Saturday that had me ranging from Galashiels to Edinburgh and back to Glasgow to retrieve clothes from NLM Design and Velvet Elvis, meet with the stylist, Jacki Clark and visit Anonymous Order's exhbition at In Public. I arrived home in the early evening and turned into a vegetable. Perfect preparation for the next day's shoot!
Sunday dawned, bright and warm and I couldn't help having a little laugh at myself for planning an indoor shoot in the evening on such a warm day. All was not lost, I had to return to Glasgow to pick up the headpieces from Jenivieve Berlin and pick up Jacki at Glasgow University Library. I arrived early and snuck off to the new Nardini's cafe for a wee tub of ice cream, result!
Jacki and I made it to Greenock an age before the shoot time, so we wandered into the oak mall, had a coffee, did some shopping, bought a plant and generally dawdled.
We pounced on the barbershop just after 4pm and started slowly unloading the various items that we had brought with us. I'd had the good fortune to recruit some talented folk for the hair and makeup: Lesley of Head Strong Solutions and Lana Cairns provided hair skills. Melanie Watson and Katie Ford took care of makeup. I had Stuart McKenzie along as general gofer and assistant. Aimee was the first of the models to appear, with mother in tow, followed by Mel and Donna who arrived together. Kirstin, the fourth model was due in on the next train. A quick vox pop and Aimee became the Mad Milliner with the three other models assigned to be her hatted minions.
As we were testing the lighting with Donna, the first of our models to emerge from hair and makeup, I realised that we had left our blinds open as she spotted a somewhat inebriated guy peering in through the window, a possible escapee from the pub next door. So we said goodbye to the sun and closed the blinds.
The shoot went smoothly and everybody seemed quite relaxed and enjoyed the fab designs from the kindly folk that had loaned them. I did have a worry at a few points that we would find it hard to rip some of the designs out of the models' hands, but they were professionals and only shed a tear or two on parting with their favourite garments.
Thanks to everyone arranging lifts home we did not have to stop for the original deadline, overrunning an hour and only packing up about 10:30 at night. There were of course a few yawns creeping in by then from all concerned.
I lurched home in the car and backed up the pictures before collapsing in a heap. These are some of the behind the scenes, out takes and one unedited (including my elbow) group shot.
After a busy couple of weeks with weddings and photoshoots I'm finally getting a chance to catch my breath before the next storm.
Apart from a couple of prospective wedding couples to be met, I can take the next couple of weeks to regroup, reedit and prepare for some exciting new work at the end of the Month.
On 25th March I will be returning to the Harbour Barber's for probably the biggest of the planned shoots there. We will be borrowing hats from the fabulously creative Jenivieve Berlin Millinery
, some risque outfits from a boutique in Glasgow and creating a burlesque carnival within the confines of the shop. It promises to be challenging, if only keeping so many people out of the reflections in the mirrors and because we only start at 4:30 pm, so will be shooting into the night.
Last weekend saw me making the long trip to Melrose to delivery a print to Karen Reid Designs.
Karen had been one of the designers at the Perfectly Petite
shoot last November and this errant print had bounced between the Borders and a Parcelforce depot for several weeks, before returning to its origin at the lab. I'd picked it up myself in the end and had been showing it to everyone I could, before finally hand delivering it to Karen.
In the abstract I had been aware that Karen had been pleased with the resulting images from our shoot, some of my pictures even feature heavily on her current website, but it was still a surprise to walk up the stairs to her shop and be confronted by a gallery of my pictures on the staircase. It was quite a boost to the old ego, I can tell you.
The other motive for my shoot will become evident at a later date, as the week following the next barbershop shoot will see me descending on a very fine B&B in Galashiels for an all day shoot involving Karen's designs, vintage wedding dresses and gorgeous surroundings. I can't wait!
Compared to the previous weekend’s Rock n roll themed shoot, things did go remarkably smoothly this time. A quick text to the barber in the morning before setting off, just in case, and 8 am rolled in with both makeup artists, Aileen and Melanie, two of our 3 models, Jamie and Jenna and our stylist, Jacki Clark all present. Sharon, the third model for the shoot was due to arrive on a later train due to the need to travel from Falkirk.
In the absence of the hairstylist, Aileen and Melanie stepped in and got a chance to improvise with their own skills and did a great job in adding the perfect touches to Jenna and Jamie’s makeup.
The real star of the show though was a dress. This was another dress I had borrowed from Alison at Psychomoda. When I had seen her on Monday that week, dropping off the rock n roll prom dresses, this dress had not even existed. This wonder of creation was to adorn Jenna in her role as a mere Hollywood siren. Jenna donned it just before 10 am and stepped into the barbershop as a screen goddess.
Jamie had been ready a while longer, looking very suave and every inch the ratpacker we were looking for in a tuxedo, loose bow tie,cummberbund and trousers. These were hired from Keogh and Savage in Greenock but were a perfect fit. (the advantages of a model who gives accurate measurements!).
With a simple two light setup we gathered around one of the barber chairs and proceeded to create the first set of images for our shoot.
Sharon arrived on the 10 a.m. train and I nipped out to greet her at the station. I’d seen some promising images in her portfolio, likeJenna, but in neither case was I prepared for just how stunning our two female models for the day were. Some more dramatic and severe makeup and a slick hairstyle transformed her into the perfect role in our barbershop love triangle.
As I was waiting for the makeup and hair I had been discussing shoots with the stylist, Jacki. The best, most creative shoots are ones that have a story to tell. Last week’s rock n roll shoot had gone slightly awry with a change in location and an absent model, but I still managed to riff on the original theme of the prim prom girl being chatted up and flirting with the cool “bad boy”. This shoot at the barbershop was titled “Razor”. The idea was loosely that of a man, our model Jamie, who had left his first girl, the darkly jealous and very striking Sharon and was now living a very different, but possibly less passionate life with his glamorous new girl. The resulting love triangle was enacted around a barber’s chair with the eponymous razor being the one main prop and adding the necessary air of danger.
We got some spectacular shots and I was practically jumping up and down as the images in my head became reality. At 11:30 am the first of the barbershop’s staff arrived read for the 12 pm opening time. It was time to pack up. Thebrave and hardy models volunteered to step outside for a few more shots on the Greenock seafront, before calling it a day.
As we were shooting Jamie and Jenna staring moodily out to sea, we had our most surreal moment of the day, as a group of canoeists paddled by with a shout of, “Congratulations”. So, it was not a wedding shoot and there was no happy couple, but congratulations were definitely deserved by all that took part, an amazing, relaxed and beautiful shoot!
Thanks again to Euan at the Harbour Barber’s in Greenock for allowing us to disturb his Sunday morning and shoot there.