This was a really fun concept! The artist is a paper cutter. I wanted to show some of her work and tools as if they are ideas floating around her head. I could have just photographed all the individual items, her, and the sky and assembled it in photoshop, but I wanted to get it all in the camera.
The two photos below show the entire set up. We set up outside with the camera pointing up toward the sky, almost directly at the sun. I set up a large piece of glass (one panel of a sliding patio door, thank you Mary Anne!) on saw horses. All the paper cutting tools and art pieces are laid on top of the glass with the camera position under the glass. There could be no reflections on the underneath side of the glass so it was wrapped in black cloth to disable any light getting under and onto the glass.
This photo is lit as follows: The sun is coming through the clouds and offers some ambient light. There are three additional strobes highlighting the subject. A large gridded 750 watt-second octobank at full power is the main light for the subject. (at right in the photo below) Two additional speedlights provide rim light and hair light. (at left in the photo below)
Here you can see a different angle of all three lights and some of the paper cutting items starting to find their place on the glass. The large gridded octobank is on the right. On the left is one of the speedlights for rim light at about eye level and in the distance is a speedlight for a hair light on the model.
The photo below shows the photographer “in action”. I determined the parameters of the frame through the camera and then we started to build the shape of the model and her related tools and paper cuttings within that area. By the time we had decided on a composition I had determined my exposure for the clouds and then dialed in the amount of strobe needed to light the model to make the image.
Here is a photo of the photographer (me) and the Paper Cutting Artist on the set.