A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to do a photoshoot with a real live Rainforest Nymph for one of my clients. It isn’t very often that you get these kinds of opportunities considering the amount of luck that you must have to actually meet a nymph in person. We were talking about ideas for an ad we were working on for the next edition of Moksi Magazine (a magazine in Suriname) when we started talking about the idea of including a rainforest nymph. With no material available, it meant that we would have to go out and shoot one. The problem was that we had a deadline that was only a week away. And you don’t just go out and find yourself a rainforest nymph and ask to take pictures of her. It doesn’t work like that. They don’t show themselves very often and so it takes time, patience and a lot of luck.

So we started preparing for the photoshoot with very little time available, talking about the location, wardrobe, makeup, etc. I gave my ideas and told the client what I needed and they basically took care of it. I love working with such clients. The photoshoot took place at Zanderij I, which is some sort of outdoor recreational resort here in Suriname. We decided that we had to arrive there very early in the morning to be able to work with the early morning light. Sadly, this meant that I had to get up at 3am in the morning to get prepared, something that I really hate doing. Somehow I actually managed to wake up at that time. Not only that, I seemed to have managed to step out of bed too, which, quite frankly, is incredible.

We arrived at the location around 7am. I had the opportunity to work with Euvie Karijoredjo again, who did the makeup, hair and styling. Euvie did a wonderful job once again, and having someone like her on the team really makes a difference. While she was busy preparing the model, I went for a stroll in the area to find some nice locations for making pictures. The view was incredible when we first arrived. The early morning sunlight and the fog created a very nice mood in the forest. I don’t have pictures of when we first arrived, but I do have some taken a bit later. Here are some snaps of the location:

Zanderij 1

Notice the fog in the air top left

Zanderij 1

If this was the view outside of my house, I'd probably enjoy waking up early

Zanderij 1

Tell me you don't feel like walking down this path?

Euvie very busy with the model

Euvie very busy with the model

Dressing the nymph

Dressing the nymph

For this shoot I used a Canon EOS 40D body (the only good DSLR Canon makes at the moment – 50D has too much noise and banding, 5D2 can’t autofocus reliably, 1D3 has various issues) with the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens (which is outstanding). I also used a couple of Canon 580 EX II flashes with Canon’s wireless flash functionality using one 580 EX II on the 40D as the master. The wireless flash functionality worked surprisingly well outdoors, but I had to maintain line of sight between the master and the slaves all the time which is a bit limiting at times. Here are some test shots I took to test the lighting where you can see the position of the flashes during certain shots:

A test shot where you can see the positioning of the lighting

A test shot where you can see the positioning of the lighting

Another test shot with slightly different positions for the lights

Another test shot with slightly different positions for the lights

And yet another test shot

"Don't mind the lights, I'm just testing something..."

Time flew during the photoshoot. We started working at around 8am and when I asked later what time it was, it was already 12 ‘o clock. We took a short break and wrapped up at around 1:30pm. I believe I took close to 1000 pictures. Not all are usable ofcourse since there was a lot of experimenting during the photoshoot and many things we tried didn’t work out as well as we thought it would. But we got what we went for and the client is very satisfied, fortunately. Here are some of the results:

Uh yeah, the butterfly was really there... *cough*

Um..yeah.. the butterfly was really there... (click for larger view)

Rainforest Nymph

Rainforest Nymph (click for larger view)

Taking a bath (click for larger view)

Taking a bath (click for larger view)

And a final note: The model was incredible. Very pleasant to work with, and she was constantly posing from 7am to 12pm apparently without getting tired.