How the shoot went…
As I didn’t need to book the studio for my shoot, all I needed was someone who was free, to model for me in a bath tub full of water, who didn’t mind me coming round their house and using their bathroom and filling it with plastic rubbish. Luckily someone I knew was free quite a lot which made it easy for us to arrange date to shoot my images and use their bathtub.
When I started to set my equipment up in the bathroom, I had a few issues with space, the bathroom wasn’t the biggest, but it did the job. Due to it not being overly spacious, I had to be aware of my surroundings as I didn’t want to knock any lighting or anything over and into the bathtub full of water. Once I was comfortable with how my lights and everything was set up, I was good to go.
I got my model to lay in the bathtub, and I aimed the soft box at the top half of her face and torso to make sure I captured the main part of my images in good lighting. Once I was happy with where my lights were placed, I started pouring packs of straws in the bathtub around my model. When the straws were in the tub, it didn’t look like I had as many as what I had in my bag. I bought 300 straws and it didn’t look like many at all in the water.
To compromise with this, and make it look like I had a lot more straws, I pushed them all up to the top of the tub and had them surround my models head and stuck them in her hair. This gave a better impact of them ‘invading her space’ and them being a nuisance in the water. My second idea with the straws was to then have the model stick a bunch of them in her mouth, like she was choking on them, as animals choke on our plastic rubbish in their habitat.
After I had photographed my model surrounded in straws, I then moved on to plastic bottles. I had about 25 plastic bottles including coke bottles, milk bottles, water bottles, washing detergent bottles, a right mixture of shapes and sizes. I placed the bottles in the water with my model and even after having 10 or so in the water, the tub looked really full, but I continued to put them all in to give the effect that she was uncomfortably surrounded by them. My aim for these images was to make it look like the bottles were taking over her surroundings, just having a small amount of her face/head showing to look like she was almost drowning in plastic. While doing my shoot, my model said it was hard for her to move about, and it made me think about how hard it must be for the wildlife to swim around and find food in amongst all our plastic rubbish in their homes.
Lastly, I then wanted to use a large plastic sheet I had collected from work. The sheet was thin like a carrier bag so you could see through it slightly. I got my model to hold the sheet around her head and asked her to breathe in a bit so that the sheet would go inside her mouth, to give the impression she was choking. These images gave a really cool effect as it did look like she was choking, and where it was tight round her face you could make out there was a face underneath it.
As this was my first attempt at taking my images, I was quite happy with how they came out. I am confident that they get my message/narrative across quite strongly. I think I may need to do some more pictures with different types of plastic and also redo the straw images by adding more to the water.