Creating “Falling Slowly”

This picture is one of those that has been in my mind forever because in many ways it is not my own. It is an Alice in Wonderland picture, and I have that magical story to thank for the inspiration and direct result of the image. But in so many ways, it is me – the way I see myself, the way my imagination works, and how I want to live each day…falling slowly down the rabbit hole, discovering more and more absurdities that brighten my world.

Creating this image was not entirely planned beforehand, in that I decided to do it while shooting something else entirely. The “how” was planned and the “why” and the exact composition, but that was all conceived only moments before shooting it. Usually I let my ideas sit for at least a week before execution.

I was actually shooting an ad campaign when I decided to do a personal photo with the same setup. The client had requested an old warehouse-type space, and I thanked my lucky stars for the floor in this picture, which was from White House Custom Color. I had seen it at an expo and was blown away by how realistic it looked. I am now addicted and I feel the need to cover my entire home in different WHCC floors. Ridiculous? Perhaps. But hey, a girl can dream.

So I set up the floor in my living room. From an underwater shoot I had done I had a whole bunch of black fabric, so I put some chairs on top of my couch, and, in true “professional” fashion, I fixed the black fabric to the chair tops with hair ties. I know, my methods are way futuristic.

The finishing touch was to put a light above the subject. I love overhead light if I do light scenes artificially, so I used a Sweetlight on a stand and hung it above. I had been using tin foil (from my kitchen, about 20 feet away), for makeshift barn doors to block light, but decided against it in the final shot.

I photographed my legs and my dress and my upper body and my hair in different pictures, and then had a blast putting them together later on. All in all, the picture felt very natural to produce and it was fun to shoot like that, where everything just clicked.

I’ll be sharing the details of how this image was put together at my workshop in New Jersey, and I’ll be talking about that ad campaign as part of my business workshop in Phoenix in June.

  • April 25, 2014 - 9:00 am

    Mary Angelini - Totally love it Brooke – it screams YOU and it looks like it was a lot of fun to make. So wonderful when our vision is finally realized!!ReplyCancel

    • April 25, 2014 - 9:14 am

      brookeshaden - Thank you Mary! It really was a blast and I felt so “me” while doing it that I felt like a giddy child 🙂ReplyCancel

  • April 25, 2014 - 9:01 am

    Mike Alegado - Omg This was not how I totally imagined how you took that photo! Seeing how you do it just blows my mind! You truly are amazing! <3ReplyCancel

    • April 25, 2014 - 9:15 am

      brookeshaden - Thank you Mike!! <3ReplyCancel

  • April 25, 2014 - 9:04 am

    Lu - You really know how to work your magic! I absolutely love this piece. And…it gives me hope for a picture I am working on today. I have no idea how I am going to merge them all together. You did an amazing job here, you are a true magician. And I can also see you are having the time of your life while making it! Mucho Amor! lu.ReplyCancel

    • April 25, 2014 - 9:15 am

      brookeshaden - Oh I am so glad that you’ve gotten some hope from it! Not that you need it, your shoot will go amazingly! Thank you for being so kind Lu!ReplyCancel

  • April 25, 2014 - 9:16 am

    Mila - i really enjoy seing those behind the scene! 🙂 i usually shoot with my bestie and we always have good time.ReplyCancel

    • April 25, 2014 - 9:17 am

      brookeshaden - That is wonderful Mila – that’s what I did here and I loved every minute of it!ReplyCancel

  • April 25, 2014 - 9:17 am

    Janet Hoffman - I love the flooring, but when I click on the link for “White House Custom Color” it seems to be a color management web site and not one that sells photography flooring. Is that the correct link?ReplyCancel

    • April 25, 2014 - 9:22 am

      brookeshaden - Hi Janet! The floor is AMAZING, I adore it. WHCC is a print lab that also does backdrops and floors. If you go to their PRODUCTS tab it will have an option for “Backdrops + Floors” and that is where you’ll find it – or, above, the word “floor” in that same paragraph is linked to the exact floor I used.

      Here is a link to all the floors:

  • April 25, 2014 - 9:59 am

    Paulo Carvalho - So wonderful. I loved seeing this behind the scene. Congratulations once again Brooke. What a pity I have about you only share the details in your workshop. 🙁 Perhaps after… 🙂ReplyCancel

  • April 25, 2014 - 10:02 am

    Janet Hoffman - Perfect!!! Thanks so much.ReplyCancel

  • April 25, 2014 - 11:47 am

    Vanessa - That floor/not floor is amazing! I would also want to cover my house with those. I love seeing other people’s set-ups. I used to stack household objects on top of one another, or lash my old camera to a sniffer mop – when I got my first tripod it changed my whole world, but all the makeshift problem solving still comes in handy =)
    That last picture is adorable, you are too cute!ReplyCancel

  • April 25, 2014 - 12:01 pm

    Tom Newforge - Great image. Pretty cool that ya shot from the hip on this one;)ReplyCancel

  • April 25, 2014 - 1:33 pm

    RaphaelleM. - Wooowww wonderfull !!ReplyCancel

  • April 25, 2014 - 8:50 pm

    Denise Neale Jensen - Such graceful gravity surrounds you. I can almost feel the fall in the pit of my stomach . Teacup … Perfect. What fun!ReplyCancel

  • April 25, 2014 - 8:59 pm

    Denise Neale Jensen - Hi again Brooke, what kind of Sweetlight did you use? Was it in an umbrella? Such beautiful light on you.ReplyCancel

  • April 26, 2014 - 3:48 am

    Filippo - I love so much this photo, it’s so magical and interesting to watch.
    Such a pleasure to see what u create!
    I have to thank you for the inspiration that u give to me every single day!
    Ps: I love the way that u create the backround without anything of professional material, hope i will be used to do that too.

  • April 26, 2014 - 6:45 am

    Heather - Are either of those courses going to be available online afterward?
    (Pretty please????????)ReplyCancel

  • April 26, 2014 - 11:09 am

    Samantha - Thank Brooke. I love that you show what you’re doing. Such a creative inspiration. I appreciate you! xoReplyCancel

  • April 30, 2014 - 3:17 pm

    Rocio Mirelis - Love this image. It’s one of my favorites!ReplyCancel

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