As most of you know, we have for years been creating funny (in our minds) self-portraits together. The last few funny self-portraits have been about once every 5 months, but it's still nice to be able to create whatever we want since most of our job is to be serious and take beautiful portraits. (We actually JUST took our second ever "nice" self portrait 3 months ago because we were required to have a photo for something business-related.)
Now that October has officially come upon us, Jenny thought it'd be funny to create a photo mimicking the famous painting "American Gothic", with a stress on the "Gothic". For our main key light we decided to make use of the skylight in our office, due to what some would refer to as convenience (Jason likes to refer to it as "creative laziness" when not looking to set up strobes amidst the desks). Regardless of motive, a skylight makes a fantastic light source by both shaping, controlling, and softening the light. Knowing that we were later going to remove the background of the image, we set up a white muslin backdrop to cover most of the office environment behind us.
Thankfully the internet is a great tool for seeing projects like this come to fruition. Through a series of Google searches, we were able to find an actual photo of the home used as inspiration by artist Grant Wood when painting "American Gothic". This gave us a great beginning point for creating the background for the final composite. We reworked the image of the home, taking some efforts to recreate the iconic background seen in the painting. Details such as the sky, color of the windows, unrealistic rounded trees, and barn needed to be built into the image. While the background of our image doesn't match exactly what is seen in the original painting in tonality and explicit detail, we did make some efforts to make the shot quickly visibly readable.
There is no such thing as a "quick and easy edit" when it comes to some of these portraits. The following images show the series of steps that it took to take this shot from start to finish:
Jenny is a fine artist, but has been in overdrive for our portrait & wedding photography LLC since last November. She hasn't had a fine art gallery show since a little over a year ago due to work & her finishing her MFA up exactly 1 year ago, so these projects we do together are always a great release of creative energy. Jenny would also argue that Jason is a fine artist in disguise with his ridiculous creativity and specifically some photos that are in no way commercial, but the undergraduate degree from our former school pushed people to a more rigid commercial route so he hasn't really had a full chance to explore the artistic and conceptual side of photography. These projects for him let him create and Photoshop a more fun project than just touch-ups on peoples' faces and erasing people from the backgrounds of our clients' photos.
Below are some of the other self-portrait projects we've collaborated on in the past couple years.
We would like to remind you that we offer these types of services for not only commercial imagery, but also for all of our portrait sessions. While we have no problem capturing beautiful and traditional images of you and your loved ones, we are open to any and all ideas. With a great idea and enough creativity, we can make just about anything happen for you. The next time you are looking for an uniquely awesome and original image of yourself to wow your friends and family, remember that we're always here to help.
If you would like to book a session to have a great time and get some awesome shots, we are currently running our Fall Mini Session Special. This is a great and affordable opportunity to get some unique and professional images. The special runs all through the month of October and gets you a 20 minute session for just $100. Remember, Halloween ideas are always welcome!
Click the link to find out more and book today!: http://www.jennyandjasonphoto.com/fall2016minisessions