Tarantino and his vibe has always inspired me - the concept for this shoot was heavily laden with that feel, even to the point of Ivy bringing along a playlist of songs from Pulp Fiction plus some other similar tunes.
WHO? A sleazy older dude (Eric Clayton) and a sexy young woman (Ivy-Rose Raven). Eric's not sleazy really.
WHERE: Hotel room.
HOW: That's the back story. I did actually write one for the two models.
WHY: That's back story again.
WHEN: Not relevant.
WHAT: Well. The pictures reveal a certain amount of the WHAT, the rest will be up the viewer's interpretation of what's going on.
The first thing I considered after committing to doing the shoot was which female model? For the model, this shoot wasn't going to be just about posing art nude or fashion or some other genre - there needed to be close contact and interaction between the two models. They needed to act, play a role. There was very wide latitude as to how close and intimate this could be from my point of view - I didn't mind at all raising people's eyebrows with this.
The very first model I thought of was Ivy. I've worked with her a number of times before and have shot some of my best work with her in front of the lens. [As an aside, the first shoot I did with her was actually a paramount moment in my life as far as my own personal situation went... the drama of it all!]
I've shot Ivy in art nude, fetish and fashion and we've published two of those shoots. She's done it all so well but the main thing for me is that she brings something different to the table, something that most art models don't seem to do much of (or maybe I just haven't asked them). She is very aware of her sexuality and of the strength she has with that. She knows how to exhibit her sexuality in such a way that is empowering and compelling - I love that. I say 'empowering' as that was a comment that another woman made to me after seeing the pictures I shot with Ivy on our first shoot.
The other thing is that this shoot needed someone who could get into character and act with another person. Ivy has studied stage and camera acting, improvisation and theatre sports so she now brings more skills to the table.
Male model? Eric Clayton. Eric has a wealth of experience as an art nude and life model and he's played a small roles in a short film. We're good friends and I've shot with him numerous times. I knew he'd be up for this role before even asking him. And he was.
I've shot a story involving two models before (Meluxine and Kedori) but this was different in that it was quite intimate and to be shot in a hotel bedroom instead of a studio. So my first worry was would Eric and Ivy get on? Ivy had the idea of having a rehearsal, which was great, so Gina and I, Ivy and Eric met for lunch in the city the week before the shoot. The vibe was good. After lunch we did a quick rehearsal in an apartment nearby - some test shots fully clothed and some experiments with various interactions. The results were great - and for me the primary prerequisite for any shoot (if you want good photos), was satisfied - everyone was happy, we got on well and had some laughs :)
The other person who would be of paramount importance to a good result was the hair and makeup artist. This was an easy decision. Burton Yuen, who I've worked with twice before, seems to just get the look I'm after. Not everyone does get what the concept requires, but he connects with it and then he does it with so much skill it's amazing. His completed looks are a real joy to shoot and I often have to stop whilst looking through the lens at the model and the work he's done. Both previous shoots with Burton have resulted in published work, to Dark Beauty mag and Elegant Magazine. Gina from GIAN Styling completed the team and I couldn't have completed this shoot without her invaluable assistance and styling abilities.
Here's some shots from the shoot and a short BTS video clip. The full set of images will appear soon!