Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Vampire a Day: Vampire Makeup - Seven Must-Know Things About Vampire Make-Up


A Vampire a Day: Vampire Make-Up

Seven Must-Know Things About Vampire Make-Up

Primal (fear). Vampire image by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Primal (fear). Vampire image by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.


I found an interesting site which gives some tips on vampire makeup. I believe that we all have a general idea of how a vampire should look like--although, as I mentioned in a previous post, the vampire face or image has been changing constantly, not only with time, but also with out perception of vampires and our willingness and desire to humanize them, thus to make them into something good, maybe in a secret desire of saving their lost souls.

But what makeup best emphasizes the vampire character? 



Some tips for those who may want to photograph vampires:
"Bloodthirst" Copyright Alina Oswald, 2010. All Rights Reserved
1 - yellow or red eyes work (usually the model wears contacts or the photographer changes the color in post, using software programs such as Photoshop;

2 - black eyes without catch lights may also work; the lack of catch lights is important, because catch lights in a subject's eyes emphasize the life within the subject. On the other hand, vampires are not alive, they are the undead; therefore, the absence of catch lights can emphasize vampires as lifeless/soulless bodies
3 - as described in some works of fiction, such as the Twilight Saga, vampires do not sleep; on a human body (a body the vampire 'borrows') that usually translates into dark circles under the eyes. Also, the clothes the vampire wears give a sense of time: maybe the time-frame when the vampire was made (or "turned"), or the vampire's behavior, trends and personality, which, in turn, mirror the time frame when the vampire was made
"Enigmatic Gothic Vampire" Copyright Alina Oswald, 2010. All Rights Reserved.

4 - from a lighting perspective, it depends on the story/message one wants to tell through the image. Low-key works, also Rembrandt lighting (the small upside-down triangle under one eye) as it's used on so many of Edward Cullen/Robert Pattinson images

hooded vampire with fangs, photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Hooded vampire shows his fangs. Image part of the OF THE MIND SHOW at Casa Colombo. Photo by Alina Oswald.
Note: the image above is a simple, quick portrait taken against a fashion gray seamless paper background. I thought black-and-white works better in this case. Here I actually didn't use any make-up, only the vampire's fangs. I went for a 'scary' look rather than a 'glamorous' look.

5 - do not, though, stop at these two lighting options. Why not try high-key (the background is completely white) for a less somber image of a vampire

6 - I found the lensbaby quite useful when trying to represent the vampire decomposing or sparkling under natural light (I use a lensbaby composer; it's one of my favorite photographic 'toys' really fun to use). Check out more about the lensbaby at: www.lensbaby.com

7 - as settings: cemeteries work, but don't stop there; old buildings make a great background, depending, again, on the story/message one wants to tell through the image; try to seat the model next to a laptop, or using an iPhone or iPad, to suggest the modern vampire or the vampire's ability to adapt to modern times, no matter of the time of their making

These are only a few suggestions. Possibilities are endless.

Happy Vampire Photo-Shooting and thanks for visiting,
Alina Oswald
Author of Vampire Fantasies
www.alina-arts.com