September 7, 2011
Kimberley “Kjoy” Ferren
I recently lost my “pro model-with-hair-and-make-up” shoot virginity. It stung. Actually it hurt like hell at first, but after the initial shock, it was hot, sassy and sexy, honey! Unfortunately this tryst came (pun intended) with hard (for you boys) lessons learned. It made me think – will we ever get it right? Obviously, HELL NO! But I did figure out two things: I’m better than I could ever have imagined I would be in this sink-or-swim Pro-photog situation, and low light (meaning you don’t have a light set) can make almost anyone fabulous!
As with most events in the lgbt world, this shoot started off with drama. I won’t go into the delay details, but let’s just say this: I was supposed to shoot two weeks before event deadline at Glendale’s 818 Club & Lounge. I was to have three models; I got one. I was supposed to have a light and backdrop setup; had none. I was supposed to have wardrobe and lingerie. I had, well, I’ll explain this later. Then my rep decided not to show, too busy working bigger fish in Las Vegas, so I was thrown-off-the-cliff my first shoot!
What did I miss most once I realized all this? A pair of Depends – ’cause I was ready to shit my pants! For a few moments I stood in the bar area in disbelief and wishing for a Mai Tai (they make killer drinks at 818). That changed to confidence and bottled water when I heard the doubt from Elsa, the hostess/potential client. At that point my old publicist get-things-done mentality kicked-in and I scrambled to make it work.
Before I go further I must say this: my model, Mariko Love was perfect. I did get one of the most fabulous hair and make-up men in the San Fernando Valley/LA area THANK GOD/ESS – Jay-Q, master of Jay-Q Artistry. AND our location hostess (and shoot compadre) Elsa, along with her staff, helped me pull off an amazing shoot.
Once the shock wore off, I knew what to do. I had been to the club before so I had ideas for set-ups. I had thrown lingerie, Asian umbrellas, my mom’s vintage short kimono, and pal Alisa’s Chinese wear in the car, just in case (you know like extra tampons, or Xanex), and was thrilled that Mariko read my text and brought sassy, hot clothes and pumps (sorry, I’m a sporty-femme and high-heels weren’t on my radar). I also brought string lights and vintage throws. To make it all work, Jay-Q knew I wanted a 1930′s-to-mod Asian look and was ready. All that was missing were set lights. Elsa’s staff found three flashlights, one that fit perfectly in a microphone stand. Voila: a spotlight. THE SHOOT WAS ON!
As hair and make-up was being done I cased the joint. I truly believe that being an lgbtSr gave me the strength to go for it, and having been around fabulous lgbt designers and set dressers as an entertainment publicist, as well as my lgbt friends (Brian & Rick), I knew I’d pull off some great shots. And being that Jay-Q was young “family” I knew his looks would rock.
When I saw Jay-Q’s hair and make-up on Mariko, both Elsa and I were floored! She looked like a Chinese pin-up right out of the 1930′s, just as I had dreamed. With the lingerie I brought and her spiked HIGH-heeled glimmering “Dorothy” shoes I went to work. Mariko was amazing, and being that I usually shoot on-the-fly with natural light, and with the help of the flashlights and string lights we pulled off 10 set-ups. The original goal was to create a boudoir feeling that spanned time, and with Marikos’s edgy wear, we caught it. Right off I felt in control. I felt, well, professional, an artiste’, that I had arrived. And to top if off, it was the youngins that pooped-out early, not me. I guess years of clubbing had this Sr lezzie primed for more set-ups and an a.m. stop at Denny’s. Can’t wait for the next shoot. Just hope they can keep up with me! Enjoy the slideshow and let me know your favs!
See more of Kimberley Joy Ferren’s photoart here.