Womanwise 17

It is one of the great curiosities of my life as a photographer that I have never, until last week, photographed Giselle La Ronde, Trinidad and Tobago’s only winner of the Miss World pageant (1986). It is also one of the great pleasures of the photography assignment for Womanwise that I get to close these gaps.

My very
first Womanwise shoot was with HaHaHa Productions, the production company founded by Nikki Crosby, Penelope Spencer and the late Mairoon Ali. I’d never photographed Mairoon either, her career starting in the theatre just as I ended my work on projects in that space.
I suppose Giselle’s career started just as my interest in photographing pretty girls for their own sake was pretty much on the wane as well. If that sounds lame, it's probably because it is.

The session was in the service of Giselle’s new jewellery line, but I couldn’t imagine separating the precious metals from the gem.
In our discussions before the shoot, I embraced the new jeweller’s idea of placing her work in the environment it was designed for, and the pieces were worn by the young girls who were part of its inspiration, her sister’s daughters Emma and Monique.

The session was straightforward, despite some unavoidable hiccups with our scheduled makeup artist, in response to the challenge, sister Janine Andrew did the precise and even work on Giselle as well as lending her the top she’s wearing.
The creator’s photo is the only one that I envisioned right from the start, I played the photos of the children by ear, and neck and wrist, as it were.

Essentially, I wrapped the subjects with soft light to reflect the facets of the gems in a bright, high-key environment.
On a shoot like this, the lighting sets the stage and the star, along with the necklace, was Giselle’s bright, sparkling eyes and winning smile. You shape the environment, place the subject and get out of the way when sparks like this fly.
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