The idea of a mermaid came up in our discussions, but I wanted to create a mermaid that wasn't "sexy." The current trend in mermaid images is more of a glamour-styled look. I wanted to explore fear. I started questioning what would be a mermaid's fear? I decided getting caught in a fisherman's net would be frightening. How can she escape? What will the fisherman do with her? Will she be forgotten, drown, and wash up on shore like a dolphin caught in a tuna net?
I pitched the idea to Michelle and Deirdra. I then set about to find the pieces to complete the look. i need a mermaid costume that wasn't too sexy, a fishing net, and water. When I found the fishing net, I also found these great antique wooden bobbers. Perfect! When Michelle saw the bobbers, she was inspired to add a couple to Deirdra's hair that she had braided sections and curled others.
Deirdra wore turqouise contacts that were perfect for the character and Michelle created an amazing makeup and hair look. I loved watching her creativity and ingenuity while she applied and created the makeup and hair. All I asked was for something that looked like scales and she delivered!
Deirdra is a trooper. She was willing to get into water and do what she had to in order to help create this look. While I had set the water up early in hopes that it would warm up, it didn't. We had a week of upper 90's in temperatures. Unfortunately, the day we shoot, the temperatures dropped to the low 80's. While that is still warm, it's not warm enough for laying in chilly, shallow water. There was also low humidity after a week of high humidity. The twenty degree drop in temperature alone is a lot to adjust to. Michelle had added a pink and blue lipstick, but I think poor Deirdra's lips turned completely blue. Despite the chill, She proved herself a true professional and posed and created expressions that conveyed fear and helped tell the story.
Throughout the entire planning, executing, and creating process, I created and listened to a playlist of music that was dramatic, epic, and aquatic.
Model: Deirdra MacIntyre Cowen
MUAH: Michelle Busch
Photographer/Concept/Retoucher/Stylist: Donna Macauley