Shoot Madness and 60-hour awake times.

I am definitely still trying to recover from the lack of sleep this weekend. I keep offering my brain many, many hours of sleep, but I’ve struggled to actually pull eight hours together these past couple of nights. Wonderful. After nearly 60 hours awake, with seven hours sleep mixed in there, you’d have thought I would have coma’d for at least twelve hours. Buuuuuuut no. Three nights now of around six hours sleep or so. Whyyyyyyyyy?

Tired selfie!

Okay, for those who are not aware, I had signed myself up for two Shoot Madness events last weekend; one in the Pit and Pendulum in Nottingham on Saturday, and one in the Derbyshire countryside on Sunday. To anyone who has never heard of a Shoot Madness event, it is essentially an all-day event where a number of photographers gather together and shoot many models throughout the day. It’s a great way to network, develop your skills in styles you wish to follow, and express yourself creatively without too much restraint.

So I had two of these this weekend, both starting at 10am. So after finishing work 4am Saturday morning, I snuck into bed for a couple of hours rest before the day ahead. I arrived not much after 10am, and introduced myself to the people who were running the event: Mark Keane, a professional photographer, and Treasa Tilt, a highly experienced model. Unfortunately, as I arrived, my first model of the day, Claire, had yet to arrive. The poor girl was travelling all the way from the Lake District, and the Sat Nav had taken her a stupid way around. So in the meantime, I snapped a few behind-the-scenes shots of the other photographers. Because, hey, event photography is mostly what I do! Claire finally got to us, but with only a few minutes left of the first slot. We rushed to get her into an outfit and then into a few poses and snapped away really quickly in the time we had. We got some lovely shots, and Claire was impressed with them! Being that it’s my first day of shooting with experienced models, I felt rather at a loss. But this was exactly why I signed up for these things!

The next two models I worked with were Ashley and Alicia, two young women who had varying experience in photography, as well as varying levels. Ashley was more than happy to do topless shots, and Alicia was a little nervous, being that it was her first day of modelling. Nude shoots in any form, from glamour to art nude, are something I have wished to try! So with Ashley’s willingness, I decided to push my own boundaries and shoot something to develop my portfolio much further. With Alicia, it was a little more covered, so instead we got creative with a rope of Christmas lights and tried to do some rather moody bokkeh shots. I also got a lovely silhouette image of Alicia in one of the big windows at the Pit, and honestly, I’ve been so happy with that outcome. Both models were happy with their shots, and I was happy with what I had managed to develop in my own skills while working with them!

Ashley Finney

Nathan and Rebecca were my final scheduled models of the day. Nathan was our only male model that day, and from what I had seen, was being used for many a shot with very moody lighting. I’ve never worked with a male model, so posing him was very much different to that of female models. However, we chucked ideas back and forth, and got some pretty good images out of the short session, including some more topless shots (apparently, people like getting naked around me..).

Rebecca did a quick few shots for another photographer that involved her to undress and lie in the fetal position on the floor. It was a wonderfully executed shot, which then made me think of my own. Rebecca was happy to push to nude once more that day for the shots I had envisioned. This then led to my first art nude shoot, trying to involve the natural curves of the feminine body and mirrors, because I’m a stickler for mirrors.

Following the earlier shoot with Ashley, Treasa really wanted to have her own version of a set we had done, so I was impressed I got to work with a very experienced model, one with at least six years to her name of shoots! It was exciting! We rounded off the day with a group shot of us all, and of course, a quick pint in the pub below! I couldn’t stick around for that, however; I needed to get home to my bed, before the next day’s antics began! (I had to be out of the house for 7.30.. Oh god..)

Treasea Tilt

The whole day was an amazing experience, and to say it’s Thursday, and I’ve only gotten through four out the six shoots in terms of editing. However, it was definitely an experience that I will never forget, and the photos I got from it are certainly some of my best.

I’ll write about the Sunday Shoot Madness later on this week. I’ve got a few bits to finalise before my S.P.E.C.I.A.L shoot this weekend! Woo!

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