Kendra

Kendra 2013

KendraFPIcon
(Click on the Image to be taken to the shoot gallery) A quick blog about a recent shoot with Kendra Lee, a model I first shot some three or four years ago. We've not managed to shoot since, but thought she'd be great for a recent shoot I had planned. A small retro hotel type set had been built at a studio near where I live, and I wanted to take advantage of shooting there, before the set got taken down. Kendra would be ideal for what I had in mind, and thankfully, she was free to join the shoot.

The images on the set were all shot with ambient/available light, which was a mix of standard lightbulbs, and the modelling lights from the studio flash heads. I wanted a down-at-heel motel feel, and I'm pretty happy with the images we got.

This one was also shot with my Fuji X-100, rather than my usual D300s. The more I use the x-100, the more i'm enjoying it. I reckon this may well be the camera that I just carry with me most of the time from now on.

Lucy Fur and Rayna Terror

Lucy and Rayna


LucyandRaynaIcon
(Click on the Image to be taken to the shoot gallery) If you’ve followed this blog with any regularity, you’ll doubtless know that I’ve photographed Lucy Fur a number of times. Between us, we’ve collaborated on a number of memorable shoots, and got some great images. Separately, and at Lucy’s suggestion, I’d been speaking to Rayna Terror for a good while trying to arrange a shoot.

Lucy is good friends with Rayna, and so after a few emails we decided that a collaborative shoot including the three of us would be great fun, and hopefully give us some great images.

For me, the opportunity to shoot with two such accomplished models was a very special opportunity, and I decided to go for a very special location. Consequently I booked one of the more interesting rooms at a very unusual and unique hotel in London, full of character and style, with some very distinctive rooms. Each of the rooms is more like a movie set than a hotel room, with distinctive styling, and wonderful ‘props’ (or, furniture as it’s usually know). The room we chose for the shoot-as happens quite a lot- was actually a lot smaller than we anticipated, and certainly smaller than it looked on the web site. Damned photographers and their wide angle lenses.

No matter, though, we all agreed the location was going to lend itself to some pretty impressive shots. Once we figured out where to hide all the suitcases and slightly less ‘photogenic’ bits of stuff in the room  (telephone under the bed, television in the bath. Really....) we realised we had a pretty interesting room.

It has to be said, though, that it was one of the hottest days of the year, and that’s in a year of some very hot days already. We opened the window as far as we could, and we had the tiny desk fan cranked up to eleven (I’m surprised it didn’t explode by the end of the shoot-we didn’t switch it off for a moment) and worked with the room door open to allow a little more space and cool air through-much to the surprise and interest of a couple of the other guests. We also used the landing as an impromptu wardrobe, and it was soon filled with suitcases, lingerie and bits of camera equipment.

Whilst the space was pretty small, the room was packed with some great nooks and crannies in which to shoot. Of course, the bed dominated the room, unfortunately, but a fabulous window, some very atmospheric decorating, and various other bits and bobs proved to provide a surprising amount of variety for such a small room. It was also going to be a problem setting up any elaborate lighting-I realised pretty quickly that softboxes were going to be unusable, so I was back to small strobe attachments, and natural light. Fortunately, particularly with the natural light, we managed to get some fabulous shots. The sunlight was pretty harsh, so getting a decent contrast without blowing the highlights was hard, but-for the most part-I think we got the balance about right.

We shot throughout the day, and concluded with a celebratory dinner compliments of Lucy and Rayna. I’ll repeat that, just so that other models can take note: ‘compliments of Lucy and Rayna’.

As for Lucy and Rayna, what can I say? It was a real privilege, and great fun, to collaborate with them on this shoot. They are of course both fantastic and super professional models, and the day actually flew by. I’m delighted with the variety of images I got, and look forward to the next opportunity to collaborate with both Lucy and Rayna. Hopefully on a cooler day and slightly bigger space next time though…

Lucy Fur-Clumsily does it...

