Last week I got an email from a friend of a friend asking me if she could book a family portrait sitting. We met for a chat beforehand and got on like a house on fire. What a nice family…..except.
“Watch out for the sister in law, she’s a miserable so and so.” To be honest she didn’t actually say ‘so and so’ it was much more colourful than that, it even made me blush.
The shoot was planned for today. I arrived with Boofuls at the studio about 40 minutes before all thirteen of them were due to arrive. Thank God. They turned up half an hour early. It’s a good job I had 90% of it set up yesterday, all that was left to do was to take meter readings.
Having given instructions to wear plain rather than patterned clothes I knew immediately that the woman who turned up in the psychedelic dress was the dreaded sister in law. I was also pretty sure that the kids in the heavily patterned clothes would be hers – I was right. Sigh. This was going to be a toughie.
I made a point of introducing myself to everyone, trying to remember names. I also made a point of being extra nice to ‘sister in law’ who had a face like a slapped arse. her only comment was: “Well, I just don’t want to be here” If I’m honest I did think that was a bit churlish as the shoot was a gift for her ma and Pa in law.
“I’ll make it as quick and painless as possible for you.” I promised.
The family was arranged in a nice triangle shape, or as close as I could get to it with half of the group being totally unco-operative. “Big smiles on the count of three!”
“ONE! TWO!” Oh deary me. All they needed was some knitting each to do and they’d look like a crowd from the French Revolution gathered together to watch an execution.
“Fook me, tough crowd,’ I thought. Better turn up the charm and enthusiasm.
We had another attempt and it was a little bit more enthusiastic but on a scale of one to ten, one side of the room managed a good nine and a half, the other side a miserable zero, maybe creeping up to a one. The grandparents sat beaming in the middle like the King and Queen.
There is far more I could rant about but I won’t bore you with it. Suffice to say that I don’t think I’ll be adding ‘sister in law ‘ to my Christmas card list any time soon.
Once I’d downloaded the photographs I realised the feeling was mutual:
On a much nicer and brilliant fun note: When my cake was brought in at my birthday party it had in it a cake firework. That sparked off (hahaaaaa sparked off! Geddit?) an idea in my brain.
“Wouldn’t it be brilliant fun to do a shoot with a couple of these fireworks firing out from a woman’s boobs. It could be ‘Wondertits’ a super hero(ine). ”
The conversation got sillier and sillier and it eventually it ran it’s course and was forgotten by everyone, except me. The idea wouldn’t go away. Well, there’s only one thing to do when that’s happening. Run with it. I discussed it with Lashes who thought it was a brilliant idea if a bit scary and dangerous.
Correct on all three counts.
LET’S DO IT!
Sounds easy. Make a bra, get some indoor fireworks, get a costume. It took weeks and weeks to pull it all together. have you any idea at all how hard it is to get electric blue fishnet tights and blue, double length false eyelashes? The boots were dead easy. I love Ebay, you can buy anything!
I made the boobs, set a couple of fireworks off in them to check they weren’t going to combust, attached them to a basque. That was the outfit sorted.
The studio took a good couple of hours to set up with the lighting. We did a preshoot to pre plan poses and expressions. So far so good.
Lashes’ make up and costume took another hour and a half. At this point I was beginning to wonder why I’d ever thought it would be a good idea.
The time for the real shoot involving pyrotechnics arrived. Tensions were running high. “You can’t look scared.” Was my only advice to Lashes. Boofuls stood by with a fire extinguisher, just in case.
Lashes was, as normal, a brilliant model. Professional and cool. I knew she was terrified but she hid it so well, I’m really proud of her – no, Lashes, that doesn’t mean you can keep those boots.
This is one of the images from the shoot. It was all over blindingly fast. Weeks of preparation, hours of fiddling with lights, costumes and make up came down to a shoot lasting a total of ninety seconds.
This is a preview, all the serious finishing work has yet to be done. What do you think? Was it worth all the effort?