Thursday, 29 April 2010

Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits

Just before the warm weather came, Ben asked me to be in a shoot for Dazed that he was doing based around all of the hippy commune free love images and ideas he'd been thinking about for a while. So we all spent the day in an incredible old manor with dusty floors, high ceilings and flowers hung upside down to dry all around the walls, which had derelict gardens in the middle of a forest just on the edge of London. The day was spent shivering in the grass amongst blankets, huddling around the open fire inside, and trying on wide-brimmed sun hats, all to the strangely muted sound of an old piano played by an old man who was working on restoring the place. These are the pictures as they were published:

And some of the references:

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land

On my birthday Arturo and I made a picnic of salad and cheesecake and travelled on buses across London to get to Richmond Park. Almost all of the grass and shrubs were flattened and burnt brown, and everywhere we saw dead trees and piles of chopped wood and logs. So we lay in the leaves with our heads against a log to eat the picnic, with a glimpse of the blue lake just beyond. Then we crawled under some logs and climbed up fallen trees, and I took these pictures as the sun was getting low and all around us glowed orange.

Friday, 9 April 2010

He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night

The first day that I moved to Paris last year, Maciek and I spotted a huge derelict house on the hill just below the Sacre Coeur as we walked around talking about taking romantic, dramatic, violent pictures on rooftops with smoke clouds and the constant danger of falling.

After we found a huge church with intricate scaffolding and ladders up one side near to the Gare de l'Est, we planned and proposed the shoot to Vice, and then spent the following weeks scaling the church wall at two in the morning and breaking into the abandoned building on the hill, stepping over dead pigeons, whispering in the bell tower, and setting alight thick black 'fire paste' on Maciek's dining table.

I styled the shoot with Charlotte, and we spent days walking around the press offices in the 3rd arr. looking over and over for blankets and sheets to drape around the models. These are the pictures as they appeared in the magazine:

And some of mine and Maciek's references:

When we had taken all of the pictures at the end of the month we knew the way up to the roof of the church pretty well, so climbed up one last time with a giant bottle of wine we'd taken from a bar to drink looking over Paris. After that we started to climb up onto rooftops whenever we saw scaffolding in the summer, to sit in the sun and look down at other rooftops. These are some of the pictures mostly taken by Arturo of us climbing around in the weeks when we were shooting: