Although August was not such a great month in terms of weather, it was only this day we were very lucky. Pleasant and warm without being irritatingly scorching and morover, perfect for outdoors photography without the strong sun. Neither of us remember how we first got in touch, but we found each other on Model Mayhem where I noticed his nude photography work taken place outdoors on what I had assumed was a beach. I suppose I always wanted to do a shoot posing naked on the beach which is rather impossible in the UK especially in neighbouring Brighton where are too just many people and prying eyes. And I grew a tad tired of doing nude shoots in the woods too! Well it turned out that the venue in question was not a beach in Zandvoort but in the middle of the Dutch Dunes not too far from Amsterdam!
We met up at Heemstede-Aardenhout station and we took a bus for about 20 minutes to the dunes, known as Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen or Amsterdam Water Supply Dunes. It is where the drinking water for Amsterdam is made available via rainwater and pipes scattered around the vast dunes which get purified for consumption. With a rucksack on my back (it was
a nude shoot why do I need extra outfits???) and trainers on my feet, I accompanied the tog through the park which led to the dunes. It was the second day of my Cabbage Soup I recall, the fruit & veg only day, which meant I had no carbs for the energy so I was extra cautious to take it easy by drinking plenty of water. Luckily I'm fit so I survived!
We camped out on several spots throughout the day. Most amazing was that there was NOT A SINGLE SOUL in site! Not even the odd dog walker. How awesome is that! So I was free to roam around in the nude as I pleased which of course suited me. We walked around and hiked hours on end whilst pausing for some shots. All took place in the sand and at one point we found a couple of half-dead trees where I posed. In the end, we settled at this area smack in the middle of the dunes.
After a few shots, the tog had this brilliant idea of getting me to dance, jump up and down and run around in the nude. It was to be from the static to the dynamic. At first I seemed a little shy and reticent but as I got accustomed to it I had so much fun! Recalling that 80's Steve Martin film, "L.A. Story" and how the very young and ditzy but free-spirited Sarah Jessica-Parker starts "spinning around" the beach, I started to feel all the joie-de-vivre resurface in me. I never felt so free and happy for months simply doing crazy things like run, skip and jump like a little child. What a rejuvinating and therapeutic experience that was. I very much recommend that!
Once we decided we nailed enough images we decided to call it a day. It took at least 30 minutes to walk to the gate where we could catch the bus back to the station. However, we realised that we missed the bus and that the next one would be in more than an hour! So rather than hang around and wait, we thought, why not just WALK to the nearby station which was a stop after Heemstede-Ardenhout where we had met up. That would be another 30 minutes or so. But I didn't mind at all. I love walking, keeping fit and enjoying the scenery of the Dutch countryside although much of it is flat fields with cows. Throughout the walk we got to know each other better, talking about families and life in Holland as we're both foreigners (he's half-Peruvian) And the tog was so impressed if a little pleasantly surprised that I didn't complain even once. It's called professionalism... Hope I scored more brownie point on that one!
Once we arrived at the station, we went our separate ways as I took the train back to Amsterdam and he had to go the opposite direction. I had so much fun that day! Though I was just about to collapse with exhaustion when I got home, it was worth it. The tog immediately sent me a contact sheet from which I was to choose 50 images for him to enlarge which in turn I was to select 10 of my favourites for editing. It was a difficult decision as I liked almost all of them! He got me the edits almost immediately after I selected both in colour and B&W. They're so beautiful and so happy. Thank you so much for making my day! I plan to shoot with him again next year of course when the sun is out again...