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Powder Puff Girl

August 22, 2014 Articles

I‘ve been wanting to learn how to photograph using flour as a prop for quite a while now. You know those photos, the ones where the model is flipping their head back and there’s this long train of white or coloured powder coming off their head. In some of them, the expressions and actions caught in that split second are what finish off the story in the movement.

Although I do learn a lot of techniques online, this is one where photographers all seem to have different methods of lighting and shooting this specific style and I figured it was just one of those “learn by doing” cases. With model experienced model Melissa and photographer/workshop instructor Phil Sutherland I was able to get these great shots by helping set up the lights and experimentation with the flour.

We used two techniques: throwing the flour over the model, which tended to create a fine mist effect – a nice look for creating a somewhat rain-like feel or ghost-like images:

Melissa has the flour thrown in the frame to create a fine mist.

Melissa has the flour thrown in the frame to create a fine mist.

The second technique was covering varying parts of Melissa’s body with a lot of flour and getting some motion going. This was a lot of fun as it’s really a lot of hit and miss – you get a lot of shots where the powder has finished flying around, isn’t falling just right, the facial expression isn’t quite right or you missed it… I truly enjoyed anticipating when to shot and how to frame these:

We had a lot of fun having Melissa spin around and try to get the right amount of flour to get the perfect shot. Very dizzying!

I’d show you more photos, but they’re NSFW. I can see this being a really fun type of shoot to continue to experiment with, trying out different colour and textures of powder. Now to just clean my camera – holy hell it’s full of flour, small price to pay! And here’s the team at the end of the day…

The Powder Puff workshop team at the end of the shoot - all covered in flour!

The Powder Puff workshop team at the end of the shoot – all covered in flour!

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