Shooting Stars! - R.J.Reynolds High School Photographers

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Shooting Stars! - R.J.Reynolds High School Photographers

Written by guest bloggers Elizabeth Mae Johnson and Laura Beckerdite, R.J. Reynolds Photography students

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It’s a sunny afternoon at Reynolds High School and we’re down in the depths of the greenroom below the auditorium. There’s studio lights shining, models are being dressed and Ella Fitzgerald is serenading the photographers as they prepare for their shoot. As the music plays, we try to go back to a time where top hats were a must have for men, finger waves were the rage for ladies, and elegance was striven for. Who better than to reflect that elegance than Edward Steichen: King of all that is Chic. We believe that he captured the true essence of the time period through dramatic lighting, timeless beauty, iconic faces, and a passion for his work.

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When we began to brainstorm on how to recreate this specific type of style, we looked to clothing choices, makeup and hairstyles, and the mood of the photographs. We really wanted to focus on the different emotions Steichen captured in his portraits. This was the root of his images and also the root of what we, as the photographers, struggled with the most throughout this project. To help overcome this struggle, we took a hint from Vanity Fair’s popular strategy, “In Character”, and gave the models scenarios to portray to further draw out the emotion we wanted to convey. This tactic was a new concept to a lot of us and will definitely be something we use to help us in our future careers and projects.

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We mainly worked off the different moods, angles, and lighting displayed throughout his work as a whole with a few specific reference shots such as, Self-Portrait with Photographic Paraphernalia, Two Models wearing dresses by Vionnet, and his portrait of Leslie Howard, classically Steichen with a top hat on his head and cigarette in his hand.

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As young photographers, this project was particularly fun for us, it allowed us to explore a different style of photography we hadn’t tried before that will surely carry with us as we continue to grow in this profession. (That’s a wrap!)

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*Student photographs will be displayed at Reynolda House for Community Day on Saturday (4/27). For more info: http://ow.ly/k9ZWb

READ MORE: 

"Your Permanent Record" - WSFCS Blog: Photography by Reynolds High Students on Display at Community Day at Reynolda House Museum of American Art on April 27


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