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.