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Rachelle in Blind Light

Still Winter in 2020 and this is my second shoot of the year, Normally I pick Rachelle up from the train station but this time she was chauffeur driven by Mr Summers himself. Sometimes I have a theme organise for Rachelle but this time it was more about Dark Light and Drama using shapes and shadows. Anyways we had a cuppa, a catch up and got on with it…

Rachelle Summers
Rachelle Summers
Rachelle Summers

And to Darken things down a bit…..

Now to add a blindfold to symbolise more darkness…..

Rachelle Summers

And closing the light down even more…..

Rachelle Summers
Rachelle Summers

Then a return to Light…..

Rachelle Summers
Rachelle Summers

and to finish…. experiments at the make up mirror…

Rachelle Summers
Rachelle Summers
Rachelle Summers

By now we had run out of time and Mr Summers had arrived to drag Rachelle away to her next adventure. Well considering this is our fourteenth shoot it never gets boring or samey, the rapport means we can be spontaneous and experimental. It was another fab day and it was a pleasure to meet Mr Summers on this tour, sadly this will probably be our last studio shoot here as the property is up for sale….but time will tell, it could be location shoots next time around.

Aurora Violet

The first shoot of 2020 starts of with a bang, well actually it’s kinda the second shoot as the first one with a different model got cancelled (with good reason) at the very last minute. Anyway it was a pleasure to pick up Aurora from the station, it was the first time we had worked together even though she doesn’t live too far away. Anyway, we got in, put kettle on, had tea and got started.

This shoot was intended to be dark, dark lighting and dark intent/emotions.

Aurora Violet
Aurora Violet

A little mono to bring out the muscle tones….again dark as a darkkity dark thing..

Aurora Violet
Aurora Violet

A change of lighting and ……snacks!, obviously….can’t do without snacks!

And some clothes!….I said some..

More snacks…and more light changes….and much more darkness!

In a portrait sort of style

The Dark shots are particularly techy to set up properly and it very much limits the models scope, however I think there’s a lot still to do there. And I will experiment more on the ‘Things that are not Seen’ in the future. Meantime we had a laugh and a giggle, and tried out a few experiments, Aurora seemed keen to play with ideas and managed to cope with my usual incoherent direction and mumbling.

Highly recommended model, fun, chatty and a pleasure to work with. Hopefully we’ll work together again at a later date.

Life is a Cabaret – Amber Castle

The last Studio day of 2019 with Amber and a theme suggested by here after she had been to the stage play of Cabaret. Seemed like a great idea to me, so we got there and after a quick outfit change and lighting setup we were good to go.

Amber Castle
Amber Castle

A little change of outfits and setting…

A little dark nude work….

Then a complete change for some portraits and three quarter length images…

And this would be the last ever art nude image as Amber has now retired from modelling…

It’s always such a great time working with Amber, the time goes so quickly and we play around and experiment a lot. However it’s time for Amber to close this modelling chapter in her life as she is moving on to other things. I think we can all say she has gained an immense body of high quality work in her modelling career. I’m sure everyone who has worked with Amber would wholeheartedly agree.

EFIAP/d2 – Job done!

So this year back in April I got my Platinum level FIAP certificate, and I wrote a blog declaring that I would go for the first Diamond level, the first of 3 ‘advanced’ levels. It was a tall order, I would need 50 awards using 15 different images in 5 different countries. Now normally that would be very tricky to do in a year, however it was worse because I had to start in April and submit in the beginning of December which left only 8 months rather than 12. However I finished the requirement in less than 4 months, I attained 50 awards using 29 images in 9 countries.

Since I finished EFIAPd1 I started on the Diamond level 2 at a more leisurely pace and finished it in less than 5 months. Again the requirements were the same for level 1. For those who don’t know the FIAP system…it’s a bit complicated and daunting to start with but basically it’s a numbers game and strategy is needed to achieve the stated requirements without spending a fortune on salons.

The Diamond level is all about awards rather than acceptances, acceptances don’t count at all, though they can give you a good indication to which images are working well. I’ve listed the images that have gained awards in the Diamond level 2, all are nudes/models. The list is in alphabetical order with no preference for any image, some got more awards than others but that does not mean the image is any ‘better’. Some have won Gold medals and some have won ribbons, but it must be remembered, it’s a numbers game…it’s better to get 3 ribbons than 1 medal etc etc. In saying that, it’s always nice to get gold medals and blue badges.

