Spontaneous Spring Shoot: 11 hrs, 5 locations, 1 couple

WOW I’ve just had the most amazing weekend and can’t wait to share it all with you.

Where should I start? …
Perhaps from the beginning so you get a background on how this little project came about.

My initial dilemma …
On Friday afternoon I received a call from a couple I was meant to be shooting on Saturday. Something personal came up and they had to reschedule which was a real bummer. I still had the photographer booked but I couldn’t use the original location and story I had organised because that story is designed specifically for that couple.

The dilemma: Great photographer booked, no couple, no location, no story. So what do I do? Do I let the opportunity go or set up a new challenge for myself? I chose the later.

Creating my own personal challenge
At 6.30pm on Friday afternoon I decided to do something different. I thought what could I do that would be challenging and inspiring for me as an artist. How can I use this ‘dilemma’ to further develop my own skills as an photographic storyteller and art director etc-.

So I set up the “Spontaneous Spring Challenge” for myself. The challenge was simple. Find a couple, grab a car, drive around the countryside and shoot in as many locations as I can in one day. The intention was to improvise with whatever I can find on location. It doesn’t sound like much but at the time I didn’t have a couple, I didn’t have car booked and absolutely no locations.

I pitched the idea to Darren my photographer and he was keen and up for the challenge. I then tweeted for a couple! Yep I offered a free thasoki shoot on twitter and asked for help from the lovely Alexis at OMG.

By 8.30pm I had a couple booked and by 10.30pm I managed to talk Katy from Madame Moi into joining me for the day as my stylist. Fun times!!

The Target
My intention was to find 4 ‘spring’ locations. That was the target (remember the country side means lots of long distance driving!) and I knew we couldn’t technically start shooting till lunch time and God knows what locations I would find. I also hadn’t met the couple before and had no idea what they would be like or what outfits they would be bringing with them.

I also told Darren I wanted between 5-8 shots for each location (a lot less than what I would normally aim for). It was all about speed, improvisation and making whatever we had work.

The Outcome
I’m pleased to say we managed to shoot at 5 different locations – but boy was it a challenge to a) find the locations and b) to keep the stamina going. We only had only 2 breaks. One for tea & scones (yum!) and a dinner break for about 90 minutes. Other than that we were driving around, changing outfits or shooting for the whole 11 hours. I run a really tight ship LOL! Seriously though … I had the most incredible team! (by team I also mean the engaged couple because it was totally a team effort to keep going and going!).

The other thing I’ll say is not everything worked. Not every location worked and the setting was often a challenge. As soon as we stopped the car and said ‘yes let’s try this place’ … we had to follow through and do it. Time was a huge constraint so once we committed to a place, we had to give it a shot (we basically didn’t have the luxury of changing locations). The sun also set about 45 mins earlier than we expected (it fell behind dark clouds at about 7:15pm) … we seriously had so much going on!

The good news is I’ll be sharing all 5 locations / shoots with you. What worked, what didn’t and why we thought it was a good idea at the time and how I would change things if I could do it all over again. I think that is the beauty and magic of doing a day like this. You see so many imperfections in what you’re doing and inside it just makes me want to strive to do more (and do better) next time.

So what locations did we choose?
We drove down to Kent and managed to find the 5 following locations:

  1. Outside a Country Barn
  2. Pettypot Woods – We were hoping to find bluebells but didn’t.
  3. Brodgate Cherry Blossom Orchard – We were hoping the farm would be dense and the trees would be growing ‘wild’ but it wasn’t. We were also hoping for pink cherry blossoms but got white. Very tricky when you have white sky and lots of glare!!! (they all blend in together!)
  4. Yellow Rapeseed Fields – Yep I’ve got another yellow fields shoot to showcase. I wasn’t going to do another one but the yellow fields were everywhere I couldn’t resist. Challenge here was making the story different and unique because SO many people do yellow fields in London.
  5. Random Car Park – This was after dinner and was a night time shoot so a totally different feel.

My new dilemma

I now have 5 shoots to edit and I fly overseas in 3 days!!! Which means there is no way I can edit, blog and post all 5 shoots over the next few days (I’m off to Vietnam to see my grandparents – yay!). So I’m going to do my best to edit and post as much as I can before I go. Not sure how much I will get through but I promise I will post all the shoots asap and will definitely share the challenges and learnings I had with each location.

Who was selected for the shoot?
So without further adieu, let me introduce you to Erin & Chi. The moment I tweeted I needed a couple Erin tweeted back within minutes (maybe even seconds!). I had no idea she was an avid thaoski follower. She was excited and eager and she knew my blog and shoots inside out. She was up for trying anything but I chose her because I knew she trusted me implicitly (which is SO important for an impromptu shoot!).

Anyway, the first shoot will be posted on Wednesday and I’ve chosen the outside barn to showcase first. I really hope you like this Spontaneous Spring Series : )

ps. I loved this creative challenge SO much I’ve decided to do a new challenge each quarter … similar to this but obviously not exactly the same. So if you want to be part of the next challenge, follow me on twitter and become a fan on facebook. Knowing me they will always be impromptu last minute challenges!

Photographer: Darren Wong
Creative Director: Thaoski
Stylist: Katy Chung of Madame Moi

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15 Responses to “Spontaneous Spring Shoot: 11 hrs, 5 locations, 1 couple”
  1. Roger Bristow says:

    I am so looking forward to conducting Erin & Chi’s wedding. They are truly a lovely couple.

  2. Konfral says:

    Sounds like quite a marathon 🙂
    I’m look forward to seeing more photos!

  3. Winkypedia says:

    That’s a fantastic challenge to make good use of what could be a wasted slot. Well done!

    And great photos!

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