Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Stephanie Lindley: Train Station Girl

The long-awaited post.

I am fairly sure most of you will already know the story of how I came to meet Stephanie, or Steph as she is more commonly addressed...

I was on platform 4 of Basingstoke train station last October, trying to get to work in Brookwood. Previously, on the 2-3 occasions that I had travelled into work, I had left on the train at 8:25am and got there fine, however, this time, I was going in a bit later. I waited on platform 4 only to find that the train I needed left from platform 1 after 9am. So in short, I missed it. Damn. Not to worry though, I checked with an attendant and made my way to platform 1 to wait there for another 20 mins for the next train to Brookwood.

In the additional 20 minutes, Steph arrived on the platform with a short purple pixie-cut and long legs. I cursed myself immediately for not having a card on me. I thought it was a shame I was going to miss this one.

As I sat there, feeling very annoyed at myself, another train came for Southampton (?) I think. Steph started gathering her stuff and stood up waiting for the train to pull up and come to a halt.

I scrawled my email address and name on a post-it and went over to her to deliver, what was possibly, the most awkward sentence ever. I think it started something like: "This may sound weird, but hear me out..." and didn't get much better.

Well she took it and was very polite (though did check that it wasn't nude photography so I must give off a fairly substantial air of WEIRDO ALERT, as I suspected) but I was pretty sure as she got on the train that I was not going to hear from her again as I was aware that I potentially came across as a very keen lesbian.

I checked my emails fairly constantly that day. Nothing. Great, I thought, I blew it then.

I cracked on and put it to the back of my mind thinking perhaps she just hasn't got 'round to looking me up or isn't interested or something.

Then - I got an email (I think the next morning):

"In reply to your suggestions of modelling when we spoke at the train station yesterday, I am fairly new to this but would be happy if you could send me an email back of details and your expectations.

Stephanie Lindley"

Wicked. It was on!

We met up in Wetherspoons in Basingstoke to discuss ideas.
2nd time's a charm, eh Steph...?)

... And then 5 months later and here we are. I'd borrowed some Steampunk accessories from various folk. A beautiful All Saints dress from one, Lucile Kavanagh, an epic mono-goggle from Gavin Smith, a handgun made by Aldershot's Games Shop owner Rhys Knight, and half of LARP friend, Kate Evans' wardrobe. This was one of the looks we were going to try to create today.

But first, we got some beauty shots in the studio. Rachel using her brand new shiny RVB make-up kit. (Which looked amazing, by the way.)

If you are a budding make-up artist (or existing) you can enquire about getting your own RVB cosmetics into your kit by calling them on 01767 682288.

Or you can win some free stuff on their Facebook page here to get you started! You just need to 'like' and 'share' their page to enter the competition for your free kit.

Rach started out with some pinks and purples and gave Steph a really beautiful, and I think ethereal look.

The colour choice really made Steph's eyes stand out as they're a lovely sort-of amber colour. I already loved this make-up range.

And then Rachel added a bit more contrast and some eyelashes for a bit of fashion...

I then added about half a truckload of mousse in Steph's hair only to find myself happy with it as it was when we started. *sigh*

I love all of these, by the way. I'm going to just throw that out there.

Now do you see!?

This is why, sometimes, it is just worth looking like a complete psycho/nutter/creep/stalker at the train station!

OK, we were ready for Steampunk now.

We got Steph into Lucy's awesome dress and puffed it out with an underskirt, courtesy of Kate's wardrobe. We attached my old telescope and some assorted pouches and we headed out in the car. We pulled up at a lovely little area in Basingstoke that looked quite like countryside and had a suitable dirt road. Steph donned her mono-goggle and Rachel and I set up the 'set'.

Turned out, it was a wee bit COLD!

Steph's eyes were streaming, and I mean streaming with tears and so Rachel was very soon dabbing her tear ducts in between shots:

We got a few shots (about 25-30) and then we had to leave because, despite our efforts, Steph was turning into a human popsicle.

Not to mention, her make-up was running a treat.

We did get the following shot though before leaving..

So we aborted the location plans and had a quick go of this outfit back in the studio, and I have to admit, even though I had to scratch location off the plans to do it, I'm really pleased with the studio shots:

Another reason I'm chuffed with these is the lighting.

I kept the studio light on full power but only used the modelling bulb as my light source rather than triggering the flash. I then set my white balance to cloud compensation, creating a warm orange tint to the photos.

So that was my shoot with Steph.

I feel it was a huge success and personally can not WAIT to work with her again on another project. I definately enjoyed the shoot and am enjoying the results still.

... Now I just have to remember who's stuff is who's and return it all to it's rightful owners...

Monday, 19 March 2012

Pure Curvation Shoot: Charmaine Charuma

I pulled up to Pete Baldrey's house on Sunday 18th March and unloaded my studio gear. We were shooting some of the Pure Curvation girls today. Pete was working with Natasha Teixeira who has returned from extended leave and needed some fresh portfolio images and I was test shooting Charmaine Charuma, the new girl.

Pete set up the backdrop and I set up the lights whilst waiting for the girls. Pete then went to collect Charmaine from the train station making us ready to shoot for about 11am.