Lucy-blogicon
(Click on the Image to be taken to the shoot gallery) This shoot was the fourth collaboration between myself and Lucy, and all things considered, it has to be one of the most ill-fated in terms of actually getting going. We’d planned to shoot at Woolhouse Studios in High Barnet, with me travelling from North London, Lucy from out of town. We soon discovered, though, that the weather, and the tubes, trains and buses of London were determined to do their best to stop us shooting. We eventually got to the studio an hour or so late, by way of bus, train, tube and taxi, but not before passing each other on different trains, me heading south, Lucy heading north, and lots of phone calls and texts. The highlight was probably me leaning out of the taxi window yelling “Lucy! Lucy” to the rain sodden Miss Fur dragging her case sullenly along the pavement in High Barnet as we finally managed to be in the same place at the same time.

And, even once we were at Woolhouse, the fun didn’t stop. Two trips to the shops for batteries and supplies were required before we’d even set up the first shot, and throughout the shoot, it’s fair to say that an inordinate amount of clumsiness was on show. I could’ve been stuck in a lift with Sivester Stallone and Jason Statham and told them how crap The Expendables was, and still come away with fewer bruises, I reckon.

Fortunately though, and as ever when I collaborate with Lucy, we’ve come away with some great shots that I’m particularly proud of. Our starting point for this shoot was Hollywood glamour, and Hollywood noir, two themes that I continue to return to. Unfortunately for me, it’s getting to the stage where I want to go the whole hog, and purchase a couple of decent fresnel lamps, Arri’s or Lupo’s, but that’s going to have to wait a while, I suspect... I reckon some dodgy Chinese import fresnels might have to do to start with, until I get the proper hang of it. Anyway, back to the rainy Saturday with Lucy, and our strobist shoot at Woolhouse. We took our inspiration from Hollywood portraits, and movie/publicity stills of the forties. Certainly, we weren’t slavish in copying, but as noted, taken these images as our starting point.

I’ve also been noodling with Aperture adjustments of late, as well, and am pretty happy with the post-production on these images as well. Originally, my intention was to only produce mono images from the shoot, but a good number of the colour finishes I’m very happy with, as well, so I’ve included those here as well. They kind of have a Douglas Sirk feel, in a way, but definitely ‘kind of’. Anyway, hope you like. Lucy and I are both super happy with the results, for sure.

Darcy Troy

Darcy1-404
(Click on the Image to be taken to the shoot gallery) Sometimes I'm lucky enough to be asked by a new model if I'll shoot with them. That model might only have one or two shoots, or even one or two images posted. Sometimes, though, I'll see something that makes me think... yes-this could be a productive shoot. Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn't. This was one of the occasions where it worked out magnificently.

That said, it's fair to say this was The Shoot That Almost Didn’t Happen. Pretty much everything that could go wrong, did…

To start with, a text from the studio first thing in the morning to say that we were going to have to cancel the shoot. Something super urgent had come up, and it was going to have to be done that evening, so the studio would be closed. Frantic texts followed, and fortunately, within a couple of hours, we were back in track. The studio had rearranged stuff, drafted in helpers, and the shoot was back on. Hurrah!

And then the make up artist fell down stairs.

Yup, a text in the afternoon from my planned MUA to say that she had fallen downstairs, and was on her way to casualty. By now, I was beginning to think the shoot was jinxed. With a model who'd travelled up from Devon the night before, enduring five hours of trains each way just to attend this shoot, cancelling wasn't really an option. Fortunately, a quick text to the studio, and Adrian had a make up artist sorted within an hour. And, a fabulous make up artist and hair doer upper at that-the wonderful Carla Levy. Hurrah! What else could possibly go wrong?

Okay…. how about, the model arrives, but her friend accompanying her is in excruciating stomach pain, and is in tears. Darcy is also visibly distressed, and surely the only thing to do is to head straight to casualty. No, say's Darcys friend-just carry on, I'll be fine in a short while. Through clenched teeth and sobs. This seemed to be up there with the
Black Knight from The Holy Grail claiming 'tis but a flesh wound', as far as inappropriate self-diagnosis goes, but she's pretty insistent that Darcy gets on with the shoot, and refuses to budge on this, claiming she'll join us in the studio shortly.

