It greatly stung me that the concept for Scorpio eluded me for so long. Even in our brainstorming session, we left a lot of question marks on paper. Where would I get a photo or replica of a scorpion? I felt like I must have a stinging arachnid of some kind. Kristen and I toyed with the idea of making plated armour like the exoskeleton of a scorpion and creating a warrior woman, but this was a very tight-budget and spare-time kind of project, and armour is something for another, more opulent kind of shoot. I kept thinking Kristen was a Scorpio, with her birthday being on Halloween, which is really off - she's an Aquarius; more like Valentine's Day! (Halloween just suits her! It's her thing!) But obviously I had Kristen in mind for Scorpio, and when she actually asked if she could model for it, that was that. We all began looking for a scorpion prop to procure quickly and easily, as it was mid-October at this point, and we only had Scorpio left to do. Nothing was just right. Kristen to the rescue! No worries; she'd just whip up a scorpion in her studio. And she did.
Meanwhile, Sharon was devising an epic hairstyle on our beloved (and at this point, well-worn) wig, Blondie. Blondie has seen us through a few shoots and characters now, and by October she was a bit crinkly and tattered. You would never know it from the incredibly intricate and complex braided hairstyle Sharon created. There are actually eight braids in the main weaving, representing Scorpio as the 8th sign of the zodiac. So clever! The overall look resembles the body and tail of a scorpion; I just love the labyrinthine twists and subtle form. I coloured the wig for both images in post-production, choosing colours pertaining to this particular star sign. Make-up was light, showing off Kristen's amazing freckles, with a bold eye and lip look expertly applied by Sharon.
Crafted from clay and other materials, (including love, of course!), and hand-painted to a shiny finish, Kristen's scorpion is a fantastic replica; stylish and dare I say cute. My youngest daughter is a Scorpio, so Kristen is going to create a tiny terrarium for him to live in atop Skye's shelf. What little child wouldn't want a scorpion? It's every princess' dream, we think.
The pointy ring belongs to me, and I only use it for photoshoots, for obvious reasons. (I'm sure a scorpion sting hurts more, but still... ow.) We photographed using an antique barn stone wall as the background, because scorpions remind me of rocky landscapes and caves and stones. We placed our little scorpion friend on our Scorpio model, and tried to get the shoot done as quickly as possible, as both the model and photographer were shaking from the late autumn chill and howling winds!
For the main image, I substituted a waterfall background, as Scorpio is a water element sign. It's dark to give the feel of being just inside a cave. Can you find the tiny star constellation? For the alternate image, I went with a warm red and violet palette, as red is the colour for Scorpio, and its 'modern' ruling planet, Mars. (It's also classically ruled by Pluto, which will always be a planet to me!)
Scorpio in Violet
It was a difficult choice between the two for inclusion in the calendar for the month of November. Which do you like better?
There's more to come from the Stars of the Zodiac series! Thank you so much for following along! Remember, calendars and prints are available now! Contact me for yours!
SCORPIO - Oct 23 - Nov 21
Model, scorpion prop: Kristen Rex Holloway of ROAR By Rex
Hairstyling, Make-up Artist, Assistant: Sharon Lytle
Photography, editing, wardrobe, concept: Sarah Chisholm