My latest (well, one of the last ones before my operation) behind the camera venture was with the ever gorgeous Zoe. After poring over my well-cherished Richard Avedon and Irving Penn photography books, I decided I wanted to try something new - namely an entirely monochrome shoot. From there, everything slotted into place. I flicked through my moodboard book (invaluable for providing inspiration), and found one I'd put together based on Hollywood Glamour. Couple this with a few recently watched vintage movies such as Top Hat and Sabrina, and the idea was born.
In fact, the title of this post is a referemce to a Fred Astaire film called 'You were never lovelier'. He was a mesmerising dancer. Having said that, so were Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor (not to mention Debbie Reynolds) in 'Singin' in the Rain' - my new favourite film!
I took the idea of Zoe being a thirties or forties screen siren - beautiful clothes, a natural grace and classic looks. I really love working in black and white. It's an interesting exercise in focusing on lines, shapes and light rather than being distracted by colours. Although I don't feature them on my blog, I work a lot in doing black and white portraiture too. I will never tire of being fascinated by the human face - from baby to great-grandma. Most of my friends and family are now used to me whipping out my camera discreetly and hovering surreptitiously.
For the first look, I styled Zoe in a thirties black lace dress belonging to my mum, over a thrifted black body-con dress. Zoe had to gingerly climb over a gate in this ensemble, with me watching nervously, praying the nothing would happen to the fragile lace.. I added my favourite vintage belt (it belonged to my paternal grandma), a glass bead necklace from my maternal great-grandma and some charity shopped peep toe shoes.
Part of the second outfit already had an outing on my blog a long time ago, albeit in a much more colourful shoot (To the lighthouse). This absolutely amazing skirt was given to me by mum's second cousin. The swirling panels have been stitched together in such a way that it flares out at the bottom - perfect for twirling around in! To this I added a charity shopped black top, a crystal pendant that used to belong to my great-grandma, and some Mary-Janes I used to own and subsequently gave to Zoe.
The third (taken in front of some velvet curtains artfully draped over the tree house in our garden!) is a satin evening coat that was bought by my mum ages ago at a flea market, for fifteen pounds. Yes, let me repeat that - fifteen pounds!!Aren't the buttons amazing? She's also wearing an art deco necklace I've had since I was little.
The locations are all places surrounding where I live. Although you can't see it, in the first photo Zoe is actually posing inside a hollow tree. I chose very rural locations to contrast with the sophisticated style, creating a juxtaposition between landscape and subject. I doubt I will ever be bored of taking photos in fields and woods, or of using natural light for that matter... Talking of light, it was a perfect late afternoon (we managed to squeeze this in after school one day) for photography - neither too harsh nor too dull. I would call it sun-kissed if that wasn't cliched. Zoe and I finally finished as the sun set behind us, and we scampered back inside for some well deserved cups of tea and cake.
Note - I will be anouncing the winners of my mummy's scissors giveaway (along with what I hope will be an extended link list) in my next post. But in the meantime, do take a look at some of the gorgeous creations I listed in previous posts.