0 24.02.2017 Dominique Zuniga - The shoot that almost never happened

I was contacted on instagram by American travelling artist/model Dominique Zuniga who had seen some of my work I had done with Minh-Ly (A Canadian model) and wondered if I would work on something with her while she was in London.

While she didn’t have the biggest portfolio to view there was some strong work and her idea of doing something a bit primal with floor posing appealed to me.

We arranged times and dates and on the day of the shoot I got a message nice and early to say she was on her way. As she hadn’t got her phone working in this country she had to rely on wi-fi zones but we had arranged where and when to meet in case she couldn’t contact me when she arrived. Unfortunately this is where things started to go wrong…. I arrived at the station a few minutes early and saw the train come in...and then the next train...and the next train. The day before we’d had a bad storm in the UK so it was safe to assume the trains had been disrupted a bit so I was happy to wait a bit longer. However, after 40 minutes of not knowing what was happening I had to concede defeat and head back home and left her a message to contact me when she arrives. A couple of hours later while I was at home and pondering whether I should get another last minute model to fill the studio time I had booked I got a call from the studio owner saying someone was causing havoc trying to get hold of me at the studio. I said I was on my way and hurried to the studio, which still took me 25 minutes to do. Unfortunately the message I was on my way did not get passed on and when I arrived there was no sign of the model. But I was greeted by a lovely passive aggressive woman who shares the studio building who took great delight in sharing her disapproval of the model causing disruption trying to get hold of me. A couple of minutes of insane frustration trying to get any information from this woman I managed to get it out of her that she had already left. Great, now I’m pretty wound up by her whining and I’m standing outside wondering what to do. I’m thinking by now the model has got a taxi and gone back to the main train station and maybe if I leave now I might catch her. But… there’s another station right next to the studio which I didn’t think she knew about. It would only take a 5 mins to check so I thought I’d head over there. Fortunately it’s a small station which is completely open to the platform so you don’t need to go through any barriers. As I stepped onto the platform it wasn’t looking good, I could only see three people. Well that’s not her...that’s not her...and…. that could be her. Someone was sitting on a bench at the end of the platform with head down and hood up but she had a distinctive skirt that looked like it was the models style. As I walked up to her she looked up and I saw a flash of a distinctive nose ring. FOUND HER!!!!

Well it was an emotional meeting! I can’t imagine what was going through Dominique's mind but I could guess that it couldn’t of been very nice being in a different country, in a little town with all that effort to get there and then only to head back defeated. I was happy she had enough information to actually get from the main station to the studio as I didn’t remember giving her details as I was going to be driving her. So once we got into the studio there where more tears and hugs to get it out of her system and then we were ready to roll….

I had three main sets in mind for our four hour shoot; a portrait starter, then floor posing with natural light and a one light setup and finishing with dynamic standing poses with a three light setup.

All I can say is Dominique absolutely rocked the shoot! It’s all too easy to get stuck on posing and repeat yourself too much but Dominique just let go and flowed through the poses. By the end of the shoot Dominique was shattered from jet lag and not helped by the stress of the day and that we started about three hours later than expected. But the trick up my sleeve was to get her to basically dance for the last section and it worked. The music and movement revived her and I managed to get some of my favourite shots of the day from her dynamic moves and she seemed to be buzzing by the end of the shoot :)

Dominique needed to catch the correct train back and because we’d started so much later it meant we were a little rushed to get there in the end and I dropped her off at the station with just a few minutes to go before the train arrived. Result!

So this is the shoot that very nearly didn’t happen but so glad it did. Not only did I get some shots I really love but Dominique was such a cool individual to work with. Very impressed that someone so young (20) is a world traveller, artist, model, singer and free spirit. Thanks so much for the chance to work with you and hope our paths cross again someday.

Please give her a follow, I’m sure she’s got a lot more adventures to share.

Instagram modelling page : @zemsway
Instagram travelling page : @zemsway_travels
Website : www.dominiquezuniga.com

I haven’t got all the edits from the shoot completed yet but here are some of my favourites.

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