I am fairly sure most of you will already know the story of how I came to meet Stephanie, or Steph as she is more commonly addressed...
I was on platform 4 of Basingstoke train station last October, trying to get to work in Brookwood. Previously, on the 2-3 occasions that I had travelled into work, I had left on the train at 8:25am and got there fine, however, this time, I was going in a bit later. I waited on platform 4 only to find that the train I needed left from platform 1 after 9am. So in short, I missed it. Damn. Not to worry though, I checked with an attendant and made my way to platform 1 to wait there for another 20 mins for the next train to Brookwood.
In the additional 20 minutes, Steph arrived on the platform with a short purple pixie-cut and long legs. I cursed myself immediately for not having a card on me. I thought it was a shame I was going to miss this one.
As I sat there, feeling very annoyed at myself, another train came for Southampton (?) I think. Steph started gathering her stuff and stood up waiting for the train to pull up and come to a halt.
I scrawled my email address and name on a post-it and went over to her to deliver, what was possibly, the most awkward sentence ever. I think it started something like: "This may sound weird, but hear me out..." and didn't get much better.
Well she took it and was very polite (though did check that it wasn't nude photography so I must give off a fairly substantial air of WEIRDO ALERT, as I suspected) but I was pretty sure as she got on the train that I was not going to hear from her again as I was aware that I potentially came across as a very keen lesbian.
I checked my emails fairly constantly that day. Nothing. Great, I thought, I blew it then.
I cracked on and put it to the back of my mind thinking perhaps she just hasn't got 'round to looking me up or isn't interested or something.
Then - I got an email (I think the next morning):
"In reply to your suggestions of modelling when we spoke at the train station yesterday, I am fairly new to this but would be happy if you could send me an email back of details and your expectations.
Wicked. It was on!
We met up in Wetherspoons in Basingstoke to discuss ideas.
2nd time's a charm, eh Steph...?)
... And then 5 months later and here we are. I'd borrowed some Steampunk accessories from various folk. A beautiful All Saints dress from one, Lucile Kavanagh, an epic mono-goggle from Gavin Smith, a handgun made by Aldershot's Games Shop owner Rhys Knight, and half of LARP friend, Kate Evans' wardrobe. This was one of the looks we were going to try to create today.
But first, we got some beauty shots in the studio. Rachel using her brand new shiny RVB make-up kit. (Which looked amazing, by the way.)
If you are a budding make-up artist (or existing) you can enquire about getting your own RVB cosmetics into your kit by calling them on 01767 682288.
Or you can win some free stuff on their Facebook page here to get you started! You just need to 'like' and 'share' their page to enter the competition for your free kit.
Rach started out with some pinks and purples and gave Steph a really beautiful, and I think ethereal look.
The colour choice really made Steph's eyes stand out as they're a lovely sort-of amber colour. I already loved this make-up range.
And then Rachel added a bit more contrast and some eyelashes for a bit of fashion...
I then added about half a truckload of mousse in Steph's hair only to find myself happy with it as it was when we started. *sigh*
I love all of these, by the way. I'm going to just throw that out there.
Now do you see!?
This is why, sometimes, it is just worth looking like a complete psycho/nutter/creep/stalker at the train station!
OK, we were ready for Steampunk now.
We got Steph into Lucy's awesome dress and puffed it out with an underskirt, courtesy of Kate's wardrobe. We attached my old telescope and some assorted pouches and we headed out in the car. We pulled up at a lovely little area in Basingstoke that looked quite like countryside and had a suitable dirt road. Steph donned her mono-goggle and Rachel and I set up the 'set'.
Turned out, it was a wee bit COLD!
Steph's eyes were streaming, and I mean streaming with tears and so Rachel was very soon dabbing her tear ducts in between shots:
We got a few shots (about 25-30) and then we had to leave because, despite our efforts, Steph was turning into a human popsicle.
Not to mention, her make-up was running a treat.
We did get the following shot though before leaving..
So we aborted the location plans and had a quick go of this outfit back in the studio, and I have to admit, even though I had to scratch location off the plans to do it, I'm really pleased with the studio shots:
Another reason I'm chuffed with these is the lighting.
I kept the studio light on full power but only used the modelling bulb as my light source rather than triggering the flash. I then set my white balance to cloud compensation, creating a warm orange tint to the photos.
So that was my shoot with Steph.
I feel it was a huge success and personally can not WAIT to work with her again on another project. I definately enjoyed the shoot and am enjoying the results still.
... Now I just have to remember who's stuff is who's and return it all to it's rightful owners...