Behind the Scenes with the “More Than Just A Costume” Gainsborough Photo Shoot

Howdy!  I’ve had some questions about the most recent images I created, inspired by Gainsborough’s portrait of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, so I’m going to show you a little behind-the-scenes of how I created them.

I had the idea to re-create famous portraits with distraught historical figures holding ugly shoes, to try to visually impart why I started a company making period-correct footwear.  I thought the idea of it would be funny, so I went ahead with creating the first image, since this is the one that I could get the closest to with the costuming.

I already had a hedgehog wig, and black Gainsborough hat.  I needed to make a blue sash and ruffled neckerchief.  As for the gown, I don’t have a light peach colored gown in my closet, so instead, I wore my red “Revolution” dress, and changed the color of it in post processing.  Here is the original image:

The original photo, in all its glory.

It’s quite a lot different from the finished piece!  For the photos, I dressed as much the part as I could, and used natural light from a window off to the right.  In post processing, I removed the background completely, replacing it with one I painted, similar to the portrait’s background.  I carefully changed the color of the gown, as well as the shoe, and enhanced the definition in the wig, then color corrected everything to be as close to the portrait as possible.  In the end, I ended up with this:

It’s one part photo and one part art, and a lot of fiddling and finessing in Photoshop.  Here are the two images side-by-side:

Don’t I wish I looked more like Georgiana, lol!

I’d like to do a whole series of these, but I have some items to make first! I’d also really like to make a peach colored gown now, too, after working on these photos.

Here is another shot from the same campaign, with the same process, but a different message:

I hope you enjoyed these silly photos as much as I enjoyed making them. 🙂


    • Lauren Stowell

      April 12, 2013 at 8:26 PM

      Lol! We went to a thrift store and found the shabbiest pair, but they ended up looking better in the photo than they do in person, lol!

  • Georgiana

    April 12, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    I love this! Can´t wait to see more!

    It is my dream to recreate Marie Antoinette´s portrait in chemise with a rose. I must finish the dress first and then wait for roses to bloom on a spot I chose for the photo.

    Have you seen Louboutin campaign 2011? It has a similar message, his shoes incorporated in famous artworks.

    • Lauren Stowell

      April 12, 2013 at 8:25 PM

      I love that portrait as well! I was hoping to do a version of it too, and I've ordered a bunch of voile for a chemise a la reine, but lazy me, it will probably be some time before I finish it, lol.

      Yes, I saw the Louboutin campaign a couple days ago. I was actually a bit upset because I don't want to be seen as derivative of those beautiful photos!! And here I thought I had an original idea! 🙁

  • Vincent Briggs

    April 12, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    What fun pictures!
    The shoes are gorgeous. I would absolutely love to have a pair of black Kensingtons. But why has the range of available sizes gotten smaller? My size 11.5 feet and I are in the depths of despair.

    • Lauren Stowell

      April 12, 2013 at 8:24 PM

      Hi Mouse Borg – thanks! We aren't able to carry the larger sizes anymore because we're not a big enough company making large enough runs. It's always the struggle with the manufacturers to get small runs at all, and when we're only order 2 or 3 of a larger size, it's just not sustainable for us or for them. We end up selling the higher sizes shoes at a loss, if we sell them at all. I wish like crazy we could get the higher sizes again, but it won't be until we're able to make larger runs. 🙁


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