The Photo-Shoot - 'The WILD LIFE'
Updated: Apr 4, 2019
Behind the scenes, on Safari:
The joys and the perils of the outdoor nude shoot
by Mick Rawport
Model: Ayya Azanova
Location: Sri Lanka
I persuaded the model with the promise that she would see 50 elephants, on a wildlife safari. She’s crazy about wild animals. The idea was to see the wildlife on safari in several national parks and then shoot outdoors at nearby locations and hotel venues.
It turned out to be a wild ride, emotionally.
The first hazard encountered on shooting nudes involved breast protection. All that exposed model flesh attracted some unwelcome visitors, notably mosquitoes.
The mosquitoes seemed to prefer her breasts to anything else - a situation that could potentially lead to nasty skin lumps.
I liked her breasts too (and did not fancy Photoshopping mosquito lumps) so such assets needed full protection.
Mosquito netting around hotel beds sometimes provided a photogenic setting as the netting resembled a bridal veil.
I purchased an electrified ‘tennis racquet’ to clear the air by zapping mosquitoes at hotel venues and even on location.
On a happier note, the jeep safaris thrilled her, putting her in a great mood. When a model starts taking selfies, with wildlife in the background, you can tell she is having a good time.
There were great sightings of a range of big wildlife - from Asian elephants to wild boars. And a host of birds - with exotic names like the Indian shag, the Blue-tailed bee eater, and the Paradise fly-catcher.
Then we got very lucky: we spotted two leopards crossing open ground.
Normally, by day, leopards are well hidden in caves or trees.
Inspired by the leopard sightings, the model later posed at the hotel pool in a leopard-print bikini. And then, in a more adventurous mood, she climbed a tree at the edge of a forest to make an unusual pose - a (human) leopard resting on a tree branch, arms and legs dangling
Returning to terra firma, she suddenly started dancing around and screaming. What the heck?!
She had been discovered by some mean fire ants, which have a pretty nasty bite.
Some days were really smooth on both safari and posing. And other days played out like a Greek tragedy. In particular, the day we went to the beach. I had staked out an enclosed cove in a deserted part which I figured would be perfect for shooting nudes if we got there at the crack of
dawn, with nobody likely to be around.
The model was grumpy at having to get up so early, and an argument ensued over make-up, as she insisted on putting some on. To go into the ocean? Wasting precious sunrise time.
Next problem: At this early hour, she was shivering as water temperature was too cold. However, from my personal perspective, through the lens, the water temperature was perfect, as it brought her nipples to the fore.
In the water, where the waves came crashing in, I used a GoPro with waterproof housing. On the rocks, for shoreline shots, I brought out my DSLR, thinking it would be safe from the water. But a huge rogue wave came up and sprayed my naked camera... with salt water. Arrgh! Now my mood turned dark and I quickly repaired back to the resort with soggy siren in tow.
As she headed for a hot shower, I was left mopping up the camera.
After the rogue wave, came a rogue elephant. In a national park that was not often visited, our jeep stopped as a small group of elephants crossed the dirt road in front of us. Also seemed to be fine until a huge tusker turned back in the jungle with flared ears and charged, with trumpeting that went right through the body.
I was so stunned that I even forgot to capture that moment on camera. The elephant stopped just short of the jeep and turned around.
The model was mesmerized. By the end of the trip, she spotted more than a hundred elephants, so all good - I still managed to deliver on my promise with a plus of having a majestic elephant
charging as well.
Here are some take-aways from this great outdoor experience. Next time, I would devote more time to scouting out locations for the photo shoot. The model can get moody and dark while
waiting around for camera action to begin.
Police! Did I mention police? Run for the exits, and have a loose robe at hand for fast wrap-up on location. In future, I would hire someone to act as a lookout. Probably a female - as a male lookout would most likely spend all his time gawking at the model.
And I would bring plenty of citronella oil spray - a pleasant smelling mosquito repellent.
That would be her perfume for the entire shoot.
See more photos of this photo-adventure in the gallery below.