A few shots from a glamour shoot with Cara Brett. We shot in an unusual studio in Central London with a suspended room above the main area. There was no lighting in the room itself, it came via soft boxes bounced through 4 large windows in the room. It made an interesting effect, but left me with less control than I’d have liked, not sure I’d be tempted to use it again.
Here’s some photos from a shoot I did with Charlie Buckitt featuring Am-Statik Latex. I saw Charlie performing in her cabaret show The Late Night Shop wearing the wig she has on in the photos, & thought she’d be great to shoot, & happily wandering up to her in the bar afterwards worked. Turns out I’d met her a year before that & hadn’t recognised her, but to be fair she looks a bit different without the wig & face paint
Things I learned from this shoot :_
1) Tall girls in heels & a big wig are very hard to fit in front of my studio background without spilling over. I decided to make this a deliberate look .
2) Am-Statik make great latex. Actually I knew this already, but am happy to keep mentioning it.
3) Getting changed into latex takes a LOT longer than getting changed into underwear, it’s wise to allow more time accordingly.
4) Latex bunny ears are supercute
I’ve shot Jakki a number of times over the last few years, & she’s always great to work with. She has the best wardrobe of any model I know & always brings great styling ideas along with her. So I’ve started by ignoring the large suitcase she brought & shooting her naked apart from my own hat
She does actually have a fabulous pair of shoes on, as you’ll see in the next shot.
Another simple window shot with natural light, note the amazing shoes! It really would’ve been a crime not to get those in shot somewhere, & it’s a measure of just how fabulous they are that my eyes go straight to the shoes despite Jakki having forgotten to put any other clothes on!
Photography101: When shooting reflective surfaces, make sure you’re not in the reflected part of the shot! My failing to spot myself would have ruined this as a commercial shot, but makes for a lovely Facebook cover shot.
Clearly a circus theme going on here, I didn’t like the original much, but with a lot of processing I thought it came out looking interesting. With the flashes going off in my face I now understand how it feels for models on a daily basis! We had a completely different shot in mind, which didn’t work out as well as hoped, I’m very glad we tried this instead.
To be fair, it’s a pretty spectacular building, a church built in 1741, so we really should be able to get some half-decent shots around it!
This was a test shoot to try out some new ideas, so I’ll explain what I was doing as I go along. This first shot was interesting as I was still setting up my camera & it was very overexposed. I almost threw it out, but I really liked Sesca’s pose & particularly her eyes, so I had a go at editing it & came up with my favourite shot of the day.I’ve straightened it, removed the BBQ from the left side & darkened it, I’m really surprised how well it worked though!
Continuing an experiment I started while shooting Vicki Blatchley, these stairs look really boring in every way I’ve tried to light them before, but the use of a blue gel makes them far more interesting. There are two lights in shot, one with a wide reflector & a blue gel, & one spotlight for Sesca. You can see the lights in this shot.
These were taken as part of my ongoing Project Kitty with natural light. She does make a very sexy cat
Two more kitty pics, this time with a single spot to make a dull hallway look more interesting. I’m very keen to explore more ways to change the look of a room with lighting, it’s much cheaper than moving house!
Fun behind the scenes shot. My balcony overlooks a church & a creche, so much as I feel that the human body is naturally gorgeous & nothing to be ashamed of, it seems sensible to put up the screens. They also soften the light really well. & I laid a large reflector across the top to further diffuse it for the shots.
One of the photos from this shoot was my first ever published photo, so I guess it’ll always stay in my mind because of that. Rachel came out as part of an intense fortnight of shooting for publication; 12 girls in 2 weeks, out at sunrise & shooting till sunset, so long long days.
There’s nothing complicated about the lighting in these shots, where possible I’ll use shade & natural light, out on the beach I used a ring flash attachment that fits over the speedlite & gives a more even glow to the model. Most importantly, I used a polarising filter over the lens, which makes a huge difference in achieving a blue sky. Without it everything tends to bleach out (as you might find from your holiday snaps), but using a combination of the filter & a strong flash means you can let as little background light as possible into the camera, enabling the colours to stay saturated.
These images are from a beauty test shoot I did recently with Caroline Royce. The lighting set up I used had four lights, a beauty dish above & to camera left, a gridded soft box to camera right, a honeycombed snoot as a hair light, & a honeycombed reflector to light the background. It’s pretty standard, I found it on the internet myself the first time I used it.
The thing I find with lighting is that you can only get a very basic idea from books or the internet, if you set up exactly as they recommend, it’ll probably still look rubbish at first for the room & model you’re using at the time, so you always have to tweak it to get the desired result. Then, when you get some photos you’re happy with & think you’ve cracked it, another model comes in the next day with different skin tone & you have to start all over again.
I’m testing a lot with lights at the moment (if you’re an outstanding model & would like to test, please see this previous post), & what I hope to achieve is to get to a place where:-
a) Whenever the lighting looks wrong, I instinctively know how to correct it i.e. which lights need moving, or turning up/down. I’m improving vastly at this, but there’s still a certain amount of trial & error involved.
b) Ultimately, I’d like to be able to see any photo in a magazine, know how it was lit, & be able to reproduce it. This might take some time, as magazines can use some pretty complicated lighting set ups, but I intend to have fun trying
In these shots, the first one was there very first shot of the day, I hadn’t changed the camera settings from the previous day’s (natural light) shoot, so it’s very overexposed, & Caroline wasn’t even posing, but there’s something I like about it, so I’ve included it anyway. Sometimes interesting things can happen if you deliberately make things wrong (though this was an accident) & also by post processing in different ways, but I’ll be exploring that more in a subsequent post.
For the other shots, we tried to make it a little more interesting than just a straight head shot, by adding the tiara, mirrorball, fur & fluffles we had a range of textures against the skin. The fluffles are an underskirt belonging to Vina Green, she’s a writer & a very good one, you can check out her work here.
My favourite shot here is the one with her eyes closed, blowing a kiss. It shows off the make-up (& Caroline!) really nicely, while adding a sense of fun, & the fluffles suggest she’s in a bubble bath & blowing the foam. To me, anyway
Since I started the blog I’ve been happily surprised by the amount of people reading it, so I thought it’d be nice to say thank you & give you an incentive to keep coming back. So, for blog readers only, I’m offering shoots throughout April for just £320, a discount of £130 from my usual price of £450.
This includes hair, make-up, 4 changes of outfit & 8 fully retouched photos at my studio in E1. Shoots will last around 2 hours, but I don’t like to rush so we’ll take as long as we need.
To take advantage of this offer, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, & quote APRILBLOGOFFER. If you don’t put this in the email, ideally in the header, I’ll charge you the normal price.
I’d highly recommend getting in quick, existing bookings mean that places are very limited, & shoots must take place in April to qualify for the offer.
Looking forward to seeing you here in sunny Shadwell
During their day job adult stars are not always shot in the most flattering light. Having to have every part of them lit up means you can’t play with shadows the way I generally do, & the nature of the work means they’re not always shot from the best angles. So, the interest here is shooting them in a way they’re not normally shot, a softer, more flattering way.
Tanya Tate’s one of the UK’s best known adult stars, & has an amazingly well-toned body, so she seemed like a good place to start