Weeks before the shoot, I cycled to different spots to find nice nature that would suit my story. The theme was about a happy girl who enjoys the summer on wheels and chills out in the cozy place of a garden plot. Frankfurt is surrounded by these dachas, kind of seasonal second homes with small gardens to escape from city life.
Working for Playboy, I can come up with a theme myself and have very great artistic freedom in the execution of my ideas. This is a huge benefit and really motivates me as a photographer. I also plan the styling, this time with a pink color theme, buy clothes and shoes and get the props.
I thought a swing could look nice in a garden, so I bought one. For me, the props have to fit together and they shouldn't feel like props, more as if they really belonged to the location.
With the help of Erika and Hendrik, I could make the story happen. They arranged a garden and a high-riser bike for our shoot. I picked the locations wisely, so we could move around quickly, without driving far distances. Last year, on my production in Berlin, this wasn't possible and we sat in the car for hours from one location to another.
I had chosen several locations in Frankfurt and it soon turned out that it was clever to have a plan b in the pocket (actually, I even had a plan c and d, but we didn't need that).
On the first morning we were sort of kicked off (public grounds) by an elderly woman who was very impolite and insisted to call the police. She claimed that we had slept outside in the wilderness and the sunbounce was a tent and we were to blame for trash lying around in nature. It was impossible to calm her down.
Leni wasn't even naked yet but we had caused enough attention carrying the big sunbounce reflector and having a professional makeup artist waering her makeup accessories in a fanny pack. Not everyone in Frankfurt is chilled. I knew this from bad experiences I made in the past. And as I did not want to have an argument or lose time, I transformed all her negative energy into positive vibes and we headed to our plan b location.
Now, we were exposed even more to the public but we needed an open space to shoot with the high riser. Especially for the video clips where Leni was riding the chopper. But I knew, at noon we were finally going to a fully private space.
The dacha was so beautiful. I locked the gate, to ensure we could stay undisturbed for the rest of the day. No passers-by, no questions and no discussions.
It was the first time for the model, Leni, to be naked in front of the camera and to me it is very important to be considerate and make the shoot as enjoyable as possible for her. Key for this is a good preparation. We met the evening before, did the fitting of clothes that I had shopped, spoke about styling and our shooting schedule. And we chatted a bit about fun times from previous shoots and simply got to know each other as the team.
I am very satisfied for having put together such a nice team. Monika (makeup and hair), Moritz (assistant) and I worked hand in hand. Zero complaints from anyone, everyone supported each other and the atmosphere was very harmonious. It's one of those things you can see in the pictures, I believe.
Shooting in Frankfurt had the advantage that I was able to prepare our lunch and keep it in our fridge at home. If you prepare the food yourself, you can make sure to eat something healthy that gives you energy but doesn't bloat the belly. You wouldn't imagine, this is a part to take into consideration for a photo production, would you?
Another positive thing was that I didn't have to bring my laptop on set. Usually, my assistant copies data onto the laptop and later in the evening backups everything on an external hard disk. But as I only lived twenty minutes away from the shooting locations, I simply transfered all data onto my desktop computer in the evening and could get a nice overview on a large screen already.
We had a fantastic shoot and I feel truly grateful for having been commissioned for this photo production for Playboy Germany — especially during the pandemic. It's just super cool when there's harmony among the team, the model is so beautiful and 100% motivated and you get home with a great selection of pretty photographs.
To see the results, please get a copy of Playboy 08/2021. You can buy it online as a printed edition or digital and like always, you can see more images from the shoot in the online section called Playboy Premium.
Simon Bolz, Frankfurt
Tel.: +49 (69) 95 82 02 12
Mob.: +49 (172) 620 55 18