Hannah Marie Andrews | Cosplay Fairy Shoot | Dartmoor Waterfall | 27th September 2017



Meanwhile, on Dartmoor…at the Nikos residence, which is aptly named “Dartmoor“, Hannah, an ex-model in the fashion world, gazed into a canvas print above my sofa. The canvas featured a waterfall that I photographed (this can be seen on the inspiration page) whilst on holiday in the gorgeous national park. Hannah said to me “wouldn’t it be amazing if you had a fairy in the corner of that waterfall?”. So using her vision and ideas, along with my creativity, we set off to Dartmoor.

This photoshoot presented me with challenges and questions. I have used ND and PL filters when photographing waterfalls, but how would I add a model in the composition at such low shutter speeds? Another challenge was the rain, which poured down during the shoot, and secondly the lighting tested my skills too. ISO is a major aspect of photography, which justifies light sensitivity to the camera, so I had to learn new tricks in low light straight away. Hannah also faced a challenge, the make up. Usually at photo shoots, I use my personal MUA Feroza but Dartmoor is around 4.5 hours drive from Peterborough and I didn’t expect Feroza to travel there and back for a personal shoot. So Feroza leant us the make up for the shoot but the challenge was for Hannah to learn how to carry out such make up styling on herself. Well, after just 2 attempts, Hannah created magic. We already had the colours and look in mind and she reflected this look perfectly. She enjoyed this style of make up so much that she had this style throughout the journey in South West. Next it was off to the waterfall.

Dartmoor has many waterfalls and this particular natural fall (a double waterfall to be exact) is not on any map. It is located near a reservoir and tucked away in a brook. It is a very steep journey down into the brook through overgrown ferns, and the bleak bone soaking weather conditions that we faced. When we got down to the fall around 4pm, Hannah asked me “where is the skirt Nikos?”. To my dismay and with a heart ready to quit the shoot, I replied “it’s in the car!” Hannah bravely said she would stay behind and said “we are not giving up, we are doing this shoot, we came all this way!” I had a flashback in the days of being a marine…I zoned and focused on my journey and mission. Jumping over streams, fallen trees and barging my way through the thick stubborn bushes like a commando, I got to the car and thankfully the skirt was in the car. Then I made way once again to fall through the fern jungle. This really tested my strength and stamina and Hannah said when I got to the top of the waterfall, I was like Rambo.

Hannah was a natural with the shoot. Even in the ice cold water, slippery rocks and terrain, she kept professional and zoned out of being cold. She literally become one with the elements and shut out the cold. She kept her figure and her poses spot on, using those beautiful long legs to perfection. Every so often I would show Hannah the previews that I had taken and she couldn’t believe it was her.  She fed back to me that she didn’t even know if i was taking any pictures at times. A factor to bear in mind is that waterfalls are very loud and can be tricky instructing a model. We did what we came to do using a carefully selected outfit.

The wings were custom-made locally in Peterborough, by Wicked Fairy Wings. Originally established over 20 years ago by Emma, her daughter Sarabeth, joined the family run business and has been making the wings for 2 years. Wicked Fairy Wings started out by making fairy wings for birthday parties, Sarabeth said that they are far away from what they do now. The wings used in this shoot are from the Pixie Hallow range, which were created about a year ago and are now their most popular range. Please visit www.wickedfairywings.co.uk and enjoy their magical creations.

The skirt was from a Gekko clothing in London and the steampunk corset was purchased from an online store.

Although this is not wedding themed, it is important to know that when I am not photographing weddings, I am experimenting and learning new skills. Photography is an art and one that is constantly evolving. New tricks and refining skills can be learned in adverse conditions and there is always something new to learn. These new skills and tricks I take to your wedding day, creating unique photography.