Hectic weekend

So much for relaxing. This weekend we had two shoots lined up and a meeting with a model and her agent to discuss a forthcoming shoot. Usually I spend a few hours on my day-job stuff (things I cannot get done during the week) but there was no opportunity this weekend.

One of the shoots was away from our home for a change. We had to drive over to Leek in Staffordshire with a load of gear. A great opportunity for my eldest to practice her driving on a particularly horrible road.

The shoot on Saturday turned out to be a bit of a surprise. We were expecting an 18 year old woman with her boyfriend who also wanted some portfolio shots. The model had confirmed to me in emails that she had a passport and could prove she was 18.

She turned up with her mother and her boyfriend’s mother but no boyfriend. She confessed quickly that she was 17. Well, many photographers a) surprised by who the model turns up with and b) unwilling to shoot under 18s would have turfed them out. We decided to go ahead once things were made clear and I am glad we did. We had a good shoot and have some decent pics from it.

She is studying dance (amongst other things) at college and was thus was very flexible and able to move into and hold a wide range of poses. We probably did not take as much advantage of this as we could of done but as this was her first proper shoot we did not want to push her too hard.

Sunday morning saw us meeting an established model and her agent to discuss a shoot that will be a little different. Rather than have the usual model shots, which she has plenty of, we want to catch her in more natural settings and tell a simple story. We mapped out a rough story-board that will require her to act out a number of scenes. We can try many different settings and styles and choose the pictures that best tell the story when we put it all together.

Should be a fun shoot. One of our dogs will be featuring as well. What is it they say about children and animals …

After a hurried lunch, we packed a load of stuff into the back of my eldest’s Golf. Amazing how much those things can carry. We had a backdrop stand and the black material to go onto it, a couple of light stands, lights, softboxes, reflectors, modifiers, cameras, lenses, and a computer. The route from our home to Leek is especially challenging to most drivers not just a learner. It is only 30 miles but takes around an hour (despite most of the route being national speed limit).

When we got to Leek, it took a little while to find the flat the model lives in with her boyfriend. It was an upstairs flat with a good steep of steps to reach it. Fun. It took a fair while to get all the gear upstairs and setup but we spent the time wisely and chatted.

The model was mostly interested in doing lingerie shots, which was fine by us. She was rather cold though and goosebumps are obvious on many of the shots.

DanniShe was also rather adventurous. The stairs to the flat feature a tall and set-high window that we thought would make a good backdrop for a shot of her from the landing above it but she decided she actually wanted to be in the window. Her boyfriend (who otherwise stayed out of the way unless we wanted a drink) promptly delivered step-ladders and she had to climb to the top of them to reach the window.

We got some great shots but were nervous throughout the shoot. I still need to clone out the ladder from some of the shots.

Packing up afterwards took a while again. As she was tired from the original drive, lugging the equipment and acting as our photographic assistant I took pity and offered to drive us back home. Good job I did to. It was chaos outside with lots of cars manoeuvring around each other. As I was vacating a particularly nice roadside parking spot, there was a bit of a fight to get command of the road to win the space whilst letting me get out. The slalom I described was pretty impressive.

So, now I am home and have just finished processing shots from the previous day. The shots from today will have to wait for some spare time during the week.