What a talent – he’s a schoolboy, almost dwarfed by his models, but Hugo Amos, a Worcester grade 10 pupil, is running his own business designing and making Matric dance dresses.

This last weekend, we did a shoot to showcase some of his designs. The models were classmates, the make-up done by one of his teachers.

Hugo is absolutely in charge – he knows, he feels colours, he mixes textures, he even positioned models in front of this and that to match colours and textures, helped them pose, suggested head and leg positions that made the body lines better … I learnt a lot, and in the end had my work halved through his brilliant directing.

He does not even have a driver’s licence, and had his school teacher drive him and his classmates out to Philadelphia. The teacher was also hairdresser and MUA – and did so brilliantly, claiming it’s the first time she’s done this. The models were first-timers too –  except one – and with a little bit of direction from us very quickly got into the spirit of things, going over the top with facial expressions and body posture to match the sometimes outrageous outfits they were wearing.

Next move – he wants to oursource the actual stitching of the dresses while he focuses on design work. Big thinker! I’m blown away by so much natural, unshaped talent. Where do the kids get it? (I call them kids in revenge of them calling me “oom” (uncle) all day. Serves them right) Imagine where they’ll be in a few years if this raw talent is pushed in the right direction.

We chose Philadelphia as the area is quaint, quirky and offered loads of off-beat spots – a perfect backdrop for the wardrobe. It also has narrow streets and white, north-facing walls (huge reflectors) that made lighting a dawdle. I used a Quantum flash to add a light line down the side of the body on the opposite side to the sun, slightly from behind for a bit of light wrap to the front, just to help give a hint of 3D and depth to the bodies. Coupled with a short depth of field on the Nikon 80-200mm f2.8 fitted with a polariser to cut the light down to 250th f4, I managed to sync the flash to the D700’s flash sync speed.

Hugo Amos in centre with models and teacher (right)

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Comments
  1. Jacquie Withers says:

    Inspiring indeed! thanks for sharing!

  2. saskia says:

    a prodigy!well done capturing and enhancing that ‘raw talent’….inspiring indeed!

  3. madi hanekom says:

    Wonderfully vibrant!

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