7 November 2011 - 23:41Orchid Creative

Brianna Errelat, my makeup artist wanted to do an image that was inspired by Kevyn Aucoin.   The amount of creatives I have done can liteally be counted on one hand… after all when everyone is paying you and with so much creative freedom there is no need… right?   Well I’m starting to think different about that… cutting the strings and doing just what I want purely without any clients needs in mind… that is always a factor in a hired shoot.

Meet Shazmin!  we’ve been FB friends for almost two years now and I figured it was finally time to meet in person for a creative.  I thought that she had the eyes and range of expression to create an enticing beauty shot.

We originally tried the orchids bunched around the neck like Acoin’s image but it just did not feel right.  Getting that vision from the mind to reality can sometimes be a nightmare.  We tried wire, clamps and floral tape but the flowers were just not cooperating.   If this had been a high key shoot with pale makeup concept, this style may have worked… I just thought they were too stark around her neck.

For the above  image,  I pulled out the Super 77 spray glue and literally attached petal to petal in a lei style.  This was delicate work and limited Shaz’s mobility but I was happy with the net result.

This image was combined with a shot I took in Maui years ago in the bamboo forest.  The lighting naturally fit the highlight on her shoulder and lens flare was added to emphasize  it further.    I’m looking forward to see what we can come up with next.

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27 September 2011 - 2:13Retro Rollerskate

Retro seems to be a word thrown around alot these days, so I looked it up:  Retro is a culturally outdated or aged style, trend, mode, or fashion, from the overall postmodern past, that has since that time become functionally or superficially the norm once again… It generally implies a vintage of at least 15 or 20 years.”

I just hope corduroy does not become the fashion again!  It seemed like forever ago my friends and I were going down to RollerRoyce rollerdrome to play Galaga and Pacman and strap these clunky wheels on our feet.  The only way they are going to be remotely  in my life again however will be in a photoshoot on a stellar (retro phrase!)  model like Katya.

The disco ball brings it all home… after all,  it was the John Travolta Flashdance era.   I really love shoots with themed colors… makes them look planned.   In reality the socks actually had blue stripes, but you can spend a day looking for matching socks or a few minutes in photoshop solving that problem.

If these shots look familiar,  it’s probably because they are from the banner of the front page of my website… If you guessed correctly,  come collect your free photoshoot at Bryan Ward Ph0tography Ltd… Just kidding!

The headshot was a reversed closeup of this shot,  did you catch that?   My backgrounds came from  vector art  of two wallpaper styles from…  I should probably revisit the last shot and add it in.

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31 July 2011 - 16:40Walk on the wild side

I don’t even begin to know which portfolio to post this shot… maybe it’s time to start a new category.  What was interesting about this particular image was that between the angle of her body and the fact that she was looking head on at the camera,  I was able to mirror the image exactly.

My father once told me that there was a series of images shot of Marilyn Monroe that were then mirrored using the left side and right side of her face.  Apparently one side mirrored appeared much more beautiful over the other… relating to right and left brain influence.  This may be one of my next concept series for fun.

Genetically speaking,  symmetry is the truest definition of beauty… something to think about.

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25 June 2011 - 3:39Rock Bottom

I have not worked on many personal creatives lately.  On this day I had a last minute cancellation leaving my makeup artist and myself to some dark imaginings.  With Teal as a willing subject we were able to explore a concept that I have long wanted to do.  Brieanne Zellinsky  did a great job with bringing my ‘pale face’ bloody nosed concept to life.   An authentic top hat from nearly 100 years back made of the fine fur of Canada’s emblem… the beaver complimented my evil creation.  Faux fur would not have readily added equally to the horror.

At Bazaar Novelty in Vancouver I  discovered fake blood that coagulates .  It’s about 4 times more expensive than standard fake blood, but for a nosebleed is perfect.  Teal’s natural fair complexion was further paled using hue/saturation in photoshop and pulling the saturation down (95%) in all colors but red (reduced 45%)  The natural Catch lights in the eyes are created by a large disc reflector  reflecting light from my downward aimed 10′ octobank set high and behind me … I love how the lover catch lights make her stare more evil.

