A few years back one of my friends suggested I make a ‘Twist Calendar‘.
So far, I’ve made three of them (I only make a dozen each year, for selected friends). They have been the impetus behind a whole load of travels around the city and into the countryside, in the hopes of creating a variety of photoshoots. (If I don’t get variety, I get bored…)
Sometimes serendipity plays a part.
In 2013 I was due to attend another fancy dress party (yes, another one; sometimes any excuse to cross-dress will do) with the theme of ‘epic heroes’.
I found a cheap ‘Roman warrior’ costume which – if I cut off the red nylon cape – might just be passable as a pseudo-Xena: Warrior Princess outfit. Completing the look was a plastic sword and scabbard. I thought a headband might double as a simple diadem, but it ended up looking more like a massive unibrow.
What can I say?
Cheapest. Princess. Ever.
One of my friends lent me her sleeveless woollen robe (it was early in the year and therefore a bit chilly…), as well as an old fox skin thing I could drape over my shoulder. I’ve no idea what it was. Truth be told, it kind of grossed me out, but it fit the look I was going for.
A few weekends before the party, there was a faint dusting of snow overnight – and it was disappearing fast.
I sensed an opportunity for an epic fantasy photoshoot, envisaging the sort of white-blanketed landscapes associated with Lord Of The Rings or Game Of Thrones.
What I got was… the usual dismal weather we get, but with a slightly paler landscape. It’s a damn good thing Edinburgh’s a city with an epic landscape.
I got myself ready in record time (let’s just say that makeup is a great way to hide the results of reckless shaving, and ballet tights are a great way to avoid having to shave your legs), and hurried out to Holyrood Park with my obliging girlfriend and a camera.
If you do this sort of thing often enough, you soon learn not to think about what the locals might make of you. (I’m pretty much guaranteed to encounter dog walkers and joggers. Every single time.)
It was bloody freezing, so I didn’t linger. I usually have some idea of the sorts of photos I want to get – poses, backgrounds, things I’m trying to mimic – but on this particular morning it was a case of improvising and seeing what we could get before the few hints of white melted away.
Sometimes you just have to be happy with whatever photos you get, and make the most of them. This was one of those times. The main thing was, I had a set of cosplay photos that looked different, and fit a particular season (which helps when making a calendar).
Yes, I did have a cold for a few days afterwards. But I reckon it was worth it.
And if there’s one thing I got out of it, it’s the firm conclusion that Twist is a summertime kinda gal…