Moody Lighting and a Modelling Portfolio

Becca came to me with a need for some more photos for her modelling portfolio, as her current ones were a few years old. The brief she gave me was simple yet strict, she wanted photos that show her modelling experience in the best way. The lighting she wanted was a low key style, with highlights and shadows, a step away from the flatter way I usually light images. Finally, she wanted a few different poses, some simple headshots and any other ideas that I could come up with. For me this was an exciting challenge, I have loved fashion images since I started uni and have always admired other photographers who work in this style. However I have always found my images to be fashion ‘styled’ as they are not as high fashion as the magazines!

But these images I feel, really made the difference.  With a little encouragement from Becca to push the boundaries with the lighting, and a beautiful model, I feel I have created some stunning fashion images. The other great thing about Becca was when I asked her about retouching the images, she told me that she wanted to look like ‘herself,’ she didn’t want me to make her any thinner or change her too much, just some simple skin editing. I really admired that as that is how I love to work, I am not some amazing retoucher and I haven’t had much practise, but more than anything I would hate to take a photo where the outcome looks so different to the beginning image.

What do you think? I personally love them!

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My New Branding and Promotional Photos

During my re-brand I decided that I should take my new camera and go and take some photos! I wanted something that showed how I like to photograph, my style, and at the same time show off all the things that I can do. I have a variety of things that I like to take pictures of and I wanted to show my abilities through these photos. I decided on Beauty headshots, Wedding, Boudoir and Editorial, these are all important to me for different reasons. Beauty headshots because they are really useful and heavily used by make up artists and models. Weddings because that is something I am marketing myself for – it is lovely to be part of someone’s big day. Boudoir because I absolutely love it, it’s classy and sexy and so much fun, I would love to make more people aware of how amazing having boudoir images taken can be. Finally, editorial because while I was at university I loved shooting fashion style images and would love to continue, probably mostly on a time for print basis, but I would love to shoot for print at some point too! I hope you love my images as much as I do!

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Deck The Halls

In the lead up to Christmas I knew I wanted to do a Christmas Shoot so as soon as my birthday was out the way I began planning it! I wasn’t totally sure what I wanted to do but I knew that is had to involved fairy lights, a Christmas tree and LOTS of sparkle! I love sparkle and sequins and I currently own three  sequin dresses bought at Christmas time for the last three years.

In the studio we set up blankets and a backdrop and tried to make the scene look as cosy as possible. The lighting was difficult to set up at first as I had real conflict about what I actually wanted. I had the idea of letting the tree lights shine and the image show a warm cosy room, but the model’s were not photographing well in this light. In the end I reverted to bright clean lighting which makes the models look stunning and lights up the image.

I am releasing one image everyday until Christmas Day on my Facebook page, and I will be  putting the rest of the images in a blog post after they have been released.

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Mannequin Project

My latest project is to use mannequins and I found a couple on Ebay. The black one came yesterday and hopefully the beige one will come today! I think it looks really good and is gonna be great for my project!

 

 

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My cinemagraphs first test

Ever since I first saw them, I have been so inspired by Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg’s Cinemagraphs. They are just so interesting and captivating.  I have been researching how to make cinemagraphs and actually made my first one in early 2012. I am planning on making some for my mixed media project at uni. Here is my prototype, it doesn’t quite loop as I didn’t have much time on it but I am please with the result!

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Looking into Fashion Advertising

Well it’s a few weeks into uni and I am already feeling the strain! I *think* I have decided to do my dissertation about fashion advertising and the way they advertise using different mediums of photography and film! A bit lengthy I realise but I really need something to sink my teeth into as my deadlines are only a few weeks away.

Anyway, while I have been working away I came upon a very interesting article which shocked me.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2071877/H-M-uses-models-created-computers-real-women-advertise-clothes.html

This article is all about how H&M use mannequins to advertise their clothes and digitally adding skin and hair to make them look like real models. I find this strange as wouldn’t it be much more work and bother than to get a few models in for the clothes?! Surely showing mannequins makes the clothing less ‘real,’ it falls in different ways to how it would on a human body and quite frankly it can just look weird.

The article says that H&M have commented and said that their message is clear ‘buy our clothes not our models’ but I think that is a fairly weak thing to say on such a controversial subject. I for one am not attempting to start a debate but do find it strange that they have not used human beings in this particular ad campaign, and if it was just to save money they should simply say so and avoid the media backlash.

