These pictures are the result of a styled wedding shoot held in what’s got to be the one of the world’s most photogenic gyms – Cheetah’s Gym in the King Alfred Leisure Centre in Hove. You know how contemporary gyms are all sterile & samey & harshly lit with awful flourescent tubes? Not this one. The basement boxing gym at Cheetah’s is literally in an old boiler room and it looks unchanged since the 1950s – as gritty and Rocky-esque as it gets.
The shoot is based on the idea of marriage as a sparring match; while marriage is this incredible, wonderful, beautiful bond between two people, it (and weddings) can also sometimes be a bit of a battle of the sexes. I wanted to illustrate this with a bit of humour while keeping elements that were edgy and surreal, so we’ve got the bride and groom facing off with the third character of the bride’s coach as her second – someone to take her side, step in when needed, to offer encouragement and support – like the maid of honour, if we’re talking in wedding terms.
Anyway, it was an amazing day with images resulting once again from a host of talented and generous collaborators. I think our model Steph looks so gorgeous she gives new meaning to the term “knock-out”. (Okay, sorry for the bad pun…) The elaborate (time-consuming!) fashion lighting set-ups were definitely a departure for me and from the way I usually work – though upon seeing the results I am totally excited to keep learning and to practice this more often. Of course, having Michael Orourke, “The Light Whisperer”, on set was invaluable. Michael specialises in boudoir photography so his expertise translates into creating beautiful body sculptures with light.
Would love to hear your thoughts on other metaphors for marriage. What other metaphors could you use to illustrate marriage?
Huge thanks to all:
Models: Steph Gonzalez (Bride); Kim Head (Coach); Karl Stone (Groom)
Makeup: Georgie Bambina Brown-Felpts
Lighting guru: Michael Orourke, The Light Whisperer
Assistant photography: Karlos Wayne, Andy Leates
Wedding dress: Courtesy of Lel Hurst
Location: Cheetah’s Gym, Hove
Art direction/ production coordination / photography: Erika Szostak (Me) for PhotoMadly