Silver Doe - Stephen Vosloo

Silver Doe

As an artist, there’s a unique feeling when you have the opportunity to bring to life something that you see in your mind’s eye. This series of images far surpassed anything I could ever have hoped for.

It truly does take a village to make something like this come together and for that I’ll be forever grateful to my creative cohort, Antoinette Sinquimani, Stacy Childers, Jenn Bischof and Dawn Stone. Let me step on my soapbox for a moment and lament the value and importance of personal projects for people that work in any kind of creative field. I can’t stress enough how important work like this is. It’s the kind of work that feeds your creative soul. It’s the kind of work that fuels your passion for “making beautiful” and that reminds you why it is that you do what you do. It’s far too easy to have your voice and need for creative expression be silenced as you work on client project after project, often compromising your own vision for what they would want to see. There’s nothing wrong with that, we all have to eat and pay our bills. It’s part of the great creative tension of art and commerce. But personal projects like this is what will ultimately sustain you, and avoid you from falling into the abyss of creative burnout. Trust me when I say that I speak from experience. You have to create work for yourself, work that you care about, and work that inspires you...

No surprise then, when I found myself chatting to two dear friends Jenn and Stacy about collaborating on some personal work while I was in LA for a workshop a couple of months ago. It seemed too good of an opportunity to squander and with all of Stacy’s awesome connections in San Diego we started dreaming up what it could look like to put together a shoot for each of us. Something that’s been in our heads to create, something that would fuel that spark I was talking about. And so… after many hours of planning and scheming we settled on the concept of what would eventually become “The Silver Doe”.

Select Image below to view in lightbox

Often times, as with most personal projects we only had a small budget at our disposal. And by small, what I really mean to say is little to nothing. What we lacked for in budget though we made up for with talent and creative in spades. It was amazing to see how the pieces of this puzzle come together in the end. Everything from our beautiful ballerina, Antoinette who was willing to trust us with such a crazy concept, to Dawn who so generously offered her studio for us to take over for an entire day, not to mention Stacy’s wicked talent as a stylist and Jenn’s impeccable aesthetic and encouragement. As the day progressed I would catch myself every now and then as I stepped back to watch this team of creatives dive into a vision that only existed in my head a mere week before, and see it come to life in front of my eyes. I can’t even begin to describe the feeling of exhilaration of collaborating with other like minded souls around a single idea all in the name of making “beautiful”. That’s what happened here, I was given a gift by everyone involved and hopefully the images speak for themselves.

Making Of

Here are a handful of images that give a peak into what it took to bring this idea to life. Antoinette was such a rockstar and gave herself completely over to the process. She trusted Stacy and Dawn as they covered every inch of her body in silver paint. There were lots of giggles coming out of Dawn's office during the 90 minutes + that they were in there. Every now and then I'd hear one of them exclaiming how incredible it was looking. Needless to say it took my breath away when she finally came out. Stunning! 

BTS Photos Courtesy of Jenn Bischof

** For product we used 2 X .5oz bottles of Mehron Metallic Powder + a 4oz bottle of Ben Nye LiquiSet Mixing Liquid. Also highly recommend using large soft make-up brushes for the application. 

Stacy and Dawn applying the silver body paint to Antoinette's face. The left that for last since eyes are the most sensitive. The crown that Dawn made is so stunning!

Stacy putting on last minute touch-ups before our second lighting setup.

Stacy and Dawn in action. They've only just begun what would turn out to be an hour and a half plus process of covering every inch of Antoinette's body in silver body paint. What a trooper!

Lighting Diagrams

For those of you who are curious I thought it would be helpful to add a couple of quick lighting diagrams to help you break down the lighting and camera settings. You'll notice right away that there wasn't anything particularly spectacular that I used here. My approach was to focus my attention on what was in front of me instead of getting too bogged down by crafting perfect light (which admittedly often is the case) I went for scenarios that offered the most appropriate light for what we were shooting. In this case our silver ballerina literally shined and all I needed to do was provide light that would allow for that. 

  • Lighting setup used for the close-up portrait. Classic clamshell beauty light. Beauty Dish up high about 45 degree angle pointing down at the model's face, with a 3ft silver reflector to push some fill light back into her from underneath.

  • Our second setup was just as simple. Sometimes less is more. We had a Elinchrom Rotalux deep octa as our key light. Can't tell you how much I loved the modifier. And then on the other side a medium soft box set to low power just to bring out detail in her legs and shoes.

  • Last setup we did was the jump shots. Simple cross lighting using Paul Buff Einsteins with the standard reflector + 20° grids set to lower power and "action" mode to help freeze the action. We put them as far apart as we could to help give a slightly broader are for Antoinette to work in.


TALENT  Antoinette Sinquimani @antsinq

STYLIST  Stacy Childers @stacychilders

CROWN DESIGN & STYLISTS ASSISTANT  Dawn Stone @dawn_stone_couture

STUDIO Compliments of Dawn Stone @dawn_stone_couture

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