Outside the FrameOctober 22, 2020
I started writing whatever was on my mind to get my gears going (it happened to be the gargantuan cockroach I’d faced off with earlier). I feel like I’ve been writing all out of order but I can feel the theme coming. The one that quasi-fits with what I’m about to talk about. What you see is the final edited entry. The pretty part, not the cockroach-helter-skelter bit. That’s how shoots can be. You don’t see what the photographer doesn’t want you to see. I’ve found that to be the case shooting product / modeling photos. That’s not necessarily bad, the focus should be on what is being advertised. In this instance, it is works of wearable art by Paradisus Jewelry.
Mother-daughter team Linda and Akemi Ueda started Paradisus in 2005. As well as selling pieces from their own collection, they partner with Sonny Ching and Kimi Werner. I’d shot photos for Sonny and Kimi but hadn’t yet shot Paradisus.
One morning, I made the trip to Kailua to shoot with Akemi, Jada Akiona, and Miyuki Hannemann for Paradisus. The jewelry is inspired by the ocean and flora and fauna of Hawaii. The hazy beach morning with light-diffusing clouds was the perfect backdrop. Even the wind was mostly working in our favor–no Cousin It haired models today!
For part two of the shoot, we set-up the house of one of the models. Akemi and I had gone around the yard scouting different backdrop possibilities. We planned to work in the front yard, which fell into place because there was a flurry of activity inside the house. The backyard was being set-up for a birthday party. I love that you can have life going on outside of the lens but if framed right, you’d have no clue. You don’t see the toys in the yard or guests arriving. You see blurred backdrops and women wearing a variety of stunning pieces.
There’s something to be said for realizing that if you find the right area to set-up a shot, you don’t have to have a studio to make it come to life. The shots below of Jada were in front of the fence separating the house from the neighbors. There was a car a couple of feet away and an assistant holding up a reflector. Yet, the edges and hard lines of the fence match the ends of the palm frond she’s holding up in front of her chest. The frond-fan is the real-life version of the Loulu earrings and necklace. Viola! Don’t get me wrong (is there a don’t get me right saying too?), when the weather outside is weather or you need a controlled shoot, studios are ideal. Personally though, I’ll pick outdoors over indoors every chance I get.
Funk outside the box!
Dear Reader, that catchy closing line is under construction as I don’t recommend Funking in a small box-sized space or it may endure the test of time, stay tuned, dun dun dun