POOL BEAUTY SHOOT
BEHIND THE SCENES

This is and will always be a very special photoshoot for me. It represents a turning point in my life: the day that I took the step behind the lens.

Take the plunge

ABOUT THE CREATIVE CONCEPT

I titled this shoot Take the plunge, because it properly fits the pool theme and expresses how I truly felt: like throwing myself in the deep.

Because I have a little secret to tell: just two weeks ago I bought a Sony A7RIV and this is my first time pointing it at an actual model.

Pool beauty shoot by Zilla - Dorise Rienhart, de Boekers
Pool beauty shoot by Zilla - Dorise Rienhart, de Boekers
Fabric in turqoise water
Pool beauty shoot by Zilla - Dorise Rienhart, de Boekers
Pool beauty shoot by Zilla - Dorise Rienhart, de Boekers
Gold fabric floating in water
Pool beauty shoot by Zilla - Dorise Rienhart, de Boekers
Pool beauty shoot by Zilla - Dorise Rienhart, de Boekers
Pink and gold fabric in water

My first photoshoot as a beauty photographer.

Yes indeed. Not only the first time using an upgraded version of my old Sony camera, but the first time ever shooting a beauty model.

And I was pretty scared to mention this. Because it could downgrade my capabilities to beginner level to the ones that do not read any further. But after some thought and reflection, I decide to stand for my own truth. I do not have to pretend to be a seasoned photographer. That’s just not who I am (yet).

But I am far from a beginner. I am a very experienced one. Fifteen years in the creative industry as a model, designer and retoucher have provided me with a lot of valuable knowledge.

Pool beauty shoot by Zilla - Judith Reekers, Touché models
Pool beauty shoot by Zilla - Judith Reekers, Touché models
Pool shoot Take the plunge by Zilla
Pool beauty shoot by Zilla - Judith Reekers, Touché models
Water quote by Zilla

Sink or swim.

I had lots of worries on forehand: “What if I cannot pull this off. What if I waste everyone’s time? What if all my photos come out blurry?“.

I came to realize that photography is not about knowing every technical button and setting. It is about having an eye for details, color, and composition. The exact skills I have been training and improving for years as a designer and retoucher.

The only thing I hadn’t done before was pushing the button.

It served me well to just take the plunge and start treading water. In the end, it’s not the years but the results that count, isn’t it?

Pool beauty shoot by Zilla - Judith Reekers, Touché models
Pool beauty shoot by Zilla - Judith Reekers, Touché models
Pool beauty shoot by Zilla - Judith Reekers, Touché models
Pool beauty shoot by Zilla - Judith Reekers, Touché models
Floating fabric by Zilla

A different role, a different feeling

As a retoucher, I’ve always stepped-in last in line, after the shoot day already happened. Which meant missing out on the team-effort feeling of creating together. Although I knew the importance of my role, I sometimes felt alone in the creation process.

Being on set together with a creative crew is an entirely different thing.

Stepping into the role of the photographer creates a distinct relationship with the final image. It adds the element of human connection.

It made me think of my years in front of the camera as a model. That satisfying sense of togetherness and teamwork. Being at the center of a bigger creative machine working towards a final result.

Pool beauty shoot by Zilla - Amy VDM Model management
Pool beauty shoot by Zilla - Amy VDM Model management
Pool beauty shoot by Zilla - Amy VDM Model management
Pool beauty shoot by Zilla - Amy VDM Model management
Pink purple fabric in water
Pool beauty shoot by Zilla - Amy VDM Model management
Pool beauty shoot by Zilla - Amy VDM Model management

Floating textures and close-ups

A surprising side-effect of this shoot are the many extra fill-images of fabric floating in the water.

I love how the colors, shapes and structures complement and finish the ‘Take the plunge’ model story.

I also noticed how much I am drawn to shoot close-ups of products and faces. Might have something to do with my amazing new 90mm Macro lens.

But also because the crop tool is my absolute favorite during the selection process. It can turn a ‘mwoa’ photo into an amazing one by just zooming in and changing angles.

Pool shoot Take the plunge by Zilla
Close-up beauty water by Zilla
Swim quote by zilla

Purple pool

I was very excited about finding droplets that can color water and had imagined how the models would swim in a pink or purple pool. It would have been such a cool sight.

Unfortunately, the pool owner didn’t want the color pigment into his pool, which made me have to improvise into buying a small rubber kids pool and fill it with the purple liquid.

Still amazing in the pictures. But a little less cool for the behind the scenes.

Purple water jewellery ocean repulic
Pool purple liquid
Pool beauty shoot Jewellery Ocean republic
Pool beauty shoot by Zilla - Amy VDM Model management
Product photography purple pool coqui coqui
Earring Ocean republic by Zilla
Pool beauty shoot by Zilla - Amy VDM Model management
Pool beauty shoot by Zilla - Amy VDM Model management
Pool beauty shoot by Zilla - Amy VDM Model management
Pool beauty shoot by Zilla - Dorise Rienhart, de Boekers
Pool beauty shoot by Zilla - Dorise Rienhart, de Boekers
Pool beauty shoot by Zilla - Dorise Rienhart, de Boekers
Purple water hand with jewellery, Ocean Republic
Pool beauty shoot by Zilla - Dorise Rienhart, de Boekers
Pool beauty shoot by Zilla - Dorise Rienhart, de Boekers
Ring Ocean republic by Zilla

Team credits

Photography & Retouch by Zilla
Make-up Artist Juliëtte den Ouden
Models Judith Reekers (Touché models), Dorise Rienhart (de Boekers),
Amy (VDM Model Management)
Video Maxim Bouten
Management Rose Boereboom, JDO Management

Jewelry Ocean Republic
Fragnance Coqui Coqui