Shooting with Jamie Mahon

I’ve mentioned this in passing before as well as sharing some picture but I used to model during college and university. I stopped doing it as much once I left as my living situation, and full time job made it a lot harder to do. I would still shoot if someone approached me and I liked their work and the concept but it wasn’t something I actively sought.

When I got cancer I called a hiatus not sure if I would ever get back in front of the camera. However apparently two close friends Lynn from Kiku Boutique and Jamie Mahon made a little pact that they would do a photoshoot with me when I was feeling ready. It took a little while of planning but in November I made the trek down to Studio X.

I decided I’d like to share what goes on behind the scenes. Even if it has taken me two months!

The Background Info

I met Lynn after I was recommended for a catwalk she was doing at the Alt and Burlesque fair in Manchester back in 2014. Since then we have been working on collaborations on and off through the years. As well as me loaning pieces to shoot with other photographers and buying from her shop for my own wardrobe.

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Lynn was also the one who recommended me to Jamie when he was looking for a model for a photoshoot. This became one of my most famous shots ever being liked by over 10,000 people on Dark Beauty Magazines page. Since then I’ve only had the chance to work with Jamie on a few other shoots but they are always amazing.

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Crown: Hysteria Machine Make-up: Joanna Strange Photography: Jamie Mahon

The Leg Work

Some shoots you just have to rock up with yourself and everything will already be there for you. This was not going to be one of them. Myself and Jamie had a vague concept of ‘let’s do something gothic!’ which is pretty much our go to.

So we made a pinterest board to throw ideas at. I have a pinterest board for almost all collaborative shoots I have done. This one was filled with lace, organza, netting, corsets and anything vaguely gothic and dark. Then it got sent off to Lynn for her to work her magic and make up an outfit.

I made one outfit from my own waredrobe. Lynn made another. The final outfit was supplied by Jamie who has a stash of Cathouse Clothing latex.

When I sent over the work in progress pictures of the outfit I was sorting though, Jamie asked ‘What are we doing with your hair?’ It was still short, and blonde/brown. Not really the look we were going for. So I bought some dying kits for the first time in years and took my hair back to black.

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Here is my goofy picture from home!

The Day Before

This day is busy. I have to get the outfit from Kiku Boutique, as well as buying new shoes, and tights to pair with the outfits. Pack everything into a suitcase. We also ended up without a Make-up Artist so I was trying to source one and when that failed packing my own make-up as well. That was the thing that panicked me most as I’m not confident in my make-up skills.

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Here I am in Kiku Boutique. As you can see I’m still working on the full length selfie.

I also had to plan the trains and travel to the stations as well. I chose to get Uber to the station as it would reduce the stress. However the trains were on strike. While my app said that had been taken into consideration I didn’t trust it. So that is how I ended up arriving an hour earlier than anyone else.

The Shoot

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Preshoot selfie on the train at 7am. No make-up as there was no point me applying any until I arrived.

When I arrived I waited for Bekah to arrive as I got there earlier than when the studio was open. I got myself set up in the changing room and spread out my make-up. I didn’t actually start doing my make-up until Jamie arrived so that we could discuss the look and which outfit to do first.

We chose to go with Lynn’s outfit first. It’s just polite if you have received an outfit to make sure to shoot that first. It guarantees it can’t possible be missed by running over. Kiku Boutique always make the most amazing outfits and it was a pleasure to get to wear some Lilly Lewis Millinery again.

The outfit was a black spot lace dress with a purple corset made from a cat obi paired with a black hat. We got a variety of different shots with this outfit, changing up background and lighting to create different moods to each photo.

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After that we moved onto the outfit I put together. I loved the shapes on this with the large petticoat which was used for my prom dress and the corset. This corset is my own personal one from Kiku which I’ve had for six years now! It is very broken in and as such I can tight-lace quite significantly with it. We had a bit more of a play around with this, doing some more wacky poses than what I would normally do. I don’t have any edited photos of this one to share, as with it being a collaboration, paid work takes priority.

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Can’t get a serious photo when we are on set. Massive thank-you to Bekah for doing my hair!

Finally we got onto the latex last. I hadn’t realised Jamie was bringing latex for me to wear so that was a pleasant surprise bringing our total outfit count up to three. The latex was supplied by Cathouse Clothing. I’ve modelled latex before so it is something I am used to and even have some at home. However it was stressful being given a tiny dress which I had a bit of a struggle getting in to.

It was so tight it restricted my movement quite a bit and that shows in my modelling I think. But the images that have come out are still fantastic. We even did some images with a gimp mask. Now that was a new experience for me and probably not something I will do again to be honest.

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It was really great to get into modelling again, especially as it is nice to be able to share pictures on my facebook of myself that aren’t just in my back garden. I’m hoping to get the opportunity to do it some more in the future. I even have outfits I want to shoot it is just being able to get the perfect set up for it.

If anyone has any questions about modelling feel free to comment or drop me a message as well.

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