Holi Powder Photo Shoots

Smurf Holi Powder-52


There’s nothing more delightful than feeling like Spring may truly be right around the corner.  As a photographer, that feeling is multiplied by about a million.  Daylight lasts longer, providing that stunning golden hour light that is one of our favorite times for shooting.  Models revel in allowing the sun to warm their skin, and we can work longer without having having to worry about anyone freezing.  A couple of years ago, we became mildly obsessed with the Holi Festival, an ancient Hindu religious festival which is now celebrated world wide.  The festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and a time to repair ruptured relationships.  One of the most visually stunning rituals of the festival is the throwing of Holi Powder, highly saturated and deeply pigmented powders which are thrown on the hundreds of thousands of people who gather for the festival to usher in Spring every years.

At the time we began our exploration of using Holi Powder as an expression of the powerful emotional life of women, there were very few photographers using the powder for anything other than engagement shoots.  Rather than using the powder as a weapon, we wanted it to be an extension of the model’s internal emotional life, and allowed the colors used to reflect what the model was feeling at that moment, and wanted to express.  The internet now seems flooded with model powder shoots, all of us inspiring each other to play with color.  It truly is a humbling experience to see an idea take off, especially when you remember the moment the idea struck you, and to revisit it as soon as the days get warmer and the promise of Spring in the air.  You can visit a more complete gallery of our journey with Holi Powder at Holi Powder by Black, White and Raw Photography.

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When Beautiful Holi Powder Hits Beautiful Women

DSC_0803 No can ever accuse us of not coming up with an amazing idea, and then exploring every single aspect of it, until we’ve shot it from every angle, lit it as many ways as physically possible, in as many unique locations as we can find.

When we first conceived our idea of taking Indian Holi Powder from the Hindu Festival of Colors and using it as a photography prop for working with models, no one had done anything quite like it.  There were a few powder shoots out there floating around in google images, but most were engagement shoots, and using the powder in a cutesy play fight, the couple throwing powder at each other, as they do with hundreds of thousands of people on the streets every spring in India.  We were more interested in using the powder as an expression of a woman’s beauty, the essence of her emotional life, whatever that may be at the time of the shoot.

My favorite part of the shoot is the first few times the powder hits the model, when she’s clean and fresh and beautiful and that one first cloud of color envelopes her, hopefully in stategically beautiful areas of the body.  So we always begin our shoots by asking the model…which color are you really feeling?  Are you a calm, peaceful blue?  A fiery, passionate red?  A playful pink?  In this way, we allow our models to bring their emotional energy to the photos, which is what I believe makes our Holi Powder shoots so introspective and lovely, no matter who or where we shoot them.

For this shoot, which was produced and cast by Tyrone Mitchell  of MMG, and shot at Gregory Maxx’s Red Cedar Studios, and assisted by lovely photographer and supreme powder thrower Stephanie Malloy of Lucky Rabbit Photography, we had a beautiful group of fearless women ready to jump in, bare their hearts and souls and bodies, and get color in places they never dreamed possible.  Thank you to every one for allowing us to live in our imaginations and remember how important it is to constantly stay creative, no matter how busy our lives get.

To view the journey of our work with Holi Powder and models, please visit BWR Holi Powder Shoots