The concept for this picture came about from a PRO EDU Community Assignment. The community was tasked with creating images with a goat in a boat, the rest was up to us. I was throwing around several ideas for my take on the idea, and I needed to find a goat to photograph. I ended up searching for goat figurines on Amazon and I came across this fantasy “elf” goat. That’s when the idea I ended up picking was born. I was immediately inspired by this goat to create an image with it in a boat with a girl and some treasure flying through the mountains. Now that I had settled on my idea, I had to figure out where I was going to get everything I needed.
For this assignment, we were allowed to shoot all of our own pieces for the image or use stock images to bring it all together. I briefly thought about using stock images, but I wanted this picture to be made up solely from things I photographed or created. So now it was time to go about creating everything I needed to make this picture come to life.
Since I don’t have a real boat to photograph and I love making things, I thought I would make a boat out of foam to photograph for my picture. I forgot to take pictures of the foam pieces before I attached them together, but here you can see the boat before the wood details were added and in the different stages of being painted.
For the gold, I took a yellow piece of craft foam and painted a base coat of gold metallic paint and then dry brushed bronze metallic paint on top. After that, I used a hole punch and punched out a ZILLION pieces of gold. I wasn’t happy with the edges of the gold showing the yellow craft foam, so I ended up painting the sides of all the gold pieces with the bronze metallic paint. I put the gold in stacks of 6 and painted the edges. That took a lot of time, but it was worth the effort, as it improved the look of the gold tremendously!
The Goat in the Boat
Now it was time to put the goat in the boat with the gold and take that picture. Here is a behind-the-scenes shot of what the setup looked like for the goat in the boat. I fluffed up a bunch of cotton balls to put all around the boat so it looked like it was flying through clouds. I piled the gold up in the back of the boat and added some colorful beads to look like jewels mixed in with all of the gold.
Because this boat is going through the clouds and not in water, I needed something to make the boat fly. I was going between balloons and birds, and I decided on birds. Then I had to decide what type of birds would be flying this boat. I looked around online to find some flying bird figurines that I liked, but I couldn’t find any. I then thought about making origami birds or possibly painting some to use. When my husband ended up suggesting origami birds to me without even knowing I was considering them, I decided to go with that option. I love how they turned out!
Since I have not taken any pictures of mountains, and I do not have any nearby to photograph, I thought I would digitally paint a mountain background to use for this image. I think it lends to the fantasy aspect, and it also reminds me of the matte paintings used in classic movies. Being that I love movies so much, I thought this was the perfect way to go for the background.
Now it was time to take the photograph of the girl to place in the boat. Right away I knew that I wanted her wearing aviator goggles as she’s flying in the boat, but it took some time to decide what type of clothing I wanted her to wear. Even though she has on pilot goggles, I wanted her overall outfit look more like an adventurer outfit than a pilot outfit. I ended up going with khaki linen pants and an olive green button up shirt for her. During editing, I decided to tweak the color of her clothes, as everything blended in too much with the blue light. I did not bother with selecting shoes since she will be in the boat and you will not see her feet.
The Final Image
Once I had all of the pieces, it was time to put them all together to create the final image. I loved making every aspect of this image. It was extremely fun working on something so creative. I hope that you enjoyed reading about how I put everything together for this picture. I would love to hear your thoughts on the process and the final image in the comments.