Sometimes great things just kind of fall together. I am drawn to creating interesting characters for reasons that I can’t fully explain. I love the high fashion and crazy makeup but I also like movie type characters as well. For a couple of months I kept getting this vision in my head of a character that was loosely inspired by a cross of the Black Widow from the Avenger’s world and the Gunslinger from Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. I wanted to her to be strong, tough and have a slightly wicked look to her. In short I wanted her to be a badass.

I know that going into it the only way of creating something half as cool as what I saw in my head was to do this via a composite. We’d shoot the subject and then put them into a background. This would give me more control and then also free me getting everybody to show on one day in a crazy location and trying to do it all at once there.

The only problem was that I didn’t have a good model for this. I had looked around but had not seen anyone that I felt could do this in the way I wanted it done. One day I got a  FB message from a model named Ember Lace and from the moment I saw her I knew I had found the right girl. She’s incredibly fun to work with (and to this day has had by far the best music playlist I’ve ever photographed too) but she’s also drawn to the darker, dramatic photos. She’s got the figure to pull it off and at the time she had this amazing red hair which made this shoot inevitable in my mind.

I rented some props from the Gaslight Costume Shoppe and enlisted Kristopher Osuna for hair and makeup and we set a date to make it happen.

From there it was just a matter letting the shoot unfold and seeing where it went. Ember’s other unique talent is the ability to set aside all that she’s seeing in front of her and summon a look that places her in the moment of the world we were trying to create together. I don’t know how you teach this -some people seem to have it and others don’t. Ember does and it makes the shoot work.

We got so many good photos from this shoot that it was very hard to choose just one – so I didn’t. I chose several and played with them and will probably be adding a few more over time. The thing that stood out to me was just how relaxed and fun the whole process was which is great. I always have a goal that people will enjoy the process of creating the photos as much as they do the final product.

My favorite shot of the entire thing is Ember in the three point landing pose. Yes it’s a cliche but to me it’s still cool.