Last weekend I had the pleasure of photographing Lilly for her 18th birthday. Until I walked into Liverpool St. Station's Costa and explained who I was, she had no idea what her present was. Orchestrated by her sister, Lilly's friends and family had whisked her to London, complete with suitcases packed with alternative outfits, all without revealing any surprises. All this had stemmed from her sister seeing my images of Keele on Facebook; the uni she'd set her sights on. You've gotta love the power of social media!
Set back an hour by oh-so-reliable trains, my plan to relax and discuss ideas was scuppered. We headed straight to the British Museum through the blinding sunshine (for a change) where 5 minutes of photos outside was followed by a quick outfit change. She didn't like it much, but personally I love long flowing dresses. They give such an elegant and dramatic effect! The dress styled with leather jacket and Doc Martins was deliberate, in an attempt to show off her 'princessy yet grungy' personality. Generating a few crowds with our ambitious ideas (which unfortunately didn't work out), we decided to move on after attracting the attention of what passes for security these days. I'd have definitely stayed longer if we had time...and a permit.
Next stop: Green Park. The sun was shining, the daffodils were out, and it was 18 degrees. A true scorcher for 2013 so far! With the backdrop of the park and some beautiful buildings, we were able to capture some stunning images. Lilly's friends and mum relaxed on the lawns, occasionally answering my calls for help with a reflector. A quick outfit change later, and we nipped over to Buckingham Palace where we attempted to dodge the tourists for a couple last minute photographs before we finished the shoot. Unfortunately we spent well over half the allotted time travelling on the packed underground, losing time for more images but I'm still chuffed with the variety we have.
This shoot was the first real test of Alex Beadon's Dress to Impress actions, and wow was I impressed! I think the images speak for themselves. I also grabbed my opportunity to try out PASS, a new image sharing platform, which I'll definitely be using in future for any weddings! All in all, I had a great time photographing Lilly for her birthday, and learnt a lot for my future shoots - such as don't be too ambitious with locations!! Lilly and her family were absolutely wonderful to work with, and I hope I can do again soon. I hope you like the photographs as much as we do - let me know in the comments!