Once cancelled because of the heavy snow in January, this shoot was rescheduled, one which I was looking forward to. Having shot at the Brighton Group Shoot last summer, I was so impressed with Steve Cottle's work that we promised to shoot again soon . He invited me over to his turf in Bath (8 February 2010) where I stayed over at his parent's the night before for an early start in various outdoors venues nearby.
Despite being quite young, Steve is quite an experienced photographer having started with nature and landscape photography and having spent some months in South Africa on holidays. He is interested in expanding his horizons more, going into glamour and art nude, as well as some alternative themes, and takes his hobby very seriously. As we are both open to new ideas and enjoy experimenting, we just went with the flow of things. Steve was even thoughtful enough to pass on some of his ideas to me prior to the shoot with sample images, and this gave me hints as to the styles of outfits and mood we could achieve.
We were originally supposed to start with shooting in a derelict fortress right across his house. However, we were so excited about rescheduling the shoot that we forgot that it was the beginning of February! The fortress was an open area with no roofs or ceilings and maybe just one wall but it certainly couldn't shield us from the cold so we moved to another venue. Steve suggested a disused iron mill which was about half-hour drive between Bath and Frome.
Having arrived there, it was a tad better but freezing!!! Part of me said I was crazy and ought to cut the shoot short than risk catching pneumonia. Another part of me was telling me to shut up and get on with it. Hell, I travelled all the way there for the weekend so why not make the most of it? And I knew if I turned away, I'd regret it... and quite rightly so because the venue was oh so perfect... a disused iron mill from centuries ago, now a beautiful stone ruin surrounded by the gorgeous greenery of the woods. I have the images above to prove it!
The first set was taken in the main "hallway" where I decided the outfit have a fetish touch to it, school girl uniform with PVC thigh high boots! This was actually inspired by one of the images Steve had sent as an idea for the shoot. The background of the ruins was perfect for this outfit! We then went to the woods where.... brrrrrr.... we thought we'd throw in a lingerie set. Violet bra and panty set from good old La Senza. Yes in the cold! Sounds crazy? Well, I next ended up taking my kit off! The picturesque greenery was just too good to miss for some nudity....and of course some naughtiness as I do get a kick out of the thrill of risk getting caught by the public LOL.
To take a break from nudity and to give my body a tad of warmth, I got into my red basque and black miniskirt, shooting in and around the woods, the trees and another piece of ruin. Ruins are indeed a wonderful backdrop for any sort of themes including fashion, fetish and nude. Again, they were too beautiful to miss for a good "art nude" shoot so once more I stripped down and "thought of Japan" (as opposed to England) as I braved through the bitter cold whilst getting my thrills!
Just as I was getting into the swing of it all, we decided to call it a day, as it unfortunately began snowing. Such a shame but we had Steve's expensive camera and lighting equipment to consider as well. Looking back, I can't believe how mad I was to shoot in such a condition. Cold weather, though, has a positive effect on outdoor images, particulary nudes. Contraction of muscles whilst shivering in the cold enhances definition and tone to one's body which is ideal in photographs. And funnily enough, it adds colour to one's complexion. As such, I was very pleased with the outcome of the images!
Steve and I will be shooting again soon definitely once the weather warms up more, when it will be his turn to come down to Horsham. Time to do some research now for ideal venues nearby! If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. Meanwhile, I would like to thank Steve for his time and for making this freezing shoot actually so fun!