This is the Blog of Swiss Photographer Nicolas Henri


I finally got around to edit some of the behind the scenes footage from the shoot for LIEBE (Love), which was one of three principal images of my latest project GLAUBE | LIEBE | HOFFNUNG (Faith, Love, Hope). As it was the case with the other images in the show, I took the term “love” a step further, expressing what usually happens when humans are in love. In essence, it is a constant fight. A fight for yourself, a fight for the other one or a battle for the both of you. So the subtitle of this one is: “The Battle of the Hearts”



We shot this in June 2009 at an old warehouse in the harbor of Basel. Once again the Zurich based agency FOTOGEN provided us with two very talented models for this story. Sarah and Zacharias were a blast to work with! Also on set we had Thierry Leyva acting as my fellow assistant. And very importantly on this one: Fräulein Scharlach who did all of the SFX make up.

More juicy details and a behind the scenes video after the jump!

Fräuleine Scharlach at work

Fräulein Scharlach at work

To visualize the battle for the hearts, we had two realistic heart replica’s made, including the main arteries which would later connect to the model’s chest. The perfectly real looking replica’s were made by our good friend Claudia Rindler aka Dr. Rotten.

Now sit back and watch a few impressions from the shoot and then I’ll talk about the lighting on this one afterwords:

NICOLAS HENRI: LOVE - Behind the Scenes from Nicolas Henri on Vimeo.

If you are reading this via RSS or email you may have to click here to view the video!

As you saw in the video we started out with various fight scenes between our lovers. Because they were moving all over the place, this called for a dynamic component in my lighting setup. I used a VALS (Voice Activated Light Stand) in the form of Thierry to sport a beauty dish, which served as our main light. Depending on the movement and position of our lovers he could move along. Additionally I used a very big Elinchrom Rotalux Softbox on a boom, off camera axis to the left to fill things in.

un-edited camera original

The warehouse location had windwos all around, providing a bit of base light. Not nearly enough however. In order to handle this I had two Elinchrom Rangers (with symmetrical output) placed on either side of the room. Both were equipped with two flash heads each. On either side, one head was fitted with a standard reflector and a grid, serving as a back light on the scene. Another two heads with wide angle reflectors fired across the back of the location to provide fill for the background.

But as it happens so many times, at the end when we were ready to pack up, something happend. The sun came out behind the clouds drenching the location in light. While I had planned to do a shot like that, where the lovers are worn out from fighting, having to lean onto each other for support while they examine the damage they have caused. When the light hit the room I knew the moment for our “window shot” (In film crew terms, a window shot is the last shot of the day) had come. Our models had been screaming and fighting for two hours so their physical state even matched the desired situation… guess you call that method acting. A few clicks later and I had my image. While the actual fighting images have impact and were fun to do I realized the shot telling the story after the fact is much deeper, revealing much more of the human condition.

BTW: I am still trying to find a marriage counselor who will hang the 150 by 100 cm print in her waiting room or above the sofa in her office! I think it would be a perfect match! Hit me if you know someone interested!

Posted by nicolas_henri on January 30th, 2010 :: Filed under Exhibition, Lighting, Making Of, On Location, Photography, Uncategorized
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One Response to “LOVE”

  1. Kate
    May 6th, 2010

    “BTW: I am still trying to find a marriage counselor who will hang the 150 by 100 cm print in her waiting room or above the sofa in her office…”

    baby,you rock like something hardcore. really.

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