Clara and the magic of LED lights

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For this shooting, all you need is:

A crack squad :

  • A beautiful Clara who is ok to be naked <3

  • A Camille (Délicate Distorsion), who is really useful to choose the right ferns AND to bring the Kinders AND to create awesome drawings on the pictures (of course :p)

The most expensive props in the world :

  • Ferns  (collected in the closest forest)

Gear :

  • A garland of multicolor LEDs:  you can find them everywhere, I put an Amazon link (20 euros for 5 meters and that’s exactly what we used)

  • A piece a cardboard

  • Scotch Tape

  • A reflector (or a piece of polystyrene board/cardboard/ANYTHING white)

  • A black sheet

  • A canvas sheet (to put under the black sheet in order to protect the floor, we’re not savages!) I had kept the plastic packing from my mattress (I don’t know why, I kinda like it) in case I hadn’t kept it I would have used trash bags

  • A camera of course, a Canon 7D + Sigma 18-35 1,8 mm in that case

For this shooting session, we went for a walk in the forest of Saint Germain en Laye on the previous day, near my home studio (sounds better :D) in order to collect some ferns: we picked up entire plastic bags filled with things we found pretty (waaaah did you see the color?! waaah), while enjoying the last moments of summer to grab some wild flowers. I think we did not see anyone when we got out of a sinuous path with 3 huge trash bags that we stuffed in the car. We got back home and put everything in water to keep it fresh for the shooting the next day.


On the next day, Clara and Camille join me at home MY STUDIO (damn it!). The first idea was to take nude pictures in the middle of branches, so Camille could draw things afterwards upon them, in order to mix our two artistic worlds. The organic side of the leaves would remind the delicate universe of Delicate Distorsion, that is inspired by nature.
We already made a shooting with Clara on the previous year (a crazy story, with underwater picture and an inflatable swimming pool for kids, in the yard of my former house-share, that didn’t even have water mains inlet ANYWAY that’s another story that deserves an article on its own)
So naturally, we wanted to work again, the three of us, on something creative and experimental, during a girly afternoon in a good atmosphere, without any pressure, theoretically.


That was before the radio I used to trigger my Flash decided to stop working, just when everything else was ready ARGHH! I think I didn’t even say anything to the girls and that my mind worked at 300 miles to find a solution: I pulled out a garland of LEDs, I had used during the month, a piece of cardboard from a suitcase, I taped 2 pieces of A3 cardboards together, LED lights on the cardboards and we played with that all afternoon! I even taped a ruler on the back of the cardboard so Camille would have a handle to position the lights really close to Clara and more easily while I was taking pictures.

The beast.

The beast.

And, by accident, we have an amazing result! We realize we can play with the colors (which was not planned at all!) and we can create images that are still among my favorites more than a year after! I think I would even thank my CACTUS (which is the thing that was supposed to trigger my Flash Light) because it forced me to overcome the difficulties and to look for creativity, and eventually to experiment something really new.


I took care of the retouching part in the week (to be honest I didn’t have much to do on these pictures). I sent the files to Camille, she printed them out and then drew on some Rhodoïd paper (the transparent plastic paper we used to put in overhead projectors back in the days, when we were young) with the pictures beneath it. She then scanned the Rhodoïd and put back the drawing on the pictures with Photoshop. And that’s how you have this result!

The images as I gave them to Camille so she could draw on top of them

The images as I gave them to Camille so she could draw on top of them

To conclude, I would say that I loved this shooting, that I love working with Clara <3 she’s an amazing model and for me her personality is really part of the pictures. With Camille, we have compatible artistic worlds and a brainstorming/hot chocolate afternoon with her really gives a spark to my creativity. A year after, by working again on the pictures, I retouched the images with respect to Camille’s drawings. I was really attracted to the colors last year, but to my surprise, I found out that some images were also really interesting in Black and White: it’s more like me, and I think it’s also more like Camille.
However, I think that the Rhodoïd step reduce the quality of her drawings, and it doesn’t highlight the meticulousness of her work, and that’s a pity!
So we thought it would be a good warm up, and another shooting is planned, and THIS time we’ll print them on HUGE papers and she’ll draw directly on the pictures! (and they will be original Artworks, which is pretty classy!) I can’t wait to see the result (yes I know, we did not even start :p) So stay tuned if you’re willing to know more about this upcoming project (SPOILER ALERT: there will be a naked Clara :D)
Have you already been in a difficult situation with a client? With some gear that doesn’t work? (I cannot be the only one) And more importantly, did you find a solution? It could be interesting to write an article with all the problems encountered by everyone with matching solutions in case of emergency!
I hope you liked this article, do not hesitate to let me know what you think about it! 
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