Chasing Rainbows

It takes both the sun and the rain to make a beautiful rainbow.
― Cinderella

That’s right. I’m starting this blog with a quote from Cinderella. If the shoe fits, or in this case, the quote fits, then wear the quote with fabulousness. This quote definitely sums up the weather we experienced during this shoot. It was sunny, then cloudy, then drizzling, then windy, then torrential, then back to sunny; it could not make up it’s mind at all. But it does not matter. We were chasing rainbows and making the light work for us.

The beautiful Eleanor modelled for these photos whilst the ever so talented Beth Atkins created the stunning, natural hair and make-up look. Ele sent me a message, asking to shoot an alternative lingerie shoot as she feels frustrated by seeing “boring lingerie shoots” popping up everywhere. She wanted me to help jazz up the lingerie look by bringing in a lazy Sunday, yet edgy, twist - totally up my street!

We shot at my house, after an exhausting and non-successful search for an indoor location, which turned out to be the perfect location. I mean, where else are you gonna spend a lazy Sunday? Home is the perfect place, right? Taking photos in a location that you have previously shot in can be challenging because you do not want to fall in to the trap of repeating the same shots over and over again. However, on this shoot, ideas were flowing very naturally and I was eager to use the small space to my advantage. We used my conservatory and the garden, which closely surrounds the conservatory, so that there was a clear link between internal shots and external shots. This also helped to keep the colour scheme consistent. 

We shot four looks and shot all (except one of them) inside the conservatory and outside in the garden. The lighting was the most challenging part of the shoot, for both inside and outside set ups. Windy conditions meant we had limited time with direct sunlight before clouds pushed their way in front of the sun at irregular intervals. Patience is a virtue. We couldn’t help but laugh when we composed the shot and got the pose just right when the lighting would change and alter everything. Quickly, I would change the settings on my camera and take some photos before the lighting would change, yet again, and I would have to alter the settings back to how they previously were. When we noticed the passing clouds were only small wisps, we would sit patiently and wait for the lighting to change back to how it was. Although the conservatory is a beautiful, bright space, it was quite difficult to shoot indoors when the direct sunlight was pouring into the conservatory. This is due to the shadows cast by the window frames. I tried to use this element to my advantage and compose Ele so that the shadow placement was deliberate. 

Mixing it up a bit, I dug out my glass prism from my camera bag. Glass prisms are great for creating dreamy reflections and pulling light into the frame. Whilst taking these beauty shots with the prism, we noticed the prism was creating a rainbow along the wall perpendicular to where we were shooting. Excitedly, we jumped up, switched position to shoot with the rainbow. However, my excitement meant we lost where the rainbow went. Using a prism, whilst enjoyable to experiment with, can become a bit arduous because any minuscule change in position can create a completely different effect. The changing lighting conditions meant the rainbow was not always present whilst moving the prism around. Carefully changing the position of the prism, I kept making strange “ooooooooOOOOOHHH-AH!” noises as though the sound would help lure the rainbow back. We so desperately wanted the rainbow to be where we previously spotted it. We couldn’t help but laugh at how so much effort was going into a simple beauty shot. This is when Ele decided the shoot should aptly be called Chasing Rainbows. A few moments and strange noises later, the rainbow was back in the perfect spot and we snapped some gorgeous beauty shots - possibly some of my favourites from the shoot. 

I adore the photos from this shoot. I am thoroughly enjoying shooting with direct sunlight at the moment. If you follow me on Instagram, you will see that a lot of my recent shoots have incorporated shooting with direct sunlight. Hopefully the weather will remain bright so I can venture out, camera in hand, to take some more shots like these.

