Red

Posted on Friday, December 10th, 2010 at 10:55 am

I know, this post is late.  It was meant to be posted in September.  In fact, half of it has been written for quite a while; I just needed to finish it up and press the submit button…

When we decided to head to the woods for a photo session, I wanted to do something with a tight relation to it. “Little Red Riding Hood” screams forest so why not start there. I did not want to do just a basic typical Red Riding Hood image; it’s been done before. Putting a girl, dressed in red, standing in the forest pretending to be running away from the wolf was going to be too cliché for me. I wanted to put my spin to it, like I did for my Alice shot.  I remembered reading something a long time ago about the origins of the tale though.

Before being adapted by Perrault to explain to children how wrong it is to talk to strangers, Red Riding Hood was a more adult oriented story. A story of a young girl on the verge of womanhood, sexual awakening and a big bad wolf, well, going to be a big bad wolf with her. Depending on the version of the “origin” story you read, Red could have been the easy girl of the village. The color red represented the menstrual blood indicating she was now a woman and the cape the hymen soon to be lost. The story was being tell during late evening gatherings between the guys. We are talking pre 17th century here. I guess time changed since…

So back to the shoot. I briefly explained the concept to Marinick over emails, asking her to bring something red. I was supposed to have a male model too but he cancelled at the last minute.  That day I turned to my son.  “I guess you will be the wolf, Simon!”.  I really don’t think he minded when he saw who was playing Red.

We started the shoot slow.  We both needed to warm up and since it was the 1st time I was taking the studio flash out into the St-Rédempteur’s wilderness.  I needed to evaluate the light falloff vs. the endless environment.  Our sessions last roughly 2 hours into which we shot different angles, different setups, different moods.

Then came the time to shoot Red.  I re-explained the idea and the look I was going for.  Marinick needed to have that look toward the boy playing the wolf, kind of a reversed role, like if Red was not that innocent after all and on the hunt.  She was game (so was Simon).  After several strawberry jam finger dippings and compositional errors, I got the image I was going for.

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