Chapter Two of the Hiraeth series reunites me with Suzzi a Czech model whom I have worked with for my “Time Stands Still” project previously, she was visiting London for some shoots and got in touch so I snapped up the opportunity to make the most of it and make her a worthy addition to the project.
With a limited time and budget options were scarce for shooting so I went to explore Epping Forest in North London the weekend before, a really nice stretch of easily accessible woodland, clearings and lakes was dotted around the area so I decided we would shoot there rather than look further afield.
Shooting on the day was a mixed bag with light, the forecast 30c of light clouds and heavy sunlight was nowhere to be seen in typical British fashion, having been slowly melting into a pool of gristle for the last two months this felt like a blessing in some way though and the more heavy clouds added a soft golden light to some of the images shot in the clearings among the dry roasted grass stems and thistles.
Human traffic in the woods proved somewhat problematic to work around easily for a nude themed shoot, the constant sound of footsteps and mobile phones ringing, dogs running free and cyclist coming out of nowhere left us less time and options for shooting that I had hoped for, a small group of children also forced us to abandon shooting by the lakeside as they had been trying to follow us and sneak a look.
The woods themselves have a stunning range of felled trees, ferns and open landscapes so I could really not fault them in the slightest, between vicious mosquito attacks at least. A lack of bright light led me naturally to wanting a high prevalence of black and white imagery for chapter two, Suzzi’s pale skin tones naturally complementing the silvered skeletons of felled trees and the golden grass and scrub.
Suzzi was her typical fluid self and took to the location like a true pro, keeping her eyes out for passersby whilst hanging from the remains of trees, braving thistles and brambles without complaint and nestling down into the baked, cracked earth for some of my favorite shots of the series.
chapter two gallery
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