How Lindsay Adler Shot These Cinematic Portraits of a Girl Stranded in a Forest Without Leaving Her Studio

When you see portraits of people in exotic locations, do you think they are actually shot on location? Or do you think the background has been composited in using Photoshop? In this article, see how Lindsay Adler created these on-location portraits in a forest without leaving the comfort of her studio. 

In this inspiring 10-minute breakdown released by New York City-based beauty and fashion photographer Lindsay Adler, she takes you behind the scenes of how how she shot, lit, and edited these cinematic portraits of a girl in a forest, but the catch is that all of the effects were created in camera. The girl who seemingly looks like she is stranded in an enchanted forest is in fact standing in front of a life size print of that forest in Adler's studio in downtown Manhattan. In this episode, she reiterates the importance of creating the effects in camera and ultimately having the creative control over the lighting and props before even entering Photoshop. 

In this image, see the settings and lighting that she used to make the scene look believable. 

By the time I finished the video, I didn't even feel like ten minutes had passed. The way she explains her process is so easy to watch. For me, the biggest thing I took away was that in order to make compelling and realistic-looking scenes in my studio, there is a lot of planning that must go into each image. It made me really think about why I create an image and the story I want to say with it. With using my resources creatively like she has, I can also bring my visions to life. 

This video is part of an ongoing weekly series Adler is releasing called "Photo Deconstruction." In this informative series, she dives deep into the details of her favorite photos and breaks down how those images were shot, edited, lit, as well as the inspiration behind them. 

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Ivan Lantsov's picture

a creative made organic cinema pop!

Wes Jones's picture

I love watching how she creates her photographs.

Eli Dreyfuss's picture

Same! It's always incredibly inspiring. I always have to up my lighting game after watching them.

Her lighting direction doesn't match the lighting in the background print.
I guess that's fine if you're going for that hyper stylized look.

I know Lord of the flies is a translation of Beelzebub, that is Satan. But a Satan look to it?:)
Is it just a nice way to say devilish look, or is she actually making a reference to the book?
I don’t get how that printer can print that large. Please Canon sponsor me one and a couple of rolls canvas, I will explore.

Man her videos makes my belly go a little sick , it’s all about placed products and money. A little hidden underneath in a Beelzebub way, not really saying it. I suppose that is what American TV culture, as well as cinematic Hollywood does to you. That’s how I got my Surface Pro, never have used it. Mother in law plays Sudoko on it.

It's nice, but it doesn't look like a real forest. And what young woman (not a young girl--could she use a more demeaning term?) lost in a forest wears makeup and has her hair carefully coiffed? It does not look very realistic at all.