Halloween was several months away, and every year myself and make-up artist Amy Naughalty plan to do some kind of special effects make-up based photoshoot and until now we've failed miserably at making it happen. But... this time we got started early on the planning, booked our models and created some concepts. What you see on the page here is one of four to be released over the coming weeks.
It was always planned to be a composite image, the background being added in later. We wanted to get our model, Samye, appearing to be on fire or having flames coming from his hands. We played with a few ideas during the shoot and what you see here is the final result.
Samye was in make-up with Amy for a couple hours before the shoot, being covered in gelatine and a variety of theatre make-ups to build up the epic looking burns on his hands and forearms. I wanted it to be a nice cremated black at the top working down to blisters and finally just to reddening of the skin toward the elbows and Amy nailed the concept perfectly.
The shoot itself was very straight-forward, a simple lighting set-up and everything being about the model and his pose/expression. All the fun really started once the final image was chosen and taken in to Photoshop!
Using a 'green screen' as the backdrop for the photos is purely a personal choice, sometimes this can make things more difficult if anything, depending on the subject in the images. It does make separating the model from the background colour a simple task though, allowing me to quickly change the virtual location, settling on this abandoned factory.
Adding in the flames is great fun, and something I've always wanted to do properly (rather than just setting my models on fire for giggles). It takes time to get the right flame shapes and you'll see in the close-ups above that the blisters on the skin were also given a glowing/burning edge, making it appear the heat is originating in the arms.
There are some behind-the-scenes shots below as well, showing a little bit about the process we went through, from make-up in to the photoshoot, then back to make-up so Amy could get her sadomasochistic fill for the day peeling the gelatine from Samye's arms!