Chaotic Opulence

I tagged along with Octavio X, a celebrity makeup artist with an incredible eye for fashion, to his event “Chaotic Opulence.” The show was inspired by 17th-century style, with an edge for editorial beauty. And it came out beautifully.

I had the task of photographing the event to capture its essence and render it unforgettable. I started around 2 p.m. The day was hot. Makeup artists, hair and wardrobe stylists, and models worked diligently to meet our deadline. I had to move quickly, making sure I wasn’t in anyone’s way.  

My challenges

In addition to the standard photographs I take during such events, I also wanted to create great pictures using professional lighting. 

“It was vital for the photographs to be conducted quickly, be painless, and easy for all: A quick in and out of the show basis. Along with the crew, the models needed to be photographed within seconds as they moved through their own ventures.”José Beltrán

At first, I only used one light on a parabolic umbrella because it is a fast set-up and delivers an excellent wide range of light, allowing the flexibility to photograph absolutely anything. I also knew that this would give the photographs an edgy, overdramatized look – allowing for PhotoShop editing magic. This powerfully artistic look also helps makeup, hair, and design stand out.

Nonetheless, it was not as simple as it may seem. I had some technical issues regarding the lighting. My PocketWizards were not working, and there was no way to trigger my main lighting from afar. So my only alternative was to shoot using the flash of my speed lights to activate the leading lights. Shooting with a PocketWizard is really lovely because I have total freedom, and having to shoot with the flash to trigger the leading lights wasn’t an easy task. However, I was able to get beautiful images anyway.

The final product

I left the photographs as closely as possible to the original shot. I used no filters of any kind so that the makeup and fashion designs had precise actual color. The people in the photos have no beauty retouch of any kind. And in my view, they don’t need it. The images are 100% almost as shot. The only edit I made was to darken the backgrounds a bit so that the models stood out. I took the photos so the viewer can appreciate all aspects of the show’s talent, which the models embodied. The following photographs represent the final art, showcasing the staff and the model to show off their work.

Feel free to comment and let me know what you think. Look at the makeup, designs, and jewelry that Octavio directed to communicate his 17th-century theme. Overall, having worked alongside Octavio X, the makeup artist, stylists, and crew members, this was a wonderful experience and an honor. The fashion show was an excellent way to let my hair loose, and I had a fabulous time!

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