This shoot has peaked so much interest that i have decided to explore a ‘dark series’  stay tuned for more to follow!  It’s very subtle but did you notice the coke on her nose?   {no it’s not real}

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1 November 2010 - 22:18Pinky Tang – Novembers Rosebud

Here is my most recent photoshoot for Rosebud magazine taken at ‘Granville Tattoo’ downtown Vancouver.  I was having a heck of a time finding just the right location for this shoot.   My original pick was ‘Next’ tattoo, but their bad attitudes and simple lack of professionalism kept that from being a possibility.  Granville Tattoo ended up being a great locale for the shoot and they are simply a great bunch of guys.

For fun I added another tattoo to Pinky (digitally) with the impression that she did it to herself.  If you’re not familiar with the process… no, the tattoo guns don’t smoke in real life.   BTW, the chair she is sitting on is 300 lb!!!!!  I’m not kidding.  I saw the chair when i first scoped the shop and thought it would be great to shoot on.  Come the day of,  I seriously thought it was bolted to the floor it was so heavy.  It had to be moved clear across the room.

photoshoots are always full of surprises!

It was a challenge lighting the room.  I was hoping to get some daylight through the front windows for a brighter background, but it turned out into a dreary typical Vancouver fall day.  I went the opposite direction (low key) and focused all the light on Pinky .  An ambient  light bounced off a wall in the background but this did not seem special enough…  I added a blue gel to create separation of her from the background and that gave me the look i was after.

I love mirror shots, I just don’t like the extra retouching

Sheena Marie did most of the styling on this photoshoot.  I made her push the limits into ‘sexy’ from what she normally works with. When we went back to the studio I was aiming for a decidedly ‘sexy fashion’ look.  Props to her stylish ostrich dress on the final shot, and a special thanks to Sylvery Grey for fashioning the sexy red bikini.

The following image was a 2 part overlay.  This image was first first converted to a standard B&W…  The layer was duplicated and set again to B&W but with ‘maximum blacks’ set.  This gave the ‘tanned’ and shiny appeal to the skin but made the cape too dark.  The top layer was set to 70% and masking was done with the airbrush tool around the cape and some darker areas of the skin which created this alluring image.

Yup,  can’t do a studio shoot with at least one of my signature shots

I’d like to send a special Thanks to Granville tattoo for being so helpful, friendly and generous with their space and time.  Thanks Steve for getting up so early and letting us in the shop.

If you walk through their doors,  remember to say ‘Bryan sent you’.

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29 April 2010 - 0:17Wicked Wet

Here is my latest water shoot.  I took about 65 shots in this series with two people throwing water from either side.  It takes some time to get the throws right and timed.   This is one of the images that immediately caught my eye and actually gave me a chill.

You can click on this image to see it bigger.  With the exception of some dodging/burning and   the ‘highlight /shadow’  filter,  this is a raw image with absolutely no digital manipulation.  I’m sure that you as everyone else sees the ominous skull forming in the middle of the image.  This was a random fluke of water hitting in the middle… wow!

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9 April 2010 - 18:04Wet

‘Wet is hot!’  Of course Water in the studio is not always as appealing.  Fortunately I have a tapered floor and a big floor drain so it’s not that big a deal.  It looks like lots of water, but in reality each shot was probably less than one litre.  One assistant is on a ladder pouring and another throwing water from the left.  Coordinating two at a time is not as easy as it looks, especially when a model is involved. . .apprehensive of the coming splash.  The first time i tried this kind of shoot my butterfingers assistant ended up throwing the measuring cup with the water (twice!!!),  I would suggest plastic utensils!

I used  small soft boxes with 30˚grids on the main and accent lights, close enough to do the job and far enough to avoid the spray.  Most of these images were silhouettes,  but this image had an additional spot light with a 10˚ round grid lighting her face about 1ƒ stop under.  The Bowens lights sync at 1/750 which does not completely stop the water splashes.  I’ve since switched to profoto monoheads which are faster at 1/1500,   I’ll post an updated shoot  soon.

