“There is a shade of red for every woman.” – Audrey Hepburn
“Red of course, is the color of the interior of our bodies. In a way it’s inside out, red.” – Anish Kapoor
Red is the color of blood, the first color we come into contact with when we are born. Red is a very powerful and bold color that not everyone can pull off. To me, red is love, boldness and associated with the root chakra. It is noted that the root chakra is the base of our alignment and in order to be completely balanced per se, one must start with the root. When I thought of models, my good friend Sabrina stood out. She loves the color red and I felt as if she would be the perfect candidate. With so many changes going on in her life over the past year, she has embarked on a new journey by being been forced into change and has also learned the true definition of courage.
Sabrina and I met and played softball during our adolescent years. We were both pitchers, very competitive and played late into our teens. She was the fast pitcher, I was the junk. She was the power hitter, I had the wheels. We were pretty much a team within a team. When I took Sabrina's photos three years ago for the Express Yourself photography series, she was in a different stage of her life. Fast forward three years and here she is doing another themed shoot in her 30's feeling more confident than ever.
During the creative process of the monochromatic series, Sabrina and I collaborated on ideas and themes. Originally she was scheduled to shoot during the summer, but the timing never worked out. December quickly approached and the color red couldn't have come at a better time. We went for two looks. The first was a Red Flower child embellished with a DIY poinsettia brassiere that Sabrina made and an afro which was filled with sparkly red Christmas holly. We wanted an outdoor shot with a red smoke filled sky. This was the first time using a smoke bomb and boy I tell you, it was not easy! I have a hard time already opening champagne bottles, let alone a smoke bomb. After multiple attempts, Sabrina finally ignited the smoke bomb. Once the smoke filled the entire backyard sky, I realized the camera lens couldn't see a thing! I grabbed a few fun shots and am grateful to have captured some behind the scenes video. The benefits of having not one, but two cameras!
For the other look, we aimed at a more hip vibe. At first, Sabrina mentioned channeling Lil' Kim and then we put our own twist to it. I created a DIY red balloon background that morning and grabbed two of my favorite red chairs along with a red light. We had fun with this look and showed a few of our dancing moves in the video posted. I forgot to mention, we both love to dance and absolutely love music. It was only appropriate to incorporate some music from Sabrina's red playlist into her shoot.
Sabrina brought it and killed it! I am so proud of her. As a photographer I aim to bring out the best in others. Going through the photos with Sabrina after the shoot and seeing the smile it brought upon her face, brought me a sense of calmness knowing that I did my job and am forever grateful.
Here are a few questions that I gave Sabrina to answer verbatim...
CE: What made you choose the color "red" for the monochromatic photography series?
SR: Because it's bold in your face. You can't help BUT notice red. The color red is so bad, they charge you extra car insurance!! Red is naturally powerful. Like... your blood is naturally red. Your heart is naturally red. You naturally turn red when you feel some sort of emotion like blushing or anger. Red represents love, rage, passion and relief. Nothing says I love you like red roses. You can get so mad, all you see is red. Passion like how vampires want your blood (red) or how when you really want something, you'll put in blood (red) sweat and tears. Red, it doesn't get any hotter.
CE: What do you think of automatically when it comes to the color red?
SR: Roses, blood, lips, hearts, anger, love
CE: How did you feel prior to the shoot?
SR: Nervous. I honestly didn't feel worthy enough to represent such a powerful color like red. Red always makes a statement. I wanted to lose weight. I wanted some high-end RED items that I really couldn't afford. Once I realized those things weren't going to happen, I felt defeated and didn't think I would do Red or Celisse Elaine Photography justice. LOL. But then I had to think back on what red really represents. Red is the color of passion, red is the color of love. So... if I just PUT LOVE and PASSION into what I do have and what I can do... then I'm cool.
CE: How did you feel after the shoot?
SR: Amazed. Shocked. More self-assured? Like, wow. I am sexy. Wow. I can take a picture looking like a model and wow that's me, I did that! I feel like I understand photography and the importance of recording EVERYTHING!! I'm more confident and feel more in tuned with the inner, no filter me. So many beautiful, effortless, honest pictures were captured. I'm so ready to show more and unleash more.
CE: Was the red monochromatic photoshoot what you expected?
SR: NOT AT ALL! Man, you couldn't make this stuff up! Everything just naturally fell into place. Like nothing went wrong, if anything everything went right. Completely exceeded my expectations. Like I said, I didn't see this beautiful, amazing project coming. It was creative, it was bold, it was unique, it was authentic. I'm very basic, so I was like expecting to show up camera ready, "be on time" lol, knock these shots out, the end. I couldn't have been more wrong.
View all photos: http://celisseelaine.com/red
Photography, Video, Direction and Styling by Celisse Elaine
Modeling, Makeup and Styling by Sabrina Robb