Death to Alice
2009-2010 I bought myself an Alice in Wonderland costume for a photoshoot on Ebay. I had a Snow White costume so I wanted to work my way through my fav Disney princesses. Not that Alice is a princess..but let's not get technical ok? When it showed up it didn't take too long to realise it didn't look like the picture shown and the bodice area was a thin material that you could see through, thankfully that wasn't obvious with the photos! I was aiming to make the character more alternative anyways with a corset etc so I figured I'd just go with it and see how it goes.
I put out a casting call on Facebook for a model interested to be Alice. One model was keen but then she went and did the shoot with another photographer and wrote publicly that I was "jealous" because she jumped ship, also apparently I'm not very good. Sure thing. That pretty much summed up Perth in that time, it was just so petty it was ridiculous. If people weren't talking crap about each other they were stealing each others ideas right from the networking groups then using the "nothing is original anymore" as an argument. I stopped giving too much away in my casting calls after that and still managed to end up at the top of someone's shitlist after my Red Riding photoshoot. That was another costume I was keen to use and the only person who knew what we were doing was the makeup artist, I don't think I even really told the model until right before it, yet somehow someone allegedly had told this photographer who I hadn't heard of until that day that I was stealing her idea (literally didn't: we had different costumes, different models, different locations. Not one thing in common other than the character) but she made sure to tell the world I plagiarised her so everyone would bomb my page with horrible comments. I love that the only insult people have on the internet is by saying "your photos suck". Oh man, sick burn! Watching people argue over who "owns" Red Riding Hood was hilarious. You can't lay claim to a story written by the Grimm Brothers back in the 17th Century! So back to Alice, the Tim Burton film came out that year and next minute every camera owner in Perth was doing an Alice shoot. There was overkill on girls all wearing the same costumes, all sitting in parks (or studios) with the exact same props all doing tea parties (because apparently nothing else happens in that book)..it was so monotonous I declared I was killing off Alice. No fucks given. Until then I had no real concept other than to make Alice 'goth' looking but Perth helped inspire me to make it gruesome.
I found myself a model (Zoe Lovage) and makeup artist (Eclectic Styles) keen on the idea and we met up in the city one night to do it. The general idea was Alice was being hunted by the Queen Of Hearts (unseen) and attacked with cards. I got my friend to help assist which translates to "watch my bag". With how often I move around or turn my back to my gear I didn't want it just laying around in the CBD at night unwatched. Styling was a mix of elements from myself and Zoe. I brought the dress, the gloves and the hair clips are by Leg Avenue. Zoe owned the corset, and shoes. To be honest I can't remember who owned the stockings, I know I own them but pretty sure she did too.
At the time I was ok with my photos but I wasn't "OMG WOW" over them either. This was 100% on me though because I hate myself if think I failed the team and I didn't really know how to use my flash. I was using a super basic one that didn't really have much in the way of settings other than the on/off switch. These were taken with my Canon 400D as well where the highest ISO setting is 1600. With the way my health has been and the lack of being able to shoot I decided last year to revisit them and see how my editing has changed since then and I'm so much happier with the photos! I kept the editing to a minimum in Lightroom just doing the basics like adjusting exposure/contrast then used the frequency separation technique in Photoshop I learned at tafe a couple years ago.
This example shows the RAW image, my original edit and my edit from 2018. This photo I had bounced the flash off the wall in the alley way trying to avoid it being flat lighting.
For this shot we were both lying in the alley way on god knows what. I'm always lying down at some point in a shoot (I like getting different angles) but I love it when models get into the spirit of the shoot and are cool with getting down and dirty too!