Today is Canada Day, the day on which we celebrate the beginnings of our great country. Like most Canadians, Laura Hollick and I are proud to be Canadian. We decided to create a photo to celebrate Canada. We worked with the versatile hair and makeup artist Sue Upton, who also happens to be a highly talented body painter.

Like Canada itself, this image is made up of many different parts, and took a long time to come together. We started shooting it in September last year, and I just finished it yesterday! Let me explain…

We weren’t totally happy with the composition after our shoot in September, because the tail was cut off at the bottom of the frame, and everything was too close to the bottom of the frame. Laura was sitting on a stool, which was necessary because of the number of hours required to complete the painting, but that made the bottom of the photo look a bit awkwardly cropped too. There didn’t seem to be any other way to shoot it though. She wouldn’t have been able to stand perfectly still for that period of time. We decided to re-shoot Laura’s bottom half and add a tail to the bird to balance it out.

After I’d assembled all the pieces in Photoshop and smoothed out all the transitions, the final image was complete.

Laura Hollick Red Bird Canadian Flag