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(Inside Cardiff Castle… with Jack S)

Jack S met us at our hotel, Cathedral 73, and the plan was to shoot outside in the neighbourhood (Pontcanna) and then do some shots inside the room. But when Jack arrived he had another idea… “If it’s alright with you, I thought we could shoot in the castle”, he said.

I assumed he meant ‘at’ the castle, not ‘in’ the castle, meaning outside it, in Bute Park with the castle as a backdrop. So I asked him to clarify. “It’s ok, I can get us inside. I’ve worked there for six years. It’s no problem." 

I was pretty sure that lighting would be tricky, so we might get some grainy pictures (I wasn’t gonna bring flash equipment inside as we’d have to keep a low profile and stay out of the way), but I wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to get inside a castle. So we took the ten minute walk to the castle and we entered through a back door, up a steep and cramped spiral staircase, and found various rooms to shoot in, waiting for tour groups to vacate them so we wouldn’t disturb anyone.

On more than one occasion we were spotted though and fiercely shouted at by security and one particularly angry tour leader as to what we were doing and who we were. Usually this happened when Jack was hiding in a cupboard changing clothes. "We’re with Jack” I’d cry, then get excused with a sort of look that said they were dying to cart us off in handcuffs just for some rare excitement. 

When we got back to the hotel, the lighting was superb, sun streaming in through the many windows, and the picture quality was all the better for it. But the castle pics were just too special which is why they take centre stage in the main mag. The indoor ones were lovely though, and I wanted to show them, which is why Jack S got an Elska Ekstra e-zine to his name. Definitely this experience was a highlight of Cardiff shoot week, really unforgettable. Thanks, Jack!

See more of Jack and read his story in Elska Magazine Issue (07) Cardiff, available at www.elskamagazine.com

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