Behind the Scenes for The Shoot: Leigh-on-Sea

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It really shouldn’t be that surprising that the magazine which inspired this shoot was Harper’s Bazaar UK. Is there anything they produce I don’t love? So this shoot was inspired by three shoots all from Harper’s Bazaar UK. All three take on the seaside shoot in different ways and all of them inspired this shoot to a degree.

The first is this one from Harper’s Bazaar UK, from June 2016. It was shot by my favourite photographer Erik Madigan-Heck and features Yumi Lambert as the model. I love the strong colours and how Heck over-saturated the images with colour, but I also love how it was shot at the Dover cliffs and still seems so ethereal despite the brightness of the pictures.
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The editorial to inspire my shoot was from Harper’s Bazaar UK from July 2016 and was shot by Agata Pospieszynska, a fashion photographer who’s quickly becoming one of my favourites. You should see the shoot she done for Harper’s Bazaar September issue called Brave Elements. It’s amazing! Anyway back to the July editorial. The model is Hollie May Saker and this editorial is a more summery seaside shoot than the first.

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The third shoot is this one form Harper’s Bazaar UK’s April 2016 edition. This is the editorial that inspired my shoot the most and if you just look at the images you’ll see why. I fell in love with the starkness of the images, how the shoot was done on a cold wintry day and how the seaside is still beautiful even in the depths of winter. While my shoot wasn’t shot in winter, it was something I wanted to convey, especially if this shoot would be featured for the autumn/winter season. the photographer was Koto Bolofo and the model is Ola Rudnicka.

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The location for this shoot took a while to narrow down. I wanted to do a seaside shoot, but I didn’t want anything pretty. I wanted gritty and filled with maritime trinkets and boats. The reason for this is, I grew up next to a fishing town and I really wanted to do a shoot in an environment that I was extremely comfortable with. I wanted to play around with mooring ropes, large nets, crab baskets and even some smaller boats. For that I needed an easily accessible pier or harbour that was still active. Most importantly, since I live in London and no-where near these fishing towns, it had to be somewhere I could access easily enough especially for a shoot at first light. In the end I ended up settling on Leigh-on-Sea; it was a two minute walk from the train station, it’s a smallish harbour area and it seemed to have everything I needed, along with a very picturesque old town.

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As a result of the town being so picturesque I ended up shooting more in the town than I originally planned, but overall I’m happy with the results as it acts as a nice counter-balance to the maritime feel of the first set of images.

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