I love taking my outdoor self portraits. Not just the taking of the image but the whole process, from setting off on a walk, to finding the location, taking the images, getting back home to see what I got and finally (if they are good enough) editing and posting them. It is a complete process to me and no single part of it outweighs another but I will admit that the actually getting out with my camera, and getting my clothes off in the process is something that I adore doing. It is exhilarating, fun and makes me feel very calm and focused. As a general rule it is also a solitary activity which also warms my introverted heart but now and then @domsigns comes with, especially if I have found a location where I need either a look out or help with something but now and then I get the opportunity to photograph someone else. One such opportunity arose during the summer when Exposing 40 asked me if I would be interested in taking her on one of my walks and photographing her. To say I jumped at the offer would be an understatement.
On a beautifully sunny day in July I collected Exposing 40 from the train station and after a brief pause to drop some of her stuff off at my house we set off on one of my favourite routes which goes through a local woodland that in all the time I have been walking through it I have never seen another human being. There is something wonderful about finally meeting up with someone who you have communicated with on-line and this was no exception. We chatted happily while wandering along enjoying the beautiful weather.
The plans for the pictures had very much been left down to me. The only brief I had was ‘take my picture, outdoors, your choice and I am more than happy to get naked’. In my mind I had a few possible ideas but nothing set in stone, but as we rounded the bend through the woods all the ideas I had in my head were gone because when someone dumps an old bath in your beautiful woodland it is your duty to use it.
Once we had thoroughly explored the bath (and there are some more images but hopefully Exposing 40 will post some of them too) we walked on and talked, oh did we talk, until we finally reached another woodland area about a mile away. When Exposing 40 said she was comfortable getting naked outdoors she meant it too and it was a real delight to point out the spot I wanted her to lay in and then watch her strip off and lay there perfectly happy in the dappled sunlight as I worked away around her. I love all the resulting images but after a lot of consideration I have picked this one as my favourite from that location. I love how the light is falling across her face and this image just seems to show off wonderfully how relaxed and beautiful she looked laying there.
At this point we decided to head for home as we had already walked a fairly long way and been out for a good couple of hours but just as we were coming to the edge of the woods one last opportunity for something caught my eye and I am so glad it did and the result series of images are my favourite ones from the whole day.
We ended that day with a lovely bottle of wine and a meal cooked for us by @domsigns. Sometimes you take pictures of someone else and sometimes you are lucky enough to make a real friendship as a result. I hope that Exposing 40 will let me loose on her with the camera at some point in the future as she was a truly wonderful model to work with, we had a lot of laughs and oh my did we do some talking and if her reaction to the images is anything to go by I am fairly sure she was delighted with the results of her excursion to Hertfordshire
I am not sure meeting up with a fellow sex blogger can be classed as a chance encounter, although without the internet and us both blogging this is yet another wonderful friendship that I probably would have never experienced, but finding a bath in the woods while you are with that person definitely counts as a chance encounter and a very wonderful one in my opinion.
Being a self-portrait artist means that taking my image is a time-consuming activity, where as shooting other people allows me a freedom to explore and play in a very different way resulting in being able to get many more different images in a similar amount of time. If it was me alone I would probably only manage one or two images. Also, I can experiment with changing angles, focus, lens and light much quicker when shooting someone else. It is essentially a very different experience from shooting myself but one that I am increasingly enjoying and want to do more of. So, if you are in the UK and interested in having your picture taken, preferably out and about in the wilds of the countryside then let me know. I can’t promise you a bath tub but I can promise you an experience with a difference.