I started to get in to model photography about 2 years ago now, and I have looked through many model’s portfolios to see who I would like to work with. I have never managed to put a “Top 10″ together as people keep being added to or taken away from my lists as my tastes change or as my experience and fussiness has developed. However, I saw one particular model’s profile very soon after joining the various modelling sites, and she has been the only person that I have dreamt of shooting, basically since day one. No matter how my work has evolved or improved, Ulorin Vex has always been inspirational to me, and her work is of such a high standard that it continues to inspire me.
So after much procrastination, I finally bit the bullet and booked Ulorin for a shoot. Unfortunately the shoot was at the far end of Cornwall – about a 4 hour drive away – but these things must be done! To say I was nervous before the shoot would be an extreme understatement. I have seen many images of Ulorin and know how high the quality of her work is. I had given Ulorin a brief of what I wanted to do, the sort of poses I wanted and the feel of the images. I also had an idea of where we were going to shoot (some studio and then moving out to the farm buildings) and the type of emotion I was looking to portray. Ulorin had responded with suggestions for outfit and make up that would suit what I wanted to get.
The day finally arrives. I am bricking myself and a nervous wreck at the prospect of shooting someone in this league, and along comes Ulorin – cool as a cucumber, very relaxed and completely on the ball! What a contrast lol. We go through the plan again and she adds some input on what will and won’t work. Ulorin goes to get ready and do her make up whilst I fumble around with the lights, trying desperately to get things right before she appears. Throughout the whole shoot, she was so full of energy and ideas, and luckily she was very patient as I kept making schoolboy errors. I did manage to relax some of the time, but I always had in my mind that I needed to get this shoot right! As long as I get one image from each set, I would be happy, but my lighting was terrible and it was killing what there was of my confidence. My plan for going outside failed completely. The image I had in my head of what I wanted just would not materialise, and I was finding it impossible to work out how to make it happen. So the majority of the work ended up being in the studio. Not such a bad thing, but not as adventurous as I would have liked.
Well, I managed my goal – I got a decent shot from each set! You would not believe how relieved and happy I was to get this. It was an amazing experience working with Ulorin, and better than I had hoped for. The worst thing about the day was the guy operating the lights and the camera, but I was nervous so that’s my excuse! I have so much to learn, but shooting with Ulorin has given me back my confidence and helped me to remember that I can get there, I just need to work with the right people and practice, practice, practice. Ulorin is currently in sunny Tuscany and then going back to LA, but she will be back in the UK in a few months, so I am going to book her again and hopefully get my shit together in the meantime lighting wise. I am going to use my images of her as a benchmark and make sure that each time I shoot with her, there is a marked improvement in the quality of my work.