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

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!

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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