The final month of university last year, we focused on the outcomes stage of the FCP process, where the brief was to produce a photoshoot using a fashion accessory, which for us was makeup, and 5 phrases. These phrases differed between each group, as we had chosen them after analysing a particular visual which we were given. For us this visual was a photoshoot called ‘Larger than Life’ by Laurie Bartley. The 5 phrases we thought that described her shoot best were:

  • Feminine Ambiguity
  • Dynamic Dilapidation
  • Romantic Independence
  • Cinematic Contrast
  • Mystery

We were tasked to use these phrases to create a photoshoot of our own. Our shoot we made sure to plan before heading out into an alleyway in Nottingham to photograph it. However, from the final 3 we ended up using- only 1 of them was planned! The other 2 were ideas we bounced of each other within the moment and ended up working out perfectly. Since we had makeup as our accessory, we wanted to focus on the idea of leaving behind a kiss in different ways without being stereotypical. Our immediate thought was to go away from kisses on shirts and anything of that sort. Instead we decided to use stained bedsheets and pillowcases with makeup on and take them out of context to create ambiguity within the shoot.

After staining the sheets we attempted many different locations down the alley but found that the area with staircase and mustard coloured wall worked out best. We were extremely lucky with the weather that you wouldn’t think the photo was taken on a cold winters day in December! We then moved onto burning the lipstick so that the colour would drip down our models hands. We chose the colour red as although it was stereotypical it linked to the colour of our kiss from our previous image. With the running theme of the coloured wall, we made sure we stuck to it so that we had an element of continuity through our shoot.

By having an entire photo dedicated to a melting lipstick tube, we really wanted to highlight our fashion accesory. Lastly, we thought that having a message could work really well, by using the lipstick to write across the bedsheet. We chose the phrase ‘love me’, which for us linked to ‘Romantic Independence’ and the idea of a woman loving herself whilst society may feel we use makeup to be loved by others. The end shot we got with this worked out much better than we could have imagined, as our models face isn’t very clear, linking to mystery, and the colour and lighting produces the ideal cinematic contrast. I think for me this was a personal favourite.

Our last stage was to choose our final 3 visuals after having taken over 600 photos and then edit them in photoshop to enhance the natural lighting we were lucky enough to have. The images below were our chosen final outcome visuals. As a whole, I think they turned out so much better than we could have imagined. A lot of feedback we were given included how incredible our chosen location was and that the photoshoot really transports you to the Mediterranean.

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