I shot for the first time in about a month last week. Amsterdam-based photographer Edwin van Wier (known as Wierdeu on Model Mayhem) and I were speaking of a shoot for a few years when I was travelling back and forth UK and NL. Somehow, the shoot never happened but since I moved here, we finally managed to find the time on 27 April 2011.
Finding a venue was easy. As opposed to the UK, it is not unusual for togs in Holland to have their own studios. Most British togs for instance shoot on location, at the model's place or their own place where they make a makeshift studio in their own garage or lounge. In Holland, togs take advantage of the "anti-squatters" scheme in which they rent cheaply empty offices from the council in exchange for occupying them to deter squatters. Edwin had his studio in the west part of Amsterdam.
It was a 20-minute tram ride and a 10 minute or so walk to the studio. Edwin greeted me outside the building, and despite me being slightly delayed, he was just as funny and friendly as he was during our correspondence by e-mail and Facebook. However, I did not quite expect him to be 2 metres tall! He led me to his studio which quite spacious and we had a cup of tea whilst chatting. We talked about how well I'm adapting to life in Holland (I also lived here in the mid-90's) and how familiar he was with Japan as he worked with the Japanese. Edwin does some underwater photography but unfortunately we need a swimming pool for this either by renting one for a few hours or being rich enough to afford one at home!
We began the shoot by doing portraits and headshots. In hindsight, it would've been better had we done a warm up shoot first or leaving them till the last set. It was my first time shooting for a month, let alone with a new tog, and with anyone Ishoot for the first time, I need time till I felt at ease. I couldn't figure out what kind of mood he wanted, and my nervousness showed in the pictures. Oh well, next time we'll know!
Edwin and I were intending to churn out black & white images this time. Thus, all I brought were black or white outfits or outfits that had black and white patterns. So in the next set
where he suggested a white brickwall background, I put on some black lingerie and a sheer black blouse with a pearl choker and matching earings and bracelets. By then, I was more relaxed and in my comfort zone because as Edwin rightly suggested, I was back to my "own style". The mood was rather semi-lowkey with a bright light on one side.
For the next set, I thought I'd switch to a white outfit. White bra and sheer knickers with a fishnet top. Thanks for these last few sunny days, I was able to get a little colour so took the opportunity to show it off by wearing white. Though I prefer the set with the black outfit, I was still pleased to see how this set turned out. Even with the white background, the lighting was perfect as it greyed out the background and enhanced the white of the outfit and my tan!
It was good two hour or so of shooting. As we are both local, though, it's very likely we will meet again and shoot. Perhaps next time, I'll be better prepared and more at ease so we could exchange more ideas. So after quickly packing up, we left together but went our seperate ways. He had his own scooter while I was taking the tram back from Lelyland station. While I was walking half a block, Edwin beckoned me to hop on his scooter as he was concerned about my safety. It was getting a tad dark and rather eerie, and the west part of Amsterdam is not the most affluent, though I have to say even the roughest areas are not as life-threatening than parts of UK. Still the offer was appreciated, and I was pleased to find that the first tram that was coming was the one heading for home.
Thank you so much Edwin for this short and sweet shoot! I hope I wasn't too awkward with you, and I would definitely like to work with you again. For more amazing work by Edwin, please click onto his website.