The Saturday Matinee - Shooting with Perfectly Petite
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Photography Blog by Duncan Holmes

The Saturday Matinee - Shooting with Perfectly Petite

Much to the studio owner’s annoyance I’d arrived half an hour early for my booking. Still it gave me a chance to assemble the clothes rack upon which I would be draping the designer’s clothes, psychologically prepare myself for the day and remember to get the chocolate muffins out of the car.
 
This was the big day, the culmination of several weeks of planning by myself and Nicole Abbott, the Perfectly Petite shoot at Dreghorn Photography’s studio.
 
On the clothes rack were 4 outfits by Psychomoda, an array of separates from C.Watson and Velvet Elvis and a couple of beautiful print dresses from Eleanor’s Riot.
 
Gary, one of the makeup artists for the day also arrived with plenty of time to spare, and in another new hair colour, so we sneaked past the customers awaiting their wares from Stuart and went and hid in the makeup room. A few more folk trickled in before the witching hour, and then the full horde arrived. We were down a makeup artist due to a family emergency, but luckily we had Gary, Poppy and Carla to furnish our models with faces and Lesley with her many bags to provide some interesting and fun hair styles to match the themes of the day,
 
Once set up and raring to go I started off with Becky and then Gemma in their Perfectly Petite t-shirts, before doing  a few group shots with 4 and then 5 of the models in their PP shirts. The idea is to place some of these on a background of a police line-up height chart for a fun, but pointed message in line with the group’s raison d’etre.
 
And then came the fashion. The generosity of the various designers had been overwhelming and we had a fine array of attire for the 9 models that were gracing us with their presence. I’d taken a little pre shoot advice from Jacki Clark, who had helped me out with styling on the Radisson shoot, but we had Lisa Heidinger there to help on the spot with her own ideas and thoughts. She lined up the outfits and the models to suit. Unbeknownst tome, this had caused a little tension behind the scenes, as differences of opinion over the subjective matter of styling arose.
 
Still the shoot went on. Karen Reid had arrived, after being slightly lost in and around Govan, as had the last couple of our models for the day. It was great to have Karen’s hands on help with the hats and headpieces she had brought along with her, adjusting and tweaking. We even managed to sneak in some shots for just her hats, as well as finding pieces to match some of the clothes from the other designers.
 
I should mention here that we also had three lovely ladies from the Glasgow Guardian with us and Jill Geoghan from the Edinburgh Reporterfor part of the morning and early afternoon. I managed to speak to them while the ladies were in makeup, but who knows what tales may result. Still we’ll have a press pack and pictures in a few days, to fill in any gaps.  But it did give me a deadline for the first few pictures, Sunday night at the latest!
 
Just after switching backgrounds at 3pm I was about ready to collapse, but luckily the studio owner and his assistant were on hand to keep the shoot rolling. They managed to grab a few pics of the fabulous hats by Karen Reid Designs while I recharged, had a drink and a bit of flapjack and recovered my mojo.
 
We kept shooting up to just before 5pm, when Stuart was kind enough to step in again and take a group shot of those of us still standing (or in my case sitting) at the end of the shoot. Some of our furthest flung participants had had to run before the end, to make buses, trains, jobs or other commitments.
 
A quick stop on the way home for the supermarket and some food and I settled at home with some Crabbie’s ginger beet and 1,742 photos to go through.
 
Talking of numbers; 9 models, 3 makeup artists, one hairstylist, one stylist, one photographer and assistant, 3 journalists with photographer, 4 designers (1 on the shoot), 1 studio owner and assistant, over£4,000 worth of clothing and hats and 1 broken lens.
 
Yes, the one black mark on the otherwise perfect day was the apparent death of my most used 24-70mm zoom lens. The focus is refusing to move beyond a certain point and it’s frozen up. I had to resort to my 50mm and 85mm lenses and my Mark 1 zoom (my feet, or when shooting up at the models,shuffling along the floor on my bum). It did reinforce the old maxim or always carry a spare. I had a spare camera with me and I also had these extra lenses, without which the shoot would have been a bust and a whole lot of people’s time and money would have gone up in smoke.
 
So, this is another example of my wedding photography and fashion photography playing off of each other. The wedding photographer can’t afford not to have a fall back /spare for any piece of equipment with him on the day. You can’t pop home half way through the ceremony, or mug one of the guests for their camera!
 
You might ask what shooting fashion in the controlled environment of a studio does for my wedding photography. I would say it adds to my repertoire, gives me new ideas about posing brides and smaller groups and shows me how different light sources can influence my pictures in different environments.
 
And why Saturday matinee? Well, the Velvet Elvis combination of sci-fi and cartoon motifs, along with the Psychomoda Jessica Rabbitesquedress and the theatricality of the hats, all lean themselves towards the world of cinema.
 
Still, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves...here’s a small preview from the day’s shoot.  A slightly wider selection is on my Facebook pages and the final images will no doubt see the light of day once I emerge from my editing cave. My understanding wife may not be quite so understanding after the 5 or 6 nights of me being perched over a hot photoshop, tweaking and finessing the great pictures I managed to get from the shoot.
 

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