In ancient Greek literature, an eidolon (plural: eidola) (image, idol, double, apparition, phantom, ghost) is a spirit-image of a living or dead person; a shade or phantom look-alike of the human form. – Wikipedia
Combining efforts with a killer creative team, photographer Scharad Lightbourne explores a new concept titled “Eidolon” where he attempts to model Clarisse Pelanne into an unknown being. His inspirations coming from fantasy, extra terrestrial life theories and his love of sci-fi, he creates a unique twist on beauty photography. This alien-like beauty shoot is a conceptualization of that. Working along side MUA, Italia Williams of Eye Candy Makeup, Scharad attempts to bring you “Eidolon: We are not the same.”
The entire “alien beauty” concept came to mind literally overnight. But with weeks of research and multiple conversations and brainstorm session with the style team, these images came together beautifully. Initially showing an image to people, their first reaction was that the model appeared “unreal” however, they also commented that you were still able to see the beauty in them.
In my exploration as a creative and fashion photographer, I often come across these themes that I want to execute through my camera lens. I love images with a dark theme because it strays away from my usual bold, and vibrant lifestyle work. It’s more artistic to me and who doesn’t like a little edge? This is where the Raven editorial came to be. I wanted to shoot an editorial spread that would be dark and edgy and so I looked for the right model and style team to help bring this idea to life.
Rokara was “the” perfect model for this. Her 6-foot frame and long limbs gave me so much inspiration to bring this “bird like” spread to fruition, but I needed a designer who could create pieces to fit this theme; so that’s where Ria Georgina came into play. Ria was really excited as well having told me prior that she was trying to expand her portfolio so the collaboration was going to be well worth it. So after I added Lucy Lu for makeup, Tara Miller for hair and Kedar Clarke to style, I felt like the editorial was finally coming together.
Finding a location was easy. I’d known of this spot for a while as I drive past it frequently and it wasn’t far from my home. It was an old softball field that was overgrown but it appeared that new ground was being laid so there was a canvas of grass, mounds of soil, sediment and limestone at my disposal. It was perfect.
Rokara shined that day, giving me a number of different poses to work with. She braved the heat and heavy clothing to knock interesting and thought provoking movements through my lens. I had always wanted to work with her and she was proving to me why it was worth the wait. My team loved working with her also. Her open-mindedness to the styling made it easier for the team to transform her. We had an amazing time on set, check out the behind the scenes video below.
When I initially met Jia, it was business as usual. She was a client who wanted unique and creative images to celebrate her recent engagement to her fiancé Jansen. Jia wanted to do something fun and she stressed how important that was to her. In our meeting we worked around several ideas that fit her and Jansen’s personality and when she mentioned that they frequented the cinemas often, my mind started to race. I asked myself, “I wonder if Galleria would let us shoot in the theatre?” Jia was equally as excited and she said that she’d find out and get back to me.
In a few weeks, I heard from Jia, proud to say that the MGR had approved the request! We were good to go, we just had to pick the day and time to shut the theatre down! Well…not really, we had to shoot early morning before the cinema opened, so we weren’t operating on boss status but it was good enough for me.
The morning of the shoot, MUA, Sarsha Taylor showed up a few minutes before the rest of the team had and she already begun prepping Jia for makeup. Once we got inside the theatre, the attendants were already cleaning up and putting out the everyday amenities of the cinema, which I knew before hand, would make excellent props. Hair stylist, Aline Cassandra worked Jia’s hair into a whimsical style matching Sarsha’s beautiful makeup application. Jansen was very pleased!
The theatre staff were very excited. They had never seen a photoshoot in the cinema before and were all curious as to how it would come out, so they were very accommodating, providing everything we asked for. We shot behind the concession stand, next to mountains of popcorn; we used movie posters and an actual theatre. Overall it was a lot of fun and a great experience.
Alithia has been a big supporter of my photography when I first jumped onto the scene almost 10 years ago! She was always one of those admirers in the shadows she said but one day she was perusing my website and sent me a Facebook message saying;
“Scharad!!!!! I’m engaged! You KNOW I can’t let anyone else shoot my engagement photos but you right? Can we meet today?”
I laughed and replied “Sure,” because she was so certain that I’d had time to meet her on the spot. Nevertheless we met up at Avista Longue, downtown and had a long conversation about love, life and her big day. She was so excited, I think we talked for almost 4 hours!
She told me about her fiance and how she wanted really nice photos for their save the date and wedding website and she didn’t want it to be too stuffy with props and unnecessary things, she just wanted their engagement images to be about “them.”
We had a site inspection and I went crazy over this location and its surrounding landscape. So many intimate spaces with great natural light and so on the day of the shoot, I only used a diffuser and reflector to cast light onto them. Hair, makeup and wardrobe were really simple and clean and my team as always performs well. I enjoyed shooting this couple and their engagement images portray that.
MUA: T’s Artistry
Hair: Aline Charles
Grips: Kenton Ferguson, Malik Smith
Keith’s Accessories: The Pico Brand
When a NBA team wins a championship two years back to back, they call it a “repeat,” and that’s exactly how I felt getting a second opportunity to shoot the new summer collection from BAHARI Bahamas. The young but already iconic brand burst onto the scene only a year ago but already they have been operating at full speed and are now releasing their second collection.
When Bahari first launched, people fell in love with the vibrant colors, patterns and styles and felt like finally, this was truly a brand that stood out and accurately represented Bahamian people. This Summer 15 collection proved to be no different. I got a first hand sneak peak at the new lines months before we photographed them. The brand’s creative director Morgan Fernander was very open to my opinion and suggestions on what type of campaign could we create to truly capture the summer line.
Working with Scharad on our summer 15 campaign was even more exciting than we had imagined. The stakes were much higher this time, our company grew tremendously since we first worked with Scharad; so everything about our Summer campaign had to be Bigger & Better.
His enthusiasm and receptiveness to our big ideas, and grandiose concepts made for a memorable experience and campaign. The end result was an Ad Campaign filled with pure, unadulterated BAHAMIAN EPICNESS! -Morgan Fernander
Seeing the multi colored polos, dynamic print body con dresses, tanks and bodysuits increased my excitement. I couldn’t wait to shoot the new products! Freeport, Grand Bahama set the scene once again and we locked in a private location, complete with a personal yacht to use at our disposal. Our models were equally as excited about the pieces and our team of hair and makeup were ready to hit the ground running. We shot nearly a full day but it was so worth it!
Images: Scharad Lightbourne
Creative Direction: Morgan Fernander
Styling: Bennae Beneby
Models: Kylie Shenique, Rosetta Cartwright, Nisham Davis, Benniko Beneby
Hair: Olympia Lightbourne
MUA: Gail McIntosh