Last month I lost my professional studio virginity, shooting Roxy and Mr Bones at Veverka in Blantyre. It wasn't a particularly satisfactory session, as I struggled with a lot of the basics and came away with barely a handful of shots my longtime collaborator could use. And unfortunately this wasn't a one-off ~ a commercial shoot for a comedy group, a homeshoot with Karen1985, and an evening jaunt to a classic rally in Glasgow had also left me struggling creatively, so I was 0 for 4 in 2011.
However, my half-decent commercial assignment in December for the Forbidden lapdancing club had thrown up some hope in the shape of Natasha Scott, a terrific model and dancer who was by far the most talented girl I photographed that night. I chased her up for a second session, luring her by offering to do a TFO (time for outfit) latex shoot. She picked out a wee custom-made black & white mini-dress from Jane Doe which was on sale, and we were good to go.
Once it was delivered (and very quickly too, thumbs up to Ms Doe) I booked Veverka again ~ my sophomore professional studio shoot. Although it's not as easy to reach as some city centre studios, it's good value and has two spacious facilities. And, because I have a car, getting there isn't a problem for me. I was also able to borrow Roxy, this time as my assistant, and since she and Natasha are pals, it meant everything was familiar and friendly right from the off.
The day itself was a hoot. I was running late, and although I'd bought talcum powder and baby oil, I didn't have any silicone spray to make the latex shiny (it looks kinda flat and dusty straight out the pack). When we collected Natasha, she too was running late, so she climbed into the car wearing ~ I kid you not ~ a leopardskin robe and her jammies, while her hair was wrapped in a towel. I confess that I thought she looked fab. Dressed like that, we detoured into the Party Times sex shop in London Road and bought ourselves some spray. As you do.
Got to Veverka about 30 minutes late, and while we began setting up, Natasha dolled herself up like a pro, before squeezing herself into the outfit. There was an amusing interlude involving talcum powder and a naked bum. There was a brief "Oh my god it disnae fit!" moment before Roxy and I teamed up for some pulling'n'zipping. And there was a brief panic when Natasha realized she didn't have her lighter, before a long and desperate trek around the streets of Blantyre finally got her lit up.
After that everything was just great. Natasha had brought along several outfits as well as expecting to do some nudes, but in the end there was just too much to do with the latex dress. Just means plenty more for our next shoot, woo-hoo. We packed up at three, and gorged ourselves at Pizza Hut before heading back to Forbidden for the start of her shift.
Even looking at the images as they transferred to the laptop I could tell this was (finally) a shoot I was happy with. I'm not going to tell you I'm the greatest thing ever ~ I know that the biggest reason everything went so well was that Natasha's an absolute corker in front of the camera ~ but for the first time in literally months I felt like I was actually doing a half-decent job, and I came away with plenty of straight-from-the-camera keepers.
A good day.