Elsa

All posts tagged Elsa


When we decided that our #Disneybound calendar would draw inspiration from the princess characters, naturally we knew that Disney’s newest princess film would have to be given extra special attention. I think you know the film I’m referring to. It takes place in Norway in the ice and snow and is so huge that it stars not one, but two Disney princesses.

Yes…that’s right, it’s Lilo & Stitch! Just kidding, join us now as we continue behind the scenes of the 2015 #Disneybound Calendar…

The 2015 #Disneybound Calendar and Weekly Planner are on sale now at the Dengrove Studios website, click here to order.

As I said before this scene was going to be big so we pulled out all the stops for this one. As you know from our other blog posts most of our scenes are very small production wise. We usually shoot with just myself, the model and our stylist with a single light or two. Not this time.

This one was a huge production. Not only did we have a large lighting and prop setup but we also had a full production team on site as well. Our 2 models Vonka and Jessica, myself, our Production Stylist Samantha Dugan, our set builder Jena Dengrove, and my assistant, Photographer Tatiana Robinson to document everything and assist with our lighting setup.

There was lots to coordinate and do, but boy did we have a good time!

In keeping with our theme of modernizing the princess characters our calendar drew inspiration from, we thought it would be a cool idea if we chose a setting that would occur after the end of the film. Once all the ice and snow cleared out and the nice weather returned where might our characters go to have some fun?

Why the beach of course! We choose a lovely little beach in Fairfield, CT to shoot our scene. In fact it’s the same beach that our August scene was photographed at last year for our Nature calendar. For those who don’t know much about Connecticut beaches almost all of them are located on the Long Island Sound, not the ocean and most of them make it very difficult for non-residents to get in during the summer months.

Our set for the day - ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

Our set for the day – ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

We scheduled our shoot in mid-September. Well after labor day so we’d have easy access and hopefully less crowds. We pulled right up, staked out the perfect spot and got to work. Sure the few people who were enjoying a nice afternoon on the beach were a little surprised when we showed up and started scouting out an area.

I’m sure they had no idea what we were doing, but very soon it all became clear. Sam got to work on hair and makeup for our models, Tatiana and I started setting up lights, and my wife Jena started on building us a “snowman” made out of sand. I think she may have felt like she drew the short straw.

In case you’ve never tried it before, the first step in building a “sandman” is to create a big mound of sand. This is easier said than done. You see sand is not quite like snow and when it starts to dry out, it also starts to crumble. Well then your “sandman” very quickly begins to turn into sand avalanches.

I pitched in to help Jena as our sand mound started to grow.

It begins with a mound of sand - ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

It begins with a mound of sand – ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

We needed lots of water to keep the sand moist. This excited me greatly as you can see.

Look Ma I carried the water - ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

Look Ma I carried the water – ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

The sand mound kept getting larger and larger.

More sand! More sand! - ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

More sand! More sand! – ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

Meanwhile, our Production Stylist Sam was applying makeup to Vonka our model expertly transforming her into a princess fit to rule the beach.

Sam applies Vonka's makeup - ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

Sam applies Vonka’s makeup – ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

Sam applies Vonka's makeup - ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

Sam applies Vonka’s makeup – ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

Vonka the Princess - ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

Vonka the Princess – ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

Jena constantly needed more sand and water for her project and I was all too happy to help. Though I think I may have gotten a little carried away with the shovel. Before too long our “sandman” really started to take shape.

©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

By now Sam had now moved on to our other model Jessica’s makeup. The beach was about to be filled with princesses.

Sam applies Jessica's makeup - ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

Sam applies Jessica’s makeup – ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

Sam applies Jessica's makeup

Sam applies Jessica’s makeup

Princess Jessica - ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

Princess Jessica – ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

Tatiana and I started to set up the lights. I think it was at this point that the other patrons on the beach realized it was a photo shoot that we were doing and not some form of strange sand therapy.

Now where did I put that...? - ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

Now where did I put that…? – ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

Shooting late in the afternoon allowed us to use the sun coming from the direction of the water as nice natural backlighting, but we needed strong lights from the front to balance out the sunlight.

