Updated: Sep 21, 2021
Welcome to the world of body painting! In this blog I’ll share with you my artist process for this tiger-themed photo shoot, along with the choices I make for editing and challenges I've faced. I hope this blog posts brings you closer to understanding and interpreting art, while simultaneously getting to know me and my work.
Model: Cassandra Stinn
Photographer & Body Painter: Kas Rea Visual Arts
Studio: CG Imaging
Where to paint
The first step for body painting is to decide where exactly to paint. Is it the full body, head-to-toe? Is it the waist up? 3/4 turn? These questions are important because I definitely don’t want to be spending more time painting unnecessary areas that the camera won’t be capturing, or wasting precious supplies. For this photo shoot, I decided to focus from the chest and up, including arms, neck and the face. Chest-up takes significantly less time to paint compared to the full-body. Tiger took around one hour to paint, followed by three hours of photography.
Camera angles & poses
When planning for a body painting shoot, I find it is very helpful to choose certain poses, which not only assists the model, but allows me to know what areas of her body I'll be painting. For example, on Cassandra I knew we would be focusing on upper body and face shots, so I did not need to spend time painting her lower torso or legs. When doing photo shoots, it's also important to consider hair. Sometime it is appropriate to hire a hair stylist for shoots, however for ours there was no hair stylist present. Having to think quickly, I put leaves and feathers in Cassandra's hair. My goal here was to add nature into her hair, to show she is free and not in captivity. Altogether this shoot took about four hours, including painting, hair, photographing and take down/clean up.
love to tastefully edit photos. I currently use both Photoshop and Lightroom, they compliment each other nicely and both add value to my photos. I see photo editing as an art in itself, and I have spent hours experimenting with different effects. For this shot, I had a light shining above, to create bold shadows. I also edited Cassandra's eyes in the image below to appear cat-like without her needing to wear contacts. I did not need to crop the edges in post-production, because I framed the picture nicely when I took the photo.
When editing photos, I am cautious and aware that too much editing can look unrealistic and unrelatable to viewers, such as seen commonly in mainstream fashion/beauty. I steer clear of this type of editing. My goal is to help people see the beauty in themselves, to see themselves in a new light, not to change their body types or dehumanize them. My editing aims to compliment who is in front of the camera and to artistically enhance their portraits.
That's it for now! I'd love to hear your thoughts below in the comment section and feel free to check out my new Youtube channel! To stay in touch, sign up below for my artist newsletter. Thank you for reading, I'm so glad you're here.