“And all the lights that light the way are blinding”, an Oasis line from one of the most recognisable anthems of modern times, Wonderwall. Can you believe it’s over 20 years since that song came out?
We shot this in a studio room at Carla’s (Monaco) house in Wiltshire. I had long thought of the lights along a pathway outside somewhere but settled on them illuminating a doorway. Doors are intriguing things. Metaphorically and actually. They can lead to many adventures and many bad times. The door to job interview, restaurant, airport, hospital, bedroom, dentists, a date, exam hall, front door after a knock, a meeting. All hold different tensions and different anticipations but how many doors do we go through in our own minds?
OK, here’s a proper image from the shoot recently with Carla Monaco. I decided this line from the R.E.M. song “that’s me in the corner, thats me in the spotlight” pretty much captures the song for me.
I think it relates to a lost or unrequited love and he’s putting himself at the centre of attention but feeling hemmed in. I wanted the image to portray this. For Carla to be naked, exposed and vulnerable, uncomfortable. The pose was one of several we tried and we added the hat at the end. This adds a hint of the ‘other’ life that she leads, the one the rest of the world sees. Where she has to seem like everything’s ok.
At long last I’ve managed to get round to doing some processing for me!
I’ve long been an admirer of Carla’s work and if truth be told, I was really waiting until I had a great idea so that I could see if she’d work with me. After much deliberation I settled on three lyric project shots I wanted to try and thought she’d be perfect for.
She lives and has a studio close by so I emailed her with the ideas and asked if she’d be interested. She responded quickly and much to my delight, said she’d be keen to have a go. We settled on a date and time and I sent her more details…
I set off on the day a little unsure how things were going to go, Carla is a model of great repute and some of her portfolio is quite simply, stunning. I arrived, was offered a cuppa and chatted with Carla about how I saw the shoot going. She is a creative and highly professional model and was willing to try the ideas out. I realise after some time of this type of shooting that my ideas aren’t too run of the mill (but not that whacky!) for a working model.
I think the difference is I ask them to act a part and get into a different persona for the shots I’m after. I’m quite chuffed also that every lovely model I’ve had the pleasure of working with seems to really quite enjoy it and are quite prepared to ‘go the extra mile’ to get what we need.
Carla was no different and when I finally suggested that the last pic I was after was one involving a close-up face beauty shot with the twist being she had to pour honey onto her mouth she never batted an eye (she did have the foresight to change into an old top though)!
This photograph was taken in between the ‘main’ events and was really a grab. The dress Carla was wearing was for another image but standing chatting together I decided it would be a waste of a great sorta fashion opportunity if I didn’t just try to get a lovely shot of her looking, well, like Carla looks!
The ‘real’ shots are coming shortly!
We managed to take a break from the chatter to actually take a photograph! Layla had this gorgeous vintage dress and had brought some boots along so we both felt it would be perfect to shoot Coldplay’s, Hardest Part lyric in the hallway.
“Waiting for that bell to ring” was a good line and could mean a number of things. Phone, end of lesson but we settled on the doorbell. A ring on the bell could be the start or end of something or just be mundane and an anti climax. I like to think of it as the beginning, an unknown that doesn’t reveal itself until you swing the front door open.
Waiting for it to ring, implies a hint of desperation, a ‘need’ for it to, as if the world can’t move forward unless it does…
“The strangest thing” suggests the writer believes it was an odd thing to be doing but, out of control, he has no choice.
The song is about love of course but as usual, there are many synonyms contained that could be interpreted into many aspects of life.
Location: Chippenham, UK