Avengers in Wonderland: Hawkshire Cat

A lot of people didn’t get to attend the Concept to Creation panel at Phoenix ComiCon which I co-hosted with Maise Design Seamstress and Lunar Lyn. And that’s okay! PCC was really crazy this year, and I know I have some fellow out of state followers who obviously couldn’t attend. I won’t be going into all the details of the costume making process or the wig styling, but if you would like to know about those things, head over to Gabby’s and Karlyn’s pages for details and questions! Any questions about props, head to Dolfworks for more info!

Hawkshire Cat



*This sentence will be in every post for this series* I will forever and ever and ever say that pre-pro is THE MOST IMPORTANT part of any photoshoot. I’ll make another blog about that at another date because I could go on and on and on. The pre-pro for Rogue Siren’s was simple. Like with Cap Rabbit, I couldn’t find any good starting points for a reference image for the cheshire cat. Eventually I stumbled upon a piece of digital art of Ches floating in the woods. BOOM. Done. That would be the premise of the shot. I knew she had to “float” but how would she be positioned to where we see the costume and capture the right emotion. So I sat on my stool in front of a mirror and tried a few different poses until I landed on the one in the image. Again, I wanted to utilize the prop as much as possible. I was dead set on her being in a forest but worried because Phoenix doesn’t really have trees like that. Thankfully while walking around the preserve Wade found a perfect spot.

 Reference image

Reference image


The Shoot

For Hawkshire, the sun didn’t matter where we were shooting since it was sorta enclosed by trees. The spot was SMALL. There was no way I was getting a light stand where I needed it to be as I needed the light to actually be backed into the trees more. I asked Wade to hold the key light for me and Matt was kind enough to hold back a ton of the tree branches so Wade could stand where I needed him. Bless those boys, they got all kinds of cut up from this. I’m sorry!!! I placed the stool in the middle and had her pose. Just as we were finishing up. I realized the background needed light. I set up a bare bulb strobe to illuminate the space and then Lauren hated me for having to shoot all over again. Sorry Lauren! But the image is worth it!!! Normally with levitation shoots I’ll set up a tripod like I explained in the previous Thalice post. But I actually didn’t need to for this. The stool was black and under her was dark so it hid the stool for the most part. Just had to take the legs out in post. Very simple. For this shoot we used 2 Profoto D1 air 1000’s. One with a silver beauty dish, one just bare bulb. Both powered by Vagabond Mini’s. Shot on a Canon 5D Mark III, 24-105mm f/4.0. ISO 100. 1/200. 4.0.

 Lighting diagram for Hawkshire Cat

Lighting diagram for Hawkshire Cat

Post Production

This is my favorite of all the images! Going into this image, I knew I wanted it to have a “spotlight” effect, where the middle is bright and the edges are really dark. I didn’t intend to add the purple light burst but it worked out really well. Originally I was going to make her look like she was disappearing like Ches does in the movies, but when I added the effects, I didn't like it. So i stuck to just adding in foggy feelings mixed with a little purple smoke. Taking the stool out was just using the spot healing tool with some mild clone stamping here and there. After that, it was just about creating lighting changes and adding different color grading. The most time consuming part of this image was cutting her out. I needed to do that in order to add the fog and smoke “behind” her and then blend it in front of her as well. You’ll sorta see how that works in the video. If you want to know more about it, shoot me a message! Here’s the videooooo:


Hawkshire’s image turned out to be my favorite for many reasons. Her outfit appears to be very simple, but by all means it was a brutal process making it, from what the ladies have told me. So this image was important to me because I wanted to showcase how badass it really is. In her photo you can see all the elements, the spats, the bracer, the bustle, how her pants taper in the back and the fun fabric on the inside of those. I also really wanted to showcase the bow. The design process was long for this one. I loved the location Wade found, it really made the biggest difference. And I really love how the editing came out. Looking at it now, there’s a whole bunch of things I would like to change, and who knows, maybe I will in another edit.


If you have questions about anything, feel free to ask!