Beauty light, SOFT LIGHT, is perfect light. It flows over the Model, bathing her in brilliance, masking flaws, softening wrinkles, caressing her with perfection. SOFT LIGHT gives the Model the gift of Beauty.
HARD LIGHT, editorial style light, does anything but. It flashes harshly past the Model from the side, an electrical discharge slicing unforgivingly across her.
With the camera as its partner, the HARD LIGHT’s cruel touch creates a transparency in the Model’s skin, laying bare the Model’s imperfections. Flaws invisible to the critical eye in broad daylight are exposed, enhanced, even invented. The Model, even a young one, looks like a crack addict, face scarred with wrinkles, giant pores, and drooping features, body bulging with wilted sags and cellulite.
The Model dances bravely in the powerful HARD LIGHT, trusting the process, disregarding the unflattering images she sees in the back of the camera. She weaves and emotes, mirroring the power of the HARD LIGHT with her own, her essence as naked as her skin.
The HARD LIGHT’s unforgiving severity leaves behind one precious gift that delicate, beautiful SOFT LIGHT will never bestow: dramatic and formidable images of the Model penetrated deep into her skin, her eyes, her soul.
The Model’s likeness, raw and bare, is now left in the hands of the final member of the team: the Retoucher. He approaches the image like a surgeon, restoring the vitality the HARD LIGHT has stolen from her. He rejuvenates her skin, filling in exaggerated crevices and shadows, skillfully covering visual wounds and scars. The Retoucher finishes his work and releases his reconstruction of the Model back to view.
The process is done. What is left, in the end, is a depiction of the Model with a primal, vividly intense quality. The image has a dramatic and intimate sense of challenge and struggle mixed with aloofness, capturing the viewer’s eye and imagination with striking beauty and mystery.
This is the Power of HARD LIGHT.
—————————————————————–Photographer: Lesley Pedraza Hair/Make-up: Brittany Sullivan Retoucher: Argiris Maipas