There are some shoot ideas that just hang around in your head for years and then one day, the opportunity arises to make them a reality. Such was the case with the forthcoming FOTO-CLUB “Gypsy Caravan Shoot With Ivory Flame“. Ever since I first worked with the wonderful Ivory Flame a few years ago, I’ve thought “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to do a gypsy-themed shoot with Ivory Flame and a traditional horse-drawn gypsy caravan…”.
And then, as if by magic, when looking around the beautiful house and gardens that were to be used for the “Luxury House Fashion Shoot” a few months back, there, at the end of the huge garden… was an original, authentic gypsy caravan. Suddenly it fell into place and I quickly asked the owner if it would be possible to use it for a shoot.
There was only ever one model I wanted for this. Ivory Flame. The epitome of ethereal and natural “English Rose” beauty with a bucket of Pre-Raphaelite influence and a hint of Celt thrown in.
I look forward to posting the images here soon, but there are still spaces if you’d like to join us. The venue’s address will be revealed once you’ve booked but it is near Lapworth, Solihull.
The FOTO-CLUB trip to Spain in September was based at a beautiful villa in the Mijas Golf development just inland from the Costa del Sol. The quaint “white village” of Mijas was a fifteen minute drive from the villa and provided an ideal backdrop for a “gypsy”-inspired shoot with ex-pat model Kristi.
I lived near Mijas for a number of years and so knew which parts of the village might make the best shoot locations. Apart from the narrow streets lined with whitewashed traditional houses, we also used the church door, village square (and it’s water features) and the “balcon” area that overlooked the coast below.
When needed, Kristi popped into local shops to change outfits. The white buildings acted like huge reflectors, bouncing the natural light beautifully even on the sunniest of days.
And finally, as you might imagine, in a busy tourist town like Mijas, our shoot attracted quite a bit of attention, with groups of Japanese tourists gathering to take photographs over our shoulders but I think this last photo sums it up – a man and his young son stop to watch Kristi as she walks by while his wife walks on ahead…
Once in a while, you discover a shoot location that simply demands a certain theme. When I first heard about, and saw photographs of, a “lost chapel” in woodland near the nearby border with Shropshire, I knew I had to find it and see if was as amazing as it looked. It was.
But it wasn’t easy to find – the student who told me about it had failed to find it on the first attempt and it was only due to a slight detour and a warning about what to expect, that helped me to find it on my first expedition. I walked for 30-40 minutes uphill through beautiful countryside before having to wade through brambles and tree branches to actually reach the building. Once there, though, it was clear that this was a very special place and I decided that, as I had imagined, it was the perfect place for a “fairytale” themed workshop/shoot.
The model I had in mind (who was local, and had the look I had in mind) dropped out with just a few days notice so I turned to the most versatile model I know – Emilie Walt (who you’ll spot in various guises in previous posts). Emilie lives some distance away and public transport to our location early on a Sunday morning was non-existent so I arranged to drive her there. As usual, Emilie went above and beyond what would normally be expected of a model, making her own hooded cape and bringing along other suitable props.
Even though I’d been to the location before, it still wasn’t easy to locate when I arrived with the group on the Sunday morning (there was much more foliage and even taller brambles, for a start). But we were rewarded with an excellent shoot and far too many images to post here.
Thanks, as ever, to the brilliant Emilie.
Another model who never disappoints is Ivory Flame. This image was shot using the continuous modelling lights on the Bowens heads.