A spontaneous trip home to Christchurch and an Easter Sunday spent with one of my favourite people, Nat… Nat has been subject to all sorts of photographic experiments over the years, and if you look at some of my fashion photography her face pops more than a few times. Whenever we get together creative chaos ensues in one way or another.
The image on the left below was taken in the backyard of our Union Street flat in 2007, the wintery afternoon sun barely drying out clovered grass. This was the first time I’d played around with a medium format film camera and I didn’t know quite what I was doing. Not wanting to waste my 10 lonely frames, we spent a good few hours drinking coffee and carefully forming a plan of attack. The dress was part of Nat’s final collection from her previous year at CPIT Fashion School and the mirrored belt something I found at Savemart for a disco party.. I scanned the image from a darkroom print complete with blown-out, extreme vignetting in the corners. What I lacked in technical skills I thought to be artistically cutting edge at the time.
The one on the right we shot last Sunday- five years later- in Nat’s front yard on Innes Rd, Christchurch. Balancing on a car bonnet in the dwindling sunlight with a rattly broken lens, there I was hastily throwing leaves all over the place. The light went before the shot was made so this one was side-lit with a flash and reflector, the whole thing was over in ten minutes. The dress we found in the musty spare room, aged and discoloured with years of cigarette abuse and complete with a cool-but-almost-uncool vintage charm. Brown and sack-like came together with one of Nat’s belts and hat. The shoes weren’t working and didn’t make the cut, though they were awesome, just a bit too much.
..Inspiration does not wait for you and ideas do not happen without action. That decisive moment between doing something and doing nothing; the ideas, in this case, are often simply propelled into action by someone saying “yeah, let’s do it!” Someone who is just as passionate as you.
Nat has always been the sounding board for my little projects with a matched affinity for dress-ups.. Not only a great model, but a best friend with a generous heart, unique style and willingness to stand on a rooftop in a storm or lie on the ground for the sake of sudden, unstoppable bursts of creativity. Thank you Natkins x