Shoot Story: Kayleigh’s First Shoot

Kayleigh's first photoshoot, wandering around Exeter hunting for inspiration.

I’d found Kayleigh on Instagram, and as you can see, she looks amazing. I’d messaged her asking if she’d be interested in trying modelling, and as it happened, she was thinking about getting into modelling at the time. She’s also friends with Samantha, so she could check easily enough if I was genuine.

She’s usually away at university, but when she was back in Exeter briefly, she got in touch, and we arrange to meet up and try her first modelling shoot. Yes, this was her first ever time modelling. Fair to say she took to it well.

We met up in Princesshay, at the Blue Boy statue – an easy place to meet, and under cover in case the weather isn’t great. Kayleigh was easy to spot, and looked great. She’s really easy to get along with, and we started with a few shots right there in Princesshay, using shop windows for some reflections.

Kayleigh wasn’t so happy with the first photos, thinking her nervousness showed, but I’m not sure it does to other people.

We moved on and started wandering and looking for inspiration. It didn’t take long to show up, with a tall curved wall surrounding a circular pattern of cobbles making a good setup for a couple of full-length shots.

Down into Southernhay, we found a nice wall that made for some nice simple portraits, with plenty of chance to blur out the background. Yeah, doing bokeh again.

Another window, and my obsession with reflections returned. I showed Kayleigh the trick I’d learned from another model – look at the reflection of the camera, and the reflection of her face makes eye contact while the ‘real’ face looks away.

We wandered on to Rougemont Gardens, and used a nice big tree for a couple more shots, then the rainbow painted gate.

There’s a set of metal steps there too, which made for some good shots – taking care with the angles with that short dress! And I couldn’t resist doing another of my classics – looking straight down onto Kayleigh for an unusual portrait angle.

We cut through to the back of the RAMM – the Royal Albert Memorial Museum – and used their steps and a wooden wall for more shots.

One the way from Rougemont Gardens to Northernhay Gardens is a little Japanese garden, with acers. Models spend far too much time pretending to be fascinated by leaves. It would be a great hobby or second career for a botanist. Two birds, one stone.

At risk of being predictable again, there was a bench, so we had to go for some shots with Kayleigh sitting on the bench.

Another of my strange photographic obsessions is shipping containers. And we happened on one. So…

It had spiders on it, though, so we left. I don’t like spiders at all, and Kayleigh didn’t seem overly keen either.

Doors and Danger of Death signs were our next inspiration. Maybe we were starting to get a bit desperate at this point.

That took us back to High Street, so we grabbed some shots on one of the seats, letting the people around be part of the pictures.

Remove Kayleigh, and you’d be much closer to some of the sort of photos I’d have taken before I started working with models. I think it’s better this way.

We’re going to break to another page here, but you’ll want to carry on to page two – some of the best phots are still to come, with Kayleigh on a wall outside the cathedral, and our final shots in Guildhall.

Continued on Page 2 ->

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