I can’t tell you how many times I had people offer to be my assistant on photoshoots… they weren’t serious of course, they just wanted to hang with models, but I don’t think many people realise how taxing photoshoots can be.
Not only is it physically taxing, that hunched over photographer posture with the big heavy camera would produce headaches after long sessions, along with the moving of equipment and inevitable tripping over power cords… but dealing with people is hard.
Early on in my photographer career, I worked on a 13 hour touring dance workshop where I foolishly handed over multiple CDs of images before receiving payment. Needless to say, they never returned my phone calls or e-mails after that so never got my money.
Being a photographer is so much cat-herding. You’re constantly organising and directly while at the same time trying to work out the technical requirements of getting the right shot. Focus, aperature, lighting, composition, there’s a lot to do in an instant.
This image, however, was probably my toughest project though.
The image above was a concept borne by twins who made music together, and I worked with them quite a few times:
They were two of the most ridiculously excitable people I had ever worked with ever. The only had one volume and it was HELLA LOUD and they only had one mode and it was FULL ON. They were so hilarious, and I loved every minute I spent with them, even though I’d fall into an exhaustive deep sleep afterwards every time… for months.
They’d also fight like crazy… they’d go from laughing hilariously, to being so incredibly angry at the other, to not talking, to missing each other and then being the very best friends again. It was incredible to watch.
The Fire and Ice photoshoot was supposed to be an album cover for their band. It was the only time I organised to actual costumes to be created purely for a photoshoot. We found a costumer nearby who worked on musicals and dance performances who was perfect, especially since the twins wanted the costumes for performances.
The costumer was super ridiculously hilarious himself… so watching all 3 of them interact the first time was easily the closest I came to asphyxiating. It’s impossible to breathe in when you’re laughing so much.
The reason the shoot was so hard was because the girls had very strong personalities and also fairly different ideas. Coming to decisions on the costumes was almost impossible, but I think they turned out incredible. Unfortunately, by the time the costumes were finished, and the photoshoot was scheduled, one of the twins had moved out of the state, possibly out of spite, and so only one of the twins modelling both costumes.
The original concept really had them facing off against each other in the same frame, but I’m not sure how the middle where the fire and ice would have met would have looked. We actually outsourced the photoshopping because, y’know, that looks hardcore. They were even keen to be a part of my UrbanGladiators comic series against each other, but, alas, it was not to be.
I had even made them a website, which I don’t think really ever got used because their little band broke up before they ever really started gigging. Such a shame, because the between-song banter would have been the absolute best.
I actually ended up working with Rosie a number of times… she was super fit and strong…
… which made her perfect for the UrbanGladiators comic she was in…
Thanks for reading!
Sources: All photos taken by me. Header shot photo shopped by someone else.
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