Charmaine and I went for something a little soft and feminine initially and I went for four of the lights as we had the option today. The two D-Lite 4's at the front and the two D-Lite 2's whiting out the backdrop on almost full throttle.

Charmaine actually came to us via another of the PC girls, Yvonne Gumbere and we're very pleased she did. Charmaine was a total natural.

Next we untied Charmaine's plait, separated them for more of a dreadlock effect and went for a baggy shirt and leggings.

Interestingly, Charmaine and Yvonne actually have the exact same pair of leggings. XD

This next outfit was my favourite. I love turquoise for a start but get a load of this...

We were just wrapping up from this one when Charmaine put these glasses on and we just had to get some pictures!

This is by far my favourite from the shoot!

A bit Nicki Minaj? Wouldn't you say?

Finally we went for shorts and vest for a more hip hop feel.

Sexy, right?

This delightful new addition to the Pure Curvation team can be booked already via their website or by emailing bookings@purecurvation.com.

Well quick! Go on!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Anya Adorable: The Alternative Rocker

I met Anya on the ever-popular model networking site, Model Mayhem.

I was browsing one evening through models in the area and I came across Anya's portfolio which was completely void of professional modelling shots due to her being so new to the wonderfully painful world of modelling. The portfolio instead contained several snapshots of Anya with different hair. Despite that, I could not believe that she hadn't been snapped up yet with this face:

Still being at the (not so) tender age of 16, I was still keen to work with Anya and get her 'up and running' with some portfolio shots that really show off this face. I was also concerned that with some of the 'types' on Model Mayhem that tend to pray on newbies, there was a large chance that Anya was going to get approached by a GWC (common in modelling world, 'Guy With Camera') and end up with some terribly low quality photos in her portfolio.

Well, I didn't want some GWC taking that opportunity away from me. XD

So we set a date for Sunday 11th March and I headed to her place (as it's only 'round the corner) which apparently contained a very big dog, though I didn't see it so for all I know, it was a very loud recording of a big dog, and met with her mum, Julie, to discuss what we were going to be doing that day.

We went to three locations, starting with the abbey ruins in Basingstoke:

Started out with a simple headshot...

I was trying a bit of heavy sun in the image above but not sure if I like it...
Had to give it a go as I'm trying to experiment a bit more with different lighting.
(As you can see on my targets and aims page here if you're interested)

I think that these next two are my favourites though:

I love Anya's expression in this ^


Next, we headed over to KFC, had some lunch, and then we headed off to the most exciting location of the three. Raven's Nightclub.

And by jove, I was excited.

It looked like something out of Supernatural:

I realised that, due to my love of run-down buildings and reckless location choice, I was going to make Anya and I the first 5 minutes of a Supernatural episode. Sam and Dean were going to come and investigate our disappearance/death very soon. (All the way from the US. Yes, I know. Fine it wouldn't happen. Whatever. Fact is, it was creepy as hell).

Seriously, look at this place.

I was literally thinking, 'hey, screw Anya, (sorry Anya), this place is amazing. I might just stay here all day!'

I'm definitely coming back here with Amphlett, anyway.

So, as Anya was getting increasingly concerned about my mental state, I thought I had better get her in some of the photos. :)

I didn't take her inside a lot of the building because it was very unsafe and the roof had caved in, in some parts.

... but we did go in where the roof had already caved in or been burned away.

I'll stay brief but feel free to skip this paragraph if you're easily bored:
The history of the building is ongoing. It was built in the 16th century and was a coach house, notorious for highwaymen and smugglers. That was when it was 'The Seven Thorns'. Later, it changed hands and was renamed 'The Spaniard', again, a good place to get your hands on some dodgy stolen gear. Even later on, it became Raven's Nightclub (still seen painted on the North wall of the building) but unfortunately for the owners, was set on fire in 1980 and was too costly to rennovate. They have since applied for planning permission to turn it into flats, etc but have had their applications repeatedly rejected and so now it stands alone and abandoned on the A3 near Hindhead, ready for my inevitable return...

So back to Anya.

This was inside the southmost part of the building where the roof had already caved in. Thus, no danger of losing my model to brick cake and having to go and explain to her mum why I returned without her.

This was my favourite image from this site, I think:

The roof has caved in here (note in the background) and the flare from the sun was fantastic (I think, anyroad). That's meeting point 4 a little better, I think.

So that was location two.

And for set 3, we paid a visit to the ever popular haunt, Waverley Abbey, in Farnham.

This was my favourite from the set. ^

Oddly, when we first got there, there were a few people about, but this particular bit of the abbey was empty. Normally this is the part of the ruins you struggle to occupy alone.

^ More headshots >

As it got dark, we also got this little gem of a picture. Anya lit up with Amphlett's trusty flashgun and the Abbey looking nice and eerie.:

Another favourite from the ol' abbey:

And there we have it. That was my first shoot with Anya Adorable!

A bit of a chance to develop my location work as I find it a bit hit-and-miss with regards to whether or not I like the results.

... and a bit of a chance for Anya to get herself started with her modelling career. I am pleased to say she is a complete natural, takes direction very well and, as I have said, has a great face.

I happen to know she has a lot of interest from other photographers already so keep your eyes out for more from her. We're also going to be doing some studio work very soon.

Can't wait to see more from Anya!