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18 March 2010 - 17:48Gary ‘n Ildy engagement

I don’t shoot Engagements or Weddings anymore, but my friends asked and i couldn’t say no.  Ildy has been one of my longtime and loyal models . . . if she looks familiar, maybe you’ve seen her in ‘Paycheck’ or a number of movies and tv shows.  Gary i’ve know for a dozen years and he’s been a great friend.  Considering I introduced these two together,  i was honored to do their shoot.

I don’t really do the traditional engagement photography,   but after the ‘Bond’ shots, I pulled out handcuffs and then things got interesting . . . this also gave them a preliminary taste of married life!

I like to break the images into ‘formal’ and ‘casual’ . . . some people are more comfortable with one look over the other so it’s nice to have the variety.  These two work well in whatever i throw at em, and lucky for Gary,  it’s hard to look bad when you have such a beauty drawing your eye. . .notice how i have Ildiko upstage Gary in every pic!

After the studio pics, we went on location.  I have a few favorite locations from my wedding days.  We had limited shooting time in this location which simply involved a fill flash just left of camera angle and my portable mirror giving some accent to Garys back.  I would of loved a 2nd accent on the left, but i was trying to keep low key as we were shooting ‘gorilla’style.

Here is a small excerpt of some of the fun pics. . . and there were many!  I love the spontaneous and ‘in the moment’ shots. . .they are usually the memories of the day!

Gary and Ildy are the founders of Concrete Concepts.  Their projects around the city are too big to list, but they are notable.   If you ever need anything from a heated concrete floor to a supersize retaining wall,  Check out their work!

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4 March 2010 - 20:34Waterworld

This was one of those days where i felt energetic!  This was all created ‘in studio’ and she was kneeling in a whole lot of water!  At any time i have on hand a few 2″X6″X12′ studs and a roll of black construction plastic to build a water table.  A frame is screwed together and the plastic is simply laid across it and clamped to the wood.  I used to have a hot water tank which was easily drained twice to fill this up,  but the new ‘on demand’ water heater keeps an unlimited supply of hot water which the models definitely like.   The rippling effect is created by a couple fans aimed at the water. . . without the surface texture you would see the plastic underneath.  I used to lay this out right over my concrete floor, but the water quickly went from warm to bone chilling under 10 minutes.  Now i’m laying pink styrofoam sheets underneath which makes a huge difference on maintaining the temperature.

The image in the background  if i remember right relates to the creation of the universe.  I was originally planning an image of mars in the background, so I rolled down a deep red paper  to reflect in the water,  when i came across this hubble telescope image it felt like a nicer fit.  The original image was quite a bit more colorful with blues and yellows so i overlaid the tone reflected in the water to match.   I downloaded this from which is a great site where Nasa lets you download amazing © free  images from shuttle missions, the hubble telescope and misc. orbiters.

You know those movies where the toaster in thrown in the bathtub and someone gets electrocuted,  well it doesn’t really work like that.  I always give my liability speech and talk about the possibility of a light falling in.  As scary as it may be,  its best to just stay in the water if the worst happens. . .and NOT make contact with the light.  The only time you will get a shock is when you ground yourself,  that would be grabbing a c-stand to climb out of the water for example. . . so it’s always good to discuss the rules before the shoot.

P.S.  Check for a floor drain in your place before you build this one!

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1 March 2010 - 18:31Kermit the hog

A friend of mine is back in the bike game.  Our last shoot was of an amazing demon chopper with a devil tail that got me my first cover of biker magazine.   He’s now taking the more stock approach and adding stylizing touches to existing new Harleys with custom paint, pegs, handle bar ends, etc.   After doing our magazine shoot,  i was fortunate to have it in my studio for a few more days which happened to overlap Selena’s photoshoot.

It’s always a challenge shooting a big reflective bike with a model,  the bike wants soft large light sources which can flatten the models proportions.  I managed to get some small softbox lights with grids to accent her bum and legs without affecting the bike.  I consider these shoots ‘compromised ligting’. . .  you favour the girl or the bike, the question being ‘who is your client’.   I went with a hard overhead light to bring out specularity in her skin, fortunately this worked well with the bike as the paint was reflective and the spot lighting added to it’s depth .   The fire border was an afterthought,  now i’m wishing i had put a fan in her hair which would have tightened the concept with all the movement around her.

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