A car, model and photographer, partners in crime.
A fella dream. Glenn , a car aficionado with a fine-tuned Ford Fiesta contacted me for a car shoot .
The combination of a suitable location, a car and a model is not that obvious, a very interesting and difficult call
Well I got the car and model; all I had to do was to find a suitable location. It wasn’t very long before we agreed to shoot in the abandoned village “Doel”, a small village covered with graffiti, empty gas stations and workshops. Highly illegal, Police cars patrol the area; any trespasser is immediately removed and issued a find. Its kind of bizarre, since the village is now owned by the government and will be demolished to make space for a new sea container dock. I consider it as “peoples property”, I have paid may share part of taxes .
Never the less, the idea of playing mouse and cat with the Police was tempting, a challenge, although I am 53. That decision did set the mood for the day and made it so much more intense.
The good thing was that I had worked with fashion model “Charline” before, and besides this , she was the girlfriend of Glenn. We agreed to shoot on a Sunday morning . I arrived fairly early hoping to be the first one on location.
No such luck, Glenn and Charline were by now cleaning up the car, buffing the paintwork, extra shine and black polish for the tires. The car looked stunning, a lean mean killing machine with a lowered suspension and fitted with narrow side skirts.
All that rubbing and cleaning called for a short intermezzo with a tasty buttery croissants and coffee. Strolling down the main street in one hand a croissant and a hot coffee in the other . Not a Starbucks, but a good old fashioned home made coffee in a real mug. That must have been a very outlandish view, a photographer, car owner and fashion model wandering through a deserted village scanning the area for prospective shoot locations. Oh, we found several useful area’s, however they were either not secluded enough or had no escape route just in case we would be spotted by the police. Especially since the car had only 2 inches of ground clearance. The final choice was an old gas station with lots of graffiti and an old car repair shop.
While we maneuvered the car into location, and the word maneuvered is an understatement. Every little bump or put-hole had to be bridged or leveled with wooden shims. It took 40 mind blowing minutes, just to get the car in place. Meanwhile Charline had been groomed with the same care as the car. She looked stunning. All what was left to do were the lights. Flash packs and torches were positioned in placed and adjusted with lots of swearing and grumbling until I got what I wanted.
See cars are great, but oh boy they have so much reflective areas. All this had to happen under the “eagle eyes” of Glenn, he was watching the police patrols. The location was secluded and provided cover, however the flashes could reveal our location.
The shoot went smoothly and without any further issues we moved on to the next location, an old car repair shop. For some odd reasons they wanted to have some pictures where Charline was partially under the car. I have seldom come across a fashion model that was willing to dig in the dirt and crawl over the greasy floors of those old buildings. But she did !
Time went on and we didn’t got caught. The shoot completed in the late afternoon. Exhausted and fulfilled as we were the work was wrapped-up in the last remaining Pub with a pint of beer. If you are in Doel, then look for the last occupied house , that is the “Pub”.
All I can say; try to shoot once on the edge of legality. Well that is at least how the police calls it.
For some weird reason it creates a bond “partners in crime”. It creates a team spirit, an essential ingredient of a photo-shoot.
Thanks for reading,