Emotionally Unavailable.

I get quite a lot of people say to me that we should meet up for a shoot next time in wherever it is they live or that they’ll book me for a shoot if they’re ever on the Isle of Man. But it seldom happens, so I was surprised and delighted when Laura contacted me to say that she was visiting the Island with her partner, Megan, and they wanted to do a shoot with me.
Laura and Megan, from Manchester, who both work, semi-professionally as models, were quite particular about the two different types of images they were looking for – “Soft/sensual/nude and harsh/grungy/clothed(ish)”.

To be honest, I was more excited about the latter; we discussed ideas and decided to go for harsh, direct flash look that the ladies had seen me use in previous shoots. I wanted to use the corner of a bar or a nightclub, but by the time we started shooting, at 9 pm on a Sunday evening in March, location choices were somewhat limited, and we ended up using my partner’s living room. The stars and stripes flag has no meaning or political connotations – I just happened to think it would make a better backdrop than a beige carpet.

People will have their own, poles apart, opinions of these photographs, as usual. We see pictures of couples all the time – engagement shoots showing duos kissing and hugging on beaches and under trees. The only difference here is that Laura and Megan prefer to wear less than other couples…

All images were made using an Olympus MjuII compact and a Nikon F100/28mm 1.8G/Vivitar 283 flash combo’. Film stock was Fuji Superia 400, which was developed and scanned at the excellent, and open-minded, Canadian Film Lab.


  1. GJ

    I find your work to be the photographic version of modern R&B music – pointless and misogynistic. I don’t know who’s worse – you for taking the photos or them for having no self-respect and allowing you to. How you can compare these to tasteful engagement shots is beyond me.


      • GJ

        So what’s the point of these images? Why can’t we see their faces? If they’re so innocent, why hide the identity of the women? These are hardly photographs you put in a frame and display on the mantlepiece, are they? It also irritates me the way you, and other hipster photographers think that by shooting on film instantly turns softcore porn into art?


    • Do you go through photographers websites one by one and make your irrational and misguided comments, or have you just singled me out for special treatment because you know me? So you’re irritated – go and drink a peppermint tea or something. Do you know what irritates me, GJ? You – you irritate me.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Cherry

      The ladies are wearing shorts and t-shirts…. so not sure how you can say they have no self-respect? Or maybe you just have a problem with same sex relationships?

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Jacquie Quayle

    What I love and admire about your work, Phil is the diversity – you can be shooting serious photojournalism one day, gentle portraits the next, then nudes…then photojournalism again. But throughout, your hallmark is present in every single shot. Well done.

    Liked by 2 people

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