One of the greatest perks of being a photographer is the opportunity to work with other talented creatives.
As a social media junkie, I enjoy browsing Instagram in search of inspirational stylists, designers and models. Not only is it great to see what others are working on at the moment, I’m also secretly compiling a wish list of all the people I’d love to work with on shoots! In this case, not only did I get to work with one of these fantastic creatives, but two of them together.
Having fallen in love with Elisabeth Armstrong‘s Tribe corset a while back (which I am STILL desperate to shoot!) I had been following her work on Instagram and we found ourselves discussing the idea of a collaborative photoshoot. Around the same time, I had also been speaking to the multi-talented Liv Free. Having met at Oxford Conference Of Corsetry, Liv was the only model I didn’t get a chance to photograph. Therefore, I was really hoping to find an opportunity to work with Liv on another project. After a couple of emails, it turned out Lisa and Liv had also been in discussions about a shoot. Combining our ideas and plans, we popped a date in the diary.
Lisa had just recently finished work on a stunning collection of six tudor gowns for a production in London. Liv had also created a selection of stunning bespoke headdresses to compliment the tudor gowns. Some of the headdresses from the shoot are now available to purchase through her website Creations By Liv Free.
The three of us arrived with far more than we could carry in tudor gowns, headpieces, accessories and photographic equipment! With all of the tudor gowns hanging, steamed and ready to go, Lisa and Liv found a table for accessories. The girls laid out the headdresses and costume jewellery, whilst I set up my camera and lights ready to shoot.
In terms of lighting, I decided to try something different on this shoot. Using the daylight balanced LED modelling lamp on the ELB 400 as a continuous light source for this series of images, rather than opting for flash. With the room almost at blackout, I attached a strip soft box on to one ELB 400 head. The light source was very close to Liv – slightly above her and angled downwards. Most importantly, I made sure the light didn’t fall on the grey colorama backdrop a few metres behind.
It was also my first time shooting with my brand new Canon 85mm F1.2 lens. I LOVE it, but have to admit it was a struggle shooting in that particular studio space. The room was about a foot too short for what I needed. I spent a lot of the shoot with my back pressed against the wall trying to get the shot, but it was worth persevering rather than settling for the easier option of a shorter focal length.
I’m not sure I can pick a favourite outfit from the shoot, but the gold gown below is definitely a strong contender. As my first time shooting historical corsetry, the shaping and structure of each piece differed to the modern corsetry I usually work with, but I really enjoyed the challenge of finding the right angles to show off each tudor gown at its best. I hope I have more opportunities to work with historical / historically inspired corsetry.
A huge thank you to both Lisa and Liv for offering their time, talents and creative energy on this collaborative shoot. Here are some of the images from our tudor gowns shoot.