My first male model
Simon and I often talk about potential models and the type of photography we could practice. Because my model acquisition skills aren't as developed compared to Simon's, it is always Simon who provides the subjects. He makes it possible that we get to hone our photography skills, while the model ends up with some very nice images for free. So everybody's happy. Those conversations about potential models mostly consist of Simon having a list of names and describing (maybe strangely enough) the character of each potential model (instead of her looks) such as confident, wild, happy go lucky, talkative, etc. and the kind of work she does. When I think of models, I think of young women. The kind you see in most magazines. So when Simon asked if I fancied joining a photoshoot photographing Henry, I was a bit confused. Didn't hear that name drop before and the name didn't sound very feminine to me. As it turned out, he wasn't.
I road on my bike to the hotel where Henry works and where Simon stays while he is in the Netherlands. I took the lift to the second floor, where I met Simon and Henry. After a short introduction, Henry got ready for a quick profile pic (putting on his suit), while Simon handed me the transmitter he acquired for me, so we could both use the same flash (thanks Simon! :)). Simon gave me some quick instructions about the workings of the transmitter. Henry's profile picture was made and after Henry swapped his suit for something more casual we walked to the city centre on what was a very hot summer day, carrying the lightning we were going to use (Octa softbox equiped with an GODOX Ad200 flash).
After we shot our first pictures at a large pond, taking turns holding the lighting equipment, we walked to a building nearby to catch some nice reflections. We stayed in the shade, as the sun was still very harsh.
The atmosphere between the three of us was great. We joked around a lot and we had a great chemistry together. Simon and I took turns coming up with nice locations. After we were finished taking pictures near the building, we walked to a big boulder on the other side of the road. The biggest challenge of that location was a large unsightly garbage can, which didn't fit in with the beautiful surroundings. We both took our shots in such a way so that Henry was positioned in front of the garbage can, saving us from a lot of unnecessary Photoshop work.
Next up some wall action, as Simon called it. It was a plain wall which didn't catch my fancy. But Simon was, despite my lack of enthusiasm, convinced this wall would contribute to making a great picture. While I passed on the opportunity, Simon made indeed a great picture (you can find his pictures here by the way: https://sutcliffe.photography/blog/portfolios/henry/). I said to Simon I would do my wall action somewhere else and would know which wall it would be, as soon as it would catch my eye. Not far away I saw the wall I was convinced would make a good picture.
We walked into the park and decided we let Henry sit in the grass and use the leading lines of the foot path and the green in the background to create an interesting picture. After Henry sat down we noticed a worrying amount of wasps circling his position. We joked we might have accidentally let him take place on top of a wasps nest. Luckily the wasps didn't stay for too long and we could finish the shoot without having to stab Henry with an EpiPen.
On the other side of the waterway, near a sluice, there was a wooden platform floating on the water. We carefully stepped on the wobbly platform and shot some pictures there, making full use of the orange/blue background and the reflections on the water.
Finally we walked to a nearby bridge to make use of the last rays the sunset an orange coloured sky and a disappearing sun in the background. While Henry was safely standing on the foot path, Simon and I stood in the middel of a bicycle path at a time of day when many bikers wanted to cross the bridge. You would expect people getting annoyed, but almost all of the bikers stopped or slowed down and waited for a signal to pass. Smiling when they were 'allowed' to drive through the shot. A friendliness we didn't really expect. After we shot a handful of images, the shoot was over. We walked back to the hotel and reviewed our pictures while enjoying beer, nuts and cheese biscuits.
It was a really nice photoshoot and the wonderful relaxed atmosphere probably contributed very much to the succes of that evening. We, the photographers, but even more important (Henry) our model, were satisfied with the results. We're looking forward to our next shoot.
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