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Maleficent Inspired Photo Shoot with Trash Bag Dress

April 30, 2014

Ever since I moved into my new apartment, I’ve been inspired to start a new personal photography project. I knew I had always wanted to do a personal project like Project 365, but I didn’t think I would be able to keep up taking one picture a day continuously for 365 days. I also didn’t want it to feel like an obligation on days that I didn’t feel inspired. Especially now that the wedding season is starting up, I like to focus on my clients’ needs first.

The basic idea of this project is that I’ll come up with a concept based on an interesting attribute of a friend whether it’s their personality or appearance. The reason why I choose to photograph my friends rather than models is because I want this attribute to be a part of the photo shoot in stead of just props. Basically, I want my subjects to be my inspiration.

Trash bag dress Evil Queen

My first subject is a close friend of mine, Branden. We both love the TV show Once Upon a Time, and the character he can relate to the most is Regina, the evil queen. We recently went to the movie theater and spotted the Maleficent poster starring Angelina Jolie, which is where I got my inspiration from. With no budget whatsoever, I made the costume completely out of trash bags. The horns were made out of a headband, metal coat hanger wires, and newspapers to form the shape. I’m the least crafty person you’ll probably ever meet and making something like this from scratch is something worth raising a glass =p

Originally I wanted to do this shoot at a cemetery but I knew I would never be able to get permission to set up a photo shoot with my light stands and softbox and beauty dish. I opted for the Arnold Arboretum instead. We dragged all my gears to the top of a hill. It was quite a struggle but it was so worth it. I think the biggest obstacle was the cold and wind. I checked the weather beforehand and knew it was going to be windy so I brought ropes to tie my lightstands to trees to prevent them from blowing over. It became difficult for Branden to pose in the cold temperature so we ended the photo shoot in about 30 minutes. I was glad I got this shot in such a short period of time.

Total budget for this photo shoot: $10