"Sometimes I think 6 impossible things before breakfast" (Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll)
I met Finnish photographer Lauri Laukkanen through a mutual passion for conceptual art this year. He found me via Rosie Hardy’s Facebook group and we met in February to shoot around the theme ‘Queen of the Crows’…
Since then, we have become good friends and I often chat to him about the ridiculous ideas rushing through my head and complaining about the lack of conceptual photographers living locally. Sick of my hassle, he called my bluff…
"Jen when are you free, I’m coming to England and we’ll shoot this stuff".
So, the second week of April arrived with Lauri flying into Liverpool from Finland staying for four nights. The plan was to shoot at the bombed out Church in Liverpool on Tuesday with Tara Byakko and her amazing designs. I met Tara at Von Wong’s workshop three weeks prior and as another Finlander, she was already keen to work with Lauri.
I have so much to share from what was crammed into such a short space of time but for now, I can only offer a few the behind the scenes images from the conceptual day. However, I do have the first couple from Liverpool…
You can also find Lauri’s BTS video from the day here: http://www.slrlounge.com/bts-fashion-shoot-at-a-bombed-out-church-tuesdays-with-lauri
Prepping on location in Liverpool:
Richard Powazynski, who I also met at Ben’s workshop, contacted me to see if he could come to help. It was great to see him again and an invaluable assistant along with MUA Donna Graham’s son Reiss, who between them took many BTS stills and video. The location was perfect, I’d always wanted to use it.
We ended the day with burgers and beer all round after a tiring and chilly but seriously fun day filled with hot drinks, Finnish chocolate, funny accents, smoke machines and drama.
Wednesday was a complete clutterbuck day…so much to do, so little time! Frustratingly working until after lunch, I sped my way back over to Southport where I met the guys to brainstorm ideas and gather the necessary props.
I don’t know how it happened (but I am so grateful to her that it did) but we all ended up crashing at Maison Donna for the duration. Sat at her living room table with a pen and paper, I began to explain to the others the ideas that were cooking, regularly looking at Lauri for reassurance that they were physically do-able.
Before we knew it we had 8 concepts…but only 1 day to tackle them. Was it possible? I’ll have to see if all the edits work out, eek!
The first set of the day, ‘Any bed for a weary head’
As much as I want to explain the reasoning behind each concept, I also want to allow any viewer to take their own meaning from each image.
So, I’ll try not to say too much (…says the girl who blogs every second breath)…
Each idea is very different from the next, yet appears to have a constant. They are very representative of me. Themes of consumerism, dreaming, new worlds, alternate persona’s and the media are very prominent in my current creative thoughts. Strong interests in sleep and money - the two things I so lack!
I had a very clear vision for each of the eight shots I aimed to create. I knew what colours, angles, styling and overall feel I wanted. Usually when working in a team, you must collaborate to allow ideas from every team player to come together (just as we did in Liverpool with Tara)…but for this one day, I was precious and insistent that my visions were created how I saw them. I cannot thank Lauri, Donna and Richard enough who so kindly listened intently and allowed the series to happen whilst willingly accepting my selfishness.
A close crop on my favourite shot of the day until it’s ready:
Almost every shot pays a strange homage to my heroes in conceptual photography. I’d tell you who, but I do wonder if they’d agree so I’ll let you decide for yourself. Essences of Brooke Shaden, Alex Stoddard, Rosie Hardy and Kirsty Mitchell to name but a few.
Creative chaos at Donna’s humble abode:
I can’t wait to show you everything we made (if they work!). Lauri is going to be using some for his ‘Tuesdays with Lauri’ channel on SLR Lounge. I will link these on Facebook and Twitter if you are interested in seeing what was made along with behind the scenes footage and post processing video. There is one shot in particular that involves a dingy that still has me doubled over in laughter each time I look at it ;)
After an epic four days, leaving everyone as Richard returned to Newcastle, Lauri to Finland…and Donna to normality…I received a text message from Lauri…it read, “Look in the boot of your car”….and WAAAH look at what he had left me! My very own camera! I love it so much and what’s more, the baby blue strap is imprinted with the words: “Today I’m just a dreamer, dreaming my life away”. Perfect.
So no excuses now. It’s time to learn…
Until next time, over and out bloggies.
Oh I almost forgot, Mr S… as you follow my blog so keenly, this ones for you…
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