I first met Hilary after I contacted her back in November 2012, when hearing that she was looking for two assistants to work with her on a day two day shoot in London. I had a mini interview with her just a couple of days before the shoot was happening and she offered for me to go down and assist her. Hilary was photographing a luxury dance and circus production called Divine Company. The two days were so full on, but really interesting and I picked up so much in such a short space of time. Being an assistant meant doing anything that Hilary needed me to do, I initially set up the studio space (as we were not actually in a studio, but a big hall! Some performers were on stilts so a high ceiling was needed). I was on hand to adjust lighting when needed, whether it was adding another flash head, red head or simply moving them around. I ensured all dancers and models were in the right place at the right time and obviously made tea for the whole team. Above are three of my favourite shots from the shoot, all the dancers were incredibly talented and the costumes also were very beautiful. Many of the costumes were in fact created by Jenny Gould, the founder and director of Divine Company, who was also very fun to work with.
For everything that you need to know about Divine Company check out their website or Facebook page.
I have kept in contact with Hilary ever since the Divine Company shoot and we met around a month or so after for a bit of a feedback session. It was then that she mentioned that she was setting up some dance photography courses and asked if I would like to be a part of it. Obviously I grabbed the opportunity to work with Hilary again with both hands. We carried on speaking and arranged a date to meet to talk through what and when the courses were going to happen. Yesterday (16 April 2013) I went to meet Hilary in a cafe in Wirksworth named Coffee Drop, a beautiful little cafe in a really lovely town. I was amazed when I walked in to find all of Hilary’s work on the walls and a little blurb about her. It was really nice to see some of her work printed, framed and hanging on walls. I even considered buying one for memory sake.
Hilary arrived and we had a catch up and spoke about the courses that she was going to run and how I was going to be involved. We then walked round to the space we are going to be using as a studio. www.thecoachhousestudios.co.uk It is the most beautiful building, recently renovated by architect Paul Fieldhouse. After seeing the space we walked back to the Coffee Drop and had some lunch. I used this time to pick at Hilary’s brains as much as possible and absorb as much information as I could, we spoke for a good couple of hours and she has given me so much useful information. Luckily for me Hilary has become some what of a personal mentor and I appreciate everything that she has done for me so far. I am really looking forward to working with her some more, with the dance photography courses and also another shoot in London with Divine Company again.
Do check out her website