Monday, February 17, 2014

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Behind the Scenes at the Antoinette/Highbury Photoshoot

Last week Chris and I worked on a new shoot for Antoinettes and Highbury. We wanted to create a ladies' boudoir space, similar to the interiors in these paintings:
Francois Boucher, La Toilette, 1742  
Young Woman at Her Toilette, attributed to Niklas Lafransen, c. 1780s
"Portrait en pied de la marquise de Pompadour," 1748-55, Maurice Quentin de La Tour
Leonard Defrance, "The Breakfast"
Elegant Lady at Her Toilette, by Michel Garnier
Via

Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh

Out here in Nevada, we're a little - uh - lacking for Georgian and Regency interiors, so we decided to build one in our living room.  A quick analysis of the paintings pointed out a few commonalities - a chair, a table, a door/screen/mirror, a curtain, and brick-a-brack, paired with a healthy amount of chiaroscuro, and with the model being the main focus, of course.

While I had a few of the items that could be used (fabrics, letters, etc.), most of the set we rented from The Entertainer, the same company that dressed our wedding in shabby-antique-vintage-goodness. The chair, screen, table, firescreen, books, pitcher, and Neoclassical column all came from them..

Mr. Chris starts the build with a dark grey backdrop, and fabric swagged for a curtain look.
I fiddled and rearranged things until we got a good composition - takes longer than you might expect
The first version of the set, ready for the shoot the following day.
With the set built, the attention turned to lighting. Lighting plays a super important part in all photography, and can be especially challenging for interior shots. A quick look at the reference paintings indicated natural light from a large window off to one side, so this is what Mr. Chris re-created with artificial light:

Artificial light mimicking soft natural light.
And here is the result of all our effort...

Mandy represented the Regency in the same set, just re-arranged a little.
I'm representing the 18th c, with Historical Dog.
I have lots more photos to show you soon!

Credits
Photography: Chris Stowell
Set Decor: The Entertainer
Set Dressing and Art Direction: Lauren Stowell

Regency Model: Mandy Grosvenor
Regency Gown: Lauren, Lady of Portland House
Regency Spencer: Maggie, Undressing the Historical Lady

Regency Shoes: "Highbury" Regency Slippers, dyed to match the spencer.

Georgian Model: Lauren Stowell
Georgian Gown: Lauren Stowell
Georgian Shoes: "Antoinette" Mules in French Blue
Historical Dog: Avi, the Attention Hound.




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25 comments:

  1. Wonderful! The set looks brilliant.

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    1. Thank you! We had a lot of fun building it.

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  2. Very nicely done!!! Just gorgeous!

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  3. Gosh Lauren! You look just like a painting!

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  4. Gawd woman!! You are so crazy talented! You two did a stunning job and you, my dear, are absolutely beautiful.

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  5. Lauren, these are beautiful. You got all the details just so, the lighting is perfect, and your new dress really glows!

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    1. Thank you! The dress came out pretty okay in the end. I'm glad I finished it.

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  6. Wow, you all did a beautiful job. I can't believe how much everything looks so real. Especially like the photo of you.

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  7. I love XVIII century paintings with legs! They great shows a character of this period. And I love your new photo! It's perfect stylization! :)

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    1. Thanks! We did a few with legs sticking out. I'll share them later - pretty silly!

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  8. Fantastical! Full marks for resourcefulness!

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  9. This looks marvellous. Excellent job!

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  10. How fun! I wished more of the photographers at costume events would come up with something like this.
    Val

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    1. A little set always adds to the ambiance. :-D It can be hard to source all these things, though, and transport them. We had to haul the trailer to carry the Greek column and the screen, in a storm no less!

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  11. Wow!!! What a fun and brilliant photo shoot! Now you need someone to make paintings of the pictures! They will look like they could hang in a grand gallery!

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  12. Absolutely lovely! I adore it, and definitely agree with everyone else - these look like they could hang in a gallery!

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    1. Oh, and I LOVE Historical Dog. Love him! (her? Sorry, not sure!)

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    2. Thanks! Historical Dog is a girl...more specifically, a Princess (with a capital P). Spoiled dog!

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