Shooting Beth Chambers

A couple of weeks ago I shot my first model outside of North America. The reality is that this was not a momentous event, but I’m puerile and I get a kick out of making things seem as incredible as possible. I put a casting call up on PurplePort, which is like ModelMayhem but is more popular in the UK. My call was for models to come in and shoot stock for my new venture. I got more replies than I knew what to do with; I’m booked every week through the end of November and tentative bookings through the end of the year already. Beth has the honor of being the first person I’ve brought into The Photographic Studio.

I knew exactly what I wanted to shoot, and the lighting for it was very straightforward – “boring” might be a better word. I wasn’t worried about the shoot at all, I was worried that what I’d learned in the states about how to work with models wouldn’t work here in the UK and I’d end up with my brand getting trashed all over the modelling sites before I’d even had a chance to get started. Also, my wife had to work and she’s the more garroulous and outgoing of us so I was a bit concerned that my boring personality wouldn’t go over so well.

I needn’t have bothered worrying myself. People are people, wherever they are. Beth and I got along great; it turns out we have simliar tastes in music (NIN’s first two albums are the only ones that count) and I grilled her for info on slang and lingo, and tried to explain some of the differences between the US and the UK. Despite our age differences (she was born the same year Kurt Cobain killed himself!) and because of our mutual desire to get a catalog of saleable images, we quickly fell into an easy rythm and we ran through the shotlist in record time. It was a real treat to work with an experienced semipro. I was able to provide a minimum of direction and she took off and ran with it, providing dozens of great poses as fast as I could hit the shutter. Definitely worth my time and money. She came with several looks, each of which I shot with three different lenses, and we had time to do some personal work with each look as well.

I’m looking forward to working with Beth again, she’s definitely on the short list of people to keep in touch with and hire again.