This is the final chapter, at least for now, on this flour portrait project that started a few months ago. These flour portraits were the 3rd installment of this flour photography test that. If want to follow the journey, be sure to check out the 1st test shoot I did with a Jack Daniels bottle against a black background and the second shoot I did with a monochrome look via Ketel One. When my friend asked me to come over and have fun with a flour themed photoshoot lo those many moons ago, I didn’t know what to do :p We were throwing flour but instead of cool, crisp granules of flour there were blurry streaks of it across her face staring back at me in Lightroom. I was underwhelmed with the results and became obsessed with the concept of the flour portrait shooting a total of 3 shoots, starting with products and working my way up to portrait.
My friend and I were just having fun but didn’t really have an inspiration photo that we were trying to emulate. For this 3rd flour test, I decided to scour the internet for inspiration to imitate. I found this photo on the left. Personally, I felt that this photo was too hot ( or overexposed) on the model’s right side of her face and the definition of the flour is lost. I convinced my favorite model (aka the hubs) to sit in for me. I love gritty, texture filled portraits and not the ones of beauty/fashion magazines where almost all features of the face are softened. So I knew for this flour portrait I wanted to see the texture of the flour in contrast with his hair and skin. I also wanted to have a more even lighting to avoid overexposing one side. This portrait along with the other two flour shoots was shot outside in the late afternoon so that the sunlight was behind the house (away from the subject) and creating an overall ambient, soft light against a white foamcore background. I then brought in LED panels and lit my subject from camera right while using negative fill (aka black foamcore) on camera left to add shadow and depth to the subject’s face.
For this second portrait, I found this photo below on the left as the inspiration. Staying in the same set up, I swapped out the background from white foamcore to the black foamcore. This portrait also incorporates movement of the flour whereas the above portrait did not. One thing I learned from the previous flour shoots is that these shoots are perfect for a helping hand to handle the flour. As I was flour wrangler as well as photographer, I found it a challenge to get the throwing of the flour just right.
Overall, I’m happier with the black and white photo over the falling flour shot for the portraits. If I could get a flour wrangler, I’d love to try some more portraits with not only flour but other textures / materials interacting with the subject. And here is the original photo shoot with my friend, the beautiful & talented Miss Mary Jane Green that started it all.
Which shots are your favorite?