Sunday, 29 September 2013

Day 272 : punk it up!

Today has been much anticipated, we’ve been looking forward to today arriving for months. This is the rescheduled and rescheduled and rescheduled second studio shoot. Mr Macro has found us an amazing venue for our efforts today, a much in need of refurbishment old cinema and art venue in Woolwich. There's loads of space, lots of potential, grungy stairwells, retro velvet seating, funky red walls, black and white tiled floor, old electrical boxes and a stage. The group has poured over model cards and chosen Karis for our modern punk theme. I wore the super spiky necklace I bought in Iceland which always makes me feel a little Viking and my Alexander McQueen skull ring to get me in the mood and lend out as props if needed.

As a surprise there was a second model waiting for us, as well as C, our fabulous stylist, plus two makeup artists/hair stylists.

First we have a tour of the undoubtedly eclectic venue, and for some of the spaces we had to don hard hats, so possibly a bit harsh for our models to put them in peril! We then sort through all the clothes and accessories, holding various items up, trying pieces next to each other and choose our look(s) for today.

The models are bring primped, coiffed and styled and we chose our first location and start playing with the lighting.

We all start together working with the black and white stairs. We’ve selected some tartan and red accents to counterpoint the black and white of the steps we’ve selected.

The model is a little hard to work with, we wanted a less pretty look and more spiky in her posture. We want fierce! We’re amateurs so we need the models to almost be psychic and anticipate what we need. I've been able to get the pocket wizard to respond to me this time but annoyingly I have to abandon the EVF so I really can't see properly what I'm doing. I want my inbuilt flash to trigger the remote flashes but they’re not keen!

Now the second model is ready we split the gear and photographers into two groups. We are rather taken by a fabulous white coat against the kind of Art Deco red wall. I cannot get the lights to work for me for this costume. We’ve only got one pocket wizard so everyone else ’borrows’ Macro’s camera which with his eye-fi card inserted we can see directly on the iPad. I've never had a DSLR and I'm just not used to any of the controls so I just have to muddle through with my camera and work out why it cannot seem to see any light. I give up on the white coat but I manage better when we add blue gels to the lights and someone holds them for me. I'm not sure I've they have the punk look but we’re swapping models now.

We go upstairs to try something a little more grungy in the stairwell. Our model is very obliging, tirelessly flinging her legs up on the bannister to give us the look we’re going for. We’re still having lighting issues. I think in our eagerness we just keep not letting the lights recycle and then get repeatedly impatient with them whilst our poor model contorts herself time and time again.

We don't have a huge amount of time remaining but we’re keen to get some photographs in the “danger, danger” room. The ambient light is failing but we’re determined to try a few more poses. Our model is amazing, coming up with great, spontaneous poses for us to experiment with and we eke every moment we have left. My battery fails after the first one-two-three shot I have with the lights and there's not enough time for me to dash back down and up again with a replacement. I think I've managed a couple of shots I'm proud of.

AL has baked a farewell chocolate cake for C, our fabulous stylist, as she’s returning to Belfast. We’ve also got some bubbly to toast her. It’s been an exhausting day but also huge fun and predictively now I've a yen for my own speed lights. I foresee shopping in my future!


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