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[NSFW] Play
Model: Raphaella WithLove; MUA: Lynn Docherty
Model: Raphaella WithLove; MUA: Lynn Docherty

I don’t make enough time to play.

Life is hectic — 2015 especially so — and it’s far too easy to let all the rushing around and the barely-having-time-to-think of it stop you from making stuff you want to make.

Winter is always a slow time for me. The hermitage sets in, I find it hard to be around people, and in truth I always find some part of the season a struggle. Things don’t usually perk up until February or so, when the snow drops sprout and the first lambs are in the fields and it’s clear that we really are emerging from the dark.

This year, I decided, I wouldn’t be a slave to my moods. This year, I would make it different.

This year, I would make time to play.

For a while I didn’t know what that meant. And then I realised that I didn’t have to know what it meant. I just had to go and do it.

So I looked at the list of models that I wanted to work with. At the top of the list was Raphaella WithLove (NSFW). She recommend a studio — Hallam Mill in Stockport — and with both she and the studio booked, I was set to go.

Raphaella - Test shoot December 2015-4

Except that I had no ideas. None. And what do we do when we have no ideas? We damn well start writing stuff down and see what comes out. Like a caveman, banging the rocks together for a spark, I poured nonsense into my notebook — concepts, themes, descriptions of pictures. I scribbled down anything and everything that came into my head.

Maybe some day I’ll shoot some of them. Maybe I won’t. Perhaps the majority of the things that I threw onto paper are destined to rot there forever.

In the end, only two ideas really survived. And in truth they were both just different aspects of the same idea: wrapping Raphaella in light.

First, in fairy lights:

Raphaella - Test shoot December 2015-6

And then later, in candle light (NSFW images after the break).

It was truly one of the most creative shoots I’ve done in a long time, and I made some of the best work I’ve ever made. I’m supremely proud of it and I’m going to do another play-time shoot in January… It’s just a matter of when.

My thanks to Raphaella and my long-time conspirator Lynn Docherty, who provided her wonderful makeup skills once again.

You can see more of the images that we shot (NSFW) after the fold. The full set is available on my 500px page.

Raphaella - Test shoot December 2015-26

Raphaella - Test shoot December 2015-24

Raphaella - Test shoot December 2015-1

Raphaella - Test shoot December 2015-7

Raphaella - Test shoot December 2015-8

Raphaella - Test shoot December 2015-13

Raphaella - Test shoot December 2015-16

Raphaella - Test shoot December 2015-18

Raphaella - Test shoot December 2015-19

Raphaella - Test shoot December 2015-21

Raphaella - Test shoot December 2015-22