An Homage

Recently I had the chance to work with Leah, a fitness model, on some portfolio photos. The idea was to shoot some images that showed her feminine side as well as her commitment to fitness and strength training. After talking, I thought for a while about ideas that would work for her in that theme. One of the concepts was to do an homage to the famous Robert Mapplethorpe portrait of Lisa Lyon, a female body builder from the early 1980's. I showed Leah the image and she agreed it would be a fun challenge to take on at the shoot. 

© 2015 Jacob Long

© 2015 Jacob Long

Leah was extremely patient as we set up the shot. It took myself and the stylist adjusting the veil about 20-30 times in-between shots until we were able to get it to make the correct shape around her face. The lighting was an Octodome in front of the model and a large Softbox behind the model to fill in the background for separation. There was also a silver reflector behind the model's head to bring some fill light into the black fabric. 

© 2015 Jacob Long - Leah on the left, Lisa by Robert Mapplethorpe on the right. (The jpeg compression in the image is from the app I used to create the side-by-side view)

© 2015 Jacob Long - Leah on the left, Lisa by Robert Mapplethorpe on the right. (The jpeg compression in the image is from the app I used to create the side-by-side view)

In comparison, it's amazing to see the amount of strength and beauty both models brought into the images. Leah has very sculptural, romanesque facial features so I made a decision to keep the lighting at a lower angle in order to make sure her face was lit. Leah recently got a tattoo of a peacock feather on her left shoulder, so I added one as an element to give the image a touch of her personality.