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?