I had been meaning to shoot with Alix for a while. She had responded to a couple of casting calls I had put out but I had already cast people for the shoots, and I feel mighty guilty turning people away! But I needed a shoot that would do her justice. So….. Turbo nutter tank girl army camo weapon wielding double hard bastard was the first thing that popped into my head! Mainly the image of Alix wielding a baseball bat with nails in it was the image I had.
So I set to work sorting out the props, first off was the baseball bat with nails in. I wanted some pretty chunky spikes in there so I got hold of some very long dangerous looking nails, I was worried about splitting the wood so instead of hammering them through I drilled holes, it got a bit crowded with spike so I only filled three sides with nails. I nearly wrapped some barbed wire around the top too! I then found a couple of old hatchets that were rusting away, so out with the sand paper and got to cleaning them up, I left them a bit tarnished and rusty as I thought the texture would work really well.
The final prop was one I had been searching for on t’internet for a while, a TNT detonator, but an old fashioned one. I search everywhere, TNT, Dynamite and Explosives were my search words of the week, I reckon there is now a massive red flagged file on me somewhere now! I managed to find some fake dynamite on eBay but the detonator eluded me, so I would have to build my own. Luckily my granddad was a builder and had a massive stock of strange little parts and doobries, so I build a fake box and plunger and attached handles and other brass items to the mix to get something that looked close enough!
There was a variety of styles I wanted to shoot, mainly concentrating on dramatic lighting, even pushing common sense a bit and lighting from above and making sure the eyes were in shadow.
Processing on the image was simply a few colour and contrast changes.
With the following shot I was trying to make sure the weaponry stood out well, The lighting was a softbox high and in front of Alix, and two lights behind these were set so they caught the hatchet and the baseball bat. I like the way the light catches Alix’s eyes, with just enough light to show the colour and catch light but still keeping the dangerous look. The backlights pick out the dramatic shape of the jaw line really well too.
Towards the end of the shoot I thought I would try a few really close up shots with the funky army hat I had found on eBay. The close up was lit with a single light and beauty dish close in and quite high, I love the final image as Alix is so expressive in the shot, processing was minimal, I wanted to keep the skin texture. I dropped the saturation slightly and boosted the contrast in the eyes too.
I am chuffed with the results from the shoot and we are going to go out and do it all again on location, so I need some derelict, destroyed places to shoot in. Watch this space………..
PS other images from the set can be found here