November evenings are all about snuggling up warm and cosy in front of a classic rom com with a hot choc aren't they? Well that's the drill in rom coms anyway. In reality November nights are about debating if it's too soon to put the heating on, mum commenting "oh doesn't it get dark early now", and panic buying Christmas presents (online ofc) while hoping they arrive in time for the big day.
However, my real life November has been slightly different to the norm. Having never done a night shoot as a model before I suddenly found myself with three booked in the space of 24 hours. Yup, you read that right. Wednesday night at 6 pm with Sorrel of Sorrel Price Photography, Thursday afternoon at 3.30 pm with JC of Lux Studio UK, followed quickly by another at 5.30 pm with model and photographer Shayo. Now with them all happening in such a short space of time, in the same city, and with the same model, you would be forgiven for thinking that all three shoots might end up looking a little samey. But of course, you'd be wrong. Want proof? We'll get to that in a minute...
Sorrel and I went for leather, chains, and blue hair don't care vibes. JC and I wanted to make use of the streetlights and skyline. Shayo wanted to play with colours and I was more than happy to oblige.
Only shooting with Sorrel on Wednesday meant that I could have a really specific look: flared leather trousers and two gold chainmail belts, a smoky eye, nude lip and violet hair. Pretty specific vibe there really. When we brainstormed for the shoot we were drawn to gritty looks, metal work, and industry vibes and to quote Sorrel directly, "sexy, chains, all that shit". My mood board ended up looking like this:
Shooting with both JC and Shayo on Thursday meant that I had to plan things a little differently; building layered looks that would work for both shoots. When I had put together a mood board of polished looks clashing with rough street backgrounds for JC's shoot I was able to really think about outfits, hair and make-up. I ended up going with a gold bodycon dress layered with a cream polo neck jumper, black knee high heeled boots and a couple of different coats; a thick black aviator jacket and a leopard print faux fur. I used the polished vibe to justify curled hair (now blonde again after washing out the one wear chalk spray) and a simple, clean make-up look that would allow for me to change lipstick shades when I switched shoots.
The colourful aesthetic Shayo wanted to create actually had me reaching for an all-black ensemble. Knowing I'd have to change in a carpark meant I planned to put black wide leg trousers over my gold dress, and a black polo neck jumper... over my cream polo neck jumper. The black knee high heeled boots would work for both looks (but my feet would hate me by the end of the night). And of course, I'd have two coats already with me, but that didn't stop me from searching the depths of my fancy dress bag for what I call my "ugly disco jacket", which as its name might suggest, looks like a disco ball and a bolero had a sequin splattered baby. I also planned to have a range of lipstick colours, a bright eyeshadow pallet and a teething comb with me to change up my make-up and hair if necessary.
Sorrel and I shot in and around the Custard Factory in Birmingham, finding flood lights, street lights and puddles to stand in. No I'm not kidding. Puddles. As always, it was a dream to walk, talk and work with Sorrel - even if it was at a safe distance. It was icy cold but capturing my frozen breath only added to the aesthetic of the night. I will however, be very happy to see the back of my frosty breath in place of a warm reunion hug.
JC and I managed to catch the last of the daylight just before four pm and the Brum skyline was in a beautiful transition from pastel baby blue to dusky pink, then of course returning to a deep midnight blue. We used the natural light, street lights, and a portable red light of JC's in our search for a clash between polished and raw. Having worked with JC on a busy film set many moons prior to this collab, it was really cool to be able to see JC testing out his new kit and enthusing over the quality of each capture. We had a really laid back approach to the shoot and I think you can see how comfortable and confident we both were in the subsequent shots.
After a quick change in my car, a coating of dark lipstick and a walk much longer than I ever remember it being, Shayo and I met by Birmingham Library to make use of the balcony like view of the streets just below. My layering worked a treat as I was actually able to shoot both polo jumpers and the top of my gold dress without getting too cold for too long. We took a walk to Victoria Square where I ventured into the water-less-water-feature and then ventured to the Mailbox to make use of the red lights of the underpass. Shayo is both a photographer and model, and frequently shoots gorgeous self-portraits: she allowed me to shoot the way she often does when alone and flipped her screen up so I could see myself while posing. It's fair to say I find the lens less intimating than my own glare! But it was a fun way to work, and a real insight into the unique approach Shayo has.
Now, you feared the shots would be samey right? And I promised proof of anything but, so here you go...
Night 1, shoot 1. Sorrel Barker of @sorrelpricephotography.
Canon 5d mark iii.
Night 2, shoot 2. JC of @jc.dop.
Night 2, shoot 3. Shayo of @adventureswithshayo.
D5300 nikon 35mm F1.8 and 50mm F1.8.
I'll be uploading more of these shoots very soon so keep your eyes peeled, subscribe to my mailing list, and follow these bloody brilliant artist's online:
Sorrel Price: Instagram; @sorrelpricephotography
JC: Instagram; @jc.dop
Shayo: Instagram; @adventureswithshayo