak as needed.
Our chosen location was my mother’s back garden, perfect for what we wanted. We had some areas that were undercover and an indoor barn if needed. Before the shoot, I had already been out-and-about looking at areas to use and take some pics on my phone. Although perhaps our second location choice would have been better.. the Bahamas rather than Buckinghamshire… anyway back to reality 🙂 From my earlier scouting mission, we used the tree and inside the bushes, which worked really well.
#TIP Shooting outdoors can be risky, especially during non-summer months (well actually let’s include the summer months!) However, outdoor shoots can be great fun but obviously more challenging, with not being in a controlled space (like a nice warm cosy studio). I would therefore always recommend having a ‘plan b’ and visit ahead (if possible) to take some pictures.
Lighting and Power
Let me take you to my vision… a beautiful Autumn sun, billowing through the trees, sun-rays sprinkling over our fairy, and there is that perfect shot. You know one of those typical Autumn days. Yes, that is what I had in my mindset. But hey back to reality, with the dullest of all dull days. I needed help and fast! Cue PixaPro studio flashlight, battery charger pack and gold reflector (read more about the equipment used below). We WERE going to have SUN, even if we had to fake it.
If you have a look in the top right of the below, you can see the flashlight with a silver umbrella which 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 as a backup. You never know when the light is not good enough or you would love to shoot in but just need that lift.
#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 is referred to sometimes. Therefore, you can keep your ISO down low to avoid noise.
Below, is a list of equipment that I used for this photo shoot. Please note that these are affiliate links – you can read my policy here.
Neewer Studio Flash Strobe Light I bought a mini studio kit just like the one when I first started to learn photography. They were such good value and I learnt everything I needed to know using studio lights. Even today I still use them as back up to my Pixapro studio lights.
PixaPro 800 Power Battery Charger The one used for this shoot was loaned to me by PixaPro to trial. However, I was so impressed, I am now a proud owner of two.
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 till i asked to make the wings…one step further, out of leaves. All i can say was thank heavens it was autumn. That did not stop me looking like a crazy woman walking around the streets collecting bags full of leaves. It paid off and after lots of fiddly work i creates leave wings to be proud of. The shoot was amazing with this not being the first time ice worked with jane on her wonderfully creative brain storming shoots. The day was full of smiles, girls gossip, tea and biscuits. Cleo Young, Makeup Artist
Photographer: Jane Kelly
Makeup Artist: Cleo Young
Model: Amy Holdstock
Location: North Bucks
Styling & Dress: Jan Davidson & Jane Kelly
Wings: Cleo Young
With thanks to PixaPro/Essential Lighting for the loan of Battery Packs
Other articles that may be of interest…
I hope you enjoyed reading our Autumn Flower Fairy photo shoot. You will find below the articles mentioned and some others that you may find interesting reading:
Studio vs On Location vs Outdoor