How I Got The Shot: Golden

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I am always obsessed with the idea of mixing black-skin models and golden. The ideas originally came when I saw the series of African Queen on Pinterest which are so gorgeous, powerful and stunning.

Concept | Styling

Before approaching agency and make-up artist, I know exactly that I want the photo has the feel of Ethnic, Powerful, High Contrast and I want a lot of Texture. Black&Gold are just simply perfect combination of color for high contrast photo. Therefore, to have something feel Ethnic as well as have lots of texture, I collected accessories from some local stores.

[Collected from Google]

[Collected from Google]

After discussing with my talented make-up friend Genie, we decided to paint our model totally in black to create the high contrast between her and the accessories. However, to make her not faded in the make-up color, Genie used her amazing brush strokes skills to bring some gold make-up on our model's face.


Few days prior to the photoshoot, I plan my lighting to be high contrast on model's skin, black background and some color gels (I choose red because red means energy and power). Below is my lighting diagram:


Pinterest and Favorite Photographers are always my go-to source of posing. As a new photographer, I believe in planning what I want for posing before the photoshoot. What I usually plan is asking my self few questions:
- What feel?
- What poses can express that feel?
- What 10 poses that I would like to photograph?


I always arrive 30 minutes to 1 hour before the photo-shoot for catering, preparation and setting. Basically, I want to make sure I am ready before everybody arrives. So, I can spend time talking with models, make-up artist rather than focusing on preparing lighting and making the whole studio silent. Remember to prepare music, sometimes you never know what music can do. Energy is very important, so I make sure everybody in my team feels that on the photo-shoot.

After the make-up session is finished, I always spend 10 minutes to make sure this list of things are ready:

  1. is my lighting right?
  2. is my model comfortable?
  3. is the make-up match with my lighting?
  4. am I shooting tether?

Here what I mean by that. Below is the 1st test light which I feel something not right, I spent another 10-15 minutes to change the whole set (like the lighting diagram above) and BOOM: it became exactly what I want.



My retouching flow is simple: Basic Clean, Dodge&Burn and Frequency Separation. You can find the final photos below: