The plan was for a few hours walking in the woods with Phoenix, a camera and some rope.
It was a little colder than I’d hoped, but I’d assured Phoenix it would be ok as I would be wearing a warm coat 😉 and as it turned out, it wasn’t the cold that left our plan in tatters. Sod’s law kicked in and I swear we must have timed our walk perfectly to coincide with a ‘seniors’ bus trip to the woods. Every two minutes there was another group of elderly walkers passing by and with the woods denuded of cover by the winter, there wasn’t enough cover to put between them and us. We’d agreed before setting off that it would make a nice change to have a shoot where the police didn’t drop by, so I really didn’t want that ‘there’s a man hanging a naked redhead from a tree’ phone call to Mr plod.
One of the shots I wanted was under the bridge that carried the main footpath over a gully. Well if they’re walking over it and we are under it, surely we’d be ok, so off came Phoenix’s clothes. And here came the elderly couple, walking up the gully, he camera in hand and an eager look on his face, her with a face like thunder. Phoenix nipped around the other side of the bridge and I waved cheerily.
Apparently her disapproval trumped his voyeurism and they moved off up the side of the gully.
Great, lets try again, but in the time Phoenix took to get her clothes off again, our elderly photographer must have talked his wife around, because here they came again.
Ok, I know when I’m beat. The cameras and the skin went away and we moved on.
I knew that the woods gave way to open fields at the top of the hill and that it was several hundred yards from there to the nearest footpath so up we went in search of an edge of woodland location.
Desperate to get something in the can I made the dry-stone-wall we had to climb our first set. Off came her clothes, and on came the 4×4 🙁 I went over to speak to the driver, he seemed more interested in Phoenix’s efforts to cover up than in looking at me, but I established that he was just a vermin control contractor doing the rounds and that he didn’t think there would be anyone else from the farm up that way for the rest of the day.
We got our shots and moved on.
I’d found a good looking felled tree that I wanted to use for our next set, A few straight nudes then some rope. Phoenix was sprawled naked across it when I noticed she was looking over my shoulder. Off in the distance in the narrow gap in a hedge there were two people. Zooming in on them showed that one of them was equipped with a camera and was zoomed in on Phoenix. Now she really doesn’t care if people see here naked, but this was a little creepy with more than a touch of the peeping Tom about it, and we really didn’t want to put on a show.
Phoenix had seen a standing hollow tree trunk, that was out of sight of our peepers. So we moved on. At last we could work undisturbed, but the location really didn’t favour rope. By the time we had finished that set our peeping Tom had moved on, but with the light falling and Phoenix losing the battle with the cold, it was obvious we weren’t going to get any rope shots, so for a last set I placed her against a big solitary tree in the middle of the field and shot a set from 100 yards away with a 400mm lens. That gave me a very distinctive ‘look’ to the pictures, but directing your model from 100 yards away does have its problems.