There’s an image I’ve been wanting to re-create for ages. It’s from my own vintage collection, probably German and dating to the 1930s. It features a girl, wearing a choker necklace and in a pose that looks deceptively simple, but is actually very difficult to hold. Her physique and abdominal strength suggests dancer (as many models from that period were), and so when I came across Kayleigh, herself a trained dancer, I knew I wanted to give it a go. I made the choker the night before our shoot from a piece of ribbon, some glue and stick on glittery bits.
We started with some general poses to get into the swing of things and then went for it. In addition to the pose itself, the shadow is key and also helps to give the period feel–no blown out backgrounds back then. Only problem was, I’d shot less than 10 frames before my poor workmanship on the choker showed and a sparkly fell off right in the front. That put an end to the pose, but I think we nailed it.
We moved on to another image from the archives, this time using my 1890s Thorton Pickard half plate as a prop and I love the way they turned out. I worked up some vintage-style prints in the darkroom using silver bleach and antiquing dye (see prints section) that I love. In fact I’d intended only to sepia tone them, but when I saw how they looked after the bleach phase, I pulled them right there and then just added some antique dye without sepia toning at all.
Next I shot 15 quick frames with some ‘art nude’ low key lighting and then put the Mamiya away and ended with the Nikon F3 and one roll of Tri-X 35mm for some more ‘Crime Scene Boudoir’ shots. This time I pushed just one stop to 800 and they’re not really grainy or contrasty enough for the feel I’m after. I think I’ll settle on a two-stop push for future. Overall, I’m really happy with the variety of images we captured. This was my last shoot of 2012, looking forward to a new year of making more pictures.
Model: Kayleigh Lush