Featured in the modern and notable Flanelle Magazine, Spider Eyelashes is a striking web editorial modelled by PRM Agency's Jessica Liu (@wjslw), photographed by Dildina Elena (@lenochkadildina), a fashion and beauty photographer based in london. This elegant lineup of portraits owns a minimalist colour palette of deep black, flirtatious red and crisp white that altogether packs a punch. Elena's subject is simultaneously delicate and bold, and the digital photographer teamed up with Makeup Artist Lydia Warhurst who crafted these 5 'less is more' looks that playfully compliment and juxtapose each other, emphasised through Elena's lighting, angles and composition.
Elena's photos are diverse and intriguing not only because of how model Liu is styled, but how she is lit and the backgrounds she is photographed against. She is evidently positioned in front of a white studio backdrop, however the majority of Elena's shots include backgrounds that stray away from being perfectly white; a result of her utilising her simple lighting setup and toying with neutral and dramatic lighting, achieved through adjusting the distance between the light source and the model, as well as their distance in relation to the background. It's also interesting to note that for 3 out of 5 of the styled hair and makeup looks by Warhurst in this shoot, Elena photographs Liu under more than one lighting setup per look. Including lighting that complements said look, and lighting that juxtaposes it - a dainty bow formed of hair shot in soft beauty lighting as well as an an edgy liner look with rebellious ribbons shot in dramatic lighting, and vice versa. - Within her dramatic light setups, Elena even incorporates an iconic and classic lighting technique known as Rembrandt Lighting, where the light source is positioned above and to the side of the models profile, casting a gorgeous triangle of light under their eye on the opposite side.
The backgrounds in Elena's photos also vary in tone and warmth from off-white to light and dark cool toned greys, contrasting against Liu's warm toned skin. Essentially, as opposed to filling the shadows on the backdrop in all of her light setups, Elena's incorporation of the gradient shadows in shot are an interesting stylistic choice and make for a more layered editorial that boasts a variety of moods and atmospheres. The darker backgrounds particularly change the perceived essence of the model, the shadows emphasise the underlying daring edge of Warhurst's styling, and Liu's gaze becomes more piercing.
For this editorial, Elena worked with the Canon R6 which is a mirrorless camera said to have impressive image quality, showcased by Elena in these intimate portraits. She opted for not one but two camera lenses from renowned Japanese manufacturers Sigma; the Sigma art 50mm and 35mm which she interchanged throughout the shoot to capture her desired angles and composition. Post production is just as important as the photoshoot itself, and Elena took on the task of retouching her own images by using Capture 1 and photoshop which are great professional softwares that can be used for photoediting. She appears to maintain Liu's natural beauty and moves away from over retouching the skin and hair, allowing Warhurt's work on Liu's complexion to still shine through. Elena seems to capture Liu from every angle and there is no doubt that she is the centre of attention.