Lumber Jill

by gregkochphoto

Do you like axes?

Summer is often a down season for me, and I use that time to catch up on personal work. Case in point.

I like bringing together disparate ideas and looking for the humor in their co-mingling. We’ve all heard of lumberjacks. But I’d personally never heard of a Lumber Jill, a modern girl who is smart, beautiful, and charming…and who just happens to keep a 3.75 horsepower chainsaw in her purse. She can chop down a corporate ladder as easily as she can climb it, and she can break through glass ceilings with her double-bit axe. She’s the capable, confident Everywoman, with a bright smile and a penchant for sharp tools.

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It all began with one (bad) illustration.  From concept…

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…to reality!

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PRODUCTION NOTES:

At first I wanted to shoot this in a coniferous forest like those found in the eastern California mountains surrounding Lake Tahoe. Eventually, though, the idea felt more at home in a redwood grove.

After much deliberation, we found a great little plot of private land in western Marin County, just north of San Francisco.

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The idea grew into this whole thing where Lumber Jill does all the same stuff a normal woman does, except that she can’t stop thinking about cutting down trees, chopping kindling, and grabbing her axe. She paints her nails brown like the color of bark, she shaves her legs with a shearing knife, and she cuts her steak with a chainsaw.

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Speaking of steak-cutting, my concept sketch isn’t nearly as graphic as the resulting photo. For any of you who has always wondered what dog food mixed with spaghetti sauce looks like when shot from the barrel of a leaf blower, your wait is over. But vegetarians, beware!

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To me, there’s something very funny in taking an otherwise normal situation or idea and giving it a twist. And I like funny a lot. If I could spend all day being silly, I would.  This is just another example of that.

I mean, come on: What isn’t hysterical about a person who treats his or her work tools like babies?

20150726_141326_EJ031352_40783b1In the end, it’s pretty simple: Take two things that one wouldn’t expect to be found together, and mash them up.

20150726_135201_EJ031352_40740b1So, once we’d established the location, we found a great model, Jaime, who was eager to take on the role of L. Jill. As you can see, she is as comfortable in a dress as she is in work boots and gloves.

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And speaking of boots, here she is trying on a few different ones:

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And here we have the tools of the trade:

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Plus some diffusion:

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Now a quick fitting:

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Oh, and here’s our offending steak before Lumber Jill gets a hold of it:

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And the aftermath of “lunch.” I think we missed a spot.

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But in the end, everyone was still smiling, and that’s a good sign. My heartfelt thanks to my cast and crew:

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Lumber Jill…………………………….Jaime Cornell

Producer……………………………….Toni Staniewicz

MUA………………………………………Chanel Fu

1st Assistant…………………………..Michael Sorensen

2nd Assistant………………………….Jordan Givens

3rd Assistant………………………….Tessa Zehnder

Prop Master………………………….Paul Nickerson

Stay tuned for more craziness in the coming weeks!

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