Nela König: Beauty Shooting for Shan Rahimkhan
Jun 2012 26

Shan Rahimkhan is known as a celebrity hairdresser. Not only is he a hairstylist and advisor to international celebrities, but he and his team also work at the most important fashion shows of the Berlin Fashion Week. He has his own line of hair products and writes a blog which is all about beauty.

Shan and I have been friends for years and often enjoy working together.

The beauty photo series we planned uses the Punk as its topic. I wanted the theme not only to be visible in the hairstyle and make-up, but also in the picture itself. To create the desired mood I chose a white wall as a background, so I could generate blue shadows on it and at the same time give the model’s skin a natural look. As a first step I tried out different blue filters on my assistant and my stylist.

It’s so easy to give a picture a spooky touch…

I decided to use a Blue Lagoon filter, which I stretched around the whole beauty dish. However I cut out the part which mainly illuminated the model. This had the effect of showing the skin in a more neutral way, whilst still generating a blue shadow. It took me some time experimenting until I was happy with the result. As a finishing touch I doubled the main light (beauty dish) with a 5 degree honey comb filter.

I prefer working with Profoto and a Canon 5 d Mark 2. During this session I used my beloved old Hasselblad lens (120 mm, 1:5,6, s-planar, Carl Zeiss), which I attached to the Canon with an adapter. Of course, the focusing has to be done manually, which is a bit tedious. But the quality of the lens is unbeatable and the skin receives this very special glow, which you can only generate with very old, high quality lenses.
The result looks like this:

I used Photoshop to produce the red light leaks, which look as if the edges of a film roll were accidentally exposed to light.


Hair : Shan Rahimkhan
Make-up : Ayhan Ustun
Styling : Kathi Glas
Model : Luise Hauschild, Seeds
Photoassistant : Andreas Musculus

What do Sting, Marilyn Manson and Sir Peter Ustinov all have in common? Easy: they’ve all posed for Nela König, just like the Pussicat Dolls, Gwen Stefanie, 50 Cent, Nelly Furtado, Rihanna and countless other musicians and actors did.