Kayleigh Lush in Spain Part Four: Mono Mesh

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

Despite the shoot being in October last year-six months ago-I'm still mining the treasure trove of great images from my shoot with Kayleigh Lush in Spain. Whilst we were only there a couple of days, pretty much, and we didn't exactly shoot for eighteen hours a day or anything, we did still manage to get a lot of stuff done. I've also managed to get published a couple of times with images from our shoot, which has been great, but as noted, I'm still not finished editing the pictures.

This is a small selection of images from our final afternoon, before heading back to the airport. We took advantage of some great sunshine to grab our last shots in the grounds of the venue. For the images here, we found a nice plain white plaster wall, and set about some shots which I'd already decided were going to be black and white images. As it is, I'm very happy that several of them work as colour images as well, although one of the mono ones is a favourite right now.

As I say, only a small selection of images, but doubtless there'll be more to follow.

Sophia St Villier: De Lempicka

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

Sophia St. Villier is a model and burlesque performer that I'd wished to photograph for a very long time. If you've ready many of these blogs, I'm sure you'll find the 'wanted to photograph for a long time' theme prevalent. I guess this isn't so surprising-I'm sure that like me, many other photographers have a list of people they'd wish to collaborate with as long as Claudia Schiffer's legs. And, given that I have to fit my photography around a time consuming job-i'm not complaining, as the job pays for my photographic escapades-the list of potential collaborators continues to grow faster than the opportunity to shoot.

Anyway, I digress. Sophia. Sophia is a fabulous model with an already exceptional portfolio of images, wonderful red hair, and an amazing look. And as noted, a portfolio already filled with some exceptional and diverse images. Whilst wishing to collaborate with her, I wanted to be sure that I'd be able to ensure images that would add something to both our portfolios. Whilst looking through Sophias portfolio, I was particularly struck by one image, which to me had the feeling of a Tamara De Lempicka painting. De Lempicka was a painter who's work is best described, I'd guess, as art deco in style. Whilst you may not know her name, you'll doubtless be familiar with her work, but if not, check out this site.

Taking this one step further, I thought it would be great to do a shoot with Sophia, based primarily on the 1920’s era De Lempicka portraits. So, I proposed the theme to Sophia, and she was happy to collaborate on this. Putting together the mood board of images by De Lempicka was essential, and It allowed us to draw out key elements of the 20's De Lempicka portraits that would lend themselves to a photographic shoot. Strong lines, satiny materials, strong contrasts, and so on… 

We'd be limited to a studio shoot for this one, but fortunately, one feature of De Lempickas portraits is that they are usually a very tight crop, with just enough of the surrounding room to give atmosphere, and presence to the image. And, whilst it would have been wonderful to get out into some fabulous oak panelled room with period art-deco style furniture, we would have doubtless been hunting for weeks to find a location. So, we settled for the studio, and using whatever we could get our hands on. Of course, the intention was not to slavishly copy the portraits, but to take inspiration from them, allow them to inform our shoot. All things considered, I think we did okay. Sophia showed up with some fabulous dresses and fabrics, and I for my part brought along an epically sized red satiny thing, and flowers, all of which ended up getting used in the images. All in all, I'm very happy with what we were able to come away with.

Of course, given that the images were to have a 'painterly' feel to them, the post-production work would be different from usual. I wanted the images to have the sense of a painting, but without the heavy handed 'filter' approach, where a third party filter would be whacked over the image to give a very quick and dirty, but ultimately thoughtlessly processed image. So, I set about experimenting. I'm sure there are photoshop gods out there who could do a way better job, but actually, I'm very satisfied with what we got. 

We also, in the final fifteen or twenty minutes or so, photographed a short sequence of burlesque performance images. Whilst Sophia has any number of fantastic performance images, it was something I wanted to try out, and again, we came away with some great images, which I'm certainly very happy to have in my portfolio. 

Joceline Brooke-Hamitlon: Part One

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

I was fortunate enough to have my first collaboration with Joceline Brooke-Hamilton late last Summer. Another model I'd aspired to work with for a very long time, Normally Joceline would priced well beyond my usual shoot budget, and not surprising, really. She's a truly remarkable model, with a massive and well earned reputation. I was fortunate enough to take advantage of a late cancellation, and managed to get four hours with Joceline lined up.

The only snag was that this was at Jocelines local studio, down near Reading, which meant I had to plan the journey- two trains from London, and then a hefty taxi ride at the other end. And, a new studio. Obviously, most shoots have two basic elements: model, and location. If it's possible, I like to be familiar with one, or the other. If you already have a rapport with your model, but it's a new location, then fine. Equally, if I'm shooting a model, but in an environment that I'm comfortable and confident in, then that's fine too. But, new model and new location/studio, not my favourite. Did that once to arrive at a studio, only to be told that they didn't actually have their own wireless (or wired) lighting triggers, and thought I would be bringing my own.

Combine this with a model who I've admired for the longest time, a model that I was sure that I'd want to work with again, very little preparation time, and not surprisingly, I was a little apprehensive.

I needn't have worried, however. Within seconds of finally arriving, Joceline came bounding up to introduce herself, and immediately put me at my ease. Very sociable and great company, there were quite a few moments where we actually stopped shooting, and chatted for a few minutes. I had to keep reminding myself that we were on the clock, and I had a limited time with this fantastic model.

We shot an absolute ton of stuff, the very great majority of which is great-Joceline really is exceptional, But, as with most shoots where I get an embarrassment of riches, it's taking me no little time to get to narrow down the images, and master them up. (in a manner, this is why I often prefer tf shoots to paid shoots. The obligation to master and forward images within the agreed timescale is a sure fire way to get me to actually do the editing work in a timely manner. Still, this was an opportunity to shoot with Joceline...). I'll post more images from our shoot over the coming weeks, but to get things started, I've started off with a selection of the nude studies from our collaboration.