Isabella | teen glamour shoot | Lusaka, Zambia
I know I usually start most of my blog posts by saying how excited I am to be sharing my pictures – I do genuinely mean it – and this time I mean it even more! Each time I return to the UK from Zambia I immerse myself in the wealth of online knowledge that can be streamed with fast internet (oh how I love the fast internet here). Over the summer I discovered the incredible work of photographer Sue Bryce who so generously shared her knowledge on creativeLive (one of my favourite sources of online photography education) on how she does her glamour photography. I instantly fell in love with Sue – she is an amazing woman with such an incredible and generous spirit. I love her images and most of all her ability to really capture the essence of a person using natural lighting.
Armed with what I had learnt, I arrived in Zambia in September full of exciting new ideas and keen to find a willing model to practice. Meet my niece, Isabella, just 15 years old and simply beautiful. Isabella and I discussed what I was trying to achieve and the best outfit to bring a really natural and rustic look alive. We set aside an afternoon to have some fun and get through a long list of itinerary. Thankfully at the last minute I asked my other niece, Oriana, to do the make up for me (she’s just 16 and did a fantastic job!) while I ‘attempted’ to do Isabella’s hair. I have the annoying desire to want to do everything on my own and thankfully while curling each individual section of hair I kept repeating to myself that ‘I’m a photographer not a hair stylist’ – I really must find a hair stylist that can do this work for me (and a better job than I was able to achieve)! Anyone?
We spent about an hour and a half getting Isabella ready and then another hour and a half shooting in two locations close by. I was really keen to have the images tell a bit of a story about Zambia and the absolutely beautiful dry scenery of October with the long grass the most beautiful colour. I was very conscious of putting Isabella in poses which I felt were appropriate for her age – I wanted playful and cute. This is exactly how I imagined a teen glamour shoot happening – Isabella got to be made up and came away having experienced a professional and fun photo shoot. She really worked with me to achieve the poses and was amazed at how much hard work goes into it…it’s a workout! When she saw the sneak peek image I put up on facebook she was so excited with the result and this is exactly what I’m always aiming for.
Being in the position of preparing to say goodbye to a wonderful decade of my 20s next month, I’ve really reflected on how precious each decade is and the incredible changes that happen to our bodies. It was always my dream to have a photo shoot when I was younger and what I love about this natural concept of photography is that is captures the beauty of each decade – so it’s never too late to have one. You don’t have to be a model to look and feel beautiful – with the right hair and makeup artist and a photographer that knows how to pose you and encourage you to share your spirit, you can have images worthy of being blow up huge and hung on your walls. I will be exploring Sue’s approach to glamour photography lots more so if you’re interested in being my guinea pig, please let me know by sending me an email.