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Behind the Scenes – CELESTIAL

Life is an interesting thing. You see, the past year of my life has been absolutely insane. Like, so insane that I basically took a year-long hiatus from shooting any personal stuff as I needed the extra time to situate the situation. I’ve slowly been crawling my way back to normalcy and with that has come a sense of “rebirth” so to speak. I’m happy to be where I am and absolutely THRILLED about the stuff I have in the pipeline down the road.

In the spirit of “rebirth”, I was fortunate enough to be able to team up with the amazing bodypaint/makeup/hair maven Michelle Mink and the gorgeous (on the inside and out!) Emily DeBouver to create something, dare I say…. out of this world. (I immediately regret writing that but I’m too lazy to think of anything better. Eat it. And like it!).


Seeing as how I was really hungover for the shoot (I had a wedding the day before, so sue me! Love you Kris & Mindy!), I was grateful to know that the effort I had to exert was actually pretty minimal! Lucky for me, Michelle was more than happy to pick up the slack and spent the better part of 6 hours meticulously covering our model Emily with an amazing starburst/galaxy/universe theme.



The lighting setup was actually quite simple: One Deep Elinchrome Deep Octa above and to our model’s left provided most of the lighting.  I also added a strip box fill behind her to her right (hence why the face doesn’t go completely dark).  We didn’t have much time to shoot, so I did both natural light and strobe shots to get the most bang for our buck.  The final product ended up using the studio-lit photos.



As you can tell, my vision of the universe was highly influenced by 80’s sci-fi. (Click the image below to see a GIF of the process)


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Steven Kowalski

About the author

Steven Kowalski: Portrait photographer based in Chicago. Teacher. NYU grad.

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