What would you do if jL gave you a heap of cash, 4 mega babes and a 32 pieces of shiny nylon? If you were part of the BM photoshoot team, you might consider trying to make some seriously magical pics (or hopping a plane to vegas).
Charli here again! For those of you who don’t know me, I have the coolest job in the world – I get to organise events and promotion for Black Milk! That includes photoshoots, so today I have a sneaky peak at all the radical behind-the-scenes action + drama from our latest shoot. 'Drama?!' I hear you cry, 'What drama?!'
Come closer, my nylon ninjas, it’s time to learn about the magical (and often dramatic) world of Black Milk photoshoots.
But first…I want you to guess what we were shooting this time.
1. He's a billionaire playboy by day.
2. He stalks criminals by night.
3. He has a thing...about bats.
You know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words? I kinda think that when you make a picture, you have to work backwards and think of a thousand little things that will bring your picture's story to life. That’s the way we do it here. And it helps that every BM shoot, jL challenges us to up our game. Bring it on, jL. ;)
Below you'll see our early planning stages. This starts to happen a month or so before a shoot (if we're lucky! Adventure Time's shoot happened two days beforehand...and it was kinda nuts.)
If you're a visual person like me, sometimes it helps to picture-vomit out all the ideas you've got in your head (picture vomit looks like this).
Somewhere in the middle of planning, our team takes a trip to the design department to check out the pieces from a collection. Now, this might sound like we're the lucky Golden Ticket winners who get to swing by Wonka's candy factory- unfortunately, sometimes this trip can be more stressful than sweet. Product development threw a small hiccup into our plans- no Poison Ivy Swimsuit.
^^^ Our faces when we found out.^^^
Disaster. A week out from the shoot and we didn't have a sexy hero product for our favourite Villainess (and occasional good guy) P.I. What to do? jL made a quick call. 'Let's shake up products. Let's see if we can bang out a P.I piece in less than a week.' You can say this about our boss:he sure does like to live on the edge. He rushed off to graphics while our licensing coordinator Shak made a few very, very urgent calls to Warner Bros USA. We started to panic. Should we go ahead and order $250 worth of leaves for Poison Ivy shot, when we don't even know if we'll have the piece in time?
We decided we'd risk it (sorry Cam) and took a trip to the biggest flower market in QLD to get us some greenery.
Then we assembled our favourite team of babes we could muster (Sexy Sammii, Lovely Laura, Smokin’ Steph and Marvelous Madeline).
Then it was time to recreate a lil’ BM movie magic...
Add in our ace photographer Bonnie, shoot producer superstar Madelaine W, and our fav BM movie director, Tristan (and his dog!), and we were ready to roll.
Captain Cam also got involved, and was tasked with testing out our superhero make-up. ;)
And guess what? We got some good news: Poison Ivy was a go! We had our hero product, and now it was time to set up the hero shot.
Oh, hey: Do you wanna know how long it took to set up this shot?
About 3 hours.
Not even kidding. Hair, Make-Up, leaf arranging, ladder climbing, light adjusting, hair adjusting (but really, we spent twenty minutes getting her hair to sit right. Don't even talk to me about the leaves) and finally photo-snapping. I'm all about the little details in an image. Maybe to an extreme (almost OCD) degree.
Notice how on her swim she has concentric spirals emanating from her stomach out? If you look really closely at the leaves- they’re not just scattered all over the place. We arranged them in a circular motion to reflect the swim’s pattern, and to draw people’s eyes to the focal point of the image. The leaves have also nearly all been flipped over, so they’re on their darkest, emerald-green side. This makes the bright green swim pop amongst the darkness. Leaf flipping – an actual job at a photo shoot.
The little elements that make up an image can sometimes make or break a picture. For me, beautiful pictures are easy and common. They don’t always tell stories. You might love them when you see them, but ultimately? Over time? You forget them. Interesting pictures- pictures you can talk about and remember? That’s where the real magic's at.
When I was first learning about the art of picture making, my mentor (and very clever photographer friend) told me that if you make something people can stare at, and stare at, and they can still find more things to love about it, you've done good, kid.
It wasn’t just Ivy. It was every pic on this shoot.
Our joker pics?
Our make-up artist Amelia’s work was originally so horrifyingly realistic; we thought we were on set with a homicidal dude. Our MUA was that good we had to ask her to tone it down, and bring some sexy in.
That card our Joker's holding? It’s a BM original playing card, that one of our whiz kids, Ken from Graphics (who coincidentally draws his own comics) created just for us. It took 7 versions before jL smiled, nodded, and gave emperor approval.
Madeleine- our Joker model- has a small batman tattoo on her finger. She was so excited to be a part of this shoot, she dyed her real hair toxic green two days before the shoot.
Oh, and keep your eyes peels for our finalmovie poster shots – those are real special. Not one, but two, of our superstar graphics girls designed special movie text for each image to make them look like movie posters (my fave quote- ‘how do you feel about this bloody text, Charles?’ ‘Um, it actually looks like a legit serial killer wrote that. Well done?’)
The smoke? Sourced by Maddie- the world’s best shoot producer. Ask her to find you anything (a forest, a castle, $250 worth of foliage, live sharks) and she’ll find a way to make it happen.
The special effects? Our photographer Bonnie, is probably a direct descendent of the dude that invented photoshop. She’s that good.
These little parts- the stuff that goes into a pic- they make the story. You can how see much passion has gone into each of these images, because everyone who has been a part of it has loved what they’ve done. I do. And I want to thank our wonderful team for making this magic.
‘Til next time, nylon warriors, this is Charli (only the kid with possibly the. Best. Job. in the world), signing off and wishing you good luck on release day! Hit us up in the comments below and let us know what you think of the collection so far!