This shoot was based on an idea a model friend had. She was inspired by another photoshoot she had seen with balloons in the background.
I hate just doing a shoot with random elements, I like these photography collaborations to be themed around a story. So we set about thinking up a story of why someone would be in a lovely dress and have balloons. I suggested a jilted girl, stood up on a big prom date. She would be dressed up fancy, with lovely hair and makeup and the balloons could have been an extravagant present like folks do on American prom dates.
So we set about planning. After searching locally for something suitable I ended up buying lots of red heart-shaped balloons on the internet. While we waited for them to arrive, from China if I remember rightly, we worked on the other elements. The model decided on a lovely little black dress with diamond accents and we both hunted for an urban location that could match our “stood up” prom date idea.
We finally decided on a landmark in Belfast, the “big fish” at the Lagan Weir in Belfast. The Belfast City Council had recently finished redeveloping the area around it with a nice urban park with some nice shrubbery and benches.
So to the day of the shoot, we both arrived at our agreed meeting spot, a cafe next to the landmark. The model had brought a party canister of Helium to fill the balloons and I had them and some ribbon. We both got a coffee and set about filling the balloons.
Never underestimate the preparations that go into a shoot. The model spent a lot of time on her hair, makeup and dress. And I spent a lot of time finding a location. Then on the day, it took us a good hour or two to fill the balloons! By the time we were finished the normally murky Northern Ireland weather had taken a turn for the worse. It didn’t rain too badly but the wind picked up substantially so my idea to light the shoot with an 8-foot umbrella had to be abandoned. We tried to make do with other lighting but the wind was so strong one of the key elements of the shoot, the big mass of balloons, just wasn’t working.
We decided to get another coffee and rethink, which is when the article head shot and this one were taken. I really like the portfolio shot because the model looks a little down heartened and upset, the outcome of being stood up? or the result of trying to shoot out in the wind and the rain in a thin evening dress?
While inside we spoke to the owner of the boat tours place next to the coffee shop who ended up offering us their boat to shoot on.
Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth we decided why not? The boat location would explain the windswept nature of the shoot at least. So we both did our first ever boat based shoot.
So the moral of this story? There is a lot of planning that goes into these type of shoots, but the real skill of being a professional photographer is being able to problem solve quickly. I had to change my location plan because of the weather and an unforeseen opportunity and my lighting equipment too but still got beautiful shots. I hope you like them. If you want to have your own story to tell get in touch. If you have a cool idea for a photography shoot I can make it happen.