Femme Victorieux

Back in ’42, Bonnie Louise and Ruth Gold were the deadliest spies the British Secret Service had ever seen. Together they took down the seedy fat cats, notorious mobsters and double crossing, dirty dealing warlords of every major city in the world. Now, 11 years later, they live ordinary lives with ordinary jobs and faithful husbands… but for how long?


The phone rings and she can already feel it. ‘Bonnie,’ a voice she knows all too well says.
‘Bonnie, its me… I need your help.’

 

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Bethan Davidson lit by a single flash from the right. We pulled the curtains to get more control of the light.

 

‘It’s been going on for a while now, Bon. I watch him drop her off, kiss her goodnight- and he thinks I don’t know…’

 

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By just opening the curtains a little bit we can get a slit of light painting beautiful shadows on Matilda Wickham.

 

‘I see. So what do you need me to do?’

 

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Bethan Davidson in the same spot by the window. The side light illuminates her face from the front, while creating beautiful shadows on her back.

 

‘I want him dead’
‘Ruthie…’
‘No Bon. I don’t deserve it. I gave him my heart-‘
‘Okay’
‘Okay?’

 

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By turning the body away from the light Beth’s face becomes the brightest part of the photo.

 

‘Let’s do it. One last time’

 

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I like this silhouette shot of Beth. The original photo was slightly brighter, but I darkened it to make the background disappear completely, making it more dramatic.

 

The plans have been made and it will all be over by tomorrow night.
But Ruth can’t help but wonder if she’s making a mistake.

‘Maybe.. If he could just explain…’

 

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Matilda by the window. We did several shots here, but what I like about this one is the pose and how the light paints the outline of the face.

 

Meanwhile, Bonnie finishes the evening with her own mysterious lover.
“It’s been wonderful darling”
“Stay…”
“I can’t”
“Just for a little while”
“I really mustn’t-” she hesitates
“Please?”
“Oh if you insist”

 

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A cheeky leg.

 

“Bonnie Louise, you are quite something.” But before she can reply, the door flies open and standing there is Ruth.

 

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We left the room to the bathroom to get light on Beth from the side. The light was a bit poor, which gave the grainy look to the photo.

 

And if looks could kill…
“It was you-” she falters
“Want do you want me to say Ruthie?”
And for a moment she is blinded by rage “nothing”

 

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I like how Beth’s face in the mirror is framed by Matilda and Beth in the foreground. By lighting the wall in the background and leaving the foreground in shadows, her face really pops out.

BANG! BANG!

 

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Matilda and droplets of perfume lit by a flash from behind.


Everyone she ever cared about is gone.

“Is it me?” She wonders “do I push them to betray me?”
But deep down she knows she’s just been dealt a bad hand.

 

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Playing around with the framing and leaving a lot of negative space.

 

“Goodbye Richard. Goodbye Bonnie Louise.”

 

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Matilda Wickham

 

And just like that, Ruth Gold as we knew her, is gone.
As far as anyone will ever know, she died along with her husband and best friend.

 

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We finished off the photoshoot outside. I like how the wind ruffled the hair on Matilda’s head as she walks across the Mathematical Bridge at Queens’ College.

 

Just as she begins to feel afraid of empty road ahead, the sun peaks over the horizon and a wave of relief washes over her as she realises – she is free.

 

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One last photo of Matilda, before she had to return to the ADC Theatre to prepare for the last show of Girls Like That.

 

Many thanks to Bethan and Matilda for a fun themed photoshoot!

— Johannes

 

 

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