Behind the Camera – Mother of Dragons: First Attempt

“Nothing burns like the cold.”

― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

Julia 1

I had to start off the blog post with the quote above as this was the best way to describe how beastly the weather was that day…haha I actually wanted to cry! Before heading off to Iceland and after weeks of planning Julia, Maisie, Elisha and I travelled up to Dorset for a photoshoot. After bing watching through all seven seasons of Game of Thrones I was inspired to shoot a conceptual series and Durdle Door was the best location to shoot it, well sort of. The last time I made a visit to Dorset was last summer and of course the weather was decent, I even tried to shoot a self-portrait GOT inspired shoot (which was hard to do especially when you all of a sudden have an audience) which was a tad difficult so I thought it would be best to be behind the camera this time round. After shooting a successful roller skating photo series with Julia I asked her if she’d be interested in collaborating again but this time the shoot involved defeating the White Walkers with a special sword; she said yes of course!  As I work full time I try my best to find the time during the weekend to brainstorm ideas of concepts and themes I would like to shoot in the near future. I have those moments where my mind goes completely blank and forget how to even plan a series. It’s a bit harder now as before I was very proactive with my photography so I always had a flood of ideas but I need to try not to force these things as they will naturally come to me.

Overthinking is my downfall as I am so overwhelmed with everything it can be a difficult challenge to come up with how I would like a portrait to look, so I tend to make my shoots more spontaneous and just go with the flow (I’m actually terrible with directing my models on how to pose). I checked the weather forecast and it was predicted that it was going to rain but I didn’t think the weather was going to be that intense. As soon as we stepped out of the car it was super windy and I could barely open my eyes. I started to worry if we could get this shoot done on time as the car park was going to be close at 4pm, due to the traffic I’m pretty sure we ended up arriving around 1ish. We had to walk down the muddy the pathway just to get to the restroom, the struggle was real and it felt like as if we were starring in a GOT episode. Poor Maisie had to wheel her suitcase through the slippery mud, the wind was strong to point I was surprised no one of us fell over. It took us roughly thirty minutes to get to the restroom for Maisie to do Julia’s hair and make-up. We were all dreading to step outside again to start shooting especially Julia having to wear a dress in the freezing cold.

I’ve never had to do a photo session in these conditions as I could barely see whether the photos were in focus or not. Julia remained professional and she did try her best as we did manage to capture a few good shots but I could literally see her suffering so I couldn’t continue any further with the shoot. It did take us three hours to get to our destination but I didn’t think it was worth continuing a shoot. At least we now know not to attempt a photoshoot near a coast during the winter; it was pretty much like a ghost town, if you feel that you have to force something just least it. Felt a bit sad afterwards as it’s been so long since I’ve done photography but at least everyone was on board to reschedule another time to continue the series. At the end of the day it’s not the end of the world anyways, we can always come back as soon winter is over. The best part about the trip was heading to the café for fish and chips!

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