22nd November 2014
The aim of this shoot was to photograph a literal and metaphorical representation of the phrase “You’ve got a Bee in your Bonnet”. After writing my idea (because originally I wanted to do one shoot on location and one in the studio) I realised that the literal and metaphorical could be combined, because within this particular phrase the model (bee) is the thought (metaphorical/conceptual), so is within the bonnet – however this is crossing over to the literal interpretation of a bee in a bonnet. So the expression on the ‘bee’s face’ is the metaphorical/conceptual interpretation, and the fact that it’s a person as a bee, in a bonnet, is the literal interpretation.
I used a soft box and positioned the model away from the back ground to get the dramatic grey background to create depth (to represent the depth within the mind and thoughts). I had to reposition the light a few times through the shoot because the bonnet itself was light cream almost white and the jumper was deep black so the bonnet reflected the light and the jumper absorbed it so it was difficult to get the exposure even/correct. However I edited them slightly and hopefully got some good outcomes. I bought the jumper specifically too because of the colour and material, that resembles a bee’s ‘coat’. Here are the results…
There are obviously a lot of similar images but just a slight change in expression and position gives each shot it’s own story. However I understand that I need to select down the best shots that will make the biggest impact and really say exactly what I want them to say. For example, the first sh0t was actually unexpected on the models behalf because it was just a quick test shot to see how the light was fairing and she was focussed within her thoughts as I snapped. This is interesting and adds to the meaning I am trying to portray. Throughout the shoot I did ask her to think about something she had on her mind in that moment to get the expression I desired and for it to be genuine. I also tried incorporating the Victorian origins of the phrase within the editing, pose, lighting, expression of the last two images (specifically).
I am happy with the variants of expression from the model and the way the Bonnet photographs. I think, in some shots more than others, I have captured the deep thoughtful look and I feel it was a successful shoot.