These are very detailed photos - there is a lot going on in them. Larger versions can be found in my online portfolio.
Models: Elwira, Zaina, Roksana & Bansri (both from Confidence Models.)
Photographer: A R Harvey
Stylist: Simone La Rose
Hair: Magdalena Tucholska
Photo Assistant: Jenny Calvin
Stylist Assistant: Victoria Jowett
Stylist Assistant: Leah Sherburn
Stylist Assistant: Aneeta Sumra
Thanks go to Nana at Confidence Models.
This was a difficult shoot. We had four models, four locations, sixteen style changes and precious little daylight. What's more, it was freezing.
The woodland backdrop is Hampstead Heath, North London - just up the hill from Camden. The Heath is like a bubble of countryside surrounded on all sides by the capital's gray urban sprawl. Hills and fields roll into dense woodland and forgotten dirt paths. On Christmas Day parents can be seen with their kids and new mountain bikes.
Our green room was fifteen minutes walk from the the centre of the Heath. We had no choice but to march in procession up Parliament Hill into the wilderness. Many passers by stopped to point and stare... We wrapped the models in blankets and carried a couple of thermos flasks filled with hot water for teas and coffees. Our stylist, Simone, rolled along a large suitcase filled with even more clothes. We simply did not have time make a thirty minute round trip for every style change, so half our changes were done at location. The schedule was still tighter than the girls' leggings, but we at least entertained a chance of getting the shots before sundown.
The creative brief afforded me a certain poetic license when it came to lighting and post-production. We did not have the time and budget to erect massive lights - we had to remain light and nimble. In the end I chose to use a Quantum Q-Flash, which is basically a bigger, more powerful battery powered flash often used by event photographers. For it's size and weight it produces beautifully even illumination with enough punch for daytime use. My assistant Jenny held the flash aloft on the end of a lightweight boom pole.
Although the images have obviously been retouched, it may be difficult to appreciate just how different they look to the original exposures. In fact each finished picture is a composite of at least three images. By locking off the camera, I was able to cherry pick the best poses for each girl and bring them together to create one super-photo. To apply the hazy atmosphere effects I had to then cut around each girl individually and separate her from the background.