Amanda Brake – Witch

Posted by on Dec 8, 2012

Amanda Brake

The images used in this blog are not the ones I will be using for the final show, they are alternates used basically because it seems daft to have a photography blog without images.

I found Amanda through my son’s babysitter which was a spot of luck, and it so happened she was staying with her sister in Bridport, which is just down the road from me. She had warned me beforehand that she didn’t have any of her witch’s props with her, so I took along a walnut crucible I had and some incense disc burners. I had no idea what I was going to do with them, but took them just in case. It was a blissfully clear and bitterly cold morning with barely a breath of wind, so we set up in the garden on an old bench in the shade of a shed, with a reflector bouncing the sunlight back onto Amanda’s hands. Amanda, who was charming, was wearing an amber bracelet that was special to her, and an amulet round her neck, so I thought it important to include these elements in the image. It seemed to me from our conversation that as a witch she was principally a carer, so in the final image I had her cradling a bowl with burning incense inside. This shot cradling rosemary (a herb she uses a lot in her potions) was a back-up shot in case the smoke didn’t work. Despite the still morning, when you’re dealing with smoke you’re very much at nature’s mercy, so I took quite a few shots and crossed my fingers. It was one of those shoots when you need three pairs of arms, one to shoot, one to keep the burners alight and add the incense, and one keep catching my reflector which was leaning precariously on the garden fence, and kept falling down. When I got home I invested in some clamps, a stand and a counterweight. Though I hate carrying all the clobber around, I find it rather invasive, the less equipment I have, the closer to the subject I feel. However when all you have is natural light that’s never doing quite what you want, you do need one or two bits of kit to help.