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I’m always on the look out for props or things that can provide inspiration for my portrait photography business. It’s little (or big!) things like props that can really set apart one shot from another.

A few miles from my home is parked an old Hawker Hunter, bright red, you can just see it from the road and I have always thought how cool it would be to shoot, but never bothered to investigate further as permission would either be at very great cost, or there would be no permission at all.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I was approached by Holly, a model who had seen some of my work and wanted to collaborate. She had access to an old RAF uniform and wanted me to shoot her in it. After some thought I agreed and set about planning the shoot.

It was soon quite obvious that a pretty girl in a RAF uniform needed that extra “something” to lift the picture from the norm. I then remembered the red Hawker Hunter and thought, nothing ventured nothing gained!

I took a drive over to the plane location and drove up to it and lo and behold it was actually parked on the site of MOT garage along with portacabin coffee shops (the sort you see in “A road” lay byes). Ordering a coffee form the portacabin I asked if they knew who owned the airplane and we got talking and it transpired that the owner owned the MOT garage and was more than happy to allow snaps to be taken. (snaps??? – I smiled to myself)

Drinking up I wandered over to the garage and asked to see Bob (not his real name) and I was introduced to a chain smoking long haired hells angel biker type character (no offence to Hells Angels meant!!). This is not going to end well I thought, but I plucked up courage, introduced myself and started talking about my photography and how cool it would be to shoot his plane!

To my amazement this guy was a real character and spent the next hour telling me stories about his red plane and his other “pieces of military hardware” he has owned. He was delighted that I wanted to shoot a model “on the plane” and we left with him saying, “come along anytime you like, we’ll even wash it for you”

Getting back home and still filled with excitement (I’d never shot a model on a real plane before!!) I rang Holly the model and told her, over the moon was an understatement.

I got my team together, assistant and MUA (Make up artist) and we arranged a date to shoot.

On the day it was dull and grey with heavy rain forecast – but that didn’t deter us. Holly looked amazing in her RAF outfit, but with stockings and stilettos to put a different slant on it.

It did rain eventually and we had to call it a day – but not before we got some cracking shots

The moral of this story, and the reason for the post, is you never ever know what the answer will be until you just ask – so don’t be afraid to ask the question, the worst that can happen is they say no – and you expected that anyway!

Best – Colin