Susan Schroder Arts

Photographic Art-Behind the Scenes

Photographic Art

So...what is this and how is it different from my Photographic Collage work?
Read on to find out!


-Hedgecreek Dryad-

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 Hedgecreek Dryad is a perfect example of what I would call Photographic Art.                    The difference between this and the Photographic Collage Art is that it done on location with models in costume and makeup. The final image has only some post editing fantasy effects done in Photoshop to complete the details.   With collage art, I photograph most elements separately and then compile the final work on the computer.                                                         We shot this image on location at Hedgecreek Falls in Northern California.  

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Before we left for the site, I began the process of applying the makeup. I airbrushed the green and brown base body makeup. The gold leaf was applied by hand with some skin glue. It was quite hard and took a long time to get it right.  At this stage, the gold is still heavy but much of that was brushed off and then I continued the application.  During the photo-shoot, it was hard to keep it looking good and needed retouching often.  We had to have an early start for this portion of the day as it took about 5 hours!

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We drove up to the location site and continued the process of makeup, hair and costuming. 

The headdress and costume were hand made with all that moss sewn on piece by piece to the crown and bodice. It was chilly that day so we were sure to wrap our model in a rainbow blanket!                              That's me on the left and my videographer on the right. On a shoot like this I needthe help of a big creative team to keep everything running smoothly as I work on finishing all the details on the model. 

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On this particular shoot, I photographed the model in a variety of poses next to numerous trees before settling on the spot I ended up using in the final artwork.                                What you don't see here in these photos are the long hours put in before the shoot.  I had to plan out all the costuming an makeup and allot time to make it.  We also had to scout out locations and coordinate the day with everyone that helped.          But I love working out in nature, climbing rocks to get just the right shot.  
 The Hedgecreek Dryad is a character in my Circle the Sun Illustrated Book series.


Sleeping Forest Treasure
-Artwork of a young dryad child- 

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  Here we are on another photo shoot, this time working with six year old Kayleigh for a different Photographic Art image.  Once again we had done some of the makeup before arriving and she is wearing all handmade costume and headpiece. 
  I had scouted out the perfect tree for the location background and Kayleigh had to literally sit inside it!   

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Working with kids couldn't be more challenging on a project like this, so costume and makeup aspects were a little less complicated for this work.  It wasn't easy to keep her all 'together' and she need constant touch upsand fixing.  But I love the spontaneity children bring to any situation and we had so much fun in the woods on this day. 

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I love the final result. 

Sleeping Forest Treasure is also a character in my Circle the Sun illustrated book series. Her name is Princess Amara and she is the daughter of the Hedgecreek Dryad, Queen Sera (in the above example).  

On a side note:  These two models are also mother and daughter in real life!

In conclusion, I think I am a very lucky person to be able to have so much fun and work with so many wonderful people in my art career.  People sometimes wonder why I work in such a variety of art mediums and I hope that by reading about all of them helps shine some light on what drives me artistically.   

In conclusion, I think I am a very lucky person to be able to have so much fun and work with so many wonderful people in my art career.  People sometimes wonder why I work in such a variety of art mediums and I hope that by reading about all of them helps shine some light on what drives me artistically.