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So what can be achieved in a 2 hour shoot with Miss Pixie at Paul's Studio ?
A recent shoot review by Knottinfocus.


I had booked a couple of hours with Miss Pixie at Paul’s Studio last weekend and in the days before had been discussing with Paul a forum post on Purpleport. The post was essentially about the merits or otherwise of studio model days. As expected opinion was split but I was quite taken back by some of the negative responses and their theme that ‘nothing good ever comes from a model day’

I can’t claim to have set out to disprove the theory and I’m certainly not somebody to brag about my work or consider it in anyway superior to anyone else’s, I see myself as an average guy, enjoying a pleasant hobby and hopefully slowly improving with time and experience.

I normally like to plan my shoots, mainly to ensure I don’t waste my valuable studio time but for reasons beyond my control, on this occasion I wasn’t able to. In a nutshell it came down to an hour or so prep before the shoot. I appreciate there are many who always work that way and I have no issue with that whatsoever, it’s just not me.

So what do I do? I can’t ‘waste’ a fantastic model like Pixie so I had better get thinking. A quick look round the house soon identified a few simple props, I knew I would be spoilt for choice with regards to lighting options at Paul’s so that was one less thing to worry about, Pixie can always be relied on to rise to the challenge pretty much whatever you ask her to do so no worries there, all of a sudden it didn’t look quite so bad.


My first prop was a large open picture frame I had taken and it was my intention to shoot a series of shots of Pixie ‘in the frame’ then get my good friend Photoshop to help me stitch them together, most likely in a grid of 9. Paul’s superb black velvet backdrop (that must have been seriously expensive!) some of his spare stands and clamps, which Paul seemed to magic from nowhere, and we were in business. We did the Facebook-friendly ones, a few where Pixie inadvertently (!) lost her top and for fans of her famous bottom, a few bottom shots too – well it would be rude not to!

A quick change to the grey backdrop while Pixie changed into some seriously nice lingerie (Pixie is one model you can always rely on to come to a shoot fully laden with loads of nice gear – the hardest bit’s choosing what she should wear) and we were off again. Ah, well, after a short break to enjoy some tea and coffee compliments of Paul that is.

’d brought with me an old meat cleaver and butchers knife (that might have taken some explaining had I been stopped by the Old Bill on the way to the studio!) to use as props. Clichéd I know but I wanted to try my own slant on it and try out some new lighting set-ups I’d been thinking about. A quick swap of a large softbox for a slim grid box, the only decision was whether to use the large or small one, the small one I think on this occasion. Yep, a few minor tweaks to the fill lighting and we are in business. Umm, Pixie seems to be a dab hand when it comes to swinging that meat cleaver!

Wanting to make use of my lighting set-up and the backdrop we switched to Pixie nude and introduced a hand fan for some body close-ups. With so many backgrounds to choose from it can be tempting to switch too often during a shoot I find, so I have to be quite disciplined with myself.

The previous photographer had clearly been using the rather nice silver dressing table and freshly painted louvre panels as these were to the side of the studio. Having not used the louvres before another set started to present itself to me. A change of lighting, an additional head (there are always more than enough at Paul’s) behind the louvres and we were off.

Probably not the best pictures from the shoot (my fault and my lack of lighting experience rather than the studio or Pixie) but of a quality I would have been more than happy to have shot a year or so ago.

I love to experiment, push myself a little and then analyse the results and hopefully learn from them and this was one such set.

Finally, it was clothes back on for Pixie as I wanted a dark, meaningful set that I had titled ‘last letter home’ I had brought with me a soldiers helmet and a ‘last letter home’ I wanted Pixie to play the grieving partner of the lost soldier.

On the leather sofa in the ‘red corner’ a few associated props and we had a very realistic room set more than fit for our purpose.

Pixie can be totally relied on to grasp the concept and run with it, she has really missed her vocation as an actress. Needless to say her portrayal was faultless and I was pleased with what I had produced. I’ve learnt a few things from that set which is always a good thing but most importantly it was a total contrast to everything else we had done.


Time to wrap-up after two hours and what a two hours it had been. Fun, full-on, a touch emotional, challenging but most of all – totally rewarding.

When I got home and looked through the images it really made me reflect on the Purpleport forum thread. Who can really say you can’t create anything useful on a studio model day?

If anyone says that, then in my opinion it is a poor reflection on them – not the studio.

With the lighting, backdrops, props (and you can always take your own!) and assistance available there isn’t much a creative mind can’t achieve in Paul’s studio in a couple of hours on a model day!.

Copyright the text and images are owned by knotttinfocus please do not copy or use this article without permission.

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