At the Drop of a Hat / by Mike Stacey

Headed up to Brisbane for my Bro's exhibition - 'Ulysses Gaze', which showcased his most recent work. Two years in the making but looked like 10 years. I still don't get ho anyone could produce the amount of detailed works he did in that time.

On the Friday I decided to see if could hook up a shoot at the last minute. A quick post to Instagram and a couple of quick responses and it was all systems go. Sugar Kane was first to respond and I'd been following her work for a while and liked her brand of irreverence backed up by her amazing looks and attitude. We worked out some rough ideas and decided on an 8am shoot in my hotel room on the Sunday morning just before I was due to fly out.

The shoot was very impromptu and we'd decided to go with the flow. I love that, it's so refreshing. She turned up right on time and brought along some great and varied outfits/lingerie etc. It was just a matter of deciding where to shoot each look. I'd scoped the room pretty well but wasn't sure where the light would be at this hour. Being an east facing room it was perfect though.

Set 1

A tight little top and undies - simple look and perfect for the chair in the corner.

Set 2

Using my fave lighting I dragged the coffee table into the middle of the floor and Sugar Kane lay down on it in just undies and a top. This highlighted her amazing assortment of tattoos nicely, I love a couple of the poses she did here and the cheeky, provocative look that she does so well.

Set 3

Next was a cute blue shirt, sneakers and undies. She wanted to do this look on the bed which was perfect, especially as I'd just made the bed so neatly :) Kind of a retro vibe, I was thinking C-Heads, Last Daze kind of feel so I shot it (and edited it) that way. 

Of course I ALWAYS shoot some film portraits and this was a good as place as any with the casual feel to the outfit. Sugar Kane has a beautiful face, her bone structure and eyes are compelling and best of all, she was totally comfy doing close kind of work.

Set 4

Just had to use the lovely timber folding doors that led into the bedroom - the lingerie set suited this.

Final Look

We'd only been shooting for an hour and 15, and she had to go in 15 minutes, so change, set up, shoot, change and finish. This was quite a different idea and a bit of an experiment that I've been wanting to do for a while - which would have been better with some studio strobes blasting out some high power light. Instead I had a single speed light, a Nikon SB700. I cranked the power, and set Sugar Kane up sitting on another small table draped with a white sheet then started blasting away with the flash as she pulled some awesome moves and expressions.

It's a kind of seedy, caught in the act, sort of lighting I was after. We didn't quite get that as you need to see some light fall off into near darkness for that effect, but I just love the high-key effect anyway and they showcase her tattoos well too. I hope Sugar Kane has her sight back by now!

Loved working with Sugar Kane, good fun, efficient, experienced and professional and I'm looking forward to working with her again. Check out her Insta: for more...