This was another one of those scenarios where the idea popped fully-formed into my head before the shoot even started. McKenzie approached me about doing a shoot together and we were given the run of SPA Studios in Mukilteo, the best collaborative shooting studio in the Seattle area. McKenzien did a fantastic job of makeup with hair being done by Kendra.
I had seen a gritty photo of a female boxer that just sparked an inspiration in my brain. This was one of those situations where the idea springs to your head fully-formed and I immediately know who I wanted to use for the shoot. All I had to do was scout the location (a fantastic alleyway in the old Pioneer Square district of Seattle) and then reach out and grab the shot. Shawna even had a perfect opponent in her fight; her then-fiancee, now husband, Casey who is also a model.
Leo is named for the Nemean lion in Greek mythology that was eventually killed by Heracles. It could not be killed with mortal weapons because its golden fur was impervious to attack. Its claws were sharper than mortal swords and could cut through any armor. It was added to the night sky by Hera, Zeus's wife.
This was one of those shoots where nothing seems to go right, but when everything's said and done you come out of it deliriously happy because the images you got were better than even your original exciting idea. Originally, this shoot was going to incorporate a fog machine in a victorian baby stroller, but my main prop was pulled out from under me at the last moment, and I scrambled to make do with props I had on hand. Jayla Murray was the amazing model. Costuming was done by the incredibly talented Kristine Hawthorne, and makeup by the inspiring Pamela Greico.
Check out the blog post for a tutorial on my post-processing of this shot
Traditionally Sagittarius is a centaur who hunts Scorpio, but I wanted to represent her instead as a ghostly huntress. The Aztecs, when they first encountered the Spanish on horseback thought of them as centaurs, so I wanted to harken back to that a bit. Also, white in many Native American cultures is the color of death, so the ghost theme works well.