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Salt Water Sirens: Atlantis

You'd imagine that a beach based fashion shoot would be one of sun drenched vistas, soft sand beneath your toes and the faint smell of suntan lotion. But not this one...

Photoshoot Info:

Models: Hannah Michelle Williams

Location: Lytham St Annes Beach, Blackpool

Photographer: Andrew James

Camera: Nikon D7100 with a Nikon 24-70mm F2.8


On a grey and drizzly morning we are on a wind swept beach trying our best to get some good photos

battling against the elements. The sand saturated with the recent high tide was solid beneath our feet and the grey clouds rolled in across the horizon. It could not have been any more bleak if we had tried. With me on this brave adventure was model Hannah Michelle Williams and make up artist Nikki Sharp.

Very quickly it was apparent this would not be your usual beach lifestyle shoot. This however would turn in to the most unique style of all the Salt Water Sirens shoots and one that would include some nice opportunities to do some concept photoshop work...Altantis was born.

In Greek mythology the Sirens were dangerous entities who lured sailors with their enchanting music and voices to ship wreck on the rocky coastlines. This I'd aim to show in this next series of photos but with a contemporary twist.

The clothing style for this shoot was perhaps more closely associated with Siren's mythology than the other shoots and loosely based on a modern interpretation of a mermaid. Rather than fish tails and scales, we'd use contemporary lines, bohemian accessories and a green swimsuit to craft the look of our 21st century take on the folk lore.

To their credit the ladies gamely continued through the weather with me to try and get at least some usable shots. Hannah, despite the freezing temperature and rainy conditions was determined to wear the clothes she had selected for the shoot regardless. Braving the chilly wind for a few minutes for each shot before huddling back to her warm coat and hoodie.

In order to create a mock up version of a ship wreck we used some large pieces of driftwood and some brilliant large conch shells that Hannah had brought with her as accessories. With a quick outfit change in to a green swimsuit Hannah now depicted our modern mermaid more than ever.

I wanted to depict the siren's strength through the use of the weather, using their song to control the earths elements instead of the sailors hearts and demise. A siren in any guise is more than a match for what the world can present in front of her and a force to be reckoned with in her own right. In post production I looked rather than to eradicate the gloomy nature of the weather we had on the shoot day I chose to enhance it. Making the clouds darker in tone and colour and adding some lightning and other elements.

In one of the photos I had a nice opportunity to try out some concept and otherworldly photoshop techniques to attempt to show the split personalities on this particular siren. As a mermaid/siren is often depicted as part woman, part fish we'd have a go at trying to show this off somehow. With Hannah stood with her ankles in the water on the shorelines I could get some nice angles to use as background plates for my composite photograph. With some mystical island shapes and watery elements added to it, our version of Atlantis takes shape.


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