I met Ali through a casting call she had placed on Facebook. She had wanted to have some lingerie shots taken, and I generally make it a rule to never go into a shoot like this without meeting the model first. It helps build up a rapport and a trust which is really important.
We met at a local cafe on a Sunday morning. She had agreed to shoot with another photographer the day before and had not enjoyed the experience at all. He had constantly pushed for her to reveal more than she wanted and she had found the whole experience sleazy.
I promised her that that I she would have a much better experience with me. I thought that it was a great opportunity to try put a new studio in Upper Hutt run by Paul Maka-Kea. We arranged the shoot for Friday night.
The studio is based at Trentham Racecourse and is huge, offering a seamless backdrop, a small bed set and plenty of other space.
Once Ali arrived we discussed the various shots that we were going to do and then selected the outfits for each. Given her first experience it was importantly to take the shoot slowly so we started with fully clothed sequences against the white seamless and then using some of the furniture.
Part of the area includes a very large powder room with full length mirrors and so I knew that I wanted to incorporate those. Having a room with mirrors presents interesting challenges when it comes to placing the lights but not impossible.
When I meet a model for the first time I always ask them what they do not like about themselves. Ali said her feet so it became a little bit of fun throughout the shoot when I said that I would break her of that phobia by having lots of the them in the shots.
By the time that we moved to the bed set Ali was very relaxed and it came across in her images.
We had planned to do a series of high key images but simply ran out of time however we did finish with another series against the white but this time with Ali only wearing a white shirt.
The studio space worked out really well and I intend to use it again next year.