I have a plethora of classic Hollywood black and white photos adorning the walls of my flat, especially the hallway. When I first moved in I wanted a cheap and striking way to stamp my mark on my new abode and I formulated a plan. I had amassed some great images from an old falling apart book of film stills, pictures from previous year’s Paris calendars and quirky postcards, mainly from bars and restaurants hoping you'll stick them on your fridge and spread the word! A quick trip to Habitat (RIP!) to acquire a stack of clip frames in multiple sizes and I started filling all the wall space with these framed images. My two favourites are a large battered framed B&W image of Vivien Leigh in a huge full-skirted white dress that lives in my bedroom and a more minimalist Louise Brooks print with her striking bob and pearl necklace that has pride of place in my lounge.
When we had to decide which era to focus our fashion shoot on today, it was so easy, my inspiration was all around me. Luckily we all leapt on the Hollywood glamorous 40's style very quickly and the first look the fabulous stylists put together was inspired by iconic Audrey, long black dress, hair piled high with something sparkly at the front and the distinctive long gloves clutching a cigarette holder.
The plan was we’d design a lighting scheme and each photographer would take it in turns to slot the remote flash firing thingy in their hot shoe, tether their camera to the laptop and direct the model to pose in their desired way. I was the very last photographer to go before we chose a new look and had the model restyled. The whole process had taken a while with so many photographers so I figured I better be swift. Firstly so we could see the shots coming through on the laptop screen to make it easier to make some lighting and restyling decisions we tried to hook me up but we immediately realised the tethering cable connector was too chunky for my svelte little Leica, so I remained untethered. Then I had to remove my EVF for the remote flash hot shoe thingy but it didn't want to control our flashes (note to self have since researched, I need manual exposure and forced flash). It was a shame but I really don't like composing via the Live View anymore so was pleased to get my EVF back on and try a new approach. The decision was made to turn the lights on and hold them where they'd be the most effective. Very old school Hollywood appropriately. You can tell the difference, in the shots when I'm directly our fabulous and accommodating model, the shadows are much more dramatic than the designed subtle lighting scheme. Luckily, I rather liked the effect. B, one of the other photographers, had brought in the vintage folding binoculars and I was determined to work with them. This was my favourite shot, I love the inverted ’mask’ shadow framing the mouth. I toyed with colour and black & white especially as our model has such striking hair but as I think I've finally found one of my own photographs to add to my wall gallery, B&W wins!