You’ve got to love the English weather – especially when it is kind to you on photoshoots. And it was mercifully kind on all three shoots for issue 4 of The Locker - the Army’s recruitment magazine. Just as well, as the first one in March could have left the subjects knee deep in mud.
Seven slightly cautious soldiers turned up for the fashion shoot at Forest Garden, an idyllic woodland hideaway, which hosts everything from weddings to team-building courses in the Sussex countryside.
A few cups of tea later and the soldiers were out of their uniforms and into civvies, standing in front of the camera. Even Trooper Wayne James who said he had “only come as the driver”, was soon posing like a pro (he ended up being the star of the whole show).
The sunny day meant plenty of great shots for the 10-page outdoor-fashion special. If you like glamping, check out the gorgeous location, which offers yurts and cabins for hire in the summer.
Meanwhile, up in Rugby, three Reservist paratroopers were preparing to be shaven and shorn by smooth operator, barber Matt Robinson, for the Locker’s grooming feature. Private Adam Frame was also willing to bear all to reveal his impressive array of tattoos – he’s in the magazine talking about what his favourite ‘mandala’ tattoo (positioned right in the centre of his stomach) means to him.
Last was the fitness and cover shoot at an Army gym in Upavon, Wiltshire. It had taken a while to find the right cover star – it had to be a soldier, but they needed the confidence and look of a model to pull it off. Luckily, Corporal Aaron Breen, an Army PTI, was up for it and helped us get the perfect shot.
The Locker is one project that without the cooperation of the soldiers giving up their time would simply not be possible. But all of them seem to revel in the experience. As one of our fashion stars said: “One day you can be on training exercises, another on operations overseas – today I’m on a photoshoot. It’s a good life in the Army.”