Zara Watson

A couple of days after getting back from Fuerteventura, it was off to Saracen House Studio in Milton Keynes to do a shoot I’d planned a couple of months back with the gorgeous Zara Watson.

As it was Good Friday and as Ali Brooks was still here in London with me, she came along for the ride and took her modelling stuff with her to combine a solo shoot with Zara with some joint shots.

And very pleased I am too with the results, which can be seen in the Headshots and Lingerie galleries.

And Zara has just left me a lovely reference over on PurplePort:

“Worked with Richard as part of my studio day at Saracen House Studio. He is a very lovely guy, friendy, funny, easy going …a pleasure to work with.

“He also brought along his lovely partner Ali Brooks (another model) whom i worked with, she is also a great lady, easy to get on and work with.

“We shot a mixture of styles and Richard has been so kind as to send me the images from the shoot, which are great.

I would definitely recommend Richard , a sound, respectful guy. I would work with him again without any hesitation. Big smile

Thanks a million Smile x”

Ali Brooks in Fuerteventura

A planned week away in Fuerteventura up in the North of the island meant only one thing: taking Ali Brooks along for a working holiday.

And so it was that we shot from our luxury villa, did a bit of “urbex” in an an abandoned, half-built hotel complex and of course the marvelous sand dunes.

The results can be seen in the Art Nude gallery.

I Wanna Be Collected

Whilst the weather last week was lovely and Spring-like, we couldn’t go and collect it on a nice, dry and bright Saturday as I was moving house. No, we went to pick up the MX-5 on the Sunday, my birthday, as it happens.

But it was a little soggy when we woke up and grabbed a bus, the London Overground and a train to get to Eden Park and walk down to the dealers, Masters.

As we walked into the showroom, there it was – it’s a ‘she’ apparently… – sitting there in the showroom looking lovely.

Ali in the MX-5 at Masters Ali 4 MX-5

We did the paperwork, handed over some more cash and off I drove into the traffic: Ali isn’t used to London driving yet, so I got to drive the new MX-5 home. Sadly, it wasn’t dry enough to put the hood down: instead, we got to try out the exceptional 5-point heated leather seats which were very efficient indeed!

I plugged the house address into the built-in satnav and off we drove. A lovely car it is to drive too! Once home, we put the hood down and set to work pairing our iPhones with it: the MX-5 has a feature where it stores multiple user profiles so my phonebook and phone are set for one user and Ali’s for another.

But rain stopped play with our intended photoshoot which will have to wait until we’re back from our holiday.

It’s the Final Countdown

I was just saying to Ali that the dealer – Masters Mazda – had been a bit quiet about a delivery update for the MX-5.

But on Friday, the telephone call from out of the blue was that it had physically arrived at their compound! Yay!

On Saturday after shooting a music video, we popped in to drop off the signed Certificate of Entitlement for the personal plate on our way down to Somerset so we’re good to go for next weekend, hopefully :)

Vomtastic

Went out for a run with Ali and felt a little under the weather. 1.4 miles in and it was "hello Hughie and Ralph" Bing Map
Owner: CaptainBlue
Location: --
Activity Type: Running
Event Type: Fitness
Distance: 1.42 Mile
Time: 00:05:00
Elevation Gain: 41 Feet

So Then, This New Mazda…

When Ali Brooks moves in with me, she’ll need a car to go back and forth to Somerset to see family. She was going to bring hers up to London, but her ex needs transport too, he’s going to keep the car and so Ali will need to get herself sorted.

My RX-8 R3 is hideously expensive to run, so it makes sense on longer trips for me to use less fuel for the same speed/distance as well.

Having already spent a day thrashing an MX-5 around Brands Hatch a couple of years ago, I already had a soft spot for the model.

So that’s what we used as an excuse this weekend when we rode out to Masters Mazda at Beckenham to test drive an MX-5.  It turned out that they had the precise model we were after – a Deep Crystal Blue 2.0 litre MX-5 Sport Venture  in the Roadster model (a retractable hard-top) – ready for us. Ali wasn’t keen on driving an unfamiliar car in front of someone else, so the sales guy drove her for a spin which she loved. I declined the offer of a test drive (knowing what it was like anyway) and as Ali loved the car, we went inside and did a deal for one. After I’d paid the deposit to secure a new one, we were allowed to take the car out ourselves: me first and then Ali brought it back in.

We both loved the immediate response from the 2.0 litre engine as well as how quiet the car is with the roof and windows down, so we were chuffed with our choice.

It’s coming in April and will have a personal ‘plate on it: AL1 4 MXS :)

Demo Sport Venture

Another Blog?

Yes, this is another blog, much like my RX-8 R3 blog, for my Mazda MX-5 Sport Venture.

Spring Has Sprung

Lovely day, so off I went for a quick ride. Bloody tourists everywhere! Bing Map
Owner: CaptainBlue
Location: --
Activity Type: Cycling
Event Type: Fitness
Distance: 20.08 Mile
Time: 02:09:18
Elevation Gain: 658 Feet

I Liked It, So I Put A Ring On It…

Well then! What a whirlwind it’s been since my last update!