For our lighting setup we decided to go with 2 of our trusty Einstein’s manufactured by Paul C Buff. We outfitted them with two 64″ Soft Silver PLM Umbrellas also from Paul C Buff. The PLM Umbrellas give a very flattering look to the light for our models while still maintaining a bit of a hard edge as if the scene was lit fully by sunlight.

Setting up the lights - ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

Setting up the lights – ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

It was somewhat windy on the beach that day and we made sure to bury the bottom of the light stands in some sand and also added 20lb weights to each stand to prevent the lights from getting blown over.

With our lighting ready, our set built, and our props secure we were ready to bring on the models. Not wanting to offend any of the CT natives Jena made sure that Vonka wouldn’t have any wardrobe malfunctions.

Jena secures Vonka's bikini top - ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

Jena secures Vonka’s bikini top – ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

A few last minute directions and we were ready to start shooting.

A little to the left... - ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

A little to the left… – ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

Did I mention that this was Jessica’s first time modeling? Naturally she was a little nervous, so we had a little sing along of “Let It Go”, that put her right at ease.

Karaoke on the beach - ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

Karaoke on the beach – ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

We shot a few photos and then stopped to check out the images. Have you ever tried to look at an electronic screen on a bright and sunny beach? Yeah, doesn’t work so well. So Sam took her scarf and made us an awesome impromptu “dark room” to review  our images.

Darkroom on the beach! - ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

Darkroom on the beach! – ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

Jena wanted in on the fun too and it started to get a little crowded in there. We’ll have to talk to Sam about adding on an extra room.

I can't see! - ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

I can’t see! – ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

We continued shooting, trying different poses to get the shot just right.

©Tatiana  Flowers-Robinson

©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

At some point Sam decided to try her Russian grandmother impression…is there nothing that scarf can’t do?

Impressions on the beach - ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

Impressions on the beach – ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

Finally we got the shot we were looking for…not bad if I do say so myself.

Nailed it! - ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

Nailed it! – ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

Jena thought she might try some photography…step 1 remove the lens cap!

Why is everything so dark? - ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

Why is everything so dark? – ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

Of course our models wanted to see what we captured as well.

Oh yeah...we nailed it! - ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

Oh yeah…we nailed it! – ©Tatiana Flowers-Robinson

As I started to wrap up and put the equipment away I overheard some sort of a commotion. It seems that our “sandman” got out of line and insulted our model Vonka. Well she wasn’t going to stand for that and threatened to destroy him! Jessica begged Vonka not to destroy her companion as she loved our little “sandman” and grew quite attached to him.

Please don't destroy my friend!

Please don’t destroy my friend!

As the battle became heated Jessica dropped to her knees and pleaded with Vonka one last time. “Don’t destroy him…he didn’t mean it!”.

"I'm begging you...no...dont!"

“I’m begging you…no…dont!”

But alas it was too late with one swift kick Jessica’s little buddy was no more.

Too late...

Too late…

All that remained was his carrot nose, the lasting legacy of her fallen friend.

"I'll miss you!"

“I’ll miss you!”

Special thank you to our entire team for pulling off such an expansive shoot and making it tons of fun along the way. Our Production Stylist Samantha Dugan for her hair and makeup expertise, Photographer Tatiana Flowers-Robinson for some awesome behind-the-scenes photos, our beautiful and talented models Vonka and Jessica for channeling their inner princess and convincing everyone they were sisters, and Jena Dengrove for her fine sand working skills.

Want to see the finished photo? It’s quite spectacular but you’ll just have to buy your own calendar or planner to get one! The 2015 #Disneybound Calendar and Weekly Planner are on sale now at the Dengrove Studios website, click here to order.

Scott Dengrove is a professional photographer from the NYC area. Scott’s work has been featured in many national photography competitions and published in several magazines and newspapers. In addition, his work can be seen on tour in various exhibits at Cosi® restaurants in New York and Connecticut and a traveling exhibit entitled “America: Coast to Coast”. For more information, and to see more of Scott’s work visit his website at www.dengrovestudios.com and connect with him on his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/dengrovestudios follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dengrovestudios