© 2013 mJoyPhoto sugarmjoy-12


The hard thing about being a full time photographer is finding time to do everything! That seems like a common theme with any profession but this is how it pertains to my profession.

I photograph everything in the realm of photography. Weddings, portraits, children, seniors, commercial/corporate, sports, etc… The main thing with photography is that you have to keep your work fresh… make sure that you are bettering your skill and taking advantage of the talent that has been given to you.

How do I do this?

I think up photo-shoots that are out of my element. Things that my clients, friends, and family would not think I would photograph. I love the challenge of photographing something totally different then anything else I have shot. Going to a location I have never tried before or even looked at!

This particular photo-shoot I decided to utilize an amazing make-up artist in Fargo, ND. Emmylee Grubb is a local artist and I was extremely excited that she agreed to take on this project with me. She had done the makeup on a model I had photographed a few months earlier and asked her what she thought of the idea and she was up for the challenge. What were we going to tackle?  “Sugar skull”

Sugar skull make-up designs are based off of Mexican Sugar skulls which are tied to the history of Sugar in Mexico. Mexicans did not have a lot of money but the conditions in Mexico were perfect for sugar so they had a lot of it! They took the European tradition of sugar figures and tied it into their Dia de los Muertos festivities by decorating skulls with candy made from the sugar. The designs have been taken and placed on the faces of usually women. I have seen shots of this done on the internet and I just had to do it!

I searched for the who I thought would have the best face for the design and found Arianah! Emmylee agreed and we set it up! Shoot day rolled around and Emmylee started on the makeup at around noon. It took about 2.5 hrs I think and it was perfection when it was completed! We went to the location and started the shoot. It had a great combination of shadows and natrual light. I only brought a Nikon SB-700 speedlight for off camera lighting.

Here are the results of everything coming together perfectly!

Sugar Skull Time-lapse from Mitch Highman on Vimeo.

Click on the image to see it in larger resolution!

Thank you to Emmylee for being an amazing artist. Thank you to Arianah for being the perfect model for this!

Stay tuned for the next project I will be working with Emmylee on 😉

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