I had planned this shot mentally for some time but couldn’t quite decide on the location for it. I knew it had to look bleak and desolate and had thought of Dartmoor or a hilltop with big views.
When I visited Southerndown on the South Wales coast to shoot another image for my project I realised that the beach was perfect for this shot.
We arrived at exactly the same time as storm Abigail hit the British Isles and although its main front was a long way north of our location, it still managed to give is 45mph winds on an exposed beach. I knew the early afternoon would give us the low tide I needed and I hoped for rain or at least darker skies. In fact, we fortunately got the lot, strong winds, heavy intense hail showers and dark skies.
Erin, the amazing model for the shoot was an absolute star and once we’d completed the other shot, ran to the sea’s edge and stood as requested, facing the oncoming inevitable hail storm. We made this shot and practically ran back to the van (as much to warm us up) just as the heavens opened and we were able to eat our sandwiches in the relative warmth.
The lyric is a clever one; “They’ll call us lonely when we’re really just alone” from Aztec Cameras “Oblivion” single. I believe there is some truth in that. Just because we’re alone at times it doesn’t mean we’re lonely. We may choose to have some ‘me’ time or are more comfortable caring only about ourselves. I guess it also has a much wider meaning for me; we should never judge a book by its cover.
I love this image, its simplicity, its tone and perhaps oddly, its hope.