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SHOOTING DIANA by JAMES with Supermodel Petra Nemcova

Working with the Super Model that is Petra Nemcova. Petra made the whole shoot run so smoothly. A consummate professional. Location wise the client wanted Stonehenge, Phil set to work liaising with English Heritage to acquire permissions (£1500 for one hour and full Public Liability insurance coverage) and within the hour he’d sealed the deal and we could progress after having picked up Petra from the airport to Stonehenge.

Call time for our shoot was 05:30, ensuring all members of the crew were on site, and final preps to makeup et al. My assistant and I set up ready, he molded torn cardboard for the tripod feet and lighting legs and gaffer taped them up (a requirement to ensure we didn’t damage the grass), I was pressed to find a good angle for the final composition and soon enough Petra was ready!

I was of course slightly apprehensive as I was shooting the famous Petra Nemcova. The lighting was simple as was the whole concept although trying to shoot with an imaginary moon in her hand was sounding a little challenging but visualisation is a great thing (No visuals were prepared or shown just hurriedly vocalised!)

PETRA NEMCOVA a Dream to work with

Petra is one of the world’s top models, and you might be inclined to expect an attitude, however, that couldn’t be further from the truth she was the most endearing and gracious lady we have worked with. Having seen the images I’d shot in Pula she was more than happy to work with me. I had created many great looks with the other models and these had both reassured and inspired her to fly over and become part of the calendar.


How our day went.

Our convoy pulled up by chance on the side of the road near to Stonehenge where the hay bales were. The client wanted me to create a Tuscan look which was a tall order as there were no tall Cyprus trees, however, the permission to shoot granted by the farmer allowed the staging of Diana.

The sun had gone but some interesting cloud formations had appeared and around 9.30am we started to shoot next to one large roll of hay. The team were tired and not many could imagine the completed effect as the client had not provided visuals. It was up to me and the team to visualise this for them.

Petra Nemcova was more than just a professional, her understanding of Diana was important. It needed strength to the shot. The dress made entirely from pigeon feathers was unusual and striking and really helped ensure the resulting shot was strong. The video below shows me working with her to create a strong and dramatic look turning this into a believable character. Displaying a soft sensuality and a steely stare she looked deadly!


STONEHENGE: The famous landmark agrees to shoot.

In the insert shot below you can see the intimate shoot, close up with the wide-angle lens allowed James to work up a great shooting relationship in a relatively short time. Feeling comfortable with the shoot, location and model was key and Petra kept a keen focus and what was needed. She believed totally in the concept and offered her own direction to the image taking.



james nader petra nemcova


  • Temp: 21c
  • Camera: Hasselblad H4D
  • Lens: Hasselblad 24mm
  • Shutter: 1/350
  • Aperture: F5.6
  • ISO: 50
  • Any Problems: just nervous at shooting Petra!!!


  • Photographer: James Nader
  • Senior Assistant: Phil Connor
  • TeamNader
  • Producer Marco Cormann – Lambertz
  • Styling – Lorand Lajos
  • Makeup – Chris Schild
  • Model: Petra Nemcova

petra by james nader

Petra Nemcova kills this image making it totally believable with her poise and motion. A little enhancement was needed to create the dramatic effect needed for the client and adding a warmer tone to the overall images sets that harvest time look. All post-production done by JNP in Photoshop

Some other shots used in the Lambertz Calendar

diana calendar images by james nader




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