Last year, I had the pleasure of photographing Alice Pike's (@alicecostumes) final major project for her degree. I was honoured to work with Alice, as not only is she a talented designer, but I knew she had a vision for the shoot that fit in well with my narrative style.
The pieces Alice wanted me photograph were based on the novel The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard. Alice had created two characters to theme her costume's around:
Beatrice Dahl, one of the last people on earth, is struggling to keep grip on reality as buildings crumble and humanity is lost. The crocodile, a creature who has emerged from the collapse of society, hunts through the ruins as nature once again reclaims the Earth. 
With such interesting characters and a rich backstory, I suggested that rather than a traditional editorial style shoot, we create six narrative photographs that told the story of Beatrice and the Crocodile. Alice, happily, said yes!
When it comes to a shoot like this, I find it incredibly important to plan ahead. I will research the location, know a little about everyone who will be on set, and have a good idea of the shots I want to come away with. Having already made notes on the characters before arriving, I drew up a quick storyboard that could be shared between myself, Alice and our models. Visuals, whether a quick sketch (well annotated due to my complete lack of drawing ability) and mood boards curated on Pinterest are the perfect way to ensure everybody is working towards the same goal. 
But as much as you can plan, it is always important to be flexible in your vision. As a natural light-photographer, even the position of the sun can drastically change the mood and tone of a scene. By keeping my eyes open on set, I often discover a stunning bit of scenery to shoot against that didn't come up on my original Google searches. 
I was lucky enough to have an amazing team who were ready to pull out all the stops to get the shots right, from crawling around on the floor to lying in shrubbery. Alice had also found us an amazing location in London, which just happened to be where our story was set.
The following photos are the end product of this photoshoot. This, in Alice's own words, is the tale of Beatrice and the Crocodile ...
Based in a future London – a world where the ice-caps have melted and the temperatures soar – most of Europe and Britain has transformed. Sea levels have risen, leaving cities as half submerged tropical lagoons. Buildings crumble and plants and animals take over. Most of humanity has moved further north to cooler climates, but a few people remain, refusing to leave their cities.
Beatrice Dahl is one of the last people living in London. She won't leave despite the weather conditions becoming more and more uninhabitable. She lives in an apartment that is damp and humid, with plants growing through the walls, but she fills it with paintings and artefacts. 
The Crocodile is a representation of nature reclaiming the earth as humanity fades away. She is elegant, beautiful and powerful, whilst Beatrice is frail in comparison. The Crocodile appears to Beatrice in a dreamlike hallucination. It is never known if she is a figment of Beatrice's imagination, or a creature of this tropical new world ...
Photography: @joannaclairesellick
Costume designer: @alicecostume
Models: @alexkaninip & @bethellenb
HMUA: @bethellenb
Assistant: eiko_costume