I did a test shoot with a new model on Friday. Lilly is a lovely, slender girl with long dark hair and beautiful brown eyes. She has agreed to be one of the models for my fairy project and I think she's going to make the perfect woodland fairy.
We did our test shoot in Cathedral Park under the St. John's bridge. It's one of my favorite places to shoot, and I've shot several models there including Sierra, Autumn and Gabriell. If offers a great variety of settings which include a small beach along the river, several wooded areas, park benches, a dock, willow trees, an open fields, a concrete pavilion, and the bridge struts itself.
Since Lilly was test shooting for a woodland fairy, we stuck to the wooded areas and primarily concentrated on how she self-posed, how well she took directions, and how her skin and hair tones stood up against the wooded background. I have to say that everything was excellent. She also got into character and worked at showing me some fairy moods (curious, reflective, frightened, etc.). Her skin and hair tones stood out quite well against the green backdrops and complemented the dark brown of the tree trunks and limbs. She has a natural ability to pose, and can get into character quite easily provide a variety of expressions. She also has the ability to express emotions with her body language, which will help a great deal as we get into the actual shoot.
I brought all the costume materials to show to her, explained how we would proceed through the project, i.e. how the materials would be used, what kind of makeup would be involved, how we would progress from the fully covered shots to the final artistic nudes and got her opinions on the make-up and costume materials. She told me that after seeing the materials I had accumulated for the project, she was quite excited about moving forward with the shoot. Now it's just a matter of location, weather and timing.
My daughter's boyfriend has offered the use of his mom's property for my projects. His mom, a very lovely and nice lady name Shannon, has a lovely home on property out in Gaston. On the hill behind her home is a trail that leads through a heavily wooded areal with old trees, stumps, ferns and everything else one would need for such a shoot. Additionally, she has a large cleared area on her property that would work well for some other projects I have in mind.
There are other options too. There is a large wooded plot of land across from my house that might work well too, though not was well I think as the property in Gaston. Additionally, I have a friend, Mark, who lives up on Bald Peak, and I have permission from him to use his property for several shoots as well. In fact, the first fairy shoot (Autumn Fairy) was shot on his property. Another friend of mine, Dave, has offered me the use of his land as well, and I'm sure there are a couple more friends who would be willing to allow me the use of their property for a photo shoot. So, I'm lucky in that regard.
My only problem right now is a location for my water fairy shoot. I need a shallow steam of water that's fairly isolated. I have a spot in mind, but it's a distance away and is near a state campground, so it's not as isolated as I would like, though I have shot there in the past. You can see an example image from that location directly above. During the shoot where this shot was taken, the model and I were undisturbed and the closest people were three fly fishermen several hundred yards downstream. They didn't notice us at all during the shoot, or if they did, they sure didn't seem to mind. So, I'll probably go for a drive, despite the high gas prices, and make sure the area is still suitable before actually shooting there, but it would still be nice to find someplace closer, if possible.