So today was the big day –my first ever shoot for a bridal magazine. I thought I’d be a little anxious as I usually am before a shoot but I felt surprisingly fine. Maybe I'm getting used to this photography business after all!
The shoot was being held in Lancaster Park in west London. It’s a beautiful park with a really nice fountain area at the front entrance. I walked half way down the park to a little chapel like building and met Sheuly, the founder of Your Personal Bridal Dreams digital magazine, as well as the magazine editor and one of the two models named Urboshi, who was Bengali and having her make up done by the MUA, Rumana. Urboshi was very slim, probably about five feet twoish with a nice, traditional, pretty Asian girl look about her. She kind of reminded me of Ashwarya Rai (for those who don’t know, Ashwarya Rai was the queen of Bollywood for a while). I was happy to have someone like that in my portfolio as I believe in using attractive models of ethnic minority background in my work to promote beauty in other races. My definition of attractiveness doesn’t always mean having high cheekbones and a strong jawline –I believe beauty comes in different shapes and form and that is something mainstream British media doesn’t seem to portray. (This actually reminds me of an article I read recently on facebook about how although the modelling industry is a little more open to diversity now; it is still hard for a black model to break into the industry than a white model. An interesting article which I may discuss another time).
The second model arrived later –her name was Lakshmi and she had an amazing figure. She was Indian and I found out she got married last year and went travelling with her partner to several different countries, including Maldives which I was in awe of as travelling is one of my many dreams (all in good time I guess). She was going to be wearing the white bridal dress which I loved and would not have minded wearing myself!
Once the makeup was done on Urboshi, the MUA got started on Lakshmi and we started shooting Urboshi outside the building. Sheuly directed her and took the main pictures while I took my own as a second shooter. I managed to get some good pictures which I knew would look great on my portfolio/website and add some diversity. Plus I increased my network of creative people which is something I was making more of a conscious effort to do as a freelancer and I had loads of fun! Once we were done with Urboshi and Lakshmi’s make up was completed, we started shooting her as well. Lakshmi looked amazing; her tall and slim figure really complimented the lacy bridal dress. We then walked down the park, closer to the entrance and took a few shots by a big tree. I managed to get Lakshmi to myself for about five minutes and was able to direct her which I was happy about. It would have been nice if I had had more time with her as well as some time with Urboshi too but the shoot was coming to an end. We had small groups of people stop and watch a few times which was a little bit funny. They had curious looks on their faces the way tourists do when they're exploring a new city. I guess Urboshi and Lakshmi stood out in Asian and English bridal wear in a public park on a cold grey day in London. Finally we made our way to the entrance part where the fountain was and took a few last shots of Lakshmi posing but it was a bit difficult as that was the busiest part of the park and there were people everywhere. Also it had been about five hours in total, including the hair and make up time and Lakshmi had a time limit. I would have loved to have had those two models to myself for at least fifteen minutes each in both locations and been able to direct them myself.
We said our goodbyes and we went our separate ways. I got on the train with Rumana the MUA as we were going the same way and it was nice to have a conversation with her and get to know her a little bit better. We were able to relate to each other as we were both freelancers and had experienced people requesting certain things from our work that we weren’t keen to do (some say the client is always right but I disagree…) as well as the never ending issue of clients always trying to get a bargain. All in all, it was a fantastic way to spend a Sunday and I couldn’t wait to edit the pictures and add them to my website, especially since my portrait editing has improved greatly (thanks to really useful resources from Lara Jades facebook page). However the contract I signed with YPBD stated that I couldn’t share any pictures until they had been released on their magazine issue which will be at the end of June so I guess you guys will just have to wait too! In the mean time, you can check my fb page: Ms Tea Photography for other examples of my work!