Today we take a behind the scenes look at my latest beauty/fashion/conceptual photoshoot involving a custom-made dress. We’re going to take a quick look at how the dress was made, as well as how we lit the scene and brought it all together:



Last Saturday me, and my friends Karina Boissonier, Sonja Annala and Atte Tanner, got together in a studio in Muurla, Finland, and we set out to create an interesting, almost painterly-like portrait of a beautiful model. A few days before the shoot, I had decided that I wanted to create a custom-made dress for this photoshoot, and that’s exactly what we did. The dress you see on our model, Sonja, was actually designed and created by me. This was my first time doing anything like this, and I was really happy with the way the dress turned out.

In order to create the dress I visited a local fabric-store and bought 15 meters of light-blue gauze fabric, and a bunch of safety pins. The great thing about creating a dress for this sort of a “controlled” indoor studio photoshoot, is the fact that the dress doesn’t have to look perfect from all angles. It’s enough that it looks good from the angles that you’re going to be shooting from, in our case, mostly the front.

You probably wouldn’t go out and about walking in this sort of a dress, but for the purpose of a photograph, it works perfectly. And the great thing is, that you can reuse the fabric multiple times for different purposes, maybe another dress or an amazing headpiece, and this way save some money as well.


Once the dress was done, it was time to make our concept happen. It’s always a good idea to integrate a story into a photograph – that way it makes the viewing-experience much more interesting and gives the viewer a chance to come up with their own interpretations of what’s happening in the photograph:



The story I wanted to convey was that the woman in this photograph received these roses from someone in her long forgotten past, and now in this photograph she’s reflecting on those old forgotten memories. Who is this person who gave her the roses and why is she looking away from the camera, are the questions that I wanted to leave open for the viewers to answer by themselves.

I chose to use lightblue as one of the maincolors, because it is strongly associated with the feeling of calmness and tranquillity. In the other hand the red background and the roses can be associated with passion, desire and love, which is something I wanted to convey as well, as it adds a whole new dynamic into the photograph.


The last thing that we had to determine, was how we would place our lights. For this photograph I went with a three light set-up. As you can see from the video, we had a large octobox on cameraleft. This light acted as our mainlight, illuminating our model and the vintage couch. To create some separation from the background I added another light, with a softbox behind our model. To create a natural vignetting on the red backdrop I had another light, with a snoot on it, pointing at the backdrop, right behind our models back.

Final images

As always, if you have any questions, or requests for future episodes, just leave a comment below, and I’ll do my best to help you all out! :)