A ballerina in Kidderminster.
Updated: Mar 10, 2021
This was my second shoot with Geogia. I first met her when she came on a First Aid course with me, a couple of years ago. At the time she was trying to decide between going to Uni to train as a Paramedic or to do Dance degree. These pictures clearly show that she made the right decision!
Our first shoot together was for her Uni application, which had to be shot to a strict set of rules. To demonstarte her ability to perform the dance moves etc.
Georgia's Mum was able to blag us some time in a school hall where she worked. We worked together for these poses until the school caretaker came to chuck us out, we had spent two hours doing them. The application worked and she is just starting back after the lockdown to complete her first year there.
This time there were no such contraints. Except perhaps that it was a freezing cold day and we were outside because of the Covid rules.
Our first set was by the canal, just next to Sainsburys in Kidderminster. This does not sound an ideal venue for a photo shoot with a ballerina! However, with judicious use of an an 85mm lens, I was able to blurr out the background. We spent about 45 minutes here and practiced a range of ballet poses, which were quite entrancing. She is so talented.
The canal also looked really pretty, with some swans cruising up and down watching what was going on. The poise and stature that Georgia has in her poses is quite magical.
I am sure that there is something about a ballerina and a swan?
The next venue was across the road in a shopping precinct. I took lots of shots here, against the side of a old, beautifully engineered brick building, and again Georgia was quite athletic in her dance moves. However the best shots here were taken next to a contempory glass walled building. I feel that this shot, whilst not the most dramatic, shows just how elegent she is. I also thought that the different elements of the shot came together. Georgia's reflection, her pose, in particular her hands, and the juxtaposition of the industrial backgound.
I used an on-camera flash here, partly to add a little bit of light the the darkening afternoon, but also to make Georgia, pop out from the background.
The next venue, was in the "Horsefair" this part of Kidderminster has quite a poor reputation. However, the roads here have just been rearranged and this horse has installed as a piece of artwork. It is made entirely of horse shoes. It reminded me of the horse in "War horse". Unfortunately, it is right inbetween several bits of road, which made it difficult to seperate Geogia from the backgound. We also attracted quite a bit of attention here. Several children wanted me to take their photo. Despite their bravado, they stayed and watched for several minutes
Our last venue for the afternoon, although it was rapidly becoming evening, was at a local park. I was a little anxious about going there, as I had no idea what the place would be like.
I had hoped to be able to use the park lights in the photos, but we must have been a little too early, so that bit did not work. There is a small shelter in the park which was my backup plan. Much to delight, it was clean and had a quite pretty back wall, painted with all sorts of exotic birds. This worked perfectly as a backdrop. I set up two speedlights ( the ordinary little flash units that sit on top of the camera) to light Georgia's hair and the backwall. This also separates her from the background. Then a much larger strobe light in a small softbox, to light her face. After a bit of fiddling around and adjusting the postition of the lights we started shooting. Right from the first shot I felt that this was going to be fabulous.
I was really very pleased with the "paramount" lighting that we had set up. This lighting worked perfectly to give a film star type of effect. In fact, I think that Georgia looks absolutely stunning in this shot
I think that Georgia is really quite amazing as an artist, with her graceful and athletic ballet poses. However, this last shot shows something quite unique about her. This image shows a maturity quite beyond where she is in life. Somehow, this shot reminds reminds me of Audrey Hepburn.
We are hoping to do another shoot together when she is home from Uni at Easter, and with a bit of luck the weather will be kind to us, although it did not rain.
Behind the scenes.
I managed to persuade Louis to come along to take some "behind the scenes" shots. He got some really nice shots, despite not having done this before. This first one, by the canal shows our intial setup.
We then moved onto the shopping precinct. To get there we walked along side the canal and under a bridge. Louis was able to get this cracking shot. This was the least salubrious place we went. Damn fine shot though!
This is the building I mentioned above.