One of the fun things about running this business is I get to explore all sorts of creative ideas that, individually, are hard to bring to fruition but are made possible by working in a group.

One such idea was the recent Phoenix Rising shoots.

For years I have had an idea of body painted models coming out of the water at sunset lit with flash and made (hopefully) to look cool.

In late 2012 Kevin Jones from Western Australia said “Glynn I’m coming over to Victoria in January’ put something on for me!!”

Kevin once travelled from outback WA to Mackay in Queensland to attend some workshops so I couldn’t let him down!

So Phoenix Rising was created.

Body Paint, Models, Off Camera Flash, Beach, Sunset, Fire Twirlers and Laughs…what could go wrong?

Who knew it would take six hours of model preparation time to get them painted!!

Wendy Fantasia, our awesome body painter, who I had never met before the day of the event obviously had worked with overwrought photographers before. She must have known that during the six hours of prep time I would drive HER crazy so she brought along a friend of hers who wanted some shots taken.

“Could you take her away for a few hours and take some shots”.

With me out of the way she was free to get the work done without me pestering her every five minutes (smart lady!).

Leigh Crozier getting ready

Leigh Crozier getting ready

With our entourage of models, body painter, tutors and assistants, and a bunch of attendees we sure made an impact when we hit the beach.

We started off with some natural light shots to get peoples energy up and get there trigger fingers warmed up before pulling out the off camera flash gear and getting more creative.

Our first shots we of the incredible Amanda Conti, our female model for the night, and a bunch of wind swept flowing red material.

The results we pulled straight out of camera blew many of our attendees away with much ‘chimping’ (pointing at camera screen and going ooh ooh) going on.

It is always extremely gratifying to be involved in helping people create images they never though possible.

Creating drama

Creating drama

Next up was to put regular CPW model Leigh Crozier into a drain pipe. Why? Because we could! With the help of a couple of flashguns we could create something completely different from the scene presented to us in blazing hard sunlight.

Emerging from the drain

As the sun set we moved our models towards the water with the hope of a dramatic sunset.

The sunset itself never really amounted to much with only a small amount of clouds but we were not to be stymied. The models first worked through a series of poses together and then it was time to get them wet and wash off some of that hard earned body paint.



Washing off six hours of body painting.

Washing off six hours of body painting.

Finally as the sun fell below the horizon I pulled out our final surprise for the night –  a Fire Spinner.

Just the thing to add some real drama to the evening.

Burn baby burn

Burn baby burn

Whilst the event itself was meant to be a three hour shoot we ended up going about four hours as we were just having too much fun.

These are just a few of the images we created on the night and, when looking over my images later, I was amazed at how much we had squeezed in in such a short time.

It was a memorable event and if I am able to twist the arms of all the people who gave their time to make the event happen enough we may put it on again towards the end of the year.

Glynn Lavender