Behind the Scenes - Blood Dress

Fair warning - behind the scenes shots are most likely NSFW.

Slightly conflicted on how much detail to go into on this one - not that I'm super concerned with keeping the secret of how it was made to myself, but mostly because I feel like it's been talked to death and in all honesty, this really was a half-baked idea that I put together without really recognizing just how much work would have to go into it.  Nothing was really well thought out or concrete aside from Anna telling me I had her for the day and there were little obstacles throughout the day and at multiple points I was close to just saying "fuck it" but, well.  Obviously that didn't happen.

The morning(ish - I think we both slept in) was spent with Anna and I sitting on my deck coated with icing sugar while mixing blood in a massive Rubbermaid tub.  We then ended up doing a lot of driving around mostly because I wasn't sure if it would be enough blood, if it was cost effective to be using the materials we used, or if there was something else we could use instead.  We debated over clamato juice, cranberry juice, red tempera paint, and others.  Eventually we decided to paint her where the dress would be just in case the blood didn't cover like we needed it to and hoped for the best.

We did have another assistant who was going to help out but they had to back out unfortunately.  We lucked out and managed to rope Anna's sister Sherri into our mess and she did an amazing job on Anna's makeup - honestly, I could not have hoped for better.  Neither Anna nor I are really all that adept at it and I will always love how good of a job Sherri did.  

Fighting against dying light we rushed out to my friend's field - she has a greenbelt in behind her house and she generously allowed us to shoot there.  I may or may not have told her what exactly we were doing, but she hasn't yelled at me yet so hopefully I'm forgiven.  We quickly found a spot, checked the lighting, painted Anna, put Sherri in a garbage bag poncho, and then just started flipping blood at Anna.  

I have to say at this point that while this was the messiest shoot, it's probably not the worst thing I've shot Anna doing.  I think the medical staples in the mouth might have this one beat, but she'll be the best one to ask.  There are definitely reasons I work with people like Anna and Ashley and her little ones - there's absolutely nothing they won't do to get the shot and that means more than anything to someone who will constantly put them all in situations where things are a little fucked up.  They're the real heroes.

In any case, we left a messy (very messy) spot in the field, used copious amounts of baby wipes to clean Anna off as best as we could, wrapped her up in a garbage bag, dragged everything back to the car, shut the gate, and laughed the entire way home about when Anna got the best facial she'll ever receive, and what would happen if the cops pulled us over.

I won't go too in depth about the editing process, mostly because it's tedious and boring and there are, I'm sure, far more efficient and technically advanced ways of doing it than what I did.  Just know that it was about 10 hours all together, involved a bunch of "does this look okay?" Facebook messages, multiple smoke breaks, a few YouTube Phlearn tutorials, and finally the moment when it was done and both Anna and I just kind of knew we did something pretty neat.

Even if nothing had happened; if nobody ever saw the photo and it didn't go as far as it did, we're still 100% beyond proud of it and if nothing else, it definitely helped us both grow in so many ways in terms of honing our crafts.  We learned a lot, and ultimately, that's what makes us better and that's what matters most of all.  

Anyway.  Enjoy the never before seen (ooh special!) behind the scenes shots below.  Any other questions or comments?  Feel free to leave them below.

Thanks for stopping by. 

xoxo Melissa 

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