So, we head to the studio with a somewhat distracted Darcy, and start to prepare for the shoot. Fortunately, about half an hour later, Darcy's friend came into the studio visibly restored, and seemingly none the worse for her experience. From there onwards, finally, things started to take shape. We had a limited time to work in, so got straight into the shoot. Fortunately, it was a lot less eventful from this point onwards. The aim of the shoot was to give Darcy a range of images across different genres, and considering the hoops we had to jump through to get the shoot up and running, I think we've achieved pretty well with the images here.

Akasha Asylum

Sammy2-547
(Click on the Image to be taken to the shoot gallery) A nanoblog to get some images from a recent shoot with Akasha Asylum, an alternative model from London, online. This was our second shoot, the first being a fairly casual saturday afternoon in the park shoot, in which we got some good images. We got some great ones in the second shoot though, including a happy accident when I was using the surface blur on Photoshop. i wasn't planning on using it so extensively in the images-I was planning to just blur the floor to ensure the focus was on Akasha, but when I saw the result, I decided to keep most of the surface blur.

Toots and Booty

TootsandBooty1-111 - Version 3
(Click on the Image to be taken to the shoot gallery) The fabulously named Toots and Booty approached me to do a shoot for their lingerie blog recently. Two friends who found that they have a love for classic lingerie in common, they’ve been blogging about it for quite some time now. This shoot, though, was to put images and faces to the names on the blog. Naturally, the shoot was to be lingerie focussed.

I’ve photographed Booty, or Chloe to give her her proper name, a couple of times before, and got some great images on those shoots. For Toots, though, this would be her first time in front of the camera. I needn’t have worried though-she soon settled into the shoot, and was pretty much a natural.

Rather than a studio setting, I thought that this one would work best in a more natural environment, somewhere that would give more warmth, and a slightly more intimate feeling, that you’d get from a studio setting. This provided me with the perfect opportunity to try Woolhouse Studios in North London. Emma Jane, who runs the studio, is an old friend, so the shoot also provided a chance for a catchup as well.

After some confusion around meeting up (who knew High Barnet Station had two exits. Certainly not the knuckle headed staff on duty that day, it seems...), we eventually got to the studio just a little bit late, and got on with the shoot. The location provided us with a number of good ‘sets’ and and I’m sure I’ll be returning there again soon. Not least, to collect the light stand I left behind, but hey ho…

As for Toots and Booty, well, don’t know about the girls, but I couldn’t have been happier with the shots I got on the day. We photographed a number of different outfits, making full use of the location, and came away with some fabulous images. And, considering it was Toots first time as a model, she did a fantastic job. Indeed, I’m hoping there will be an opportunity to shoot with her again some time very soon.

Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey

Wibbly Wobbly, Timey Wimey
EllaMae1 148
(Click on the Image to be taken to the shoot gallery)
Or, playing about with the shutter, if you like. This blog post is my first in a while, and first of all, my apologies for that. Unfortunately, the day job has been intense of late, and keeping me super busy. I’ve actually been shooting, but just not had the time to keep up with writing about the shoots. Hopefully, I can rectify that in the next few weeks.

Before writing about the individual shoots, though, I thought it would be good do to a short post about a shooting style I’ve been experimenting with for quite a while. I first tried this in the mid eighties, before putting my camera down for two decades, and enjoyed shooting in this style all that time ago. I’ve experimented with this style a few times since, with varying degrees of success, but feel like I’m learning something new each time I do so. As an aside, I’ve recently purchased a ringlight which I think will remove a lot of the hit and miss aspect of this kind of shooting for me, so I’m looking forward to playing with that at some point soon. In the meantime though, a little bit about this technique.

