Test Shoot: Charlie

Okay so, I know it's been a few hot minutes since I last blogged here - but I promise, I'm making more of a concerted effort to blog more of my actual work, processes, adventures, and tips (do I have actual tips? Idk, I guess you have to keep reading to find that one out). You see, I've even made colourful reminders in my Filofax to remind me that I MUST POST A BLOG EVERY THURSDAY FOR THIS MONTH.

It's not as if I don't have content. In actuality, I have content coming out of my ears, for use of a better term. There are hard drives of untouched, unearthed content just waiting to be shared with some kind of internet audience. No longer will these shoots be gaining dust because I'm promising to myself - and you guys for that matter - that I'll be posting them here.

With that said, today I'm sharing a portrait series I shot of my friend, Charlie a month (or two) ago. Told ya, I'm bad a keeping up to date here. We spent a couple of hours catching up at one of my favourite locals, Cartel Coffee, and then had a bit of a play around Geelong's Laneways. Personally, I kinda feel as though Geelong's laneways are overlooked in favour for out big sister, Melbourne. Whilst it's true that Melbourne definitely has the whole secret bar in a dirty alleyway thing down pat, we are slowly playing catch up. In fact, we now even have a speakeasy themed bar that gives out free popcorn. Yes. Free and popcorn in the same sentence is a dream come true for me too.

However, what I love most about Geelong's laneways is that they're this perfect mix of eclecticism and dilapidated ruins. You have a blues and roots themed bar next to a ramen shop, a place that regularly puts on drag shows next to a dank alleyway that smells kinda like piss. That's Geelong for you, there's nothing like a night out in search for dessert with the slight tingling sensation that you might get mugged in the process. While Melbourne might boast some of the world's best street art that's right next door to some wicked Spanish tapas, we have hot fried chicken and beer down the road from a nightclub that is fondly known as 'Spewies', and I honestly kinda like it. 

In truth, there is a lot of construction going on around this area of Geelong at the moment. Last time I wandered the laneways I found myself underneath an apartment block that probably wasn't entirely safe. I got my model - a finalist for Miss Croatia nonetheless - to pose in heels on a ladder I found propped up in the dirt under this 150-year-old building. The light through the basement windows hit the model's face at just the right moment and BAM, photo. You can view these images on my old blog here by the way.

This time with Charlie, it wasn't quite so... precarious. No trailers with bricks and soil for this sucker to stand in. We did, however, try to sneak up to the top of the Geelong Advertiser building for shits and gigs - and also because I wanted to take some photos on the external staircase. It wasn't successful.

What was successful was this shoot, however. At this point, it had been months since I properly did a portrait shoot that wasn't for a client. Between 3 months in Hawaii, A month in New Zealand and general dying, crying and living at the gym, I haven't had a lot of time (or patience) this year for general creativity. It was really nice to break that cycle and get out there and come up with some killer shots for Charlie's portfolio on a whim. Normally when I'm working with my proper adult clients I'm always scouting locations and everything is so... calculated. More often than not, I feel as though my best work is created on a whim, and I really do love some of these portraits.

Let me know what you think in the comments below - not that anyone ever comments on blogs anymore (thanks, Instagram). And if you're feeling like you might want some cute pictures of yourself done, you know where to find me - the info section of this website is a good place to start ;)

photographyCarolyn West