There’s not much to say about this image really. It was taken a couple of weeks ago with the lovely Lulu Lockhart managing beautifully to look broken. The hardest part was me climbing an industrial step ladder that I nearly brought crashing down on Lulu, the lights, the studio etc etc!
The picture was actually shot in landscape format but I think rotating it to portrait adds a slightly distorted, not quite right, edge to it.
Coldplay’s “Fix You” song has long been a favourite and I have had this shot in mind for well over a year. It just needed shooting with a talented model who was not too proud to try a look that was unusual for her!
I had this idea for a shot for some time and had two slight problems with shooting it. Firstly, I was really troubled by the inclusion of a halo or wings to make the ‘Angel’ look, well, more angel-like. And secondly, my vision for the shot was for a model that could do justice to the overall feel I was after.
The former problem was a tougher one and I went through a whole series of thoughts. Initially, I was going to either construct or buy some wings and/or a halo. This produced its own difficulties with sourcing and pricing what I considered to be appropriate garments. However, my biggest reason I rejected the thought was that in the back of my mind, I couldn’t stop thinking ‘tacky’ and ‘done to death’.
I then considered some photoshop wizardry. On researching the idea further I decided that the lyric itself was understated and quite desperate. Big wings and a dramatic look wouldn’t suit what I was after. I practiced adding a simple low key halo in other shots and was happy the effect wasn’t overpowering or detracting from the mood of the image itself.
Having made up my mind, my thoughts turned to the appropriate model. I ideally wanted someone with pale skin and longer hair. As soon as I saw Lulu’s (Lockhart), I knew she was the one for this image. I contacted her and I was privileged she agreed to the shoot. A date was set and we executed the plan last week in a studio. It’s really just a classic art nude but I wanted it to say so much more than just that.
The processing is gentle, with a colour hue to help create a spiritual overtone. The lyric, from Radiohead’s “Creep”, is gorgeous in itself but the song isn’t just a simple unrequited love song. It’s bigger than that, about not fitting in, of being on the outside looking in and wishing you were ‘normal’. “I don’t belong here”, how many times has that thought crossed my mind at different points in my life?
Most of us at sometime has lost a love. At the time it’s devastating, you can’t see past it and logic flies out of the window.
This image came about quickly for me, I heard the Morris Rae song, “For You” and the song blew me away. It’s beautiful but heartbreaking at the same time. The line that caught me was “I’m the girl who borrowed someone…” To me it was incredibly simple but so very poignant. We fall in love but we only ever borrow that person, they remain their own soul and occasionally, sometimes, we are brutally reminded of this.
The lyrics of the song are all so real and when it came to the shot I took, I decided that the line, “Like this girl who once held someone, and was caught along the way…” somehow seemed to work better.
Shot Southerndown beach in South Wales, Erin, the brave model, performed the role perfectly and it was her idea to introduce a reference to childhood. When I’ve suffered this kind of trauma I remember just wanting to crawl into a small ball (like when I was very young), to hide from the bad world and be held by someone that cares, that loves me, like they used to…
Larger version: Here