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Quentin Caffier


Quentin Caffier: Looking beyond the beauty shot...

By Quentin Caffier, Monday November 10, 2014
Model: Zoé at CZB, with make-up by Yvane Rocher

Model: Zoé at CZB, with make-up by Yvane Rocher © Quentin Caffier

Beauty shoots may be, for some, the most boring shoots you can imagine. Most of the time, it is a really technical process with post-production being the longest part because of the deep skin retouching needed to make everything look flawless. But here are three recent images where I tried to find a creative way of shooting beauty – with some unconventional inspirations...

For the first image (above) I was looking for a very soft kind of photograph, using a wooden background to match skin tone and a very diffused light to merge the girl with it and avoid shadows. But then, I thought the image needed a touch of strong colour, and so instead of using make-up, I decided to put coloured pantyhoses on the model's face! The idea was to make it look like a mask, with a graphic effect that made the picture a little bit more... unexpected...

The second image (middle) is inspired by Andy Warhol's pop art image of Marilyn Monroe. I wanted to create a picture which showed this influence. I used the same colours, but also added a painting effect with light. I used a mixed technique: part strobe, part continuous light with a slow shutter speed to capture a little movement from the model during shooting. This was far better than adding movement later in post-production and the best part of all was no skin retouching was needed!

And finally, the last image in this set (bottom). I have always been impressed by the story of the Gorgon in Greek mythology, and I already shot a few images on this theme ( Here, I wanted to have something simpler, using just the hairstyle to give the impression of snakes. The Gorgon also has the ability to turn people into stone when she stares at them, so I wanted to find a make-up style to emphasise the model's eyes. My make-up artist Fanny Maurer did this quite simply by just using blue eyeliner. This was enough to create that little craziness I always look for in many of my pictures.

Model: Zely Mannequin-Model at Up Models. Hair by Raphaël M,  assisted by William Lacalmontie. Make-up by Aodha.

Model: Zely Mannequin-Model at Up Models. Hair by Raphaël M,
assisted by William Lacalmontie. Make-up by Aodha. © Quentin Caffier

Model: Anaëlle Duguet at Jana Hernette Modelscouting. Make-up by Fanny Maurer, with hair by Raphaël Mrg.

Model: Anaëlle Duguet at Jana Hernette Modelscouting. Make-up by Fanny Maurer, with hair by Raphaël Mrg. © Quentin Caffier