BA at Milan Fashion Week II

Three hours later and we’re at Arco della Pace (Arch of Peace) with David Gandy, a stunning vintage Jaguar E-type and Tina, the focal point of our image. With only an hour to play with, we did a quick run down of the four proposed shots then got to it straight away.

I had my camera connected to an iPad so the client, agent and crew got a live feed of the capture. It always helps to get instant feedback and approval on what works. Again, the overcast skies gave a moody, almost vintage feel to the images. Nostalgia.

As the last sequence, we also captured some shots of David cruising his Jag. You can’t fake driving shots. The car has to move as it’s the energy exchange between driver and car that make it authentic. I could have rigged the camera to the car but we were pretty short on time and I wasn’t overly keen on super-clamping this stunning heritage car so I ran alongside it instead. My preferred way anyway…

This Milan gig was fast and furious and the client was super happy with the visuals… the icing on the cake. What next?


BA at Milan Fashion Week I

You can really sense the energy arriving at Milan Airport for their fashion week. The place is buzzing with stunning models and chic designers, all queueing up for their luggage.

I was in Milan for British Airways, my brief to create an editorial library with British super models David Gandy and Suki Waterhouse. David and I worked together in Hong Kong last year and on the same trip, I did a shoot with Suki’s sister Immy, so I knew I was in for a fun gig.

Two busy days got the ball rolling. Locations, logistics, framing and a backup plan in case the weather went sour. I had a blast. Just waking around the streets of Milan is a joy. I got utterly lost on a run one evening. No cash, no phone, an empty tank… nothing but a city map, although that wasn’t helping much. It’s adventures like these that make travel come truly alive…

Production day started with Suki in an eye catching paper dress by designer Zoe Bradley. A really iconic image but one that proved challenging. She could barely move and the dress was so wide that no one could stand very close to her. Needless to say, our shooting in the Piazza du Duomo, with its famous cathedral as our backdrop, attracted a big crowd. Suki was a star. Imagine having to work in 12c temperatures with only paper to keep you warm?

During the thirty minutes we were on location, the sun didn’t join us at all resulting in some moody misty morning images…


With Margot Robbie in The Empty Quarter

The most noticeable things about working with Hollywood stars is that the stakes are high, shoots come with lengthly pre-meetings, you’re seriously time limited and the entourage on set is enormous. But when it all comes together… when the shoot runs smoothly and the crew is happy… it’s so rewarding and such a cool thing to do. Recently, I experienced just that, shooting the gorgeous Margot Robbie for a big British Airways PR push.

Wouter Kingma Blog for Brittish Airways with Margot Robbie in Abu Dhabi 01

We used the stunning Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort as our base before venturing off into the desert. The Empty Quarter has no shortage of shooting options, yet a recce did prove to be a worthwhile exercise to stake out the best location for capturing the afternoon light yet remaining in close proximity to the resort. All in all, we had a time limit of 1 ½ hours on site. Margot was a complete joy to work with… hard not to be perhaps when in the company of six good looking pilots (her words…)! Dressed in Burberry, she remained effortlessly down to earth with bare feet and a sense of adventure. Here are the final three images that made it to the press along with a few behind the scenes images.

Wouter Kingma Blog for Brittish Airways with Margot Robbie in Abu Dhabi 03

I timed it so we would capture the very best of the afternoon light, making our way into sunset. During the recce, we picked a varied mix of dunes as the ultimate backdrop. I mostly shot using the light available supplemented with a bit of fill in flash to knock off some shadows. To keep the client in the loop with the images I was shooting, I used the CamRanger, which transfers the jpgs from the camera straight to an iPad screen. This is great as the team could stay involved with feedback and approvals and it’s easier for me to absorb images on a larger screen than on a 3” LCD one.


Quick doodle visualising shot list. 


Behind the scenes image by Kish


Rehearsals / Behind the scenes image by Kish

It’s always awesome to look back and trail how shooting opportunities land in the calendar. This gig came thanks to another I did in the Empty Quarter back in 2012, when I shot golf legends Luke Donald and Martin Kaymer. Euan, who worked for Abu Dhabi PR at the time, now heads his own agency called MCS Action, so when the Margot Robbie gig came up, he called me up straight away. Thanks for reaching out.