Namib Desert, Namibia 2017
This cinematic image from the desert wilderness of Namibia works for me. The model – Erica Lawrence – has an extraordinarily strong personality to match her extraordinary legs and she commands the scene – quite a trick with a female cheetah sitting right next to her. They stare in parallel and this seems crucial to the integrity of the shot. It is up to the viewer to decide what is holding their gaze. But they are both clearly focused on the job in hand. Erica loves her hats and we never thought to ask her to take it off.
It was my intention to shoot on this dune at first light and this meant a very early start for us all. This was an extremely remote location and I knew that the sand would be pristine and sculpted relentlessly by desert wind. It was important not to leave any foot prints leading up to the image – no easy task with a cheetah that very much has a mind of her own. The sooner we had an image in the can the better, as the sand would quickly show more and more signs of our presence that morning.
We were wrapped by 7 am – a good result. It’s debatable whether there is much point shooting after 7:15 am in the desert – the sun gets high and strong all too quickly.