I’ve always been a big fan of behind the scenes images, though I’ll be the first to admit that, when working on small, intimate photo shoots with a small creative team, such as this one, I don’t always remember to capture as many BTS moments as I’d like. I’m too busy being the photographer, makeup-consultant, hair-consultant, set-designer, lighting director, general shoot manager, director, creative extraordinaire! It’s always nice to have an assistant on hand with a second camera, but otherwise, I make do, be it because they’re absent or too busy holding reflectors and rearranging lights to be using their own camera.
Model: Jessica Bailey
Hair and MUA: Emma Grant
Styling: Emma Styles
This was such a wonderful shoot to be a part of. I am lucky enough to have worked with both Jessica and Emma numerous times before, and we have become quite the creative trio, fueling each other to strive for perfection; I always feel that my portfolio comes away stronger after a shoot with either of these two lovely ladies. It was quite a complex array of mirrors, coloured filters and lighting set ups, meticulously planned and put together after a practice session the night before to be sure that I could light the set exactly as I wished – allowing us more time to actually create beautiful images, rather than faffing about with experimental set ups, though I am aware that sometimes, the experimental set ups bring the best results, because they are unexpected. Were it not for the limited time slot on the studio, there would have been less planning, more experiments.
With mirrors, filters and lights, you’re probably wondering why on earth I worked sans assistant. While I did have help for the initial set up of polystyrene reflector boards and moving the lights into position, I decided that in this instance, I preferred to keep the shoot as intimate as possible, a chance for three girls to have a laugh, in order to create a relaxed atmosphere that would result in images to match. My assistants tend to be men, and while I adore them all – otherwise I would not work with them, no matter how good an assistant they may be – sometimes a shoot calls for loud music, girly stories that we can laugh at during outfit changes, and general silliness, such as the final image above. Besides, though we went against the idea in the end, there was contemplation of nudity; I would never force a model to pose in front of a male assistant.
I definitely made the right decision, even if at times I was a hand-short in holding both camera and mirrors (seriously, I think evolution made a big design flaw in giving us only two hands. I constantly find myself envious of
octopi octopuses octopodes), in which case Emma would come to my rescue. We often work in this way, and equally, I tend to act as the ‘makeup passer’ or straightener plugger-inner, hovering around the neatly laid out table waiting for instruction during each makeover. It’s teamwork, and it works a charm.
And for you, a selection of quick, unedited previews of my favourites from the day. I would love to hear your thoughts, once the final, edited versions are posted.