A St Helena Winter Weather Photoshoot with Imogen
SHIVER AND SHAKE ON DEADWOOD | Darrin Henry
We avoid outdoor photoshoots during St Helena’s winter weather – normally. Dull, grey skies, low temperatures that feels worse with the blustery conditions and occasional spits and spots of rain. Plus, we have a fully kitted out studio at home with a kettle and coffee on hand so more reasons to stay in.
I Whip My Hair Back And Forth…
But today we’re rebelling! For the sake of the blog, a winter fashion shoot, outdoors, regardless of what the weather gods throw at us. Typically it started grey today and stayed grey. But we’re doing this.
Imogen Henry is modelling for us. It’s been a couple of years since we’ve shot together, but we’re quickly back in the groove with plenty of natter.
Just after 2pm and we’re crawling across Deadwood Plain, our chosen location. The south-east trade winds sweep across this exposed flatland with such reliability that the island’s wind farm has been built here. And today the turbines are all spinning furiously. It’s windy alright.
First look (or fashion style) is a baggy blue top, a short skirt and tights. Natural light only with a reflector for filler on the close-ups. The overcast sky is testing. The dirt roadway makes a mystical, middle-of-nowhere backdrop for this first look. Even with her clothes and hair being whipped about by the wind, Imogen looks stunning.
There are hundreds of cows around, scattered across the fields, but apart from a glance when we get too close, they ignore our presence.
How To Make Your Own Sunset Light
Location modelling means the car doubles as a changing room. Skinny jeans and a check top is the second look. We’re moving across the plain for each new styling, choosing a different setting and careful to follow the vehicle tracks as this is wirebird territory and nests are almost impossible to spot.
Next look, a red wool dress, perfect winter fashion. We’re now at the far side of the paddocks and trying to capture the dramatic coloured marl backdrops below the peak of Flagstaff. The light has also faded significantly so it’s time to use the strobes. We’ve brought a slim soft box and an s-type adapter that can take a strobe. A second strobe with an orange filter provides backlight, artificial sunset glow but quite effective. Imogen is beginning to protest about the cold but we show her some of the pictures to keep her going! It is cold though; Sharon and I are each wearing three layers.
Light is fading fast now even though it’s only just gone 4pm. Part of the style selection for today is a grey maxi-dress. Perhaps not the best choice for winter wear, but our model cuts a glamorous vision striding across the paddock, shivering from the cold. Again, strobes are needed but it’s becoming more and more difficult holding on to them in the wind.
We manage a few shots but the elements on Deadwood Plain have beaten us; poor light, strong winds and low temperatures.
We’re all complaining now!
Time to head home for tea.