God’s Own Junkyard has been on many a photographer’s list of dream location – including mine – since it opened and on a very, VERY rainy day last November, I finally got to cross it off. I went on this shoot experience through 36exp Photography, which meant we had private access to the whole venue. AMAZING.
While the models were having their hair and make-up done, we got to have a little snoop around the neon. I’d been to God’s Own Junkyard before, but I hadn’t had the opportunity to REALLY look. And what a place it is. There’s a tiny neon church in a shed, there’s a HUGE disco ball, and just about anything else you could imagine in a neon sign. Honestly, that place was an an absolute dream.
We split into groups once the models were ready, taking a different model and area of the venue each. My group started over by the sofa and the HUGE wall of neon signs. We had some LED lights set up to give us an extra boost of light, as well as some colour gels to really set the mood. The disco ball and Dog House sign were easily my favourite areas to shoot. The SASS. The 80’s vibe. I was in LOVE.
After this, we headed over to a more cabin style area, with wooden panelling and a beautiful blue sofa with union jack cushions (which all really added to the retro styling). I felt here like we could get a bit more dynamic and we ended up creating some of my favourite shots of the day.
The last area we played with before we swapped groups was a little nook in what’s usually the cafe area with a giant disco ball in it. Time to get creative. I’d brought a prism with me, which I knew would come in handy for the day. But this just seemed perfect.
After swapping models, we moved onto the neon church area, which had a BEAUT chaise longue and a Chanel angel. What more could you want? This had a much more modern, almost punky feel to it – and I was now fully in my element.
We moved over to a huge sign on the wall saying GOD SAVE THE QUEEN on a union jack made of lightbulbs – which, paired with my model’s punky outfit, gave me full Sex Pistols vibes. Next up was a little table in front of a HUGE sign saying Trouble. My favourite sign, hands down.
For our last swap, we made use of the super cool cafe area. Dark patterned tables, a wall FULL of smaller, edgier pieces. My new model was dressed in a faux fur jacket and dark jumpsuit. It was the perfect time to take more of an alternative fashion angle. After that, we moved back over to our starting point – the high walls filled with neon. Back out came the prism. These shots were much more goth-meets-fashion and honestly I was there for it.
Shooting at God’s Own Junkyard was one of the most creatively inspiring things I’ve done as a photographer. It was a long day, but also completely worth the back ache. Also getting completely drenched on the way there. But you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.