I always admire photographers who have pre-planned concepts before shoots, or who know the location they are going to use so can think up potential poses and compositions beforehand. My mind does not work that way, so I do location photography, and I have to turn up at a location that I have never seen before, and take pot luck. There are a number of things that can work against you, the weather, the light, pesky members of the public, so generally I have to have contingencies in place to cover as many eventualities as I can. Fortunately, so far, it usually all works out fine.
As I have mentioned previously so many times before, the quality of the model is paramount. One of the best models I have ever worked with for location work is Madame Bink. While others produced super images of her in a studio or indoors, I just loved working on location with her. None of these images were taken recently, but most of them haven’t been seen before.
I always try to ensure that my models are naked for the minimum possible time. I do this by doing test exposures, checking the focus and composition, and working out the poses, while the model is clothed. In this shot it was near the end of the shoot and it was not particularly warm, and from memory the wind was blowing in through the window. I just love the near black background and the light sculpting her figure.
People often ask me how we produce images without being seen by members of the public. Generally if you can’t see the public then they can’t see you. This particular image was taken at a fishing lake, and this is at one of the fishing stations. There were other fishing stations around 15 yards either side that had people having a picnic or fishing at them. However she could not see the other stations, so they could not see us. The aim of the treatment was to give the feeling of a lazy summer’s day, and I do like the reflection of the sky in the water.
As I don’t use speedlights/flashes to provide lighting the model has to stand in any light that is available, and then turn around so that I get good lighting on the model as well as a nice clean background.
Bink is a true professional. This shot was taken early in the morning, and I’d previously taken some shots of her on top of this turret, as she was getting cold I had told her to get dressed, I then realised that this was the composition that I really wanted with a really wide-angle view. Without a word of complaint she just got undressed again and we got the shots I wanted. Needless to say I now try to be more careful about working out the best shot beforehand so minimise the models discomfort.
This final shot was taken at a bridge, and there must have been a statue in that opening some time in the past, so I felt like it needed a human statue in there now. We could hear people in a nearby pub car park, and the bridge was next to a canal towpath. So it was a matter of getting everything prepared while she was dressed in a velvet cape, then after a quick check that nobody was along the towpath, or would come from the pub, doing a quick ‘flash and dash’ and getting one of my all-time favourite shots.
While it’s quite different from shooting in a controlled environment it is good fun, and can be highly productive if you come across an interesting location. Thank you Bink, and apologies for all the discomfort :)