LAST FRIDAY THE FINAL PHOTO SHOOT took place for the Viking Family Portrait painting. It was scheduled from 4-6:30 p.m. At 3:30 Andrew, an Oral Surgeon and the father in the modeling family, called me to say the Douglas County Hospital requested his help at 5 p.m. with an emergency surgery for an accident victim.
In a moment Andrew and I agreed to get his photos completed by 5 p.m. Everyone pitched in and we got the shots we needed. The three people that helped me, Maja Sahlberg, photographer; Joanna Hallstom, coordinator; and Nadalie Junker, hair designer; each went to work on their respective jobs allowing me to concentrate on directing the models for the photos. My wife, Ellen, cared for Joanna's children (our grandchildren) and prepared a supper so our daughters, Maja and Joanna, could head back to Minneapolis after the shoot.
I had prepared a written plan which I shared with Maja and Joanna before the photo shoot. Nadalie and I had exchanged emails and phone calls regarding hair styles and other details of her job. All the preparations in the last six months with the models, costumes and the painting composition came together in this hour and forty-five minutes of time.
I spent today going through the 400 + photos locating the best photos of each model. Tomorrow I will bring them together to make the final photo reference for the painting. Well, it just may take more than one day to do that.
In the next stage of the project I will render a 20" x 30" pencil drawing to combine the model photos with other elements of the design to tweak the composition and make decisions on values, edges, and shapes. After completing the drawing, I will paint a 20" x 30" oil color study on canvas to solve the color design; color balance, color harmony and color intensity. Only then will the final 6' x 4' painting begin.
Many thanks to Maja, who quietly and professionally recorded all the action on the camera. On a normal day she is capturing the beauty of freshly baked or cooked foods in Betty Crocker's kitchen at General Mills in Golden Valley. Thanks to Joanna for her organized mind and ability to look after the many details with the models, clothes and photo process. Thanks to Nadalie for designing the hair, and jumping in to make adjustments as the shoot progressed. I noticed she also helped guide and encourage the children through a process that didn't end soon enough. All three women blessed me, the models and the whole process with their kind, gracious and professional help.
Below are photos of last Friday's photo shoot in process.