First off, though, the confessional bit. I’m not exactly au fait with all the technical aspects of this. I’ve heard it referred to as front synch or rear synch, depending on if you trigger the flash as the shot starts, or as the shot finishes, as dragging the shutter, and various other things as well. Bottom line is, you leave the shutter open for longer than the usual 1/125
th of a second, which will change your shot in a number of ways. Depending on what you want to achieve, though, the results can make for some great, atmospheric, and unusual images.

First of all, there’ll be some blur in the shot. The flash will freeze an image, but by leaving the shutter open, if your subject is moving, you’ll get motion blur in the image. This can add a real sense of drama, and of course of movement, to your image, while the flash frozen image will still give the image a central, coherent point.

Secondly, it will let in more light. Obviously, even if you’re only opening the shutter up for 1/50
th, or 1/20th of a second, there will still be more light. What kind of light will depend on where you are, and needs to be balanced against the image you want. Shooting in the middle of Summer outdoors (well, maybe not in England right now) will result in a bleached out image, for example. Indoors, though, if it’s a studio, you can manage very carefully what ‘kind’ of light gets in after/before the flash, as with the fierce image of Kayt Webster-Brown. If I recall correctly-it was 18 months ago-the flash was gelled with red, and the warmth beyond the red was the result of leaving the shutter open, and letting the ambient light in.
The photographs of Ella-Mae, though, were taken in a nightclub that we’d borrowed for the shoot. We were able to leave the flashing lights around the dancefloor on, and even got to mess around with the glitter ball thing. The photographs of Anita DeBauch were taken in a rather splendid hotel room, where the bedside lamps gave a very warm flight, and added some real warmth to the images. Finally, the images of Miu were taken on the streets of Tokyo, and the mono one-they don’t all have to be colour, for sure-was taken in the back of a cab on our way back to the train station.

And thirdly, you can mess around with moving the camera as well-the motion blur doesn’t have to be just in the subject. One of the pictures of Miu was taken whilst twisting the camera around as the shot was taken. Equally-although this isn’t something I’ve given any time to as yet-you can zoom the lens after the flash has fired, for a different effect again.

I still reckon this is an area that’s absolutely super-ripe for exploration, and I suspect that I’ve only just begun to get a sense of what can be achieved with this kind of photography. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy what I’ve got to date in this style.








Kayleigh Lush in Spain Part Four: Mono Mesh

Kayleighskinny2241
(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.

Iveta Niklova, at Harwood House, 2011


IveaIcon
(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

LucyFurIcon3
(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.

Morgana, photographed in London



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

Whilst I"m not usually a fan of studio based group shoots for various reasons, and tend to not to attend too many, occasionally there will be something which persuades me to join one. The neon shoot last July was one such, and the opportunity to get a few shots with Morgana was enough to persuade me to join a recent 'MeetUp' shoot in North London.

The promo for the event described Morgana as 'the alternative legend Morgana', and that sums things up pretty well. If you're not familiar with Morgana's work, a quick google of Model Morgana will fix that, and make it pretty clear why I'd be happy to put aside my indifference to group shoots, and sign up for this one. Additionally, I'd already exchanged emails with Morgana, having used one of her corsets in a previous shoot, when shooting her good friend Lucy Fur, so not least, this was also a good chance to meet her properly.

Of course, one of the reasons I'm not usually enamoured of group shoots is that in order to keep things running smoothly, the lighting setups need be functional, and, in order to keep six photographers happy, pretty much suited to all. So, broadly speaking, you will end up with a setup that's comparatively straightforward. No harm there-most of my lighting setups are usually one light, two max, with very occasional straying into the rock'n'roill bleeding edge dizzy heights territory of three lights. I'm that crazy, me. Anyway, my point is, simple lighting does not automatically equal bad lighting, but I do like it to be my own lighting, rather than someone else's. If someone else has set up the lights, and told you the aperture/speed for the shot, I find it difficult to feel that it's 'my' photo. Anyway, I managed to end up being the last of the photographers to shoot for each of the lighting setups, which meant that I could actually experiment a bit with the lights, and change them round a bit.

