A different take on the classic "American Beauty" photograph

May 17, 2014

I think we have all seen that classic photograph from the Hollywood motion picture "American Beauty". This iconic image of a nude lady lying on a bed of rose petals with rose petals strategically placed to cover the models modesty has been replicated by photographers worldwide a thousand times.

 

This image has always struck me as one of the most beautiful and iconic nude shots ever and one I have always wanted to do myself. The only problem with this is that it has been done so many times it just does not give that wow factor anymore.

 

Undeterred, it was time to pop that thinking cap on a ponder a way to bring it up to date and come up with something original. Original is a hard one to do nowadays but we must give it a go.

 

Eventually the idea was formed to create the shot using something bright and vibrant, Skittles. I had an idea of how I wanted it to look in my head, but would it work? There was a few problems to get around but I was sure it was worth a go.

 

I placed an advert on my business Facebook page looking for a nude model. We had several responses from some stunning models that were willing to pose for us but this had to be the right model. We could not give away our ideas, so to start with none of the models really knew what we wanted to do.

 

At last we struck gold, Hollie Thornett who we had met a couple of years earlier at the Isle of Wight Christmas Market where she was an Elf at the Santa's Grotto contacted us to say she would like to model. When we first met Hollie she was a breath of fresh air, fun loving and a very bubbly character with the right sort of look we were going for.

 

We didn't want to hang around so we contact a good friend and in our opinion the best Makeup Artist on the Island, Jo Lofthouse of Isle of Wight Makeup and Face Paint. Jo is amazing and offered up plenty of ideas that really made the shoot what it was.

 

The day of the shoot eventually arrived and all the hard work really began. After an hour & half of makeup and sticking skittles in place it was time to start shooting. It was a warm day in the studio and time was of the essence, not knowing how long the glue and makeup would last in the heat.

 

We tethered the Camera to the laptop and 20 minutes of hanging from a ladder later we had just what we wanted. We had a quick run through of the raw files on the computer and were over the moon with what we had achieved.

 

Some of the images are available to view on our flickr page.

 

We would like to thank...

 

Model.                                      Hollie Thornett

MUA.                                        Jo Lofthouse of Isle of Wight Makeup & Face Paint

Photography Assistant.            Lynzey Gibbs

Photographer.                         Stewart Gibbs

 

More crazy ideas coming soon

 

 

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