Iveta Niklova, at Harwood House, 2011


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(Click on the Image to be taken to the shoot gallery)

Whilst I'm sorting images from my latest shoots, I thought it'd be good to do a couple of wibbly wobbly timey wimey blogs, going back into the not too distant past to cover some of my favourite shoots.

I can't remember exactly the circumstances which led to me collaborating with Iveta Niklova on this shoot from Summer 2011. I suspect it was more chance than anything else, but such good fortune on my part, for certain.

The images were taken on a small informal 'communal hire' shoot. Often called group shoots, but most definitely not a traditional group shoot. Effectively, a group of photographers hiring a venue usually far beyond the price of the individual photographers, but enough clubbing together gets you the venue. So it was with Harwood House. I'd been invited, I'd paid my share… and for whatever reason didn't get round to sorting out a model until *much* too late.

No change there, then.

Anyway, I posted on the Mayhem boards with my budget for the day, and was beyond delighted when Iveta said that she was interested. The casting was taken down about five seconds after I read the mail from Iveta-no point at all in looking for anyone else, I was sorted. Iveta will probably not need much of an introduction to most of you. She's a wonderful model, and an absolute joy to work with.

Anyway, we met in Coventry, made our way to Harwood House, arriving a little later than most, and finding a good number of the best shooting spots already bagged. No matter, we'd doubtless be able to get to them later. Instead, we started out in one of the main rooms, with deep red walls. Setting the lights up to ensure a lot of drop off, thus taking the reds even deeper, we set to work. Iveta rattled through poses like there was no tomorrow, and we came away with some great images. The pattern continued throughout the day, in various rooms, but probably some of the most interesting shots were grabbed on the main staircase. So many favourite images from this shoot, and one I'm sure I could continue to mine for images for weeks and months to come. Indeed, a couple of the images here are 'new', in that I've only just edited them. One, the solitary nude image from the shoot, is one I've loved for a while, but the radiator actually annoyed me-it kind of spoiled the image for me. I recall Iveta liked this one on the back of the camera, and now, a year or so on, I've got over the hate of the radiator, so here it is for the first time anywhere.

Anyway, a totally wonderful shoot. I've not shot with Iveta since, but really look forward to the opportunity to do so. Hopefully sooner rather than later!

Miss Lucy Fur: The Valentine Shoot

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(Click on the Image to be taken to the shoot gallery)

I recently completed my third shoot with Lucy Fur. We had a brief shoot at Ingatestone Hall last year, and was so happy with the results that we arranged a Christmas shoot together. Both are covered in earlier blogs. We got some great images that we've both been very happy with, and which have also been the subject of great feedback from others. So, when Lucy suggested a Valentines shoot, it took me just a few seconds to reply with a 'blimey yes!'. Actually, I may not have said 'blimey'. It may have been a shorter, much more vulgar, sweary word.

Obviously, as a Valentine themed shoot, pink was to be the order of the day. Pink lighting, pink background, pink candy stripe lingerie and fascinator, and, well, general pinkness. And some hearts, on pants mostly. We also scoured ebay looking for suitable props, and were fortunate enough to win a set of eight red and pink heart shaped cushions. You probably didn't notice them in the shoot. Not least because the seller didn't contact me for three days after I'd won the things. She actually eventually contacted me right in the middle of the shoot. Pah. Still, I guess that means we've got our first set of props ready for next year… ;-)

Anyway, back to this years shoot. We started off with some lovely candy striped lingerie, matched perfectly to a wonderful fascinator borrowed for the occasion from Miss Kitty Hats, who you'll find at this link
here. We tried a couple of lighting setups for this one, both of which turned out to be pretty cool. We changed the lighting and background completely for our next set, something a little bit cheekier. Literaly. We photographed some great lingerie, with a sheer lace heart cut out of the bottom, the images being something of a nod towards vintage pinup style shots. Next up we draped a massive sheet of satiny red material (the one ebay purchase that did arrive on time!) as a background, coupled with an absolutely wonderful corset which Lucy brought along. Much darker images than you might imagine for a Valentines shoot, but as Lucy noted, the images turned out to be 'very OMalley….'.

We then moved back to a very pink background to shoot the same outfit, and got some of the outstanding images of the shoot for me. We also managed to squeeze in a fabulous latex outfit which Lucy brought along, with matching shoes and handbag. This was only the second time I'd shot latex, and was happy to have the opportunity to do so again. For these we stepped away from the valentine feel a little, but returned for the final couple of shots to round off the session. First of all, incorporating some candles spelling out 'with love' which I actually picked up from the newsagents on the way to the shoot. An opportune find, but which got us a great image from the day. Next up was me hanging precariously from a very tall ladder to photograph Lucy top down. I thought it would be funny if I pretended to be falling from the ladder towards Lucy. Lucy didn't find it anywhere near as funny as me, actually, and I think I can safely say that I've now experienced Lucy's proper telling off voice. Won't be doing that again in a hurry, I can tell you…

As usual, clicking on the image above will take you to the gallery.