Lucy Fur and Rayna Terror

Lucy and Rayna


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(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…

Leila Shennib

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Blimey. This shoot was such a long time ago. Still, better late than never, I guess. The images here are from a shoot I did with US model Leila Shannib, on Santa Monica beach, in Summer 2012. This was quite a last minute thing, and I have to say, considering how actually very cold the day was, we got some pretty reasonable shots. We probably shot for around ninety minutes in total, and Leila was a trooper, considering the not fantastic weather. Certainly, I came away with enough shots to make me happy with the day.

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!

Mini Miu, photographed in Tokyo

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(Click on the Image to be taken to the shoot gallery) I was recently in Tokyo on a business trip, something which I do once or twice a year. This time, though, instead of arriving wishing that I'd arranged a shoot before travelling, I actually did something about it. I posted a casting call on model mayhem, asking if anyone in Tokyo fancied shooting whilst I was over. Much to my surprise, one of the very first to reply was Miu, who I photographed at a group shoot a couple of years ago. She now lives in Holland, but was fortunately planning on being in Tokyo at pretty much the same time as me.

We planned to shoot on the Thursday evening. All set, no problem. Until Typhoon Roke decided to show up. Wednesday afternoon, all staff were told to go home from the Tokyo office, as the imminent arrival of the hurricane was likely to disrupt things. No kidding. Wednesday afternoon and early evening, the whole of Tokyo got battered by the Typhoon, and having had to cross the street in order to get to a restaurant, I can assure you it was… intense. LIke Skegness Pier in Winter, only twenty times worse. So, I thought the chances of us getting to shoot on Thursday were pretty slim.

Fortunately, though, the morning came around, and it was a completely different story from the day before, as evidenced in the picture below. So, despite it still being a little bit breezy, and certainly rainy on the Thursday evening, and despite the plan to shoot out of doors, we decided to go for it.

I chucked my main camera, and flash gun into my bag, but decided that I would, first of all, try to grab some decent shots on my new camera, the FujiFilm X100. It's getting some great reviews at the moment, and I was pretty happy with the test shots. I planned to shoot a handful of shots on the new one, but despite it being a little bit fiddly and difficult to set (trans: 'although I hadn't even looked at the manual…') I ended up shooting with just this one. I'm very happy with the shots we got. I suspect Miu was more than a little suspicious about the little old fashioned looking camera, and was probably a little bit worried about the images, but too polite to say anything.

Honestly, so was I. I knew they looked good on the back of the camera, but that's not much of an indicator of what it'll look like once it's on a thirty inch monitor. It can look fantastic on camera, and then once on the proper monitor, out of focus, super wonky, or just not right. And, with a new camera, you just never know what the foibles will be. I needn't have worried though-considering we shot for probably 50 minutes of the two hours, we got a good handful of images that were more than worth the effort.

Okay-not quite fifty minutes. We then did a handful of extra shots at the end of the shoot in the Taxi on our way back to the train station. This gave us another couple of images that I’m certainly very happy with, and one of which is featured as the gallery icon here.

Anyway, as will be evident with the images, I experimented with exposure lengths of around 1/4 to 1/2 a second to allow for light trails, and ‘blurring’ but still forcing flash to freeze the main image, and was pretty happy with the results. The neon, and various lighting trails in the backgrounds definitely add to the images, I feel.

Check them out by clicking on the picture of Miu at the top of the blog, and feel free to leave a comment.

Anita De Bauch, photographed in Essex

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(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.


Miss Lucy Fur, photographed in Essex: Part One

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(Click on the Image to be taken to the shoot gallery). What a wonderful and surprising shoot this was. I was lucky enough to be invited to attend a mini group shoot (just four photographers) at a wonderful stately home in Essex recently. The bigger part of the hall is usually open to tourists, with a separate area where the family who built the house several centuries ago still live. Well, their descendants, but you know what I mean.

Anyway, we had the run of the museum bit. About twenty rooms, and massive grounds, for four photographers. So, not much chance of getting in each others way. The group was being run in a kind of random manner-if a model’s ready, photograph them. Well, yes. Fine. Except I knew th
at more than anyone else, I wanted to collaborate with Lucy Fur, much more than rolling the dice. Lucy’s been on my ‘must work with’ list for at least a year or two now, and when I learned she was attending, well, fantastic. So first thing I did was make sure I was first on the list to work with Lucy. And I was so glad I did. Lucy was absolutely wonderful to work with-charming, a wonderful model, receptive to ideas, happy to leap around the place, and cheerful throughout.

As noted, we had the run of the museum section, and so long as we didn’t break anything, or sit in the especially old chairs, we could move stuff around to our hearts content. So we did. The gallery here contains images from the first hour or so of our collaboration, after which I felt guilty for hogging all of her time, and decided I should let one of the other photographers collaborate with Lucy. It was hard to do so though-I knew we were getting some great images, and I really didn’t want to share. But, even as I did so, I made sure we had our plans for the afternoon session, and the images from the PM will be posted her soon.

I’m thrilled with the images we got, and certainly, the image above is one of my favourite images, not just from this session, but ever.

Lucy’s now at the top of my ‘must work with again, and soon’ list.


Trisha Lurie, photographed in Santa Monica

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(Click on the Image to be taken to the shoot gallery) I was fortunate enough to collaborate on a shoot with Trisha Lurie recently when I visited Los Angeles.

Whilst this was a somewhat hastily arranged shoot, I can't help but be delighted with the quality of images. I wanted to try for something that was a uniquely California shoot, and which was not the easiest thing to do in the UK-a beach shoot at sunset.

We shot around Santa Monica Pier, on a packed Sunday evening. As we drove down to park on the Pier, looking at the sea of people on the pier, as packed as Oxford Street
on December 24th, my heart sank-I thought there'd be no way that we'd get enough space to shoot without distraction or interruption.

Fortunately, we did just fine. We had a few interruptions, and quite an audience from the Pier behind us when we were shooting the yellow bikini images, but nothing that stopped us getting the images we wanted. We ran out of light before we ran out of ideas, however, and I'm looking forward to shooting again with Trisha on my next trip to Santa Monica.