And so, we have gotten to the last part os this series. So the last shoot rolled around and this was a big one. I had previously arranged for me and Agnes to borrow some clothes from Stadsteatern (The City Theatre) to borrow some clothes from their amazing wardrobe. My contact there, Håkan Westesson, was kind enough to let me in and borrow some clothes, on the premise that we held the shoot at the theatre, which I couldn't say no to! So we met up with Helene Otterbäck, who is responsible for the vast wardrobe in there and we got to pick whatever we wanted. I owe them big time and I'm super grateful that they let me in there to make my vision come true!
For this shoot I wanted to do something really big, something I'm not really comfortable with. Me and Agnes had this idea from the beginning that we wanted to incorporate dancers into the shot who was dancing around the "main model", or the main character if you will. This idea later morphed into dolls with white masks. So she managed to get a hold of 12 amazing people from her class at Balettakademien. This part made me nervous, because I've never arranged a shoot as big as this before. But for me this is what this project was about, to challenge myself to do something grand! And I just have to say wow... This experience completely blew me away!
We got there an hour before everyone else and started laying out the clothes that we borrowed from both Balettakademien and Stadsteatern, then we set up some lighting and prepped the camera and som angles. The we started work on my main model Lovisa, which took about an hour. Eventually all the extras started pouring in and it was so great to see them getting dressed and making the characters come to life. They looked so amazing in their clothes and everything. I was just circling the room, smiling at what I had managed to put together, taking some process shots along the way. And speaking of process shots, I'd like to share quite a few so here are a whole bunch to feast your eyes upon before I reveal the final result.
The buzz in that room was simply amazing. Before we started the shoot for real I had to line everyone up for a shot to portray how beautiful they all were! I had the biggest smile on my face!
So then we got to work. We tried a few different approaches to how we wanted the shot to be. But I landed in something a bit more darker and sinister than I had originally planned. But that to me was just a good thing. I've worked with Lovisa before so I just let her do her thing based on how I'd described her character beforehand. She did an amazing job as always. Agnes also did such a fantastic job on this shoot, prepping 14 models in just about 2 hours and I am super grateful! All the hard work payed off and I think we managed to create something unique and beautiful. I learned so much from this experience and it's something that I'm going to continue to do. Arrange bigger shoots. Because working with people is such a rewarding experience, and that to me was the best part about all of this.
I later spent a great deal on retouching these images. I estimate that I spent around 25 hours per set for two images. So I'm pretty glad I didn't end up doing five shoots, which I originally planned. So here are the final results, and I have to say, these are my favourites of the three.
I can't thank everyone involved nearly enough.. I'm so grateful for all the support and for believing in my ideas, for all the help I've gotten along the way and I'm humbled by how much people were willing to engage in my project. It was amazing and I have grown so much as a photographer from this. But this isn't the last from this series, I'm still planning a few more to accompany these three sets. But for now I'll take a well deserved break from this little universe that I've created. Who knows, maybe it can grow into something more?
Huge thanks to the following people who were involved in this shoot:
Agnes Duvander & Balettakademien - Makeup Artist/Styling/Hair/Clothes
Håkan Westesson & Helene Otterbäck at Stadsteatern Göteborg - www.stadsteatern.goteborg.se
Lovisa Ekblad - Model
Adam Svensson, Anna Arvidsson, Matilda Magnewall, Linnea Malmström, Linda Olofsson, Izabell Makiela, Hanna Boquist, Connie Johansson, Sarah Stenberg, Frida Edholm, Vanessa Campodonico & Per-Erik Eriksson - "Dolls"/Model Extras
Simon Johansson - Assistant
Ove Bengtson at Hasselblad - www.hasselblad.com
My teachers Kalle Sanner & Klara Källström - www.fotoskolangbg.se
Götaplatsens Foto for the prints - www.gotaplatsensfoto.se
I'd like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year. I'm sure the new year will bring amazing things!
Cheers / Rickard
Links to parts 1 & 2 - Part 1 - Part 2