Lucy in Spring

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(Click on the Image to be taken to the shoot gallery) With the promise of Spring, and outdoor shoots tantalisingly close, I took a chance recently and invited Lucy Fur down to London to collaborate on my first outdoor shoot of the year. I’ve had fantastic success in the past shooting at a location in North London, first with Kayleigh Lush, and then with Sophia St Villier and Miu last year, and planned to use that again. That it's within walking distance of my house also contributes somewhat to the charm of the place as well…

We had the shoot planned for May 3rd, and in the run up to the shoot, had been anxiously watching the weather. As the day drew closer, it looked like we were going to get the sunshine we needed, but probably not the temperatures. My plan was to start the shoot at around 7.30 am, when chance encounters with dog walkers, etc… to interrupt the shoot are minimised, and the light is best. Unfortunately, the temperatures didn’t look like they were going to be anything like bearable so early in the morning, so we had a leisurely breakfast with my wife, and postponed the start to 10.00 am.

We headed out, and sure enough it was about bearable by the time we reached our location. All of the images here were shot with natural light. All were shot with the sun behind Lucy to get the wonderful rich colours from the trees, with a gold reflector used to bounce light back towards Lucy. I was shooting at around 1.6f , to get the wonderful bokeh (the out of focus bits) in the background. We shot for a couple of hours, by which time the sun was getting to be very warm, and a little too bright to shoot in, but still, it was a very productive couple of hours.

As ever, shooting with Lucy was an enormously enjoyable occasion, and I’d recommend Lucy as a model to any photographer.

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…

Lucy Fur-Clumsily does it...

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(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.

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.

Miss Lucy Fur, photographed in London

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(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.

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.