Jaroslav Wieczorkiewicz’s Liquid Bamboo Forest Shoot (Slightly NSFW)

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All images by Jaroslav Wieczorkiewicz. Used with permission.

Before Milky Pinups and Splash Heroes, photographer Jaroslav Wieczorkiewicz had been experimenting with milk, liquid, models and high flash duration capabilities. It’s called the Bamboo Forest shoot and is a bit of an ode to the Asian oriented action flicks. Jaroslav originally did this shoot as part of his experimental portfolio but liked the results so much that he started to include them in his actual portfolio.

Of course, like every other photographer, he had to start somewhere. When Jaroslav pitched the idea of throwing buckets of milk over and over again to lots of models, they all said no. But Jay Jessop said yes–and the result is what started Jaroslav’s incredible series of work that helped to land him on our list of the most inspirational photographers out there.

We talked to him about the beginnings of his liquid photo series.

Phoblographer: Where did the inspiration for this series specifically come from? The others were from pinups and super heroes.

Jaroslav: This shoot was actually done before Milky Pinups and Splash Heroes projects. At the time I had many different storyboards and loose ideas to try out. I decided on this one as it was something we haven’t done before and was way more dynamic and challenging than our previous work.

Originally it was part of my personal photo challenge to shoot a complex project on a budget, in terms of the lighting that is as I used Phase One for the camera system.

The results were satisfying and I just really wanted to share that if you want to start shooting dynamic liquids or exciting sports or dance action – you can really start with something affordable before jumping on Profoto or Broncolor quite pricey bandwagon.

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Phoblographer:  These images were for the liquid series, but some of them feature two models being photographed at the time. How was this done in terms of actual setup? How long did it take to finish these looks?

Jaroslav: If you look carefully, you will notice that it is actually the same model – my muse Jay Jessop!
Thanks to the fantastic styling by the extraordinary talent of Katrina Betts we had completely two different looks and could accomplish the project with just one model. But a model who is willing to join you and go the extra mile–it means the world to me.

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Phoblographer: How did you go about explaining your creative vision to your models?

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Jaroslav: On that stage I use an international language that everyone understands and can relate to. It does not matter if it’s a model, creative director or a client – at the early stage I always use my sketches and sketches only.

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I stay away from any reference photos, mood boards for as much as I can. During the pre-production stage, together with the stylist, makeup artist and the rest of the team we are filling the gaps between the sketchy lines exercising our brains and imagination.

When we are done there is no need for reference material unless the client wants to see the lighting mood/style prior to the shoot.

But I admit, it was a bit of a challenge to get a great models when I was starting out and had no body of work in that genre. It sounds a bit odd when you are sending an email to a model saying that I have plans to throw buckets of a cold milk on her. Many models simply said ‘no’ and we had to move on.

That is the reason why The Milky Nun is my all-time favourite illustration. It was my first successful project and we made it a reality when everything was a struggle.

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Even today, It is a great reminder to myself that everyone has to start somewhere and you need to make it happen with stuff around you. Whenever I complain these days that 10 heads is not going to be enough for the next setup she gives me ‘that’ look–while hanging on the living room wall.

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