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Brighter the Light, the Darker the Shadow (NSFW)



Following my shoot for Teenage Cancer Trust, involving much nakedness, a friend of mine Harry asked about a partial nude shoot for himself as a personal thing. I met Harry through Next Level Gaming last year, when he recognised me for my tattoos on my wrist. It turns out, Harry was the apprentice back then that tattooed me! Small world! (He then did my wolf one back in November, but that’s a different story..)

I’ve started this blog with some backstory. Now for some context. Harry is FtM trans, and undergoing chest surgery this coming week (By the time I post this, hopefully he will be out and recovering!), and wanted a shoot that reflected this, as well as his roots in Dark Paganism. If you wish to know more, do visit his blog! www.lightandshadowpagan.tumblr.com


So for this shoot, I was a little nervous. This wasn’t exactly something we could redo with the amount of time we had left before his surgery this coming week. So I had to get the shots there and then, or not at all. Blythe agreed to take me to an abandoned house as a location scout. It was awesome at first look, but being that we had to be at work in forty minutes, we couldn’t hang around too long! Besides, the shoot was the next day! It’ll be fine! *gulp*

Okay, this was the first time I had done a professional shoot with very little preparation, and it worried me a little. We had planned to go to a location in Nottingham, but that location was incredibly easy to get into, with a fair few members of the public hanging around. I didn’t want to set up a whole shoot, to be interrupted by undesirable cretins-- I mean members of the public. Yeah. That’s what I meant. So last minute, I had decided on this location in which I had no idea what it looked like. Good job, Tabby!

So after a particularly long Saturday shift, I jumped out of bed Sunday morning, and double checked all my kit was altogether. I needed to take a few pieces of lighting equipment, as a just-in-case, so I also had ensure all of my batteries were there too. Fun. The amount of batteries I’ve lost is just not funny. This shoot is going so well already, and I’ve not even left the house.


I arrange for Blythe to come and fetch us at 2pm. I love having friends who can not only model, but also knows of amazing locations to shoot in and explore. Blythe: I love you, brah. *insert heart eyes emoji*

However! Blythe had ran into a few problems with a uni assignment that she needed to have handed in by that day. Turns out, her laptop had a massive fit, and she had lost all of the work she had done. Hurrah for crappy technology… So she was an hour late, which thankfully, Harry was completely understanding about. Having gone through uni himself, he knows the joys of such fuck ups-- I mean, mishaps. Mishaps.

So we grabbed Harry from Mansfield, met Ian (Blythe’s friend), and set off for the chosen location. We got there in decent time, and went for a brief wander around the house to find the shooting spot of the day. The house seemed like it could have been a very good family home, with large rooms, pretty features, and in a noiseless area (seriously, it was right near some farmers fields, without actually being a farm. Crazy). However, it was incredibly trashed, and had wasp nests in two of the rooms. In fact, it had the biggest wasp nest in the house in the room Harry was eager to shoot in (so was I, but the nest certainly made me weary). We went upstairs and chose the biggest room to shoot in.


Just as we were about to set up, I hear a shout from the window. Turns out, while Blythe and Ian went wandering, they found a very similar sized house in what seemed to be the first house’s back yard. I made my way round to the other house, to test if we could get in. I mean, Ian could, but he’s a spritely thing compared to me. I cannot climb for toffee.

Hurrah! I got in! I rang Warren to bring the stuff, as this house was much bigger, less wasp nests, and had two darkened, dingy room. Harry came round and happily decided on the room that looked like it had previously been set on fire. Sweet! Finally, we got to shooting. Warren stuck around, and became my reflector holder, like the wonderful assistant he is.

The shoot went amazingly well. I shot Harry from his initial look, and then allowed him to disrobe and change into his chosen form of Baphomet. I had never done such a shoot, but the whole thing, from concept to execution was thoroughly enjoyed. I even got to drag Harry through the house to take a few extra shots that didn’t really relate, but still looked cool as hell anyway. I relaxed a little at this point. These were shots that didn’t need to fit into the narrative of Harry, but when I have the opportunity to drag a half naked guy in a horned mask through a dilapidated house, I snap it up. (Heh, snap? Geddit? Snap..? Oh forget it)

We wrapped up the shoot and made our way back home. But not before I took some quick location shots for the purpose of mine and Harry’s blog posts. One of my favourite shoots to date, I must admit. And I enjoy pretty much every shoot I do. A good day, with an awesome subject matter.

11/10, would should again. - TDP


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© Tabitha Dreadful Photography 2020

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