How To Put 500k Lady Bugs On Your Fashion Model NSFW

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One of our readers just sent this over to us and it is a really entertaining watch. Ed Zipco got his hands on about 500k lady bugs and shot a range of images with them crawling all over a group of models. That many beetles would freak me out but for some reason lady bugs seem clean and pretty to me. This video did change my opinion of them though.

 
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42 Comments

Interesting idea but I am not sure about the images.

For all that trouble, the shots look mediocre to me.

Ummm,,, yeah no..

That requires a lot of commitment for both parties involved. Not sure the images justify all that trouble. But it was fun to watch!

Awww, they are actually killers! And the photos aren't worth it IMO :-(

how the *** do you get your hands on that many lady bugs? xD

Hm I agree on everyone here: 1) how did they get a hold of that many lady bugs lol and 2) the effort of obtaining, handling and placing them on the models [not to mention to clean up] didn't do justice in the final images. I wonder what story/theme these images were attached to.

David Arthur's picture

They are not pretty and cute! They are gross and they smell terrible. I would hate to do this. I hate lady bugs. They are devil bugs.

I continue to see more and more photographers being absurdly wasteful. What ever happened to the resourceful photographer...or resourceful human for that matter? I can't help but want to distance myself from a photography community that still thinks breaking and killing things are "cool" shots. In fact, it's becoming just the opposite...cliche. I know photography is all about trying new things, but photogs are becoming too self-interested that they forget about how to compose a good photo so they resort to these measures to try and get that "awe" effect. I'm usually not one to criticize fellow photographers so I must apologize, but these guys don't impress me in the slightest.

outrageous != art

I bet you can't add the disclaimer "no insects were harmed in the making of this..."

I completely agree with Christopher Cauble. The only thing that is different here, is that it probably has not been done before. Killing thousands of bugs for crappy pictures is really not worth showing it here. I'm sorry to say, but this is the first time for me you did a wrong choice on videos to be shown here. Hope to see better things soon where no animals are harmed.

wow. they spent 10 seconds on the final images running under the credits. the photographer kept saying,"oh they are out, it's mating season, they are all in an orgy" great. and then you vacuumed and killed them for your crappy photo shoot. sad.

I feel bad for the chick, she's got lady bugs all up in her nooks and crannies.

I agree with what's been said re: the quality of the final images, but for discussion's sake at what point do the images become "good" enough that it justifies the effort/loss of insect life?

Interesting concept, but being edgy does not equal quality, and they fell a bit short of both. Worth watching at least once though, if it gives someone ideas for better projects.

The pictures suck.
WTF kind of stupidity is this?
Creative with the ideas. But not the lighting?

Trying not to scratch myself while watching this. I definitely agree, all that trouble and the shots were mediocre, but I have to give them credit for attempting.

Sorry, but in their desire to be "different" all they did was create some nasty looking images. Some concepts haven't been tried before because they are bad ideas. The image of the lady bug on the eyelid was cool, but isn't half a million a little overkill? It turned an interesting concept into awful awful images. A TON of work and discomfort with zero return.

I think a few ladybugs in some closeup shots of the models could have worked great (like the eye shot), but the final images they put at the end are awful...beautiful models laying in piles and piles of bugs? Waste of time and money.

One thing that surprised me was that the images seem to have been desaturated— a strange choice for an insect that could benefit from a little colour boosting. :)

I've got to agree with most of the comments here. Images were worthless. Video wasn't that great either. Didn't really see anything new or cool. Thanks for posting though...showed me what NOT to do with a photoshoot. :)

wow.... no way i would torture a model or myself with that kind of shoot for those kind of end results.... not to say what kind of danger it would put my equipment in ....... i give them + kool points for effort and the idea..

Stupid Stupid Stupid! Anyone could take better pictures with there cell phone and poor models. I need to hire them mine complain about not having fuji water.

Thank you Fstoppers for sharing! We love you!

yep im with everyone on here, sad the killed so many :( being devils advocate, do you think the pictures would look better in a larger format so you could actually see the details? sometime i see pictures that look naff on the computer/small prints but when printed large they can look amazing just because you can see more details? that said i agree with the rest of you!

Ok, im going to play the devil's advocate here.

Has anyone here read or ever flipped through a copy of Vice magazine?

The results are actually very Vice-esq, provocative, desaturated, hard lit, edgy, not necessarily in focus or at times (heaven-forbid) lo-fi.

NB:The lady bugs are probably sourced from a lady bug farm (relatively cheap). They're used as a natural pest control in agriculture.

No matter whether we agree or disagree with the ethics and quality of these photos, look how many comments there are. We are all talking about the project and rendering it successfull...
You know what they say: There is no bad publicity!!!

What crap photos! I would NEVER hire these guys they are like children and very unprofessional in the video. POOR POOR lady bugs! dying for an unworthy cause.

Could have been a much more creative shoot with a whole lot less bugs. The lighting in the final images looks like they just used ambient lighting versus the expensive equipment they were showing off. Too bad because the models look very decent too. Poor models are likely traumatized with bugs, you know, where you feel like they're still crawling on you? I give it to them for trying.

No offense to these guys.

I know they tried really hard, with their likely $50 worth of ladybugs, and 50 f/1.2 on canon, but this is a terrible use of insects, and gear.

I'm sure the shoot was "fun", but it doesn't look like the result was worth it, or even taken from the angles in the video.

It looks like they shot for less time than the video lasted for, and I find it hard to believe they even shot with the SLRs we saw in the video. This seems more like the iPhone shoot you had before, except you had better results, Doh!

Often when I come to this site to watch the videos, they tend to have some component for one to learn something or just watch how things are done. Nothing was really learned here. I would have rather seen the location in some forest or some rundown shack/cabin where the models spend a horrific night or do some high fashion editorial looking shoot in the scene.

I'm not concerned about the bugs, there are billions and they do not have nervous systems and there's no worry about killing off the species. Some people here are a little too concerned about living beings that will likely be around longer than humans after we destroy the world.

One thing is they said they mentioned there was a concept, but that wasn't really discussed and really we didn't hear if the result was what they had intended. With all the effort that went into working with the bugs and getting willing models to participate, etc. It really is disappointing to see the results. I think they probably focused more effort on the video than shooting images and editing those images. I think all the images are actually from the same DSLR that shot the video, so in between shooting they snapped a few shots. I wish there was a bit more of a dramatic look to the images such as a bug-eye view of the model, some macro shots of the bugs on the model (for example with the model looking up and a couple mating lady bugs on the peak of her nose in sharp focus amongst the sea of other lady bugs on the face)... For me when I think of using any bug on a model, is I want to see some great macro and cool composition. We got a couple nice images at the beginning with the bug under the eye and on her face, but the rest were just blah, because it seem more like just a mess of bugs just randomly thrown onto the model and scene. It didn't seem that there was a focus on a certain look they were going for, just shooting whatever, as a result they got some average looking shots. They weren't bad, but anyone in the room with them could have taken the same images with a point and shoot or cell phone camera IMHO. If this were done in a more natural environment, they wouldn't have had to vacuum or sweep up bugs after they were done, just stand up, shake em off, comb them out and move on and let the bugs be where they are and fight to survive among the horde of them.

Anyhow, I agree with Christopher Cauble. This was just about the concept and less about the photography and it is wasteful. Also for the others that commented and are reading this, it's not that I don't like the images as much as it is such a waste and I feel they didn't focus enough on capturing great images as they had decent looking models, and wardrobe and such.

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