For almost exactly a year now I have been helping out with numerous photo shoots and fashion films for my photographer friend Sapphire Scott. As part of Nick Knights Mastered course, together with a great team of girls we created artistic photographs and films that followed briefs by the renowned fashion photographer. I got involved with Sapphire after answering an ad in the University newsletter and offered my skills as a creative director to gain experience in both fashion and photography. At the time I was not working with either of these disciplines but I still believed that learning these crafts would be useful. And now here I am, one year on and creating my own fashion film that I will be shooting in just over a week! The inspiration and skills that I have gained from these shoots have greatly benefited me in my own art and have allowed me to work with disciplines that I never thought I would.
Yesterday a group of 7 girls traveled to Aberdeen to create a shoot based on the idea of cruelty-free make up. It was a grueling 13 hour day but was filled with fun, inspiration and helped me keep the excitement alive for my own shoot. With us was make up artists Annie Voigt, prosthetic artist Laura Sutherland, models Brogan Bauld and Shelly Forbes, Sapphire as photographer and project manager, Aimee Keatch as body paint artist and assistant and myself as both creative director and assistant body paint artist.
The idea for the shoot came from Sapphires disagreement of cosmetic brands using animals to test their products on. She wanted to highlight the unfair cruelty of this act and celebrate the brands that are against animal testing. The whole team were on board with this idea which helped with the passion and enjoyment of the shoot. Sapphire approached the head of Illamasqua, a cruelty-free make up brand, and explained that she wanted to create a shoot on the cruelty of animal testing and would love to use their products. Illasmasqua were excited about Sapphires idea to promote their company and even sent her free make up to use on the shoot. The aim was to promote the beauty of Illamasque products while reminding the viewer of the animals that suffer for popular high street cosmetic brands.
Aimee and I painted Brogan with a Tiger print on both arms. Her hands were painted, one with an eye and one with a mouth, allowing us to use her own body as a prop.
Brogans hands covered the beautiful make up on her face, both silencing her and showing who the real victims are that allow the models to be beautiful.
Similarly we covered Shelly in a snake-print to highlight the countless species of animals that suffer due to the cosmetic industry.
I helped Sapphire with the creative direction of the shoot and offered the idea of multiple hands coming from the background and grabbing the models faces. The plan was to make the hands take control of Shelly and smear the make up to show the ugliness of many make up brands policies. We also used this idea to create a film piece that Sapphire will be editing.
And so it was a hard days graft but the team worked together very well and the images look stunning. The shoot has left me very exciting for my own film next Friday and with Sapphires experience and help I look forward to the day. Stay tuned for my own BTS images.