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A Study in Blue

So this last week, I’ve been working on this assignment for my photography class.  The assignment was called Blue.  It was supposed to be our interpretation of the word.  That’s it.  That’s the only instruction we got.  I felt like if I just went around taking pictures of blue things then it wasn’t terribly interesting.  I was floundering for a good direction. To make matters worse, I couldn’t rely on my normal natural light photography because my schedule kept me busy until right about sunset (only drawback of the winter is these short days).  So going off what I know about photography and comments from my teacher, I decided to create a series of portraits with blue being the striking focus in each one.  My teacher had suggested I do more portrait photography and since blue sounded like a boring topic then the only way to make it interesting was with a person.  People are fascinating.


So of course, I turned to my favorite little model.  Thankfully, she was happy to be a part of mommy’s project and as soon as I mentioned the idea of costumes she was hooked.  My friends really came through and helped me with the outfits.  She already had a solid blue dress, but the ballerina dress, the wedding dress, and the little white smock dress were all borrowed for the project.

I took all these pictures in 3 different photo sessions.  Before taking any pictures, we did a little shopping.  I bought a set of white sheets and found the bluebird Christmas ornament which we cut the string off of.  The bird had a clip too so that’s how I got it to stay in her hair in the one picture.  After the first two photo shoots, we went out and bought the feather boa for another prop.  We already had the blue Christmas ball.  I hung the sheets up on a frame made out of my daughter’s Fort Magic set.  Then using a down comforter as the floor, I constructed a very makeshift studio backdrop.  With a spotlight and a strand of white Christmas lights, I attempted to create some artificial soft light.

The lighting for the entire project was a disaster.  It was still way too dark in the pictures.  I used the flash for the second two photo shoots and that helped, but it was a total amateur job.  I had to fix every picture in photoshop.  For my assignment I’m supposed to turn in 25 images and then pick the best two and edit those.  I just edited them all and I figured I would just select my two favorites.  I had an idea to sprinkle blue sequins and take pictures of them falling.  That was a disaster, but I managed to keep one sequin picture for the project.  It is the least blue of all the pictures, but I like the subtlety.   Overall, I took more than 150 pictures.  I can’t say for sure because I deleted some along the way.  In the end, I think the pictures are best taken in together as an entire collection.

2collection 3_2collection 4collection

So what do you think?  Which are your favorites?  Hopefully my teacher likes my interpretation of Blue.  If I do something like this again then I’ll probably build a better studio, but I was on a time limit and I didn’t want to spend a lot more money on extra lights.  I made do.  Anyway, I have one extra picture which I loved, but couldn’t use.  It was from the sequin attempt.  This picture had absolutely no blue in it, but my daughter’s face was sweet:


Also if you were on facebook or instagram, you saw the color vs. black and white comparison.  Most people said they liked the color version. I really like them both, but I’m partial to the black and white because I think the blue really pops.  However, for the class, we are supposed to use Photoshop and I changed the color of that image in a different program.  Since I didn’t know how to get that look in photoshop, I’m turning in the color version.


Ok that’s all for now.  Thanks for reading and following along with this assignment.  It was a lot more work than my other projects for this class, but I think it turned out in the end.  I’d love to know what you think!



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3 thoughts on “A Study in Blue”

  • Wow what an interesting study! I loved reading your description of the staging and the costumes and props. And you even have a real actress “helping”! As a collection, this is Stunning. To choose one or two …I like the one at the top right where she’s looking up … but “Bird on Head” has got to be the scene stealer!
    love you

  • This is lovely! Your make-shift studio is incredibly resourceful. The Christmas lights were a great lighting idea! My favorite photo is the black and white tutu one (at the end of the post). Also, I love the photo of just the boa’s feather – very abstract! My mom was a photographer for years and always used my sister as her photos’ subject (this was before I was born) because daughters make the best models! 😉 (Yours is beautiful, by the way. She’s so classy!)

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