I arrived early and met Freya, the agency MUA. We had a great talk about working with kids, being signed and also one of my inspirations, Emma Tunbridge, who Freya works with regularly. I showed her my blog and briefed her on the make up and hair plans for the shoot.
Before the models arrived, my assistant Amber and I set up the material backdrop, cut out labels, and bought sandwiches for the team.
Olivia arrived, and had her hair and make up done by Freya. She came onto set and we spend approximately 20 minutes shooting on the blue backdrop. Having never worked with under 5’s before, I was surprised at just how young Olivia was (2) and how little direction I could give her. I usually have very strong concepts for shoots, and plan the exact shot I hope to achieve, but it soon became evident that with models this young, the concept would have to loosen, and I would capture moments rather than create them.
Stanley took direction marginally better, and managed to hold poses for a little longer, but was still incredibly young.
The majority of the directing was done by the Mums (Jennifer and Amy) who calmed their children, and distracted them by asking them questions, and performing entertaining tasks like eating flowers. Amy, Stan’s Mum had a particularly clever technique of counting down to allow Stanley to jump like a rocket ship! This meant that he stayed reasonably still for 10 seconds, but allowed him to go crazy afterwards!
Surprisingly the Phase gave me very little hassle! It only jammed twice and was revived immediately after switching on and off. The only issue that was, due to the fact I chose to shoot with natural light and hand hold to keep up with the kids, and the fact that the children rarely kept still, some shots are slightly softer than intended. However, with some of the images, this gives a subtle, painterly quality.
The choice of natural light, and the hyper action of the children, meant that I had to abandon the Polaroid idea almost immediately! I knew once I began shooting that it would be foolish to attempt to shoot these young children in the same method as I shot the older models in my FMP, and felt that the Phase would bring a more commercial, crisper look to my portfolio.
I was incredibly lucky to have such wonderful mums, and Amber, on board, as would not have managed this shoot alone! The images took great patience, and although I did not achieve a number of the planned shots I set out to, I was given some beautiful alternatives.