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.

Darcy Troy

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(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.

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.

Claire in Salisbury

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(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.

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.