Whether on land or underwater, photographing mermaids has become almost a whole new genre in itself. It has gained popularity in recent years creating whole mermaid communities as well. There are a few tips on creating a great portrait for your mermaid clients.
During the ClickCon mermaid workshop taught a few weeks ago, participants learned how to photograph adult and teen mermaids. The event supplied mermaids with tails and some models brought their own. Choosing a mermaid tail depends on age and budget. The teen model Lily worked with her own tail made by the Mertailor. A silicone fluke and top is one of the best ways to get a realistic look when shooting. For her age, a full silicone tail is not recommended due to the heavy weight. The tails on the adult models are great for land shots, but will not give the same look underwater compared to shooting with silicone (these tails are from another unknown company).
Three Tips for Land Mermaid Shoots
The first helpful tip is to make sure you have a great makeup artist to add to the look of your mermaid tails and tops. You can add full theatrical makeup extending to body paint as well or keep it simple. The artist crew at ClickCon worked their magic to a whole new level with their embellishments on the bodywork as well.
The second tip is location. This shoot was held on a public beach on Lake Michigan. While it was difficult to work around public beach goers, it was also a fun challenge to show how getting low and choosing new angles can make it seem as if you are in a private location.
A third tip is to work with the tails as much as you can. If you are working with full silicone most likely the model will not be able to move around much (unless you have an assistant that can help her once in the tail). Moving around the model or having them use the tail while in place is a great way to get multiple shots within the same pose. Have the model shoot laying down and then sitting up. A favorite is to have them on flip the tail up behind them when on laying on their abdomens.
A bonus tip is for those skilled in post production. Using the tail with a low opacity brush, clone the tail just above the waist line to create a seamless transition rather than the edge of the material.
The attendees of the workshop used a combination of natural light and use of the Stella Pro. Some brought external strobes as well. Moving from sunset into early night they were able to get more dramatic looks on the adult models in the water.
Here are a more examples of the shots the attendees and the models created together.
Hands on conferences such as ClickCon are a great way to get exposure to a variety of photography genres. It allows you to explore different concepts to really find your niche.
Makeup and hair artists
Hair Stylists: Leslie Robinson and Evie Rivera-Peterson
Makeup Artist: Danielle Leighton