Doug doing what he loves best in his Baja workshop
I won't spend too much time here giving the full story behind Doug MacCadam and his Norton motorcycle rebuild business "Dougs Baja Nortons" - far better that you go to Doug's own site and read the full interesting story.
Suffice to say that Doug approached me to assist in producing some publicity material to help promote his business - and I welcomed the chance to assist.
Back in the 60's and 70's when Norton Motorcycles were "en vogue" . Norton would frequently use a beautiful woman (often scantily clad) in their advertisements.
As time has moved on, such blatant use of "sex" to sell is no longer considered politically correct, however there was one particular ad entitled "Temptation" that had stuck in Doug's mind for over 30 years - and he was keen to produce a modern version that he felt was in keeping with both the origins of the brand AND maintained a level of decorum suitable for modern sensibilities
the original Norton ad
local beauty "Susy" on her first modelling assigment
As the model for the assignment, Doug had in mind a local beauty with absolutely no previous modelling experience - the young lady in question is more typically found dishing up taco's at the local fast food stand!
Captivated by her stunning looks Doug approached "Susy" and she happily agreed to give modelling a try.
Throughout the photo shoot, I was impressed by Susy's easy going charm and willingness to follow posing directions from both myself and Doug.
As a first time model she was outstanding - and I can only hope that a modelling agency will spot her talents and give her a deserved break with a career in modelling.
The first photoshoot was arranged near Susy's workplace and the primary intention was to take some test shots and for Susy to get to know Doug and myself a little better and to become familiar with the process of posing in front of the camera.
I think doing this photoshoot was of fundamental importance to the success of the assignment.
With the understanding that the shots were just for "test" purposes Susy soon became very relaxed in front of the lens - in fact the head shot that was used for the final poster was actually captured in this initial session
The headshot used in the final ad
The second session took place on location at Doug's Baja Nortons home and workplace.
This is where the motorcycle used in the ad was in the process of being meticulously rebuilt by Doug.
The second session was used to play around with compositional ideas and themes as well as capture the all important photo of the motorbike itself
Susy adopting a variety of poses on the Norton
In this image Doug wanted to convey the idea that even with a beautiful girl waiting, a Norton rider won't neglect his ride. Susy was asked to appear somewhat displeased - and I think she pulled off the expression perfectly.
The all important shot of the motorcycle. Unfortunately there was no simple way on location to shoot the bike against a simple backdrop. It was therefore necessary to slowly and carefully isolate the bike from its surroundings in photoshop - this screen shot is from part way through the process - the erased background shown in green
work in progress - A Norton part way through the rebuild process
This assignment was undertaken by Digital Photography Bureau as a favour to Dougs Baja Nortons and was seen as a good opportunity to practice photography assignment skills.
No studio lighting, soft boxes or lighting umbrellas were used, neither was any studio backdrop nor photography assistant. Susy the "model" was totally inexperienced and Doug as "art director" was far more at home rebuilding his beloved Norton motorcycles than managing a photoshoot.
However the end result was a success!
For me the main point of this article is that even without "professionals" a decent result can be obtained and perhaps just as importantly the whole experience was considerable FUN for all involved.
Temptation - A new look for a classic beauty
The final result
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