Caroline Blake, 2010
21st November 2010

I was so thrilled when Caroline Blake agreed to take part in the 'Shooting ShutterBetty' project as I've been an admirer of her work for some time.  Our paths crossed on social networking site Twitter and somewhere along the way we became friends.
Caroline had a few ideas about how she wanted me in her image for the project, and when she suggested a nude it felt very right to agree.

We decided on a derelict church as the location, quite remote but still accessible.  I have to admit that I was terrified of being naked - not because of Caroline but because I had never been nude in a public space before.  I kept imagining being arrested for indecency or even worse, shocking a passing old lady.  I have to admit that it was also to do with control.  I am used to being naked in front of a camera.  I do it on an almost daily basis when creating my self-portraits.  But there I am in control of everything and I decide which photographs to put into the public domain.  I'm not even sure it's vanity - just the knowledge that I am responsible for how I am represented in the big wide world. 

This time I was letting someone else have complete control of my naked body.

I had nothing to worry about.  No unexpected ramblers joined us at the location and Caroline was absolutely wonderful, letting me cover up in between shots (it was very, very cold).
I was very impressed with Caroline's variety of ideas.  Determine to try out as many as possible before we lost the light (and then she took some long exposures when we did), she directed me from place to place, being very clear in her instructions and very considerate of my lack of dress.

I love the final image she's chosen.  Technically, it's very beautiful with it's gorgeous tones and framing.  But more than that it tells a story.  Here is a vulnerable seed, but inside it is a lot of power, waiting to explode.  I can feel the energy just looking at this image and I'm waiting for her, for me, to jump up at any moment and show the world how strong I am.  I'm reminded a little of the character Leeloo from the film 'The Fifth Element'.  And that certainly isn't a bad thing. Badaboom.