Katelyn is one of those persons, you wished you had met much much earlier. I put out a call out to a dance company based Northamptonshire called Love Ballet asking if they had any dancers that might like a free photoshoot/videoshoot in return for me using the images for my own marketing. This is how I met this incredible young lady whom I have now been working with, for the past year. Her dedication to her dance as well as her schooling is off the planet. I have never met such a hardworking young lady of her age. She is disciplined, polite, hard working and always on time. Her work rate is just awesome! Anyways, this the 4th or 5th shoot I have had with Katelyn and it was decided to do some standard ballet poses and have a bit of fun doing a “evil doll” look with the help of the fantastic makeup and hair stylist Cleo Young.
Whilst perusing the web for ideas on my next shoot with the young ballet dancer Katelyn. I came across an image of an “Evil Doll”, which I thought looked a little like Katelyn herself. Although, it must be said that Katelyn is not evil at all. She is just a bundle of loveliness. I immediately got in contact with Katelyn’s mum (Debbie) who it has to be said, makes the most awesomely awesome BLT sandwiches. They are so thick, you need a fork lift truck to move them.Anyway, I provided Debbie with some images of the suggested clothing and she set about finding and buying the bits and bobs required. On top of this, I wanted Katelyn to mime to a song called “Hurricane” by “Mrs Mr”. I heard through the grapevine, that Katelyn practised her miming quite seriously. (Pity, I could not have capture that on video).
The studio I selected, was the Natural Light Spaces studio in Weedon, Northamptonshire. An old ex royal ordnance site, that was originally built to hold the ammunition for the fight against Napoleon and I believe was used by the military/UK government right up until 1983. These huge buildings have just tons of open space and the natural light streams in via a number of tall windows. Although, in this instance we used studio lighting, a black backdrop, an old curtain and an old Victorian bath. Tris, the owner was on hand to help moving and positioning the lights as he always is.
For the makeup and hair, I chose the brilliant Cleo Young who performs magic with her hair and makeup skills and comes highly recommended by me. I briefed Cleo on the look and showed her the images, asking her to use the look as a base, but to add her own look and feel. But, at the same time keeping within the original idea. Something she always manages to do! She comes from Bedfordshire and she began her make up career almost 10 years ago when she decided to take a makeup course and since that day, her makeup skills have gone from strength to strength. She has also recently completed a HND (Higher National Degree) in specialist makeup. Her makeup journey has consisted of theatre , media , bridal, occasional, teaching, fashion, yes, you name it, she has done it and that has made her services very extensive. There is not a particular area of makeup she prefer to others, she just loves all makeup.
Cleo arrived on time with her box of magical colours, brushes and hair bits & bobs and set about transforming Katelyn’s angelic looks to an evil looking doll, which only took about 30 seconds – only joking. Cleo spent about an hour on Katelyn’s look and both Katelyn and I were in awe of the finished look.
Set One – The Exorcist Look
I know Katelyn practiced a lot at home on this one, using her own stairs. I wanted to mimic the infamous spider walk from the film “The Exorcist” where the scene, which was cut from the finished movie, is of the possessed girl walking upside down like a spider. I was amazed that Katelyn managed to do this and I have a short video (above), it looks even more amazing and spooky when the film is flipped upside down.
Set Two – The Peep Curtain
By this time Katelyn was really getting into the character, relaxing and enjoying herself. This set was to be a half face shot, although it turned into a full-face picture, using a curtain to peep out from. Katelyn somehow managed to double the size of her eyes, that combined with Cleo’s dark eye make-up exaggerated them a lot. Come to think of it she also managed quite a creepy looking smile. Or maybe it was too many Crunchies ??
Set Three – The Victorian Bath
This was where we used the old Victorian bath and positioned her sitting up. But, with her legs dangling over the edge. I said to Katelyn, open your legs and then these two feet just appeared at either end of the bath, with no suggestion of any discomfort from Katelyn. It spooky terms, it just didn’t look right and that was what I was after. In fact, they look liked someone else’s feet, I can assure you though, that Katelyn was the only one in the bath.
Set 5 – Standard Ballet Poses
These involved some relatively easy poses for Katelyn which included some, to show off her improving muscle tone. We also did some nice beauty, I guess you can call them, poses and one or two aerial shots as can be seen below.
The day was exhausting. But extremely enjoyable, I think Katelyn & her mum enjoyed the day as we had a good laugh. The doll shoot was a bit of fun to be had after the days Ballet poses. Although saying that, I will incorporate that element of the shoot into the video as it was too much fun to omit any of it. Katelyn’s mum, Debbie brought along her famous BLT’s sandwiches as well home made coconut cookies, Crunchies and plain chocolate McVities digestive biscuits, OMG, I love that woman …
Next shoot with this young lady is early next year …. I cannot wait!