Sometimes I love shooting really really loosely with no plan at all. A lot of time time I am working in the studio with lots of pre-production, planning, and conceptualising. I’ll make mood boards, work with a stylist to match outfits to concepts, or have my models sit through 3 hours of hair and makeup.
But sometimes I like to be spontaneous and go into a shoot with no plan. Particularly for tests. I like reacting to my surroundings and working with what I have got. I think that this kind of shooting keeps me on my toes.
Last week I invited Peggy Ford from GTR to test with me in Port Melbourne. We had worked together before, and I really loved Peggy’s energy and persona. Plus she lived nearby, so a casual shoot was easy to organise. We had no hair and makeup, and no stylist. Literally Peggy, myself, and a camera. Peggy did her own hair and makeup, which was natural and clean. I wanted to focus more on her, and her expressions.
So we got in my tiny car and drove around Port Melbourne, jumping out and taking a few snaps as we arrived at locations that caught our eye. It was a really overcast day, which I quite liked because the light was even and flattering.
At one stage we stumbled upon an abandoned indoor swimming pool- so of course we ventured inside. There were some shattered windows that let in the most gorgeous light, which provided an interesting contrast to the almost apocalyptic background. The water in the pool was bright green- it looked like it had been sitting there a while. So we were very conscious of not falling in!
The final shots of the day were taken on the beach. I usually don’t like shooting models on the beach, because I feel like it can look quite typical or overdone. But I loved the soft light and washed out tones that the weather gave us. Teamed with a light blue sweater, the mood of these images was very light and natural. I was really happy with how the whole shoot came out.
In total, we spent about and hour and a half shooting and driving around. Peggy was brilliant in front of the camera, and so diverse, so we were able to shoot really quickly. Plus I enjoy a fast paced shoot as I think it keeps the energy of everyone involved on a high level, and also stops the shoot becoming a drag. I like to think that if I’ve got the shot- move on. If I haven’t got the shot and it’s not working- move on.
I’m really looking forward to my next test shoot.