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Women I've Shot

“The Housewives”, Private Commissions:
This is Jane

(Note: “The Housewives” was a term I fondly coined in 2006 after I started getting shoot requests from private, individual women who became my clients. Many of the women who contacted me were married and in their mid 30’s and were doing the shoots as gifts to their husbands. The folder in my archives is still called this and so I’ve stuck to it, in part just for the irony: most of these women are not “housewives” at all, but strong independent and forward thinking women who I have had the honour of documenting.

All are private commissions and the demographic has changed substantially over the years. Some I’m still in contact with, others I’ve totally lost contact with, some have become friends, some may wish not to have their real names used, others don’t mind, some may have their faces obscured for privacy reasons, others have generously shared their experiences of being photographed.)

I think Jane may have been the very first privately commissioned client I ever had. This image comes from that shoot in 2006, the year after I graduate photography school with “Erotic Female Stereotypes”. The body of work got quite some attention and started to get me the beginnings of jobs like these.

I shot Jane on my old medium format, twin lense Mamaya C33. It was a first and the shoot did not come out the way we had both imagine. There were some nice images and then there was this one, inspired by the famous Playboy cover image of Marilyn Monroe, which came out so beautifully and I still love it.

A quick Google search of Marilyn on red velvet comes up like this…

Ive added an image of the camera to give this some perspective… I shot, hanging awkwardly (and dangerously) from a ladder holding my bulky old camera with two hands and trying to focus and simultaneously hold the sync cable away from the two lenses.

A year later and armed with much more experience I re-contacted Jane. I had always felt I had not done her justice and I offered her another shoot. We set it up and it came out wonderfully, this time shot on my first digital Canon camera.

The images went on to be published alongside a story in the Sunday Times, but more about that in Janes second post…

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