ur world is rich with options and possibilities. Sometimes to the extent where we may feel overwhelmed by it. When we look closer, however, we can discover the patterns that make up the world around us. The waves rise and fall like the relief of the mountains. The age-indicating rings of a tree follow the same pattern of expanding circles as a teardrop hitting the surface of a lake. The veins in leaves show similarities to those in our hands, branching away from each other like river branches into a delta.
Everywhere we go, we are surrounded by lines. Lines on a zebra’s fur, lines on a football field, lines of a design on a piece of clothing, lines that sphere a pregnant belly. Lines to indicate the separation between our naked skin and our clothes. The naked skin you can hide by putting on your turtleneck. The lines of coathangers follow the lines of our shoulders. The shoulders you move with, make abstract lines with. With existing lines, we create our own unique silhouette, simple and clear.
We simplify our lives by labeling the things we see around us either ‘black’ or ‘white’. Sometimes the way to see a brighter future is by keeping the light off distance. By wearing sunglasses, that protect our eyes from bright sunbeams curved like our lashes. And even though the way the horizon looks can change how we view it, even the horizon will always follow the same line and pattern. The game of lines and patterns is not a difficult one. If we see our way through the chaos, if we listen to the noise. If we leave the unnecessary out of our perspective, it will be clear where one line begins and where the other ends.
For this editorial with upcoming edgy fashion model Anna-Lena Elpers, I was challenged to create a special mood board. Based on a mood board with clear lines, turtlenecks, and strong poses stylist Michelle Phaf created minimalistic looks that were an excellent fit to this story and inspired the whole team to depict the CLARITY story.
Anna and I started off together two hours before the rest of the team arrived. We made a series of natural looks without make-up. The mood board consisted of black and white photos with strong, dirty shadows. This session also fitted the CLARITY story and was a great warming up session. For the first two looks, we used typical fashion full shot lighting with a big octabox on one side and soft fills on the other side. Creating statues like images and a minimalistic mood with strong lines. The third and fourth mood were based on turtlenecks and had a more cynical or even cinematic mood. For the look with sunglasses, we used two softboxes as the main light positioned in such a way to create interesting reflections. We tucked Anna’s hair into the turtleneck. With this setting, we also shot some nice of off-stage shots that created the cinematic look. For the black turtleneck shots, we positioned Anna in a corner of the studio with a combination of natural and flash light. For this kind of shoot, I like to work with black & white previews only on the studio screen and camera to focus on and emphasize structures and lines in the image. My experience is that this also produces a different kind of image when processed in color afterward.
Anna Elpers is currently in Canada and available for bookings through Montage Models. Michelle Phaf is currently studying at the AMFI – Amsterdam Fashion Institute. Suzanne Hendrikx is a professional makeup and hair artists running her own compan