Advanced Studio Practice 2A: Re-shoot: “Like a Deer caught in the Headlights”

11th November 2014

The aim of this shoot was to re-shoot the ‘Like a Deer caught in the Headlights’ that I practised on myself, but using a model and doing the make up on her before hand. I also (after getting feedback from my tutor and colleagues) wanted to do a literal and metaphorical interpretation – like the ‘Sly as a Fox’ images. One where it is a head shot with a white background in an ‘editorial fashion’ photographic style – using the expression to portray the concept behind each phrase – e.g fear, shock etc but also so that the model doesn’t just act as a Deer but ‘becomes‘ the Deer, feels what the Deer is feeling and expresses that.
Also the way the ‘Deer’ is photographed can portray the Deer as either ‘the hunted’ or ‘the hunter’. For example when looking at the ‘Sly as a Fox’ images, the close head shot with shadows over the eyes stood out much more because in that shot it was as if the model had become the Fox and was jumping out of the shot at the viewer. It created a powerful response/reaction from the viewer. I want to also bring this concept and approach within this shoot. I want the viewer to be taken in by the Doe’s expression. This shoot could also work for the phrase ‘Doe-eyed’, because of the beautiful big eyes of the model but also the way they capture the viewer. To actually encapsulate the concept within expression is a difficult thing to do, so I took a few shots after finishing the make up, but before the proper shoot with the background, to try and create that expression within the model, to ‘get warmed up’ as such.

IW9B4947RESIZED IW9B4950-01 IW9B4961RESIZED (excuse the ugly red curtain!)

Then I attached the ears with clips and put up a white back drop. I used a studio type light to create the look of ‘headlights’, casting a dark shadow on the background, a silhouette of the Deer’s head.


I understand these images are not fully edited yet because I want to select down then edit the best ones because there are quite a few things that need editing out e.g the hair clips keeping the ears on, the ripples in the back drop, the colour of the top (in case it is in shot and can’t be cropped out effectively) etc. I originally thought that the top wouldn’t be in shot because it was strapless and they were going to be strictly head and shoulder shots, however in some of the portrait shots (which I really like for the concept) the top is showing, so I need to make this work with the image. I have included different crops of some of the images for opinions on what looks best. A lot of these images are very similar however it is the slight change in expression in some of them that really makes them stand out.

After doing the head shots I went out and shot the location shots of the literal interpretation of the phrase. I had two car’s headlights on this shoot (experimenting sometimes with both, then just one set) to hopefully light the background up a bit more so it wasn’t just completely black. This worked quite well but I also tried flashing the background (using a speed lite) to light it up, however the light just caught more on the models face rather than the background (road) so edited the background in Photoshop afterwards (as seen below in the before and after images).


Here you can see the contrast between the head shots because the Deer on location is portrayed as ‘the hunted’ – the car is coming towards them and they are terrified/in danger. However the first shots show the Deer more ‘in control’ and is almost ‘enticing’ the viewer towards, and getting lost in, her big beautiful eyes.

I am very happy with this shoot and definitely think I have some final shots within these images. I aim to go through and select down to the shots that really make an impact and edit them to add a ‘finish’ to them, and so the concept and phrase are done justice by me making intentional decisions towards the message I am trying to bring across, through physical components in the images.

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2 thoughts on “Advanced Studio Practice 2A: Re-shoot: “Like a Deer caught in the Headlights”

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