For two sets, I didn't change anything, but for one set, I thought there was potential for something a little more dramatic in changing the lighting. The light was originally set up with a big octobox, with the model far enough away from the white background to drop it out to grey. But, nothing dramatic. Adrian Jones, one of the other photographers had brought along some pretty impressive antlers for his own image, and was gracious enough to let me use them for a couple of shots. Very gracious-I know that as a photographer, having sourced a prop, and set everything up for the image *I* want, to have someone then go 'cool-I'll do that too!' is more than a little galling. So, hat's off to Jonesey, for being so genuinely generous in letting me steal his antlers for a couple of shots. Anyway, first thing I did was take the ambient lights down to leave just the light from the proper lamp, and take the soft box off it, so that we'd get much more direct light, and stronger, much more dramatic shadows. This resulted in a couple of images from the session that I can definitely call my own.

But, this does highlight the good side of group shoots-meeting other photographers, and seeing how they interact with the models, and how *they* get the best out of the situation. It's always interesting to see other photographers work, and there's always something you'll learn from seeing this interaction. After this shoot, for example, I know that I'll be taking much more of an interest next time I'm anywhere near an antiques place, or second hand junk shop-as I've realised now, you never know when something might show up that may well make an image some way down the road.

So anyway, Morgana. Blimey. I have to say, out of the images I got, I could pretty much have picked a dozen or so at random, and been very happy to post them. She's an amazing model, and I'm looking forward to collaborating with Morgana again just as soon as I have the opportunity, but this time having much more control over the setup, and full control over the concept of the shoot. In the meantime, click on the image above to be taken to the gallery of images from the first shoot, and check out the iPad wallpaper, featuring Morgana,
right here.





Elle Jonas in London

ElleJonas2-499
(Click on the Image to be taken to the shoot gallery) I photographed Elle in a somewhat last minute fashion almost a year ago. We go some good images-not least, it was pretty much my first attempt at shooting high key art-nude-but as it was such a last minute thing, we didn't have much time to do any planning. If I'm honest, this time wasn't so much better, but at least we scrambled together a dozen or so photographs for a very short mood board, to at least give us some pointers as to where we would go. Additionally, on arrival at the studio, we found some huge letters which had been discarded by one of the other units near to the studio, and were just stood waiting to be binned.


So we nicked 'em. Obviously. Be rude not to.

kayleigh
Unsurprisingly, the shoot went in a different direction to the mood board. This isn't unusual for me. Rather than slavishly copying the mood board, I like to take it as inspiration, and see where the shoot takes us. I've had some great results in taking this approach, and this shoot was certainly no exception. This shoot gave the perfect example of this.

Elle was particularly inspired by an earlier image of mine. A nude, except for a pair of ballet style boots, and which I've included here. Elle wanted to get something similar. Ish. There's no point in trying to reproduce the earlier image-that was a single, spontaneous moment in a shoot a long time ago, as the model was attempting to carefully stand in the incredibly awkward boots (and forget about walking anywhere…) to prepare for the 'proper' shot.
ElleJonas2-630 - Version 2


It served as great inspiration, though, and I'm equally happy with the shot which came out of my collaboration with Elle. Still a (mostly) nude, still boots, but not anonymous, very powerful eye contact, very different lighting and finishing, and a highlight shot from the sitting.

In the post production, on a lot of the images I went for slightly heavier processing, to get a different light and tone to the images. I wanted something cooler (temperature wise) , stiller and more 'fashiony' (that's a word, right?… yes???) . I also finished up a number of the images in mono, and that again gives several of the images a slightly different feel…

Anyway, in the overall, a shoot that I'm very happy with. You'll find a selection of the images in the gallery which you'll get to by clicking on the image at the head of this blog. And there’s an iPad wallpaper from the shoot
here.

