If only all shoots were as good as this.
I put out a casting call on Model Mayhem and I’m really glad Becky was one of the volunteers. There was no grand aim – just get out and create some great shots. I brought my old film cameras and Becky brought the rest.
This is just the first part of the shoot – I shot two rolls of Portra which have yet to be processed so when they are I will upload the best of the colour shots.
What you see here is a mixture of Ilford FP4 rated at 400 ISO and pushed in the processing from a Mamiya 645 and a roll of Kodak T-Max 400 put through a Mamiya RB67.
I had another chance to work with a very similar team to my last shoot with the addition of Lilly, an aspiring model. The outfits were put together by Lucy Heather who really nailed the look!
Claire, our resident and very talented hairstylist, had the idea of a 50’s pin-up feel to the shoot and had got some locations and props together near her home in Woodcote. The weather started out so well on the day, blue skies with not even a cloud in the sky, but by the time the first models were made up and had their hair done the famous British weather started to show its true colours!! We weren’t to be deterred though and we tried to not let these rather rudely scheduled downpours put a downer on the mood. Besides, Claire was having none of it and demanded the sun be back out by 1pm and …it actually did!
One of the locations was a pumping station at a kind of builders yard in Woodcote – it had a real 40’s / 50’s feel to it and was a good backdrop with surprisingly nice light. We had a strict 30 minute time limit at the venue because it was open for business and where we were shooting was basically in the middle of the entrance where HGV’s would have been lumbering through. Despite the short amount of time we managed to get some nice shots with Lilly and Elena before shuttling back to see how Gemma, Suzanna and were getting on with their makeup.
It was off to do some fun shots of Suzanna riding the bike and then round the corner to a vintage phone box with Gemma. It was a pretty hectic day once it got going but it was great fun.
On Saturday the 17th I was fortunate enough to be invited backstage by Emma Bradbury of Daks of London to cover their prep for their spring / summer catwalk show at Somerset House. The designer of this collection was Sheila McKain-Waid. (http://www.londonfashionweek.co.uk/designer_profile.aspx?DesignerID=1417)
I was surprised to see just how many people were backstage to make this show a success. Teams of makeup artists, hair stylists, designers, photographers and show co-ordinators were milling about. There seemed to be somebody there to do everything including taking nail varnish of model’s toe nails! Everyone was working incredibly hard to have the models ready to go for 9am (whilst squeezing in a rehearsal walk) which can’t be easy when there were around 20+ models who were changing outfits mid way through the show. It wasn’t unusual to see 4 pairs of hands working on one model’s hair and make-up with touch-up happening to the last second before they hit the catwalk. 6 months work culminates in a show lasting just a few minutes so it has to be very well organised. Daks had to wrap up and vacate the backstage area by around 9.45 ready for the next fashion house (Jasper Conran) so ‘intense’ doesn’t quite do the whole thing justice!
There was a great atmosphere backstage and it was all very professional and surprisingly workmanlike. The models were amazing and as soon as they see a camera pointing at them are banging out pose after pose. They clearly love what they do but looking that good who wouldn’t!
The show was undoubtedly a great success and as an experience it was pretty amazing from my point of view.
One thing I love about photography is the fact that I get to work with other talented individuals – today has been great on that front.
I was asked to shoot Emma Bradbury’s MA Knitwear collection by a mutual friend and all round groovy hair stylist Claire Higgs from Toni & Guy Essensuals in Reading. The collection is inspired by Emma’s love of the Scotish Orkney and Shetland Isles and is also infused with a Tibetan flavour leading to some truly unique designs. All the scarves are finished by hand using a number of processes that lead each scarf to bear a unique design – every scarf truly is one of a kind.
Emma will be showing her work at two events in the near future:
Emma’s Blog is here: http://emmabradbury.com/
We all met at Emma’s house in Reading for 7am today where Claire and Laura got right to work on hair and makeup. Our models were Gemma, Elena and Suzanna. Emma’s Husband Tim kept us all supplied with hot coffee to help shake off the early start!
The moodboards for the shoot required a very diffused light and as luck would have it Emma’s house had a conservatory at the back that was a perfect lightbox for the shoot. I had brought a two head lighting kit with me but it simply wasn’t needed! The light stayed consistent through the morning making the shoot a lot easier than it would have been had we suffered from the vagaries of the British weather.
I shot the whole thing on a 5D Mk1 and the 50mm f/1.4 anywhere between f/2.8 and f/4 for a consistent and super sharp end result.
I had the opportunity to work with the lovely Madison Howard on Friday Madison contacted me originally via Model Mayhem looking for some portfolio shots with her new hair colour – pretty hard to miss I’m sure you’ll agree. There was a hippie vibe incorporated into the feel of the shoot and the final shots are quite unusual.
We were lucky with the weather. We had originally planned to meet the day before but we had torrential rain all day. Friday was fine and bright and as I sit writing this it’s chucking it down again so I’m glad we did this when we did. We did the shoot at Swinley Park in Bracknell in their beautiful forest. The setting sun’s rays were kind and gave us a few opportunities to use some evocative and atmospheric back lighting to add some mood to the shots.
I met up with Jade in Winchester. The idea was to go for a bit of a bohemian feel and use the banks of the river Itchen next to Winchester cathedral.
It was a fairly brief shoot but it resulted in some good shots. I really like shooting with fast lenses wide open or close to it to throw the backdrop out of focus. It’s worked to really good effect here with background foliage rendering as dreamy little splodges of colour.
I played around with a curves adjustment layer to shift the colours a touch and give the shots a bit more of a dreamy look.