There has been an image in my head for a good while now. I am not sure where it came from or even when I first thought of it, but I know for sure that it was one of the key elements that inspired me to commence the Nocturne series. The image in my head featured a girl standing on her bed in her pyjamas on a Rocky Mountain, with a white horse rearing on her command, and a pink mist surrounding them. Quite literally the stuff dreams are made of. In this blog, you will have exclusive access, to come behind the scenes with myself and Dolbadarn Film horses and see how we made this vision happen.
I think the challenge of taking a bed up a mountain really adds to the atmosphere and my appreciation for making this shoot happen
Yes… This is the photo shoot of dreams, but logistically it could most certainly have been a nightmare. I mean, when inventing this vision in my head, I could have easily come up with a more straight forward location than on the top of a Rocky Mountain in the middle of snowdonia, but I think the challenge of taking a bed up a mountain really adds to the atmosphere and my appreciation for making this shoot happen. When I have my mind set on a crazy creative Idea, it is near impossible to persuade me to take the easy route. “Go big or go home” is a philosophy that encourages one to be bold and it is something I live by.
Wednesday 22nd September 2021
The biggest challenge started the day before the photo shoot, when planning how we were going to get a bed not only up a mountain, but also the 100 miles we first needed to conquer in order to get to there. Our first thought was to put it in the horse trailer, however the idea of towing said trailer up, what we knew to be a very narrow road, to the mountain location was not particularly pleasant. Following some calculations it seemed the best option was to try and fit the dismantled bed in to the back of a van, the only problem was I don’t have one. SO, introducing my dad’s business van, which has seen little more than a puddle or a stone chip in all it’s working life, I must say this idea didn’t fill me with much more hope than the trailer had, but never the less, when the bed fitted in perfectly, I took it as a sign that this was definitely the best option. With the van fully packed it was an early night, ready for a fresh 5am start the following day.
Thursday 23rd September 2021
By 10am, my own horses had been fed, final preparations were set and the 100mile journey to Dolbadarn Film Horse’s stables complete, with my mum for company, who came to see the excitement and take the behind the scenes photos featured in this blog. On the way, we had been warned of very thick cloud and potential rain, but thankfully upon arrival, the sky had brightened substantially and a little sun also shone through. Having had a chat with Dylan and Kayleigh (Dolbadarn Film Horses) and made a plan of action, we set off up the mountain, Kayleigh on horseback, Dylan in his 4×4, my mum and I were joined by my Grandad (who has hugely inspired my photographic career and lives just around the corner from the location in Snowdonia) in the van. The excitement at this point was difficult to control. After months, if not years of planning, the shoot was about to happen.
The road to the location was absolutely stunning and it has to be said we felt very relived to have decided against using the trailer. a narrow lane, with twists and turns squeezing between field borders made from traditional welsh dry stone walls really was an amazing way to set the scene. As we climbed higher up the mountain, the rock boulders became larger & more like the vision I had pictured.
Once we had reached the stunning location recommended by Dylan and Kayleigh, it was time to have me to have a scout around, to find the best spot to set up for the shoot. Having done so, it was time to unload the bed from the van and into position.
With the bed set up and Kayleigh having also arrived at the location with Sammy (the gorgeous horse featured in this shoot) we were ready to begin. Firstly we went to a secure area, surrounded by a dry stone wall, so that Kayleigh could do some Liberty work before we let Sammy Free for THE image we had planned.
Having done some beautiful liberty work, it was back to the bed on the open mountain top, where we started to capture a variety of shots and poses for the Nocturne series.
The image to the right shows just how stunning this location is, with a full wide angle lens. the rocky foreground and atmospheric sky (which really had now become a feature of the shoot) as the clouds had parted allowing the sun to shine through, creating beautiful dreamy lighting, perfect for the effect I was wanting to achieve.
Find me where the wild things are.
Throughout the photo shoot, a number of walkers had passed and asked us about the project. After all, it isn’t every day you see a bed on top of a mountain. My grandad also joked that it was a new air B&B, which we found very funny. But is was as we concluded this incredible photo shoot that a group of 50 or more hikers appeared over the brow of the hill. When they stopped and had their lunch to observe what was happening, I must say it was quite a sight to behold. This vision I had spent so long curating in my head was finally being seen by the world and that is something I am really proud of.
When I first started this project, I would try to describe an idea or image I had and was often met with a slightly confused look. I can’t say I blame anyone for thinking the idea to create my nocturne series was crazy, as the truth is, it kind of was and I am not the best at explaining these things. However, now that I can show my vision through the images I have taken, I can share this crazy world of dreams and mystery with you all… and I love that!
If you love the Nocturne series and would like to see more exiting photo shoots like this, please support by visiting THE NOCTURNE SHOP.
The Final Selection:
More images from behind the scenes: