Friday, 15 June 2012

70's styled photoshoot

I'm so pleased with the outcome of this shoot I decided it just had to take precedence over lot of other projects I've been undertaking, all of which I'm proud of...
However, this shoot involves something very special for me and very 70's!

The concept of the shoot was around portraying the 70's a little differently to what we are seeing in magazines and vintage styled shoot.  Less about the clothing but more about lifestyle.  The 70's were a long and ever changing period stylistically so I clung on to the early period in terms of clothing, styling and image post processing.  I allowed myself to be a little bit more playful this time with my image manipulation, using polaroid and holga style looks to create either a postcard style or kitsch look.  I also wanted to recreate the look of motoring mags and car brochures of the period, stuff I happily thumbed though as a little one, from my dad's collection.

But what really made the shoot was the lovely Lotus Elan we were graciously allowed to use, thanks to Celia and Mark, a beautiful Sprint S4 drophead coupe in perfect condition.  I made best use of the time available during make up and prep to drool over it, feel the lovely click of closing doors and glove box, and thumb through a perfect handbook. 

I grew up looking forward to Sundays drives, and time in the Elan was spent on the tunnel behind my parents in the teeny space in the tunnel behind my parents, listening to the carbs rumbling as the wind blowed in my hair.  So what better 70's recreation than to have models driving down the lovely Norfolk countryside in an Elan?  Perfect!

Joy and Matthew were perfect models for the shoot, both in terms of the look, as well as for gelling well notwithstanding none of us had worked together before.  Suzie Townsend recreated the 70's look for both of them, and which looked lovely on Joy's porcelain complexion.  It was indeed a great team for a fun shoot. 

Now for some images!

Paul took some video clips of me shooting- this is quite an uncharacteristic moment with me being quiet, rather than directing, but this allowed the models to engage in conversation and look more natural.

  video



This is my favourite shot, with Joy and Matt appearing to panic as they come across a ford.  In fact the water was just a few inches deep.  The effect was achieved by shooting low, close to the water surface.  I've followed the shot with a tiny clip which shows me trying to balance in the slimy water using a stepladder rather like a Zimmer :))



  video




To have a look at the full set of images, have a look at my facebook business page, and do 'like' the page if you find the work interesting :)

If you want a portrait shoot that recreates a mood or a period of time do get in touch to discuss what we can offer.  Creative projects are very important to me and you are guaranteed a fun experience as well as having a great project planning team and photography.

I will be having a stand at the Norfolk Show with Dead Good Designs (Stand 21, Avenue 7) and look forward to seeing you there.  If you mention the password 'Lotus' to me you will get a 10% discount on orders taken during that week. ;)
Look forward to seeing you there :)

Kudos:
Models: Matt Meazey & Joy Cruikshank
Make up - Suzie Townsend
Car - Celia & Mark
Clothing and Styling - myself
Vintage Cameras and video - Paul Davis
Assisting - Paul Davis & Mathew Muscat

PS apologies for the apparent alignment and editing errors but blogger really doesn't want to play!

Friday, 1 June 2012

Dear Queen


It is a weekend and bank holidays full of celebrations here in the UK.  Queen Elizabeth has been on the throne for 60 years and her kingdom is about to celebrate this wonderful diamond jubilee.

I have thought long and hard about how to produce a personal tribute to the Queen mulling ideas for several months.  I thought about ways about creating an image that the queen would be pleased with, that celebrates her resilience, magnamity and wisdom.  However, for many reasons, I crossed off each and every idea I had.  None of the models I thought of would look like her, the clothing would not be regal enough and I had no stunning location at hand to photograph in.  Nothing would be good enough to pass on to Her Majesty as a thank you and a sign of respect from me.  I am just able to say Thank You in a virtual way and imagine I am paying respect to a Queen I admire and respect.

Why should all this come from a foreigner, I hear you say, and why specifically me?

Queen Elizabeth has always had a very special tie with Malta.  

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh married on November 20, 1947, and Malta is the only country outside the UK where they have lived.

Prince Philip served there with the Royal Navy between 1949 and 1951, during which period the Queen (then Princess Elizabeth) visited several times, the longest visit being from November 1950 to February 1951.

They returned to the island in 1954, 1967, 1992 and 2005.


Her Majesty has been known to reminisce about lengthy stays as a young Monarch in Malta and is said to cherish memories of being able to drive around the Island quite freely.  She is also said to miss visiting Villa Portelli in Pieta’, her residence in the Island.

Although there has always been a strong anti-colonial feeling within the Maltese which ultimately led to the island becoming a republic, even today there is a strong connection with the Queen, especially from the older generation.  It is within this environment that I grew up as a child.

How does all this link up with me, you will ask!

In 2005 I was in the middle of a very difficult court case.  I had separated from my husband  after a breakdown of our marriage, and had been granted legal separation and custody of our son.  My financial situation was fraught and I was looking at our future.  My hope was to be able to move to the UK with my son Matt, but under Maltese law it was very difficult or nearly impossible to do so with a child.  In total I had gone through 6 lawyers, who were all happy to take my money, but not to give me a positive outcome (this is before I engaged the 7th and successful one!)

One day after school, the then 10 year old Matt bounded up to me and suggested he wanted to speak to the Queen, I sort of ignored him, as you do when one if faced with such statements.  He said he had a plan.  The Queen was due to visit, and his school, like others, was invited to an event where, as is customary in foreign visits by Royals, she met with schoolchildren.  He said he might be able to stand in a place where he could ask her a favour.  The last thing I’d do to Matt was to dash his hopes so I gave him my blessing to do what he wanted.

Matt came back from that event very upset, he said none of his school mates were anywhere near to the Queen and he had really wanted to speak to her.

I suggested he might want to write to her.  She might not be the Queen of Malta anymore, but maybe, as the head of the Commonwealth, it would be sort of OK to write to her.

Now anybody who knows Matt will appreciate that he does not like to write to anybody, so seeing him scribble his pleas just made me feel so sad that he had to go through this.  No child should ever have to plead! 

A few weeks later, this letter drops through my postbox... it bears the insignia ERII and I tremble....
I call Matt, who asks me for help with opening the letter....

How can it be that so many people I met with over the years to move my case forward, notable people, members of the Parliament, government employees who influenced local policy, often snubbed my requests and a Queen, not even of my own country, takes the bother to read my son’s scribbles and reply??!
She replied not once, but twice, after Matt updated her on how we failed to make any progress...



The Queen’s reply per se obviously did nothing in itself to change our legal position – Jack Straw was in no position to comment on individual cases, and we were not under his remit really.  However it gave us so much energy to drive the whole thing through.  Matt felt empowered, and our lawyer felt that if Matt had the initiative to write like that then he certainly had what it took to make himself heard clearly within a Maltese court of Law, which he did, in a small but powerful voice.

I’m not sure if it is OK to refer to the Queen as Dear, but I will do so now, reverentially.  

Dear Queen, thank you for listening to the children.  You are an example to individuals both here and within the Commonwealth.  Thank you for being a kind mother.

I am your faithful servant.

Sincerely,
Antonella

Followers

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