Motherland Chronicles #34 - In the Secret Garden

Monday, October 21, 2013


Motherland Chronicles #34 - In the Secret Garden

Photography: Zhang Jingna
Hair: Kelsey Petersen
Makeup: Lindsey Rivera
Model: Kalli Keith
Photo Assistants: Andre Wijono, Tobias Kwan, Michelle Herbert
Dress: Michelle Hebert



We revamped motherlandchronicles.com! Do check it out! :D 


Shot this when I was in LA a while ago. I think the process was rather interesting, so once again I'll be sharing about the process from inspiration to final image! :D 


The start of making this shoot was rather stressful. I was in LA doing recording for the Motherland Chronicles' Kickstarter video, and Toby and I had been busy with finalizing our script the whole week, so I only got around to thinking about the shoot the day before it was happening.

At first I thought about shooting on location since I do a lot of studio work when I'm in NY. I'd looked around for potential places online and settled on one to scout, but when we got there, I found that I wasn't feeling inspired for it. So I scrapped the ideas I had in mind for the venue and began thinking about alternatives. The answer turned up with LA Flower Market. When I saw those marigolds, I was so elated I bought them all. :D

The rest of the day was spent planning out details about the concept like hair, makeup, etc. I'd already confirmed Kalli as my model and Michelle to provide her dress, so it was mostly a matter of how to style and fit the elements together. 


Hair:

My love for braids kind of exploded after I got my own hair done at Pennsic War a while ago:



So I kind of built upon that along with what we did for Ea, and came up with the hair in this shoot:



Temple Jewelry:

Also something that came from my time at Pennsic. Because Motherland Chronicles is inspired by the idea of Russia, I took a class at Pennsic about Russian fashion from the 10-13th century which was very interesting. One of the things that I really liked was the temple jewelry/kolts.

From Ancient jewelry headwear of Russian women on viola.bz
It's usually worn with or as part of a headdress, but with how detailed the hair was already, I didn't want to over-clutter or cover up the braids, so I pinned them individually into Kalli's hair instead.


Makeup:

Rather straightforward, the few times Lindsey has worked with me in LA has her set for exactly how I liked that painterly, rosy-cheeked, pre-raphaelite-looking girl. We referenced back to what she did for Porcelain: 



This remains one of my favorite pictures. ❤


The set:
 
I finalized the idea and built it in the morning of the shoot with Toby's help and Michelle and the rest assisting. When the it was completed, it felt as magical on set as it does in the photograph. It was beautiful. 


The smoke was the final touch needed to complete the image -- the element that made the scene magical. I worried for some time about how to properly execute the effect without a fog machine on hand, but thanks to Andre and some dry ice, we managed to make it happen. 

I'm somewhat inspired to do a series with this if time permits, but finding the perfect looks that would match from flowers to dress will be more difficult. We'll see how that goes. :D 

Overall it was a really fun shoot and the whole team worked very hard, so thank you everyone who helped out that day. ❤ 


To end it off, here's Toby's accompanying illustration from the same week: 


Motherland Chronicles #34 - Flowers by Tobias Kwan

Beautiful isn't it? I hope you enjoyed the post and thank you for reading. :D

1 comments :

carlachua said...

I really like the way you document how you come up with these amazing photographs! And I do agree, sometimes we find one thing (for you it's the marigolds) that hits us as an inspiration and we build our art from that.

The final photo is so beautiful! Thank you for being my inspiration. Hope you don't mind me painting your photos. :)