Yesterday i went to help out a friend of mine with a fashion shoot, i was mainly there to be the assistant and also to advise my friend shall he ask for it or need it. We went to Algate East where the "Studio" was and when we arrived at the time we were told which was 11.30 there was no one to be seen there so after a few phone calls we find out that the client said 11.30 because they didn't want anyone to be late and really wanted to start at 12.00 but annoyingly it was the client that arrived at 12.00, so we decide lets just get on with the day. We finally get in to the studio and..... well.... it was perhaps the WORST ever studio i had seen, it was a disgrace to hold the name STUDIO, there were dirty seamless papers all over the place, wires, props, old broken chairs, and well not a lot of space to work in and oh of course a giant window RIGHT NEXT TO the seamless paper without any way in which to block out the ambient light, and to make matters worse they had ONE trigger for the 5 elinchrome strobes they had which well REFUSED TO FIRE, so i was forced to use my own pocket wizards (which i love by the way) to sort out their idiotic decision to only have one cheap plastic trigger.
After all the technical problems were solved by me and ola we finally started shooting, and we managed to get some really great images for the client and were actually starting to enjoy ourselves. I then had to quickly figure out a way to get the triggers to work because i had to leave to go and take pictures for the poster of my friends new Edinburgh show "The Lesbian Bath House" and i would need all my lighting gear including the pocket wizards. After some technical wizardry and a LOT of luck i managed to get the elinchrom trigger to work. I thanked ola and all the other people involved in that project and quickly made my way to Central School of Speech & Drama where suzi was waiting for
We got in to an experimental lighting room which the students mainly use to work out what things would look like on a scale model before they finalise their designs, and i started to set up my lights, at this point i am a little nervous as i have never shot a large group of people before let alone a large group of gorgeous women, and i get very nervous around gorgeous women as i tend to turn in to a bumbling idiot. After having a talk with suizi and the directors Ben and Nigel i got a good idea of what they were looking for and was quite worried i might not be able to pull it off with just a 430 Exii and a reflective umbrella, but that was all i had so that was what i would have to use!!! The plan was to use the posters of 'THE L WORD" and "DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES" as an inspiration and go for something that is sexy, suggestive or seductive but not overly sexy that it looks pornographic.
The ladies all arrived and to my surprise it was actually the very first time they are all meeting each other, and only minutes later they would have to be half naked and all over each other, which made me realise just how brave actors are because we have a very low sense of inhibition and we make friends very easily in a room full of people we have never met. When we finished the ladies and the directors applauded me but i felt that truly it was them that deserved the applause because its not an easy thing to do and they took direction very well and were all very lovely to work with, i am sure their production will be a roaring success at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and wish all the cast and crew a very bright and successful future.