Up until Wednesday evening I knew exactly what I was going to do on Sunday, photograph a motor show. I'd noticed last weekend that there was a rally of Porsche cars at Highcliffe Castle so I thought I'd nip down there for a couple of hours.
Anyway Wednesday night I get an e-mail from a model who lives right out in the sticks asking if I'd be available and interested in a shoot on either Friday, Saturday or Sunday. I said I could, I'd pick her up and I had the ideal location for an early evening shoot. Now I've wanted to work with this model for a long time but unfortunately she has a medical condition that means she has to take a break for modelling every so often because the long term treatment she is having causes her to lose her hair. Anyway I said I'd pick her up Sunday evening, weather permitting, and we'd do the shoot.
Well last week I was on audit at a clients near Southampton and because I'd worked like a Trojan during the week I was able to make Friday an early finish and decided to drive out to the middle of Dorset to check out the location of the Sunday shoot. I knew from previous experience that a field of pharmaceutical poppies should be in full bloom and they would make a great backdrop (they are purple and white) - the field has a public footpath running through the middle of it so no danger of upsetting a farmer, close by are other fields which have the more traditional red poppies mixed in with the grasses. When I get there the plants haven't grown to their full size and there are only a handful of flowers that have bloomed. Having driven around for about half an hour in search of an alternative selection of fields I came to the conclusion, as I looked across Cranborne Chase and beyond that the recent bad weather had done it's best to sabotage by efforts.
Fortunately I have a back up plan to the back up plan - Knowlton Church, which offers a backdrop, a giant prop, grass circles, high grasses and a ditch - perfect. I get home send the model an e-mail with the alternative idea and she says it sounds great.
Saturday it pours with rain and I'm really getting the feeling that the shoot won't go ahead. Sunday morning arrives with the best weather since Tuesday, it's scorchio. I check all the equipment, make sure the flash is working, get the light stand ready and then try and spend the best part of the day until 4:30 when I have to leave for the forty five minute journey to pick the model and her boyfriend up. About two hours before I am due to leave I check my e-mails and see one from the model - she's very apologetic but says she's been ill all night and doesn't want me to catch whatever it is she has but she'll do the shoot if I want. I write back saying I understand and that under the circumstances it would be best to cancel.
As the England v Italy match begins the sun is so strong through the window that we have to close the curtains to see the T.V. It was one of those weekends.