Those of you who read my previous blog on the beginnings of getting my ideas together for the Exhibition of Skin for Pandora’s Other Box, at the Horsebridge Centre Whitstable, will note that the development of my ideas has been an interesting journey.
I had still been skirting around what I had wanted to produce therefore I took some of my previous work to the second Pandoras other box enrichment meeting, particularly ‘The Nude’ work. This is ongoing work from 2013, at that stage I was looking for technically perfect photos and poses of the models, and being work I had completed 3 years prior wasn’t sure how I felt about them now, as both my skills and creative thoughts have moved on so much since then.
I was a little apprehensive to start as other than the feedback I received from my visitors at my open studios, I hadn’t really had much direct critique of my work. It was great however, to have the constructive feedback from the ladies at the Pandoras other box meeting. At this stage I hadn’t fully set what my focus was for the Skin competition. Various feedback included that ‘the photos were technically excellent, some didn’t like the way the nude models were looking directly into the camera, some loved the openness and relaxed nature of the models (which I think in part is down to my ability to put people at ease), and some suggested that I find the meaning for me in the photos that I produce’. This was perhaps the best bit of advice, as I had concentrated so much into the technical side before, that I hadn’t reflected on what message I want to convey.
With that in mind I went off once again to explore another technique of using the body again but focussing on hands……..they can often give us so much information about a person, even if we do not know them very well. I played with ‘in camera’ double exposure, similar effects can also be gained from overlaying photos in photoshop.
I have been so proud to have been the photographer for the cast of Medway Little Theatres production of ‘Calendar Girls’. In the true spirit of the story, the ladies wanted to produce a calendar in aid of charity, many of their lives (as I am sure many of us) have been touched by Cancer.
The first shoot took place at my home studio, with the ladies very enthusiastic about the props they would be using for their scene, a wonderful mixture of knitting, Jam, Tea pots, cakes, and buns. There was indeed some liquid refreshment to overcome and initial nerves, but the ladies soon settled into the shoot, with one letting me know that if they couldn’t do the nude shots for the calendar, then they wouldn’t have been able to get on stage and do it! I felt very privileged to have undertaken the shots making the ladies feel at ease.
The Second (and final) shoot took place in the Theatre -wonderful to work with the Theatre lights. The mixture this time was a piano, broccoli, some fabulous little black dresses and Christmas decorations.
I was in awe of the ladies enthusiasm for producing a Calendar to support charities close to their hearts, I have enjoyed every stage of this shoot, and ecstatic about the outcome, all the ladies look amazing.
The cast were also very keen to have me included on the Calendar, which I was happy to oblige:
“the last phase of the flower is the most glorious”
The Calendars were sold throughout the production (which I also went to see cried and laughed!) which ended on 19th May 2013, and they still can be purchased for £7.50, collection only from Nikki Price Photography HQ (please use my contact me page if you wish to purchase one).
To date the Calendars have raised over £1,500 for Marie Curie, Cancer Research, and Macmillan Nurses, well on the way to the Casts target of £3,000.
The Calendar has received some wonderful feedback from visitors to the Theatre, as well as having a fantastic write up in the Local Kent Messenger.