At the beginning of this project I had an idea to combine lingerie photography with Cosplay, such as Game of Thrones. The theory behind this is that I like combining genres to create something a little different. The problem with doing anything like that is that the target audience is very difficult to quantify and the positioning of the images in a publication, for example, is difficult to place.
I quickly decided that I would do lingerie only. This was borne out of the fact I was unable to do it at college and I have had some experience doing fashion and portraiture, in particular with women.
I knew that, unlike with previous projects, I couldn’t ask fellow students to model for me as lingerie is a little different to portraits or dresses, so I decided to put a profile onto the model/photographer networking site ‘PurplePort’ to find local, suitable, professional models who would work with me for a reasonable cost.
I worked with a total of five models, over six photoshoots and had mainly very good experiences. Professional models are reliable and generally much better at direction and pose than models who are just looking to do it for experience or to supplement their main income.
There are many vertical markets in the lingerie and underwear sector, aimed at many more audiences. I did some initial research and continued to research throughout the project, but always being drawn to similar audience related brands and styles, albeit originally unintentionally.
My aim and commercial considerations were based on some mainstream and some less well known brands, but always to a demographic of 20/30 something women who like to purchase something a little more sensual and luxurious for the weekend or special occasion. Something sexy but feminine at a reasonable cost.
Aside from collaborating with professional models, I wanted to collaborate with hair and make up artist. Unfortunately this didn’t materialise but I was lucky enough to have models who were competent with applying their own make up and doing it to fit in with the style of the shoot. I spoke to an MUA that I know and will hopefully work with her on my final project. I also discussed working with an MUA and hair stylist through PurplePort but this didn’t come to fruition.
The first shoot I did was closely followed by the second and third, and I didn’t leave a lot of time in between them to do further technical and lighting research and assess the results with a view to improving next time. This, in hindsight, was a mistake, although I did get better at directing the model, knowing what I wanted in terms of style and poses, experimenting with the power of the lamps, choosing colours of clothing and background and generally trying to offer images with my target audience in mind.
By continuing to look at different brands and styles of images, I was able to obtain different results that would still appeal to the same general audience. Shoots 3 and 4 used models with tattoos and Sammii in particular from shoot 4 has a very modern sassy and edgy look that I liked.
As discussed previously, shoots 5 and 6 saw a big change in lighting set-up, based on further research and further understanding of the lighting. These were the first shoots where I decided not to use any colour in the background and the first shoots that I shot in monochrome. I was over the moon with the results and feel that the ‘back to basics’ and simplified lighting set-up really worked to refine the style I was after to the target audience I had set.
I have always been aware that I wanted to produce a series of images in the style of a magazine editorial or look book. I did a fair bit of research on how editorials are put together visually and have therefore tried more than one option with my final images.
Overall I have used selected images from four of the six shoots within my final submissions. The images from shoot 3 were the only ones where the colourama studio was used and looked out of place with the gels and plain backgrounds of the cove.
To present my editorial I decided to print five double page spreads on A3, on satin/matt paper and then mounted onto board. I used a local printer who talked me in to having a laminate finish on the boards. The result was really disappointing and the images are not sharp or detailed. I took the opportunity to re-do the layout in a different style which I much prefer. These were printed on to matt 300mg card and, although not perfect, are much more appealing than the original set.
I am grateful I made the decisions I have during this final project and I hope you find the end results as pleasing as I found making them.
I have asked a number of women in their 20s and 30s the following questions, in order to establish their buying patterns and lifestyle choices of their purchases:
1.Do you purchase lingerie based on advertising and editorials in magazines?
2.Do you purchase separate lingerie for everyday and the weekend/special occasions?
3.Does your boyfriend/husband buy lingerie for you?
4.If so, is it the same style as you would buy for whatever purpose?
5.Are you influenced by magazines and lifestyle editorials or simply buy what you like?
The overwhelming response was that they purchase low cost items that are comfortable to wear everyday, and spend more on elegant, sensual, flirtatious items to go out in or use for special occasions.
Boyfriends and husbands tend to buy trashier and cheaper looking items that the women questioned would not purchase themselves.
Almost all are influenced by seasonal trends when purchasing lingerie and look at advertising and editorials in magazines for inspiration before going to the shops.
My final shoot has been my best by far and the one that I feel I have achieved the best results in.
Georgia Marie modelled for me for the second time as I felt she gave some really good results and was friendly and reliable.
Again I used the half cove and decided on a very similar set up to shoot 5, with the single octagonal box above the model and the black flag screen to enhance the shadows. This time, however, I put even more distance between the background and the model as I really like the seamless greys this gives you.
Looking at various examples from my research, we were able to try and recreate the same style, lighting and pose from several of the brands I have been looking at.
The resulting images, mainly in black and white, really fit in well with my target audience, they will appeal to the 20 and 30 something woman who wants to feel confident, sassy, elegant, luxurious and beautiful.
I now feel I have enough images of sufficient quantity that fit my demographic and will work well together in an example editorial.