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FAKE BLOOD - Moscow, Russia

Although I'd bought some fake blood a couple of weeks before this shoot, it had somehow vanished when the time came, so I had to resort to a couple of blots of ketchup on Olga's face and Liza's neck, and strawberry soda for the broken glass (which was far too light and had to be darkened later).

For some strange reason the girls didn't want to have copious amounts of ketchup smeared all over their dresses:) so I had to resort to painting pretty much all of the blood you see in with photoshop (including the top half of the glass).

To simulate moonlight, I used strobes placed in the window just outside the frame with a couple of blue gel filters. Bounced another blue-gelled monobloc off the camera-left wall and had one monobloc gelled slightly warm in a softbox pointed at the girls (although I decided, in the end to cool down the skin tones in photoshop), as well as a ring flash on-axis.

It took a lot of takes and food bribery to get my cat anywhere near the general vicinity of the frame. Ideally I would've wanted her perched on top of the sofa at another rule-of-thirds point, but for all of the shots she was there, either the lighting, exposure or expressions of the girls wasn't quite what I wanted.

I did some dodging and burning in post along with a couple of contrast masks, but on the whole this final version isn't dramatically different from the original (well, aside from all the fake blood... and darkening a few white patches of my cat's fur... and changing the cat's eyes from greenish-yellow to orange-red... okay, I guess some things are different:)

I'd also like to mention that I took this photo back in mid-May 2010, before I'd heard about that True Blood show, or seen any of the promotional photos for it, so any similarities are purely coincidental.

(Update: I was recently adjusting my combination sofa/bed and suddenly found my hands covered in "blood." Turns out the fake blood had somehow rolled under the bed and didn't appear until I had shifted things around and squashed it, unleashing a huge puddle of dark red liquid which would have been far more convincing than the ketchup.)