This Canadian Starfighter Jet Pinup Shoot was one of the most exciting experiences I have had as a photographer in a long time. I had the great privilege to be allowed access to the Canadian Starfighter Museum which is located at the St. Andrews Airport. It runs tours for the public and you can see their hours at their website. This amazing museum is the home of a beautifully restored Canadian CF-104 Starfighter Jet which was designed in the mid 1950's by Lockheed and used by the Canadian Airforce beginning in 1961.
I have photographed a Pinup Session with a small 2-3 seater airplane - but the CF-104 Starfighter Jet is something to behold. It is absolutely huge and looks like it's travelling at the speed of sound, even when it's standing still.
The owner and my gracious host is Steve Pajot, who is an accomplished pilot himself. He has actually flown the dual-seat version of this plane. It's a very interesting story on how this Jet finally came to be located here - and I encourage you all to attend the museum to hear it from Steve. Bring a Cash Donation for your tour - as he runs the museum along with a few dedicated volunteers.
This CF-104 Starfighter is the only plane that has held 3 World Records simultaneously (Top Speed / Altitude / Time To Climb). The aircraft was used during the Cold War Time period and beyond - and was capable of launching a Nuclear Missile. It was also used for aerial recognizance via some sophisticated cameras.
I wish to again thank Steve and his volunteers:(Al and Eric) - for assisting me during the shoot. I also have to give a HUGE THANK YOU to Mike Maskell. I met this fine gentleman a few years ago when I did a Pinup shoot with his aircraft at this same airport. He is always on the lookout for interesting ideas for possible shoots - and provided me the introduction for this opportunity. Also thanks to Jack - who chauffeured our lovely model.
This is a TWO PART Canadian Starfighter Jet Pinup Shoot with my lovely "Insider Model" - Mariely! Part 1 is a more Conservative "dress" and Part 2 is the Lingerie set.
This was one of the more challenging sessions I've ever had to photograph. The aircraft is so huge - that you can not have its entirety in your image or else your model will be too tiny.
There were many lighting considerations for this shoot that needed to be decided in a quick manner.The overhead lighting is fluorescent - which gives a green colourcast. Also, I needed to figure out how to light the various areas of the aircraft - otherwise your distant backgrounds will be in total darkness.
Bouncing some light of the ceiling worked well for some general background illumination. It was a careful blending of the amazing lines and angles of the airplane with the stunning curves of Mariely.
The colour scheme for Mariely's wardrobe was carefully considered - and I went with a Red Theme.
Red seemed to "pop" against the bright shiny steel of the Jet.
We just shot a few images of the conservative nature - as the bulk was going to be the lingerie set.
Part 2 of the Canadian Starfighter Jet Pinup Shoot has Mariely sporting some eye-popping Red Lingerie and wearing an authentic Canadian Airforce jacket.
The jacket as well as a cap and a few other props were all provided by my studio.
We stayed on the same side of the aircraft for this first part of the lingerie set - as every time we moved to a new location - it involved moving a whole set of Strobes and metering their output.
These were a couple of my favourite shots in the set. Love the colours of the Airforce Logo on the wing - which you all will recognize as part of the Winnipeg Jets logo.
We did finally move to the other side of the aircraft - which had a lot less room to work with - but was visually exciting.
At one point my host and the volunteers all aided in having one of my strobes and stand lifted about 5 feet in the air and on to a rolling tool cabinet.
I needed the Key Light to be up high - since Mariely was going to be getting into the cockpit.
I should mention that our host - Steve - was very generous in allowing us to "play" on the airplane for this Canadian Starfighter Jet Pinup Shoot.
We could NOT sit or stand on the wings or tail (which made sense) - but we were allowed up the access ladder and into the cockpit.
I should mention that we originally had Mariely booked with a Vintage Hairstylist - but she got sick that morning.
So we took a deep breath and Mariely styled her hair (and looked gorgeous) - and we "Kept Calm And Carried On".
That Cockpit allows room for only ONE person - and it's a tight fit.
Thankfully Mariely easily maneuvered herself into various position and looked stunning in the process.
Shooting in the actual Cockpit was the most difficult part of this Canadian Starfighter Jet Pinup Shoot.
Because Mariely was up so high - Not only did I have to be up high - but my lighting also had to be above her.
The toughest part was actually getting some light on the dashboard in the cockpit. Originally it was almost totally black - but I managed to move a light into a position that gave me some detail.
I wanted this image to display all on its own - as it was another one of my personal favourites.
The flight suit Mariely is wearing - is authentic - and courtesy of Steve from the Museum.
The Manual she is holding is also part of the official Museum display.
Of course since this is the lingerie part of the Canadian Starfighter Jet Pinup Shoot - the flight suit had to slowly come down.
Mariely is truly one of the most stunning ladies I've had the opportunity to photograph.
As a photographer - the challenge os to make sure the lighting and the poses are going to highlight her wonderful curves.
Mariely finished her set with some steamy and sensual eye contact and poses..
The experience of photographing a model in partnership with a Huge Aircraft - was quite the learning experience for me.
I came away from this session - with more lighting knowledge and the satisfaction that I could solve lighting problems "on the fly".
I finished up this Canadian Starfighter Jet Pinup Shoot with a Top Gun Pose.
Thanks to Steve for allowing us to use the authentic helmet and flight suit for this image.
My final thanks to everyone that came together to make this photo shoot a reality.
I encourage everyone to pop by the Canadian Starfighter Museum and take a tour. It's an eye-dazzling and informative experience.
You can see some of my other session at these links: LINK_1