My apartment purchase fell through, so instead I’ve decided to move into property development with the deposit I’d saved and in the meantime I’ve rented a new house by the Thames near where I am now with a huge garage that’ll also do me proud as a photographic studio, with loads of space, white walls and a high ceiling that’s perfect for a colorama set up.

Work-wise, I was in London, Glasgow, Manchester and Paris.

And on the photography front, there were two shoots with Ali Brooks, as I mention here and here, that were intertwined with work(!) and there was the Vodafone London Fashion Weekend.

So how were they intertwined and what’s that about a ring?

Well, right at the start of February, Ali Brooks came to do a photoshoot. I’d wanted to shoot her for ages, ever since I came across her portfolio on Purpleport. We finally got around to organising a shoot at the Gloucester Christmas Social that I touched on here where I even mention her. So we messaged each other on Facebook to set something up and finalise arrangements; I sorted out dinner reservations at Le Pont de la Tour and afternoon tea at Harrods if she didn’t manage to arrange any other London shoots for while she was staying the weekend at my apartment. There was a lot of messaging – quite flirty at times, but then she’s a very happy, “up” person so I didn’t read too much into them, despite her apparent excitement at coming up to London to see me…

On the day, I collected her from the station and she was keen to get the shoot started, rather than doing some sightseeing. So we got back, she got made up and undressed – photography is different to real life in that you take a beautiful woman, get her to undress and then slowly dress her as the shoot goes on! – I poured the Bollinger and we started shooting in the bedroom using some natural light, which was quite challenging. I was pleased with some of the resulting shots, though.

Red Devil - Ali Brooks

Red Devil – Ali Brooks

One set involved chaining her up for some shots with her hands chained behind her back. She got a bit thirsty during these shots, so I put the champagne flute up to her lips whilst she drank. At this point, we were very close and she looked up at me into my eyes … and we kissed, passionately. Things progressed from there and it quickly became apparent that we were very much attracted to each other mentally and physically, to the extent that when she had to go back on the Sunday, it was quite emotional for us both. I was reluctantly preparing to make do with seeing her whenever we could as an affair, much as I’d been with the psycho ex-girlfriend up in Humberston a few years ago with her then partner (that deception lasted for many months, as did her deception of me for nearly all of 2010). But as was pointed out to me by a good friend from Cleethorpes, unlike the psycho, Ali isn’t into cheating behind a partner’s back and lying to him, denying the affair (or many affairs in the psycho’s case). No, Ali confessed all to her partner when she got back and said she was leaving him for me. Wow!

So when I went up to Manchester for a seminar, Ali came up with me, dressing to kill as usual and getting to know me better. She had also come up and spent Valentine’s Weekend with me, during which time she met some of my good friends and we kitted her out with bike gear for this summer’s Eurothrash to Austria.

And so into March and a day’s training for a Client in Paris. Ali was up with me that weekend, so instead of me going off late on the Sunday evening, we flew off early on Sunday morning, the morning after a fabulous latex, lingerie and nude shoot (apart from her new Manolo Blahnik stilettos!) at the wonderful Factory studio and dinner at Le Pont again.

Chaise Longue

Chaise Longue

Control

Control

Upon arrival in Paris, we went to our luxury hotel to drop off our suitcases and to change her new Jimmy Choo Anouks for boots and headed out to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower:

It's Behind You!

It’s Behind You!

Don't Look Down!

Don’t Look Down!

The next day I spent on my feet delivering some training and we then had a lovely dinner together. After breakfast and some work we headed off to the airport to fly back to London.

On Tuesday evening, we headed to Bluewater to look at furniture for the new house – Ali is moving in with me this summer – and I suddenly thought that we are so right for each other; Ali genuinely loves and is ‘into’ me in such a lovely way, that it just seems so right. Neither of us wants to get married again, but I wanted to show our love and commitment to each other for a monogamous relationship so the perfect way to do this was to buy her a Promise Ring. It just so happened that there was a solitaire diamond ring in her size in one of the jewellers, so it looked like it was fate…

Funny how with no pressure, I feel so much more like making a commitment like this; again I’m reminded how the psycho was desperate for a ring from me (or anyone else regardless of whom, it now seems) and how much of a lucky escape I had back then as I wasn’t divorced at that time and didn’t make what would have been an even more costly mistake.

So like I said: a whirlwind. And I can’t stop smiling! We FaceTime each other when we’re not together – which isn’t that often – and Ali is coming away with me to Fuerteventura soon as well.

Life’s good :)

Ali Brooks Reprised – Not Worksafe!

Having had a really lovely shoot with Ali Brooks last month, I thought I’d do her justice by getting her into a studio in London and so we did just that on March 1st at The Factory, which I thoroughly recommend.

So Ali and I had a great time, shooting nudes, lingerie and latex.

The results can be found in the Lingerie and Fetish portfolios.

And the good news for London photographers is that Ali is planning to move up to London from the South-West this summer, so watch this space for many more photoshoots with this fantastic model.