Great Ibizan Summer

Well, inspiration at least. It all started when I did a fashion shoot on the streets of Manchester. Armed with a model friend, a hand full of black and white balloons and my DSLR, we walked the Northern Quarter and high street areas of the city centre. You can see the shoot here.

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I’d casually picked up a magazine days before for a little style inspiration and picked pages I’d never turned before. Being now 31, it had been years since I’d bought a magazine and I wanted something for a mature young woman ( I am, am I not ). With an iPhone, a tablet and a laptop, there never seemed to be a reason to buy a paper magazine. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading and when it comes to books, I’d much prefer to buy paper than digital, however, magazines are just not sustainable enough for me…

.Anyway, I bought a Marie Claire.

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I am now addicted to this magazine and even bought 2 copies of it last week, thinking I didn’t have it and the lastest one must have come out already. The spare I gave to a relative who had just given birth so it went to good use.

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The magazine extremely handy in terms of fashion and style inspiration but there was one article that really stood out. The Abbey Clancy shoot by Fabio Chizzola and styled by Jayne Pickering in the editorial titled, ‘Sweetheart’. I was in awe of the photography, the location, the clothing, the styling, the hair and make-up. All of it. I began to look at Abbey Clancy in a whole different light, not just physically. She was beautiful.

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I had this idea in my head that I wanted to do this, to style this. Once I get it in my head, it’s going to happen.

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So, I did the Manchester shoot with my friend, A. I loved it and I realised that was what I wanted to do. I’d worked on styled shoots before, I’d been the stylist but now I got to photograph it too! Art is in my blood and anything creative I set my mind too, I’ve always been able to achieve. Except drums….anything except drums.

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So from that moment on, I wanted to shoot fashion. I make my mind up pretty fast. I told A about the ‘Abbey Clancy’ idea that I had and she thought it was cool. I imagined a blond for the shoot and had later spoke to another model friend of mine about it during a shoot.

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In late June, I flew to Ibiza for a girls holiday. I didn’t take my camera in fear of it being stolen but I was devastated that I was there, the island where Fabio had shot Abbey. I could have done it in the same locations but I didn’t have the right tools. I was even more upset when I went for a morning stroll by myself in Playa D’en Bossa to find the shops full of the beautiful lace and crocheted, traditional Ibizan top that Abbey had been wearing on the two page spread! What is Marie Claire telling me????

I never bought the top. Don’t ask me why… I’ll tell you why,  it’s Ibiza, everything’s expensive and I was saving my money for David Guetta, Tiesto and the 20 euro drinks.

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So I came home even more inspired to do this shoot.

I contacted my friend A for the job. Having worked with her before, it just felt right. She’s a natural at modelling, so easy to work with and flawless. She turned up again make-up less, just how I like it and we kept it just like that. She’s mixed race with a beautiful mane of afro curls. Her freckles show proudly on her face, reminding me of her youth. She’s 22, a baby. Compared to me anyway.

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Wanting to keep with the summer theme and working on a budget, I asked A to bring specific items from her wardrobe, a floral dress, a long garment, a headband, sandals. I brought a two tops for her also that I wanted to use, something sheer  like the Ibizan vest from the Marie Claire shoot.

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We had so much fun. My daughter is off school now and my son doesn’t attend nursery on Fridays but Friday was the only day A could do the shoot. I asked my mum had T,  and L joined us for the shoot. She had a back-pack full of toys/ colouring-in and a mini picnic. I live near a very big farming community, apparently one of the biggest in England and over the course of a few weeks,  I had scouted the field I wanted to use. However, when we got there, the farmer had harvested the crop and we had to quickly find a suitable, similar crop with an easy access.

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We found a field a few hundred metres down the road from the original location but had a bit of an ordeal to reach it. Crossing a  country lane with speeding traffic, bags full of equipment, props, lunch, a child, climbing through nettles, a small tantrum from L, we got there and began straight away.

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Mid shoot, a helicopter started circling us and we suddenly panicked. We had kept within the tractor tracks as not to disturb the crop and kept within a few feet of the edge of the field but I felt like we were being hunted down. We quickly moved onto the next change.

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I like how A gives input on where she thinks she should stand, it’s good to have a different perspective when there’s a small group. She keeps conversation to a minimal knowing how important it is for me to get the shot, but I like to engage in conversation anyway as it allows for different facial expressions and emotions to show through rather than the need to pose, it’s more natural. She effortlessly moves around, uses her arms, hands and hair and walks in all different directions. She listens when I ask her to perform a movement again and understands when I tell her the pictures look beautiful, she knows I’m getting the shots I want. She’s the perfect model.

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Here’s are the first batch of photographs from the shoot, inspired by Fabio Chizzola from Marie Claire, July 2014. What I find ironic is that the magazine title is named, ‘The Great British Summer’ but it was shot in Ibiza, and I shot this in Britain, being inspired by the Ibizan location.

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Thank you to A for being a fabulous model and for giving up your time for me. Thank you for a lovely day.

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Thank you to Fabio, Jayne and Marie Claire for the inspiration.

 

 

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