RLSFoto | Dad, Look!

Dad, Look!

June 07, 2015  •  Leave a Comment


Harlee and Matt Meikle at the beachDad, Look© Reidar Schopp, All Rights Reserved, www.RLSFoto.com. The concept was inspired by Gallery Azul's artist call out for a mermaid themed show. As I felt everyone would submit images of "real" mermaids, I wanted to pursue a little girl's fantasy of pretending to be a mermaid and then seeing one in the distant. But to tell a bigger story, I wanted her dad to be with her and interacting as a father.

There were three stories
1) Daughter struggling to get her dad's attention away from the windsurfers to her and the distant mermaid.
2) Father and daughter sharing the moment. But as the father is kissing his daughter and not seeing the mermaid (other than his own daughter) does that mean the distant mermaid is just the daughter's imagination.
3) The father seeing the mermaid and is not paying any attention to his daughter and that the strap is still around is daughter's neck.

I was concerned about getting this shoot off. I had multiple false starts and went through a few options before getting Matt and Harlee to be the models. And of course today it rained and was chilly, but Matt and Harlee came through wonderfully. And Gigi assisted me and was great at it. Of course, Gigi also made the mermaid towel for Harlee.

For the image description for Gallery Azul, I have the following:
Are mermaids the figment of young girls' imagination and the longing of sailors on long sea voyages admiring sea cows? Or is dad just oblivious to his daughter's reality?

La Sirena (The Mermaid)


Gallery Azul

520 West 8th Street

San Pedro, CA 90731


A group art exhibition dedicated to La Sirena (The Mermaid)

Show Dates

June 27 - July  2015



SATURDAY, JUNE 27th, 2015, 5pm-10pm


Las Sirenas (The Mermaids) are legendary aquatic creatures with the upper body of a female and the tail of a fish. Mermaids are part of folklore in many cultures worldwide. The first stories appeared in ancient Assyria in which the goddess Atargatis transformed herself into a mermaid out of shame for accidentally killing her human lover. Artists created their version of La Sirena.

Personally, I enjoy Gallery Azul’s artist callouts. These provide a direction that are usually different from where I am in the process of creating my art. For me, it is a challenge to come up with a concept and then take it where I do not think other artists will go. Of course, the tastes of the gallery also need to be considered.

Thinking about the concept, everyone will probably provide a mermaid as the main focal point. But how can I meet the requirements yet do something different?

Filming the music video “Nasty Tattoos” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FA3mU-Eu4PU), Azmyth Kaminski (lead actor), Jeff Kozuch (The Reasons Why Drummer and primary songwriter), and I had just finished dinner (Jeff paid!). I wanted to show them the bar that I wanted to film at but I was not able to get the owner to give me permission (Free).  We needed a scene with Azmyth walking into the bar so I turned on the camera and captured Azmyth walking in. There was a commotion inside the bar. A blonde tattooed bartender through Azmyth out. She was perfect for the female lead of the video. Talking to her, she agreed if I would do a family portrait of her husband, daughter, and her. I agreed

With the mermaid concept and that I owed Niko a family portrait, I felt a young girl with a mermaid tail hanging at the beach with her dad would work as a concept. My wife Gigi sowed the tail for Harlee, Matt agreed to participate. The concepts were: 1) Dad Oblivious 2) Dad and daughter sharing the discovery of the mermaids, 3) Dad oblivious to daughter being choked by the strap of the binoculars as he is trying to get a better view (after all, one mermaid is topless).

We went to Cabrillo Beach on a rainy day to create the three scenes. Harlee was great and actually pulled off the excitement of seeing mermaids even though they would only appear in Photoshop.

With the main subjects now created, the next steps were to add the mermaids. I had an image of Miss Pixie where I needed her to look depressed for a poem about suicide. Pulling her into the image on the right edge, a tail was added. To provide a reason for her sadness,  a mermaid fin is added to where Harlee is excitedly pointing to the ocean trying to get her dad’s attention. The mermaid is swimming away from Miss Pixie, a mermaid breakup. The counter point to Harlee’s happiness and excitement.


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