Beauty & the Beast
When I was asked a while ago by Misuzu, to pick my favourite image that I'd taken of her during our shoots, I had no idea how tricky such seemingly easy question could be. We've shot together in my lounge, in a hotel room and at the side of lake. During the shoots we've managed to shoot some very different looks, using natural light and a variety of strobes. I have never come away from a shoot with Misuzu feeling anything other than delighted. On getting the images from the camera onto the big screen of the computer that delight usually only increases to something like elation.
I generally tend to "see" in black and white and the setting on my camera are such that I can take black and white jpegs straight out of the camera and to Social Media with no post production. Once I have the RAW images downloaded onto the big screen I refine the images using Silver Efex Pro. Maybe it's just me but the world always looks better in stunning shades of monochrome.
I have at least one image from each of my shoots with Misuzu printed out and displayed somewhere, and I initially thought that one of these might be "my favourite". However, on looking through the images from our shoots together I finally decided on one from our "Beauty and the Beast" set. We'd been working up by the lake at Joel Hicks Studio and already a great set of images taken on the jetty. In search of something a little different we wandered away from the lake and came across an excavator and dump truck. As usual, with Misuzu I suggest something that involves danger, a ridiculous prop or something just plain stupid. Misuzu gives me a hard look, then smiles and happily goes along. It pretty much always works out and we manage to produce something really nice. On this occasion, she had to traverse a patch of long unkempt grass and climb onto the tracks of a large dirty excavator whilst maintaining some degree of dignity and ultimately being somewhat, mostly, completely naked. Whilst Misuzu negotiated the aforementioned assault course, I busied myself with modestly setting up camera and pleaded with to "be careful". As usual, despite the midges, the spiders, the lack of clothes and the hard uncomfortable steel tracks, Misuzu managed to pose as gracefully as ever and without any complaints.
The contrast of gentle beauty and grace against the waiting power and energy of the excavator are things that bring me back to this image time and again.
Misuzu can be found here https://misuzu.co.uk/