Are you curious to go behind the scenes with photographer Dave Blake?

Get detailed insights into the set life with a professional fashion photographer.

In my today´s blog post, I take you on a journey as a makeup artist.

Dave Blake and Newcomer Model Saraniya

My first shoot with Dave Blake, a person full of energy and enthusiasm. We became flatmates and good friends over the last weeks and I´m very excited to shoot with him finally in the heart of Byron Bay.

I can hear a knock on the door and when I open it, a big smile is waiting for me. Saraniya, our model for today. Beautiful dark skin, slim and shiny hair.

I help with a few bags and welcome her to our home. I can see she is nervous and doesn´t know what to expect.

It´s her first model book shoot to start her model career. We have a chat about the styling when Dave comes down the stairs.

photographed by Dave Blake, Byron Bay

Outfit Choices

A quick and warm-hearted, hello and we are looking at a few shiny green and purple dresses.

No, we want it nice and simple. I love nice and simple.

Dave reads my mind and we have quickly a few outfits arranged.

  • Blouse,
  • jeans,
  • jumper, 
  • a simple dress.

Saraniya seemed to be a bit surprised about the choices, but I emphasized “it will look great”. The vibe is harmonious and relaxed.

Hair and Makeup

Hair and makeup are next, pretty and simple. When Saraniya sees the table full of makeup products, I can feel she´s expecting me to change her whole appearance.

Not my intention. It´s a model book shoot. We want to present her naturally and professionally, I explain to her.

Light foundation to show her beautiful, nutty skin colour and make some soft movements in her dark hair. For Saraniya´s look, I especially love a natural cheek shine for her makeup.

After a little girl´s chat, Dave joins us and a few little tricks later she is ready. Checking, if Dave is happy and waiting for a response “I love it” he says in a calm voice.

Beauty shot by Dave Blake,

First Shots

As a makeup artist, I find it very special to work with a photographer for the first time. You know very quickly if you are on the same page and have a similar workflow.

Great, let´s start. We go into the garden to take some first shots. It is a bit hard for Saraniya to open her eyes in the sunlight. “Take the palm tree”, Dave says.

The shadows of the leaves look good on her. Saraniya is nervous and Dave helps her with clear advice.

Into the Wild of Byron 

Model book shoot, shot by Dave Blake in Byron Bay

After this little warm up we go outside in a bushy area close to the beach. Different earth colours, wild branches and bushland around us. Dave glances at me “here!?” I love it, “perfect”, I agree.

A few clicks, some more directions and Saraniya is posing well. Dave is very fast and precise.

  • Long neck,
  • shoulders down,
  • chin up.

He reaches this huge branch, “Can you hold this up”. I need to grin a bit, “of course”.

The shadows of the twigs look gentle on her body. Click, click, click, dress change. Saraniya feels more comfortable. “You are doing well. The photos are going to look amazing” I whisper to her.

               Model Saraiya in linen dress, photographed by Dave Blake. Hair and Makeup Nahid Kholghi

The earthy, green linen dress and a woollen jumper are next.

She sits on a camera box, while I´m changing her hair to a natural bun. It should look self-made. Looking for Dave´s ok. He´s happy, and we can go wild.

Walking forth and back on a stinging ground, Saraniya does a great job.

  • Long neck,
  • naked shoulder,
  • straight spine.

The afternoon light is gentle on her skin. I know it will look good.

“That´s hard work” Saraniya mentions. A few more shots and Dave Blake sees her face fading.

Modelling is a tough job and after more than an hour, it´s difficult for her to stay focused. Dave shoots a few more pics and Saraniya gives her best. I try to support her.

“Ok, we´re done,” Dave says with a confident voice. Saraniya is a bit relieved and I´m surprised how fast he was.

Selecting the Best Photos

Back home we are checking the result and choosing our favourites.

Which images show Saraniya the best? Important for this choice is

  • her eyes,
  • expression,
  • posture,
  • the light,
  • and mood

We are also a good team in selecting and it goes very fast.

Saraniya is surprised and very happy about her new portfolio. “These are the first photos I really like”.  I´m also amazed at how beautiful she looks for a first lookbook shoot.

If you like my work, follow me on Instagram