Spread The Love

All you need is love, right? The Beatles knew that. Those five little words got me thinking about just how important love is. Not necessarily a “kissy kissy” kinda love, but a caring, encouraging, supportive love between friends, family or even strangers. Love is for all. I bet you’re thinking, “okay, where are you going with this?” Well, lemme explain…

Christmas was a good opportunity to catch up with friends and family. It was really nice being able to see them, do fun things together and have a good ol’ natter. One thing that came up in conversation often was social media, and in particular, Instagram. It was discussed that the same one or two peoples’ posts would seem to feature multiple times across their feed, and not necessarily in chronological order. These posts are always swiftly followed by advert, upon advert, upon advert, often missing out on the content that they want to see. Also, when posting on Instagram, a lot of people felt deflated that their posts had not done so well, when they originally felt good about posting it. Almost like an addict hooked on the adrenaline of getting “likes”, they would keep opening Instagram to check to see if the post had done any better. I’ve felt a similar way. I’ve noticed that I spend far less time on Instagram than I used to because each time I use the app, I end up feeling down. It makes you feel like you’re doing something wrong.

Well let me tell you something… YOU ARE NOT DOING ANYTHING WRONG. You’re all wonderful individuals who deserve to express yourselves in any form you like. YOU DO YOU. This year, I intend to support others more on social media by “liking”, commenting and (where possible) promoting their wonderfulness. Instagram and other social media sites should be a positive space, and they can be used as such, this is why I intend to change the way I perceive and use it. The other day, I was listening to the radio and the DJ was discussing ways of showing your appreciation for the people in your life. He recommended sending a message to a different person each week on a Monday morning telling them how much you care for them and how truly special they are. This small act of kindness will help brighten their day, set them up for the week and give them a boost of confidence and happiness. This really stuck with me and made me realise how genuinely important it is to show someone you care. Something so simple can help someone more than you may know. This really inspires me.

All you need is love. The Beatles were on to something, weren’t they?

Run, Forrest, Run!

Not only was I excited that myself and Eleanor Overvoorde were finally working together, but we planned to do something super duper awesome! Eleanor mentioned that she liked the bloggers portraits that I do around the city centre and wanted something similar for her model portfolio. She recently had a dramatic hair cut from having very long to very short hair, and was after an edgy feel for the shoot to suit her new look. She asked whether we could do an urban running shoot, which I absolutely said yes to, and together we planned a concept for the shoot.

We both excitedly put together Pinterest mood boards to find we were definitely on the same wavelength. We were looking at images of models on steps, stretching or looking like they were getting ready to run, over the shoulder shots, straight on shots and some powerful running action shots. We spotted the landscape in these shots were typically plain or monochrome, so we decided the UEA would be the perfect location for the shoot. The UEA is great for both symmetry and asymmetry, simplistic colour and shape, different levels, staircases and corridors. This was the perfect location because it gave us lots of options to work with for setting up the shot, and built on pre-existing concepts for the urban running theme. For the make-up we wanted to keep the look fresh, a hint of colour and a smidge of dewiness. I asked Kerry Eaglen to help us out with the make-up, who did a flippin’ awesome job as per usual! 

I wanted the photo shoot to play out like a work out. We started off with the warm up (sitting, stretching etc), to running and finishing with the cool down. Of course, I didn’t make Eleanor run the whole time (I’m not that evil, I promise!). Instead we took it really slowly, and only asked her to run in short blasts so she wouldn’t tire herself out. For example, I would ask Eleanor to run towards me or away from me with only the need to take a few steps at a time. I do this for two reasons. First of all, it keeps the action simple and easy to amend, such as “that was great, turn your face a little to the left next time.” And secondly, it is easier for me to get the focus on her whilst she is moving. Eleanor goes running regularly and enjoys it, so this certainly was the photo shoot for her. For the cool down, we found some striking steps that worked well in the background. As soon as we both caught a glimpse of the steps we uttered in unison “Woah!” The reason we liked them so much was due to the plants crawling up and over the concrete as though conquering the manmade structure. We couldn’t resist it! The action or pose for this section was based around calmer movements, such as sitting or walking. 

What I love about these photos is the grittiness and contrast between the light and dark tones. I think the location helps to showcase this. The UEA is a great location for being simplistic, geometric and monochrome whilst also keeping the background stimulating throughout the series. Eleanor interacts with the location really well, her poses are both natural and expressive, and feels really in tune with the theme of the shoot throughout. I feel truly happy that I was able to be a part of this shoot, and grateful that Eleanor asked me to take photos for her. Although I have worked on action shots and sport shoots previously, I always like to build on the work I have done and develop my skills. Furthering knowledge and creating should always be a fun process.