I found Tianna on PurplePort. She had quite an unusual style, and looked great. It seemed like she hadn’t done a lot of modelling yet (she was 16) but had a great way of posing for shots. I messaged her and asked if she was interested in doing a shoot together, and she was – we set up the shoot for the next weekend.
We started in Exeter’s Guildhall shopping centre, which is a good place to meet up, and good for a few photos. Her mum came along too, and was very helpful – I think her mum had done a bit of modelling, which was good – probably more experience at that point than I had! As a young model, I thought it was great that her mum was supporting her, as well as coming along to make sure she was safe. There are bad photographers out there, so it can be well worth having someone with you, especially when you’re fairly new to it.
We started with a few shots around Guildhall. There’s a section outside with seating, some interesting walls, and we got a nice reflection shot using a shop window.
We then went wandering, looking for inspiration. I found some in a car park by the road, which Tianna went around to get inside. I shot through the wires of the ‘window’, which worked pretty well.
I thought Iron Bridge would make for some good shots, but in the end, the most interesting shots we got there were the fairly straightforward portraits we could have done anywhere. Those do work really well, though – Tianna has a great face for portraits – pretty, but in an interesting way, which gives her a bit of depth. And the stone steps worked quite well.
A curved shop window with a torch shining through it seemed like a great idea, but I don’t think it really worked out. Included here anyway, because it took too much effort to do, so I tried hard to convince myself it had worked. Maybe it’s a useful learning experience for us all. For me, not to do that again. For Tianna, to not listen to me.
Since Iron Bridge hadn’t worked out as well as I’d hoped, we headed for the safety of Cathedral Green – it’s hard to go too far wrong there. Almost every photographer working with models anywhere near Exeter seems to use the medieval door at some point, and you have to do a shot with the cathedral blurred out in the background. It’s a local law.
And finally (Actually, this was just before the medieval door shots, but the narrative works better this way, so let’s just pretend) I suggested Tianna lie on the ground where there was lettering. Not sure if she thought the idea would work too, or trusted me, or she’s just up for trying strange ideas, but I think they worked out pretty well.