So a few months ago Lexington’s Imperial Fashion Magazine had a Facebook post advertising that an upcoming issue’s theme would be Paper Dolls. It immediately sparked my interest in creating an editorial for that issue so I decided to reach out to one particular duo that I had yet to work with… Matthew Tyldesley and Ashley Flora. I showed them the post and asked them if they would be interested in creating our own version of Paper Dolls and to my delight, the accepted. It seemed like within days I was getting text messages from them both showing me the different hair styles and props they were creating from paper. Next thing I know we were in the studio shooting and creating our own Paper Dolls editorial which ended up manifesting into a beautifully crafted love story that we would come to call “Adorning Affair”.
This was fun, creative and above all challenging… I sometimes like to bite off more than I can chew, set myself up for failure if you will. This way I know I’m going to be presented with a challenge and it’s something I’m potentially going to learn from. Now, I already knew how I was going to light the models so that wasn't the challenge, the challenge was figuring out how I was going to take all these beautiful RAW images I captured and bring them to life in post. Although we all had a great time in the studio working, upon the wrap of the shoot I knew my work was just beginning. With a deadline only 3 weeks out and having a personal schedule packed with my own wedding planning, the pressure mounted quickly. Not just with time, but with delivering and upholding my growing reputation to fellow artists whom were gracious enough to work with me. So what do I do? I slept on it… for two nights, HA! Then it dawned on me on how to go about editing this editorial. The colors of the clothes and wigs, as you can see below, are vibrant and loud so I wanted to enhance that, but how do I do that without making the colors pop too much? Well I boosted the saturation a bit in Photoshop then I desaturated the skin tones a bit more… tried it out and boom! I had the look I was striving for. I then continue on with my post processing, adding in some light leaks here, masking over there, subtly liquifying this part and that part then before I knew it I had myself a finely polished series of my best work to date. I showed the team what I had come up with and they themselves too were excited with what I created, so we sent them off to be submitted and ended up landing seven pages in Imperial Magazine! Boom!
However my excitement soon dwindled down... as you may know, any artists that grows will face uncertainty, doubt and lack of confidence. I myself am no different and I experienced those feelings with this editorial after the images had been sent off. Talking in private with Matt, I confided in him that I was worried about our images not standing out on their own as they would be in a magazine with several other Paper Dolls entries. Were they good enough? Were they original? Did I represent my team to my fullest capability? He pointed out several elements about ours that made ours… well OURS. Then he said “Just Be”. Those two words are what I needed to hear, and it’s something I've tried to stay conscious of ever since. You see, “Just Be” is Matthew’s mantra, and it’s an excellent one to live by. Don’t fret over the small or insignificant stuff, just be. Live your life, do “you”, take care of yourself, your loved ones and truest of friends. Don’t put too much thought into things that don’t need it, just be. So with this editorial not only did I hone my creativity or enhance my editing skill set, but I also learned a value that is much more simpler and it can be applied though all walks of life. So as I wrap all this up, and on behalf of our amazing team I present our “Adorning Affair” series. And remember Just be… Focused. ;-)
And as a side note, I want to wish Matt and his team the best of luck as he goes to Las Vegas next month to compete as a finalist for NAHA's 2014 Men's Sylist of the Year... go kill it brother!
Photographer | Gary J. Barragan
Hair and Wardrobe Styling | Matthew Tyldsley
Makeup | Ashley Flora
Models | Kayla Tarter & Aaron Strunk of Heyman Talent
Assistants | Ana Catalina Perez and David Farseti
A personal journal about any given day in my photography career where I will write about anything from portraits and headshots to sharing my educational experiences. Thank you for taking the time to stop by, it's my pleasure to share my stories with you!