All the World Dead without Stories – Artemis Fauna
Artemis in Orange – Artemis Fauna
Attic Light – Artemis Fauna
Daughter of the Moon – Stephanie Dubois
Finesse – Lulu Lockhart
Firefly – Ivory Flame
Gemma in Feathers – Gemma Huh
Gemma in Red Velvet – Gemma Huh
Hold Against the Wind – Ivory Flame
Latte – Stephanie Dubois
Moon through a Dragonfly’s Wings – Katy Brankin
On a Misty Morning – Keira Lavelle
One of the Missing – Madame Bink
Red Lips Wet Hair – Jane Bennet
River Sisters – Scarlot Rose and Rachelle Summers
Simply Helen – Helen Stephens
Soul Train – Ivory Flame
The Bone Caves – Scarlot Rose and Rachelle Summers
The Lace Blindfold – Amber Castle
The Lure of Light – Helen Diaz
The Maker of Electric Dreams – Ivory Flame
The Rejection of Light – Stephanie Dubois
The Scars we don’t See – Tillie Feather
The Touch of Scent – Savannah J Sapphire
Lilith Shapes – Lilith Etch
The Afterswish – Lulu Lockhart

And that’s it, a big thank you to all the models I have worked with, even if you aren’t listed above you most definitely have been featured somewhere and will be again. So what now then? well there’s still Diamond 3 to go for…..that is a further 100 awards using 50 different images in 10 different countries, at least I have 2 years to reach that level.

Flames in the Studio

A second shoot with Ivory Flame this year, this is unusual as Ivory Flame usually ventures North once a year so it was a real delight to be able to shoot a second time. It was short shoot this time as she had a few bookings during this period. Anyway we fell into the studio and got off to a good start….

Ivory Flame

A quick change to a lace outfit…….

Another outfit change, an outfit Ivory Flame brought with her….

Ivory Flame

Then the pearl skirt and a light change….

Ivory Flame
Ivory Flame

We were running out of time and only had a 10 mins before the next photographer was due to arrive…but we managed to get these images….

Ivory Flame
Ivory Flame
Ivory Flame

All too soon we ran out of time …again, as you do..anyway Ivory Flame had another shoot at the studio so I set up the lights for the next person and headed out with a camera full of fab images. I had an appointment with a Gin Bothy that I couldn’t miss. This was a fun day for many reasons!

Ava

About 3 months ago in September I got a message from a local model, looking to do a shoot. We had a chat and got around to doing a studio shoot on a gothic theme, which was handy as it was getting near Halloween by the time we got to the shoot. Ava brought a few dresses and I had two or three stashed away in the studio. It was a short shoot so we got down to business, I had the lights setup before Ava turned up…it wasn’t long before we got some good images.

A quick change of dresses….

Ava

A bit of a break the a change of lights and outfits again….and the old chair!

Time for some portrait type shots, with quick fire outfit changes….

So anyway I had this idea for something a bit more horror like…..but I left it til the end because it was definitely going to ruin her make up. I had a cut throat razor lying about from a previous shoot and a quite a lot of sticky gloopy fake blood. This was gonna get messy…..and it did.

Ava
Ava

All too soon it was time to ….erm…..clean up! and get the studio back to some sort of decent shape again. It was a fun shoot, albeit sticky! and Ava seemed quite ready to go along with crazy ideas, which is pretty much my normal mode. I highly recommend Ava to other photographers and hopefully we will work with each other again at some point.

Stephanie Dubois

So this October I finally caught up with Stephanie Dubois, we had kinda pencilled in a shoot earlier in the year but stuff happened , as it does, and it worked out better for both of us in the end. It was a joint shoot with my good friend Dionne Jones, who had been wanting to work with Stephanie for a while. The idea was to do a four hour shoot then finish off with a three hour portrait workshop for some members of the Dundee Photographic Society. Quite a full day really.

Anyhow, after a natter and a cuppa we got of to a good start.

Daughter of the Moon – Stephanie Dubois
The Rejection of Light – Stephanie Dubois
Stephanie Dubois
Search for Beauty, find your Shore – Stephanie Dubois

Slight different light set up for a dark and moodier feel…

Stephanie Dubois

After a quick break, we went for something a little different with skirts and a dress…

Stephanie Dubois

Then to finish off, a few portraits before the portrait workshop…..

Stephanie Dubois
Stephanie Dubois

Four hours were over way too quickly and we had to say goodbye to Dionne before the workshop. And after a cuppa and a break attendees started piling in, and it wasn’t long before we got started taking images again. Stephanie made it effortless for them to get great images, her modelling skills shone through and gave a good variety of poses, demonstrating what a professional model can achieve. I usually forget to take images during workshops but I managed a couple.

