Right Click: Paper Angel

Imogen Henry modelling the Christmas 2012 angel dress on St Helena, made from recycled paper.

Imogen Henry modelling the Christmas 2012 angel dress on St Helena, made from recycled paper.

A SPECIAL CHRISTMAS DRESS | Darrin Henry

As photographers, quite often we capture an image where the process behind the ‘click’ is almost more interesting than the photo itself – this is what ‘Right Click’ is all about, revealing the story behind the picture. This particular post includes a behind the scenes video.

Right Click: Paper Angel

While working for The Sentinel newspaper, on St Helena, we sometimes arranged special photoshoots to mark certain events!

For Christmas 2012, local designer JJ Dansoisne-Martineau created a stunning angel dress as part of the Arts & Crafts’ green themed window display. The dress was made completely from recycled paper sponsored by The Sentinel and SHAPE.

We had collaborated once before on a similar project so this was a tried and tested team. The lovely Imogen Henry was once again our enthusiastic and very beautiful model.

JJ really worked his magic in design. The huge wings rose majestically behind Imogen, the skirt flared dramatically below and the flowered headdress completed the outfit.

Once Sharon had completed the make-up then came the tricky task of getting Imogen into the dress and into pose. A paper dress might look beautiful but something this intricate is not the best for flexibility and moving around did require a few able bodied assistants!

The stunning Angel dress in full glory.

The stunning Angel dress in full glory.

The angel dress team all helping to make the shoot go smoothly.

The angel dress team all helping to make the shoot go smoothly.

We decided to shoot in a forest type setting. The pine trees at the Briars were chosen; they not only fit the requirement but were conveniently close by.

I decided to light our angel with five strobes (flash units). Two were mounted in the trees themselves to bring out the texture of the branches and pine needles. Testing the effect and adjusting the power and direction of the strobes turned out to be quite arduous as the strobes were difficult to reach. Three more lighting units were pointed at Imogen; one either side and a backlighter.

Simon Benjamin, one of our team from the paper, produced a behind the scenes video.

Once all the final adjustments were completed I was left with the relatively simple task of taking the pictures. I had a little grief with the strobes as the ones in the trees sometimes failed to trigger as the infra-red sensors were obstructed by the branches. But otherwise it was another successful shoot. The dress caught the light superbly; JJ’s weeks of hard work looked brilliant. The picture made the front cover of the Sentinel with a further image inside on 15 November 2012.

Imogen doing a superb job modelling.

Imogen doing a superb job modelling.

To view more Right Click photography stories, click here.

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