A touch of blogger’s block initially left me struggling with an opening for this latest post, but bear with me, all will become clear…eventually 😉
The title quote, from legendary photographer Robert Frank, got me to thinking and it really strikes a chord as it implies that it’s not how we as photographers feel about our images, but how we make other people feel about them.
We may think we’ve got a good one, but it’s only through the validation of others who have not been emotionally involved in its creation that we truly learn if we’ve achieved our stated aim. And it’s this which drives us forward as creative souls to come up with an idea or concept which makes people want to look at them again and again.
Incidentally, I could also have titled this blog ‘DIOR’ (or perhaps given the weather, Did I Order Rain? might have been even more apt!) which might just give you an inkling about the inspiration for a photo-shoot which last weekend saw me, fellow photographer and friend, Tim Charlesworth and sisters Georgia and Jaime collaborate to produce both elegant and urban images.
Tim and I had worked previously with Georgia and Jaime earlier in the year and promised we would do it again, but as so often happens, ‘stuff’ or life gets in the way and it was primarily due to Tim’s good offices that we finally managed to agree a date and loose theme for our photo-session.
A collective conversation via Facebook (isn’t that clever functionality?) resulted in us congregating in a local pub car-park on Sunday morning, where Georgia and Jaime proceeded to unload what looked like a large proportion of their wardrobe into Tim’s and my cars! Georgia jumped in with Tim, Jaime with me and off we set in the drizzle for our first location.
Now…ever mindful of our models’ wellbeing, we’d selected our first destination on the basis of safety near water – we had hoped to create a high-fashion image with our models standing in a shallow stream – therefore I’m sure you can imagine our reactions when we arrived to find the river bed dryer than a dry thing and nothing more than a couple of leaf-filled puddles – more about them later. And whilst there was no water in the river, it was coming down from the sky in copious amounts. As Tim and I set up flashguns (shrouded in plastic bags to keep them dry) and soft-boxes, we left the girls in the car, reading Vogue and nibbling on smoked salmon canapés provided by Tim (note to self…improve own offering of Mars bar next time 😉 ).
And just like the hokey-cokey, we were in, we were out and we shook it all about! The rain was determined to intervene ahead of its forecast time and we found ourselves diving for cover on a number of occasions. We did make a few OCF images, as you can see, but in truth the weather was beginning to become a source of real frustration. In the end, the weather won out and we returned to the cars where Tim produced china mugs and real tea – heaven! (He says he wasn’t in the Scouts, but I’m not so sure!).
Rejuvenated by the tea (earl grey with lavender – very refined when taken without milk Jaime 😉 ) we were relieved to see the rain clear and hazy sunshine appear so the girls did a quick change in the back of our respective cars and the high-fashion element of our shoot started to evolve.
It was here that the reflector was pressed into service; it had to be, as I walked across the little bridge, I knocked the transmitter from my hot-shoe and it plopped unceremoniously below into one of the leaf-filled rank puddles I mentioned earlier! Despite the girls trying to direct Tim to the place it had fallen, it was irrecoverable and is now languishing in its watery grave.
Nature’s own light-source, enhanced by a soft gold reflector helped us capture elegant and timeless images of the girls who by now were well into the swing of things, able to switch from loving sisterly expressions to cool moody model expressions with ease. A little empathetic post-processing has resulted in some images that I am happy with – and feedback from Facebook followers indicates the same!
As I looked at my watch, I was astounded to see it was almost one o’clock, we’d been busy for almost three hours and we all agreed it was time for a change of location. Driving the girls to Loggerheads Country Park they were able to change into their urban outfits in relative comfort and space of the facilities and once changed we all headed off to Mold. Almost all the shops are closed on a Sunday, (although thank goodness for coffee shops) so it was great to be able to freely wander around the town and we discovered some brilliant backgrounds against which to photograph the girls.
Looking back, we could so easily have called it a day when the rain came down, and it’s to Georgia and Jaime’s credit that they were prepared to keep going with Tim and me. But there was more good than bad. For me, one of the most rewarding things from the day is that they both contributed to the session with confidence and knew almost instinctively what Tim and I were trying to achieve, and they both told us they’d enjoyed it and would do it again!
So…did we achieve what we set out to do? Mostly, although we discovered we hadn’t used many of the props we’d gathered.
Did our images elicit an appropriate response from viewers? Yes, there have been favourable comments about the small selection of images we’ve published so far. For more of mine, follow the link to my web-site and look at the gallery Stylish and Sassy
Will we be doing it again? I jolly well hope so – I know together we still have lots of exciting ideas to bring to fruition!
What say you Tim, Georgia and Jaime…another date in the offing sometime soon?
Until next time
Really good fun with Tracy and our models Georgia and Jaime, two delightful young ladies. Will be doing it again sometime soon with another theme.
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