Well, the title starts it....was this meant to be? After some mutual backslapping of each others portfolio on a particular image sharing and networking site, the conversation ended up arranging a shoot together! It was never meant to set out that way, but it seemed only the logical thing to do....the person? Why, her name was Katherine Velours of course! A model of growing repute I would say, particularly striking for her red hair and a more classical look, born of a different age. I loved what she had done in her work, she liked mine...it was definitely something I hadn't got and she wanted to work with me....so it had to be done!
Shoot arranged at Saracen House run by Andrew Griffiths, a photographer of some repute himself and I had heard a lot about him and the place before the shoot, but had never been. SO glad we arranged to shoot there. Katherine was already familiar after a couple of previous shoots, but she assured me it was the place to go. And she wasn't wrong! What a cracking little place! Met by Andrew and almost immediately offered cups of tea, he straight aware endeared himself to me! Friendly, approachable, very knowledgeable and highly enthusiastic. Top top guy!
Katherine and I had already discussed over the airwaves the different looks, ideas and so on, so she came "armed" with a broken case bursting with womens "stuff"...shoes, make up, dresses, pants, bras, more dresses, more make up...you know, usual stuff. But it was so sunny and beautiful outside! Would be a waste to not use it! So, on went a silky red dress, some classic and simple make up and a trip outside ensued! Was a touch windy and we ruined Katherine's dress within seconds of stepping outside due to mud and puddles, but hey ho, hope the images were worth it! The wind did its best to both ruin and help the shots and Andrew battled gamely with it with a reflector to get some light onto Katherine's face while trying to shoot backlit with the sun behind......and it came off! See what you think!
This ended up being a bit cold, as sunny as it was, so was just a quick shoot and then back inside.
Next? LBD! Well, Katherine's version of the LBD anyway.....not what I was expecting, but wow, it looked good! I had an idea for a look I wanted to go for, but being not that versed in the studio (I can work my way around it, but I am not that great on light ratios etc), I asked Andrew to add a bit of his knowledge and skill. And didn't he just! I only gave the outline of what I wanted to try and achieve and within 10mins he had set up the lights, got the settings and the look, first shot out of the camera, was frankly quite stunning! Props to Mr Griffiths! Pretty much nailed the look (I will take a tiny bit of credit for the idea I guess) and we didn't change this for the whole set of images with the LBD. Katherine again hit the spot with the styling and new from the outset what we were trying to achieve. This is where she completely came into her own. I directed a little at the beginning and from then on, she just went with the flow....arms, looks, expressions, positions, poses....she has the lot! We even dabbled with a floor fan to get some movement...glad we did, even if it made Katherine a touch cold....the look was fantastic! Oh and another cuppa was generously supplied and some cracking banter too :-) Katherine, Andrew and I were really warming to this now.......
We rocked that look for all we could! And was worth every second! Loved it! So pleased with what we got out of the shoot!
Next, we thought we would try some natural light stuff....the original idea was to try some boudoir style shots in a bedroom set, but it quickly fell into a very welcome and rather fun free for all in terms of ideas, looks, what we wanted to do and so on. My idea was to convert to B&W for most of them....little did I know that the light lent itself to such a great look from Katherine again. Once more, she smashed it! The lingerie was spot on, the look was spot on, she worked the light exactly, using the small frosted windows to accentuate her poses and we just shot away. We moved towards the light, we moved to the side of it, we moved in front of it, she sat on the bed, I jumped around like an idiot every time we hit a shot on the head cos thats what I do etc etc.....the shots just kept coming!
Cue even more jumping around and hollering from daft old me as each shot presented itself in the screen of my camera......so much so that we didn't realise that time was running out on our allotted time! Time for another look and one last chance to grab some killers!
Back downstairs to the studio we went.....cuppa provided again to keep us going, we discussed the idea of trying to pull of some classic art shots....the kind you see in art nude images and so on....but without the nudity. A challenge for both photographer and model, but one Katherine and I were up for. Katherine changed into what can be described as a black vest and black lycra shorts....sort of! Her hair was up and we were against a black background....ah! Tricky. To the rescue was again the indomitable Mr Griffiths. We conveyed our idea, he set up a single gridded soft box to one side, metered it and we were off. And again from the outset, pretty much spot on! The light was perfect! Now, all it was down to was Katherine to pull the poses.....and another completely different side of her came out. Long poses, compact poses....she had them all! In between we were discussing the merits of long hair, Pearl Jam and heavy metal, so I was a happy bunny (all things dear to my heart!). And while we were doing this, I just kept shooting.....and again, we got some fantastic shots.....
The last one was towards the very end of the shoot....relaxed, job done, in the can, its a wrap and all that jazz.....and I just love the casual nature against the light.....one of favourites. Probably not the most accomplished image, but really captured our day....
And then that was it! The end of a pretty epic shoot! And was worth EVERY second. Katherine went to go and get dressed, I packed up my gear, we had another cuppa and then had a chat with Andrew about the merits of some of the photography masters, how other photographers work, some gear and how fab the day had been. And it had!
The images are proof of a fantastic shoot. I couldn't have asked for more. Added a lot to my own portfolio and I also hope to Katherine's. But for me, it was a really fun day, I found someone who I would LOVE to work with again, try new stuff with and hopefully can go back to again and again without fail. Andrew was a total star and can't thank him enough for his generosity, his knowledge and enthusiasm and making our life a lot easier! And what a lovely little studio! Will be back, thats for sure!
But Katherine was the real star! Everything I threw at her, she wanted to try more! She was fun, happy, prompt, listened and added as much as I did. She was an absolute professional and really made my day easy. I could not recommend her more as a model and any photographer out there reading this, get this lady booked now. She will not disappoint. Thank you Katherine! We have to do it again sometime! Hopefully soon!