Each portrait Kristi Elias creates is a unique work of art that is relevant and appropriate to its subject. Last year, Elias won a Sunset Print Award at the Professional Photographers of California state competition for You Won’t Bully Me, a grungy portrait of a young martial arts competitor.
Elias followed up this year, taking home another Sunset Print Award at the California competition for a decidedly different subject, entitled Waiting for You. This portrait purposely evokes Renaissance art.
“I wanted a painterly feel with a lot of detail in the props, like the bottle. There’s note in the bottle, and you can see the contours and the detail. There was a lot of time put into those details of the portrait. You can see even the music on the floor, and all the shading and detail in it. I did it just like it would have been as a Renaissance painting, and how they paid so much attention to detail on all the props,” explains Elias.
The portrait of her client, who also poses for Elias to spark modeling ideas, was captured in the studio. Elias purchased a custom dress from Bulgaria for an authentic touch.
Elias added a new background, a photo she took of a Gothic cathedral in Tuscany. She used Photoshop, Nik Software and Alien Skin to edit the image.
“When I edit I don’t use the same actions every time. I look at each portrait as its own piece of art. Some of it is my own custom actions, and some of it is edited with Nik Software to bring out the detail in the shadows. I like to put a lot of detail in the shadow for that hopeless romantic look. I took any painterly effect off of her skin so there’s no texture on the skin, because that doesn’t go well with judging,” says Elias.
Master printer Jonathan Penney, Center Moriches, N.Y., printed the image on a fibre-based paper to complete the beautiful, Renaissance-style portrait.