Working with Dita Von Teese was always on my bucket list. Since seeing Dita in a raft of publications i had liked how she embraced the fashion side of what she did and had that retro look. Today I was meeting her for the first time and a little anxious. Funny though you imagine that the person you respect to be someone else when you meet them but Dita was a lovely lady, very polite and gracious but knew exactly what she needed to do and above all what she was only going to do. As a brand she is very careful to make sure all is just so.

Logistically this was quite challenging

The location was hot and very windy and this was the VERY FIRST time where Dita would be working outside under these circumstances. This was good for me as it would allow my shots to be a first for her, however the pressure was on to deliver. Animals and Children I hear you say! This was the case in fact as getting the horse to the location and on set was challenging .

Dita was patient as we prepped all with light checks but all went well and we captured one of the most striking shots of the Calendar. It was a great vote of confidence to be given a business card by Dita’s agent with the instructions to contact her should we wish to shoot her again and thanking us for respecting her brand and ensuring the shoot went smoothly..



  • Temp: 30c
  • Camera: Hasselblad H4D
  • Lens: Hasselblad 24mm
  • Shutter: 1/350
  • Aperture: F8
  • ISO: 100
  • Any Problems: Breezy, high humidity, dust.

How it all mapped out.

The horse was the biggest challenge for us as was the weather. The weather also played havoc with Dita and her hair, this set in a precise way for her known look we had to battle in between gusts to get the shot, mixed with the fact that the horse that had been doped to keep him relaxed. If you look at the pre-post work you can see the horses ears and face looking a little bit worse for wear.

Production was beautifully laid on for us and included a slap up feast of fruit, cheeses, hams and nuts with so much to scoff on all day. It was a little difficult to indulge until the shoot was complete. Apart from our own camera and video kit plus the Broncolour Move pack we had everything else provided by the local Ibiza production crew.
Prior to this at the hotel Phil and I insisted that production be on site to make sure that Dita was catered for and that full production be laid on. Despite Marcos reassurance that as they ‘knew her all would be fine. We at Teamnader thought otherwise and remained professional throughout.


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

Lighting used to create the look was two lights in the Broncolor pack, one used to light the model and the other to illuminate the side of the horse. It was also cranked up to underexpose the background slightly and allow for fast shots with depth of field.

We needed 3 looks from the two hours with Dita, she was not too happy about shot three with the red plastic dress, the original idea given to us by the client was that Dita was to sit on the horse and lie forward. I was not prepared to shoot this as Dita was very uncomfortable with it and the fact that the horse had been given something to relax and that it was to be shot on the edge of a 100ft cliff.

Sometimes its important for us to work with the client to suggest that the initial idea may not work but also then to find a suitable solution which we did.
I did manage to shoot some of my own editorial head shots which the client decided later to use.