At the end of January I was aware my Facebook photography page seemed to have plateaued at 996 "likes." I decided to run a competition for a free photo shoot if people shared and liked, and thought I could tie it in with Valentine's day too.
A couple of weeks later, I put all the qualifying names into an online random name selector and the winner was Rebecca Giblin. At this point we had to discard any Valentine's theme as Rebecca is single. I did suggest we could run another competition to find a lucky partner but this was met with a stern look and a single raised eyebrow.
However, once we started to discuss themes and ideas it all became quite exciting. Rebecca has a love for the film Moulin Rouge. But it wasn't the bright allure of the stage that grabbed her, rather the run-down, backstage - behind the glamour after the show is over - that appealed.
We emailed each other inspiring images we found online and chatted to friends to acquire costumes and props and to find a suitable place to construct a set and do the shoot.
The day came and Rebecca's nieces did her hair and make-up, we created the set and did the shoot. As always, plenty of unforeseen problems had to be overcome, but that's part of being a professional photographer - it's 95% problem solving. The first outfit didn't look anything like we expected it to; the lighting I began with wasn't doing what I needed it to, and so it went on. However, eventually it all came together and I was rather delighted with the final image.
For a long time I've quite fancied a short video of what it's like doing a photo shoot, but of course I can't be a photographer and a film maker at exactly the same time. Fortunately Rebecca's brother, Dave, was on hand and took lots of little clips which I spent all Sunday editing together into a wee 2 minute video, which you can watch below.
Thanks go out to Bill & Caro for providing us with Bill's workshop to do the shoot in - and for giving us lunch, which included still-warm freshly baked bread. Also to Dave for filming and for tying, hooking and adjusting things at heights unattainable by us short-leggedy people; Alice for outfits and props; David for more props; and Rosie and Meg for hair and make-up.
And not forgetting the superb music - "So Fine" from the album "Chase The Night" by Sean Taylor - www.seantaylorsongs.com