Stephanie Dubois

And so it ended, people went away mightily impressed and Stephanie headed up to her next shoot in the the wilds of North Scotland. It was good to see Stephanie again, we had missed working with each other last year, timings and such didn’t work out, and it’s always a joy to catch up with life and get together again. To anyone interested i working with Stephanie you can catch her of Purple Port, Highly Recommended.

Savannah Sapphire

Late Summer I got a an email out of the blue, a model looking to work together when she was up in Scotland for a tour. I looked up her profile and was intrigued by the tattoos, so I was more than happy to work together in the studio. So one morning I picked up Savannah from the train station and headed to the studio…..stopping for the usual snacks on the way. With a lot of chat, cups of tea when we got there, make up, lights set up and we were soon shooting away. A theme of low light, shapes and mood.

Savannah J Sapphire
The Touch of Scent – Salon Gold – Savannah J Sapphire
Light on a Sapphire – Savannah J Sapphire
I Touched it’s Sliver Lining – Savannah J Sapphire

Time for a little more colour, mood and a break…I picked up this red asian outfit from a second hand store in the Grassmarket in Edinburgh.

A Sapphire of Ruby Red – Savannah J Sapphire
A Red Sapphire – Savannah J Sapphire

Portraits and 3/4 length images….Lights are changed and outfits dragged out to see what fitted. The silver gray dress was sourced from Nix Brown.

1001 Nights Unseen – Savannah J Sapphire
Savannah J Sapphire
Savannah J Sapphire

At this point one of the lights blew up 5 minutes before time and just before I was trying a new lighting technique. So we called it a day but a very very productive day, Savannah was a lovely model to work with, amiable, hard working and with great poses and modelling skill. She was open to experimental ideas and very patient when some tricky lighting needed set up. I highly recommended Savannah to any photographer, it was a great shoot. You can find her profile on Purple Port.

Artemis in the Wild

August is a bit of a hit or miss weather wise in Scotland, however the day Artemis and I went for a shoot was a lovely summers day. I was still recovering from an injury to my arm due a stupid fall in the garden two weeks earlier. I wasn’t very sure how well I was going to cope with the rough and tumble of a location shoot. Also the first location wasn’t known to me, a new location and an old site on farmland. Anyway after a quick snack we drove off to find this location.

We had no trouble getting there and after asking the farmers wife for permission to shoot, we parked the car and climbed up a hill to some ancient forts and structures. The farmer’s wife warned us of the presence of cows on the hill, they turned out to very curious and really took to Artemis.

The cows seemed desperate to get in on the shooty action any chance they could….

Artemis Fauna
Artemis Fauna

As you can see…..very friendly cows….

At this point I turned round to seem one nibbling at my camera bag, a little shoo-ing away did the trick…..for a little while anyway.

And of course…….

Artemis Fauna

Finally the cows lose interest…..

Artemis Fauna

The light was getting quite contrasty so we decided to move to another location, this time Boddin Lymkilns…..about 30 mins away, enough time for a natter and another snack….or two!

This time the trouble wasn’t with cows but people!…..it was a little busy with folks coming and going, cyclists and tourists n such…but with a little bit of timing and cunning we managed to get some shots in.

Artemis Fauna

Artemis Fauna
Artemis Fauna

The inside the Lymkilns the wind whistled inside like a chimney…..which it was really!

Artemis Fauna

Outside the Lymkilns we used some of the old fishing boats that lay nearby…

Artemis Fauna

After this we drove to Lunan Bay but the combination of the beach being busy with tourists and my arm starting to really complain a lot I called it quits, besides we got a lot of good shots and we can leave the beach til next year. And so ended another Artemis adventure featuring McDonalds happy meals, Farmers dogs, disinterested bulls, very interested cows, old forts, slobbered camera bags, nettles and brambles, limekilns, ruined buildings, pesky fishing boats, wind tunnels, sock chasing, old ruined boats and busy beaches…..just a normal day for us really with lots of fab images.

Amber and the Queens

Mid Summer and Amber and I are back in the studio for more shenanigans and craziness, Amber had the idea of doing a Christina and the Queens theme, so we used that as a jumping off point. We had a bit of a shooting gap this Spring/Summer as Amber had a stage of surgery and was still healing, all very much an emotional roller coaster but going well.

Changing up a little I had the idea of using the light stand more…

Amber Castle

For a complete change we did some Film Noir type shots, all dark and moody with a touch of impropriety…Lighting here was extremely tricky, getting the reflection light was a case of trial and error.

Amber Castle

Changing again for some portraits, with Amber’s reconstruction nearly complete it was good to show a little of the stages of the surgical results..

And with a little editing…

Amber Castle

Quite a productive couple of hours with much craziness and experimentation, by the time we were finished we were famished and headed out for tea and paninis at the local cafe! A jolly good outing I would say.