How I Made This: When the Party's Over Photo

17 year-old Billie Eilish just released this amazing music video for her track “When the Party’s Over” and after seeing the thumbnail, I was instantly inspired to create a photoshoot based on the video mere hours after its release. It’s worth a watch (thank me later).

What intrigued me the most was the black liquid effects that they used extensively throughout the video. I was very curious as to how they did they and after analyzing the video and with some help from other viewers, it appears that she had a fake skin later on-top of some tubes that connected to hidden pumps that forced the fluid up near her tear ducts.

I called up my friend Xanthe and asked if she was interested in doing a shoot that night, without me even knowing exactly how it was going to take place. After she said she had a few free hours, I sped over to a craft store to get some cheap metal chains, eye droppers, and a white t-shirt. After Xanthe arrived we played scientist by mixing different combinations of charcoal powder, flour, and water until we had an opaque liquid with a somewhat oil-like consistency.

As for the background I only have 53” paper backdrops so it was barely wide enough for her to sit on, but we made it work out. Unfortunately, after some test photos with the white shirt, it proved to be too monochromatic, so I let her borrow a black hoodie I bought a few days prior.

It was then time to start posting and setting up the lighting… I ended up doing a two-light setup: my personal go-to. Xanthe sat on the paper on the ground with the lights at 45 degree angles towards her to cast a small shadow on the ground. When it was time to take the photo I set the camera on a tripod, dropped some of the solution by her eyes, and hopped behind the camera to capture her posting. After repeating this three or four times, I was certain we had a few photos to work with.

After exporting the files to my laptop, Xanthe and I selected our favorite that I then proceeded to edit by cropping the photo to only the paper and then extending the background. I touched up some of the artifacts and then sent the file over to Lightroom to be processed and exported for mobile. Here’s the final image!


If you have any other questions that I didn’t cover in this article, feel free to drop me a comment and I’ll do my best to answer!