Wednesday, December 22, 2010

testing, testing...

Just a little test shoot with Shannon (of the Pre-Raphaelite photos). Thought we'd do something a little more contemporary with her, but she still looks pretty classic with wind-blown hair, standing in a soft knit shift that pools over her feet (shades of Aphrodite/Adobe Illustrator?).

Anyway, red hair rocks.

hair, make-up, styling - me
photography - Fred fraser
model - Shannon

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Magical morning

I shot these photos as I was cycling in near my home between 7:30 am and 8:00 am in a single morning (back when I lived in Chilliwack). No kidding, one morning, half an hour.

Aren't mornings worth it?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Plugged In

A while back this story ran in 180 Magazine. I'm reposting it here so you can enjoy the kooky story of how we found props, including the late great Kingsway TV & Stereo, sadly no longer in business.

It all started with Fred’s idea of doing a “commentorial” on the various ways people have these weird and almost co-dependent relationships with their tvs, told in the medium of a contemporary fashion spread. The idea probably stemmed from the fact that we both (independently) opted out of tv a number of years ago (Fred for more than 13 years), and in fact no longer have a single tv set.

Wait. Correction... we now have 6 tvs, which we have no idea what to do with. I may post one of them on Craig’s list as it has a pleasing red glow and a retro faux-wood exterior; I think it could make a cool ambient light source for a mod apartment.

At the time that Fred proposed his concept, however, we only had access to one old tv in storage, but not really old enough to be interesting. I began scanning the adverts in the hopes of picking up a number of old tvs that worked well enough to be light sources, and turned up a couple that way. But as our shoot date crept closer I realized I would need to find a source if I was to come up with the required number of sets. 

Driving home one evening I saw it: Kingsway TV & Stereo, a grimy streetside window revealed lurking towers of dusty tv and stereo components beneath a weathered backlit sign of 60’s vintage. The next day I went back with Fred to pick tvs. When we squeezed in the front door and stood uncertainly in the narrow space available, an older man appeared at the back of the store and picked his way through the loose stacks to greet us. When we described our need he assured us that he had some good samples in the basement if we’d like to see. He said he often sold dozens of sets to movie crews, so our request didn’t raise an eyebrow. Locking the door to the storefront, he led us around the corner to the back alley, then down a few steps to a decrepit door that opened onto the dirt-floored underbelly of the old building. 

What I saw when we entered made me almost back right out, I suddenly felt like Agent Starling about to discover something unsavory from Hannibal Lecter’s past. The ceiling was low and lit from a single bare bulb which cast a pool of light on a meandering path that wound through piles - yes, literally undulating hills - of old tv sets. And our guide obviously knew each and every treasured one. An old radio tuned to a classical station played in the background of this surreal adventure as we examined and rejected and ultimately settled on a couple of 70’s vintage sets. With any luck, we’ll be able to return them soon to their subterranean home.

We had all the tvs we needed, really, and it was the day before the shoot when I entered a second-hand store on a whim and saw the tv to end all tvs tucked away on a back shelf: a beautiful Philco Predicta. Fred had mentioned this very model in the early days of planning and I had never seen anything remotely like it in all my searching and yet... here it was. And I had already spent far too much on the set and props for this shoot. I walked away.

I went back.

“How much to rent that tv for a photoshoot?” I asked the proprieter. I must have looked very sad when I told him that I couldn’t afford it and would have to pass, because he stopped me and asked how much I could pay. I offered more than I wanted to pay, but it was still far short of the rental rate and I didn’t hold out much hope. Then he asked me if I baked. And, actually I do, quite well. So we bargained for some cash, and some home-made chocolate chip cookies, and I left the store with my prize. Now I had the perfect rounded voluptuous set for our Lust scene.

Every shoot has a story, sometimes it’s the story you’re telling visually, sometimes it’s the story of creating the images, and sometimes it’s all about the incredibly interesting real people and quirky places we can connect with whenever we step out the door.

Which you don’t experience sitting at home, just watching the tube.

Photography Fred Fraser
Styling Alecia Ebbels
Set, hair, make-up Liz Dungate
Model Nikki