I first me the mucho-talented Gillian Wesley a few years ago when she attended a couple of my courses. But happily, we stayed in touch and it’s been my intention ever since to work with Gillian’s design business. I finally put together an outline for a location-based shoot using Gillian’s beautiful corsets and a couple of our favourite models. Then I thought, “I bet a few other photographers might like the opportunity to photograph this too”, so I offered a few spaces for photographers to join me on the shoot.
Finding the right models was harder than I expected. Gillian ideally wanted size 10/12 “real” women and most of the models I work with are a size 8 (occasionally 10). The corsets really “come to life”, in my opinion, when worn by more curvy models. So I casted for size 10/12+ models and had little response from suitable local models. In my mind, I’d also visualised having one blonde and one dark-haired model if possible.
From the outset, I’d hoped to bring in Josie Jayne who I knew had done lots of lingerie and corset shoots and certainly had all the required curves. I discovered that she was now blonde, which meant all I had to do now was find a suitable dark-haired model.
Now, if you have attended Fotofilia courses and workshops over the last couple of years will have worked with the raven-haired beauty who goes by the name of Scarlett Lacey – but I knew she’d taken a break from modelling to have a baby, and she was also a bit too slight for this shoot – and so she was discounted. I carried on casting with no-one really suitable coming forward. Then I had a message from Scarlett saying that she’d heard about the shoot and might be interested. Since having her baby she would actually be a perfect fit for the brief (not briefs – that’s a different shoot entirely) and this would be her first post-baby modelling assignment. Needless to say, I promptly booked her.
The problem with shooting alongside a number of other photographers – which is obviously the situtation that I often find myself in when I’ve set up the shoot for myself and others – is that it’s hard to make your images stand out from the others that were taken from your angle, using your lighting etc. My brief was to take some images of Gillian’s corsets, which I did, but I couldn’t resist tweaking a few of the final results in Snapseed, just to give them an even more timeless “painterly” look. So the images you see here are the quickly grunged versions that I’ve done for my own amusement…
Gillian Wesley Designs – http://gillianwesley.co.uk/ and http://www.facebook.com/#!/gillian.wesley1?fref=ts
Josie Jayne on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/#!/josiejayne?fref=ts
Scarlett Lacey on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/#!/scarlett.lacey.56?fref=ts
PS. The location is my secret… for the moment!
Oh, and the lighting? We did use the Bowens power packs for a few shots but ended up going with the wonderful (if annoyingly changeable) natural light that beamed – then trickled – then beamed again – through the big Victorian windows, helped along with various reflectors.