Miss Lucy Fur, photographed in London

LucyFurIcon2
(Click on the Image to be taken to the shoot gallery)
I recently shot for a second time with Miss Lucy Fur, the first shoot being covered on my blog here . Lucy's a wonderful model, and I was very happy to have the opportunity to collaborate with her on a festive pinup shoot. It's something I've wanted to do for quite a while, and it was great to work with Lucy on this-she brought loads of ideas to the shoot, and not least, a wonderful wardrobe that helped us really capture a festive holiday feel in the images. We hit a bit of an emergency, however, when I realised the wrapping paper I'd purchased to wrap stuff was still at home. Doh! Fortunately, a quick trip to Brent Cross, a fifteen minute shopping spree, and we were sorted again.

We shot three or four different looks, with a mix of backgrounds, and I’m delighted with our results.

Claire in Salisbury

Claireicon
(Click on the Image to be taken to the shoot gallery) Two years ago, I photographed Claire at a nightclub location in London, a venue I'd used before, and which had some wonderful opportunities to shoot. This time, though, there was a different manager on duty, who took it upon himself to police the shoot, suddenly appearing in the doorway of any room we were using, to check we were not shooting anything he didn't approve of. Consequently, it was a lousy shooting experience, with neither I or Claire able to relax and enjoy the shoot, or focus for anything more than four or five minutes without interruption. A year or so later, Claire decided to quit modelling, so it looked like I'd missed my chance to have a decent collaboration with her. We kept talking, though, and I finally persuaded Claire that we should really get round to having a proper shoot.

Claire was up for collaborating, but our planning wasn't helped by Claire living in Devon, and me in London with a demanding day job acting as a major time sponge. Fortunately, invites to a mutual friends Hallowe'en party (Hawaiian theme, of course...) meant that we were both going to be in Salisbury over the Halowe'en weekend. So, having booked
Graeme Curves studio in Salisbury for the day, we got to finally planning our first proper shoot together.

As this would be Claires first proper shoot in well over a year, we agreed to just see what developed, without any big agenda, or any real need to get images for a specific purpose. Rather, we wanted to focus on just having an enjoyable shoot. Fortunately, Graeme Curves studio is directly above the aforementioned mutual friend
Nikita Sabliers retro and corsetry boutique in Salisbury, and we were able to borrow items to our hearts content. So we did…

And, whilst our first shoot two years ago was riddled with unwelcome interruptions, this time round, whilst we were interrupted, it was all welcome. Graeme was on hand, Nikki was in the shop downstairs, and our friend
Jess dropped by to try a few things on as well, ahead of the Hawaiian Hallowe'en, as well as Cheryl.

It was great to shoot without any big agenda, with the intention to have an enjoyable afternoon, and without fear or threat of interruption. As it was, we have a good fistful of great images, and have quite possibly persuaded Claire out of retirement. No bad thing, I'm sure you'll agree, based on the images.

Anita De Bauch, photographed in Essex

AnitaGalleryIcon
(Click on the Image to be taken to the shoot gallery) I’ve attended a small annual shoot for the last three years, in which myself, and around a dozen other photographers, take over the Channels Lodge Hotel, near Chelmsford, for a day and a night. Each photographer will bring their own model, and as we have the run of the hotel, we'll rotate around the different locations offered. Some of the buildings of the Hotel date back to the 16th Century, and make for a great location to shoot.

This year, the wonderful Anita De Bauch was my model for the day, and I have to say, that was no great hardship. A great location, and a wonderful model. Perfect. As I'd shot in a number of the locations previously, I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted to shoot in each locations, and additionally, what and where I wanted to shoot in the timeslots where my allocated shooting space wasn't great. It obviously helps a lot when you've got a model as talented and versatile as Anita, who can belt through any number of poses in almost no time at all.

We did manage to get a good number of great images from our limited time shooting together, shooting some alt-fashion in a disused-and probably more than somewhat dangerous-barn on the Hotel grounds. We also shot some great images in a bathroom, with a fabulous roll top bath, as well as some pretty lingerie images, and finished up with art nudes with experimental lighting.

It was a long day, but ultimately very productive, and very rewarding. I’m already looking forward to the next opportunity I have to collaborate with Anita on a shoot.