So, here it is! The BIG reveal. The image that was a year in the making. I am super proud of this photo and very thankful to everyone that helped make it.
Right before I went to the USA last year to intern with Zack I met up with a friend of mine who was starting a small independent design company called "Brother Lawrence". We (myself, him, his partner in the company and my stylist friend Pierre) sat down and started tossing ideas around and so we eventually came up with the idea to recreate Michelangelo's Pietà sculpture as a photograph.
The thing that especially got us hooked on the idea is that he is a white Afrikaans dude and she is a black Basotho girl and with race always looming over us we set out to make the image. And what do you want to do when you make art? You want people to talk and ask questions and be confused/angry/curious/happy. Why did this person create this? What are they saying? Well, we weren't trying to "say" anything. We just wanted to make a cool image for them and perhaps stoke the fire a bit? ;)
A week before I left we were scrambling to arrange everything for the shoot, but then I decided it was too rushed. None of us were ready, hell; I wasn't ready. The image needed some finesse and a little more knowledge and expertise, so I promised to make the image when I got back and had learned from the master. (Read: yes, you Zack :D).
So, off I went to America, always keeping that image in the back of my mind, asking Zack's advice. Figuring out how I was going to light it. How would I position my subjects and on and on it went. I finally came back and felt I was ready to shoot it, but then tragedy. The company had decided to disband and both move on to other things. I still wanted to make that image, so we regrouped and planned and looked for a model to accompany Gerhard. A few months passed and after tons of admin, emails, wardrobe sourcing we got together on a Saturday and made something awesome (at least I think it's awesome).
I made this photo with friends and with the help of friends and a stranger or two and I am very proud of what I (read: we) made.
Thank you to Pierre du Plessis for the styling and wardrobe sourcing - I helped here as well :P. Thank you Gerhard van Wyk and Karabo Poppy for meeting with me and Pierre and helping us with the concept. Thank you Ett Venter for assisting me (and providing the BTS images) on the shoot and helping me setup 3 hours beforehand and testing the light so that the models didn't have to sit around and wait. Thank you Laura Jane for putting me in touch with the make-up artist Courtney Chadwick. Courtney, did make-up for a shoot in the morning, had a wedding after that and then rushed through to come and help me out. What a legend. Thank you to Bianca Koyabe the beautiful model. You are a pro and your expertise got us all home quicker than I ever could have imagined. Gerhard, your "expertise" in being the dead soldier was also great ;)
And lastly I want to thank Zack Arias for helping me wrap my head around lighting this photo. It's probably the most involved lighting setup I have ever used on a shoot and I could not have done it without your advice and guidance.
Thanks for reading
Editors Note: I was made aware last night, that I might just get that fire started. Like I said; race is still a big issue, especially in South Africa and this might be a bit of a grey area, but I will stand by this image. I am proud of this image.