Snapshot: Looking back with Velvet

This week’s Figure Friday Challenge involved the theme of looking backward. I do have a few figures with an over the shoulder glance, eventually settling on Yamato’s Velvet for the challenge.

Yamato Velvet

Velvet was one of my first figures, purchased because of both her sexiness and my Odin Sphere fandom. My Velvet review was also one of my favorite early reviews, as it was one of my first forays into more dramatic lighting.

For this challenge I wanted to take the theme of looking back, and show what the character was looking back at. The story, I guess, is basically just Velvet admiring her own backside. And why not? It’s a great butt. The hardest part was to find a suitable mirror. I ended up using a cosmetic mirror. Lighting the set was tough too. I started out using flash, but the photo lacked punch with all the lighting out of frame. It was supposed to look intimate, but ended up being a bit empty.

So instead I went with candles. Those could go into the frame and make the whole setup look more like a set. I also liked the way candlelight interacted with the figure over using flash. It’s very tricky getting the right lighting for both the foreground figure and the reflection. Flash tends to fill in a little too much, so you can light either the figure or the reflection correctly. Candlelight falls off a bit more so I was able to get some depth and shadow in the foreground while giving the reflection a little rim lighting. This way neither part of the photo looks flat.

The one thing I wish I’d done is put a wall behind Velvet. A reflection in front of a black abyss is… okay I guess. But having a wall, bed, armoire, whatever there would have lent a little context. Maybe I’ll revisit this concept later.


  • Quite a post avalanche while I was away ;) That is a wonderful picture, working with mirrors often works nicely with blurred parts in the front. It's also a really nice effect with the candles and the subtle lighting they create . Definetely something I will try when a fitting figure arrives ^^
    • Yeah with the NBA season winding down I suddenly have a lot of time for other pursuits. I wanted to try to improve my skills and switch from only doing full reviews to doing smaller (though in this case not necessarily easier or quicker) shoots.