Ricky Walter Molnar, photographer, created this photograph titled Girl With a Pearl Airpod. It is a modernized version of Johannes Vermeer’s 1665 oil painting Girl With a Pearl Earring.

Molnar, a freelance photographer based in Houston, Texas, says that she first fell into photography when she started taking photos of cats. “I started to drag my friends out to the city to practice portraiture. Then I began to photograph strangers and self-publish a book about homelessness in my area. Before I knew it, I was working in a studio as a photographer.”

Molnar said he was inspired by Jenny Boot’s photo Black Girl With Pearl.

Molnar says, “I was searching for a passion project and stumbled across her photo. I instantly knew that I wanted a series that I thought would be modern renaissance.” The project was short-lived. I ended up photographing four models with different themes. Girl with Pearl Airpod was the final photo in that series.

“I knew that I wanted to do big with this photo so I searched online for stylists and models. In my city, I found model Kellida Jokudo, and stylist ChiChi Li’maour. After that, all that was left was to schedule the shoot and set the date.

You will only need two softboxes if you want to experiment with this type of portrait lighting.

The photographer states that the lighting setup is simple. I had a small/medium-sized, softbox camera that was very close to her face and another camera that was slightly further away. This gave her a soft glow so she wouldn’t be distracted by the background.

“For most of my modern renaissance projects, I used one light and a bounce. But this particular photograph was darker and required a little more light.”

Molnar has been focusing his efforts on international stories and traveling abroad. But he still hopes to return to this project one day and have it “displayed in an exhibition for people to view.”