My favourite online clothing sites are the ones that state the height of the model and the size of the clothing they are wearing so it is easier to compare yourself and work out how it will look on you. As much as I agree young girls can be impressionable and think they need to look like the models advertising the clothes, there are many tools out there that can help you decide whether a dress will suit you. For me, it is more about looking at how the clothing sits on a woman and using dressing fitting tools and virtual fitting rooms to see how it will look on me.

My final thought on the subject is why take the fun out of fashion photography. At this rate no one will need models because we can graphically design them to be whatever we want them to be, boring or what? I only hope this does not become a trend or I may be out of a job, I wouldn’t have thought those mannequins were much fun to photograph, what with their bubbly personalities!

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Piglet’s snuffle truffles!

In the second installment of my baking adventures with Disney baking magazine I decided to do something a little bit more simple than the Mickey cookies last time. I was really tired from working and London Fashion Week so I wanted something quick and easy. By the time I was finished I felt like this;

Miles Aldridge
http://www.image.ie/Real-Women/My-Books/Miles-Aldridge/

I had received the second and third issues with the gifts in the post. I also got the binder, it’s lovely but so fiddly to put together!

I love love love the Winnie the Pooh moulds so I decided to make chocolates with them. I bought some chopped hazelnuts which I put in the mixture as I love chocolate and nuts!

 

 

 

 

They could be a little more refined, to be honest we were a little bit sloppy with them but I LOVE them! They look so cute and they would be perfect party favours or something like that. The only thing that I was not sure of was that we made too much chocolate and ran out of moulds! They don’t take long to set so you could make a few.
We also made Piglet’s Snuffle Truffles which has the cutest name! They were so yummy and only took about 10 minutes to put together, but about 2 hours to set! They were a bit of a nightmare because we made them at about 8pm and had to wait to set. I think we could have let them set a little more before rolling them into balls because they were a little sticky! You are supposed to dust them in pink icing sugar but we couldn’t find any colouring ( sad face). we instead used cocoa powder and chopped hazelnuts. They were delicious and they even got the seal of approval from my mum who has been looking for the perfect truffle for years!

 

I forgot to take a picture but here’s what they should look like!

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Miles Aldridge, reviving my degree!

After the fashion show on Saturday a friend of mine suggested we see the Miles Aldridge exhibition and I am soooooo glad that I did. I’m also kind of sad I didn’t pick up a poster too!

http://www.somersethouse.org.uk/visual-arts/miles-aldridge-i-only-want-you-to-love-me

“Women and colour are Aldridge’s twin obsessions.   His work is filled with glamorous, beautiful women from dazed housewives and decadent beauties to sunbathing sexpots and ecstatic Virgins. Luscious colours dazzle from every image – blood red ketchup splashes against a black and white floor; a mouth drips with gold; egg yolk oozes across a plate.  But the technicolour dream world of seemingly perfect women with blank expressions belies a deeper sense of disturbance and neurosis.  Look more closely and there is silent screaming, a head pushed down on a bed, a face covered in polythene, a woman pushing an empty swing.”

It was so inspiring to see the sort of work that I wanted to create. I loved the bright colours, how flawless it was and just how ‘fashiony’ it looked. And it struck me then and there, I WILL do fashion photography for the final part of my degree.

My lecturers have said that fashion has an emptyness to it and a lack of soul or meaning but I really feel that these images speak out. If I can get mine to do that to then I will be proud to present them as my final project. As far as a subject for my photography goes, I am unsure, but what I do know is that it will be fashion portraits and it will be beautiful.
I cannot say much more about the exhibition except there is loads to look at, it is beautiful and you should go see it!
Although one thing that Aldridge’s images have made me feel is a little bit inadequate in terms of retouching and ‘airbrushing’ if any of my photographer can give me some tips on how best to retouch my work would be greatly appreciated!

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London Fashion Weekend!

Soooooooo on Saturday I got up really early and headed of to London Fashion weekend! Someone made me aware of the free passes that Park Cameras were giving out on a first come first served basis. As soon as the website opened I signed up and got a place. I was so excited as I had never done anything like this before!

We had to meet at the hotel and bring our signed waiver which said that we had to act accordingly and could not sell our images or use them commercially. Once we were there we were led to a private meeting room for a short talk and were given our passes. May I just say that the staff at the One Aldwych Hotel were so nice an accomodating!

I was really excited to get a press pass and it made me feel very important haha!
We had a talk about the best settings for our camera, our DOs and DON’Ts and general information about the show. Again, the Canon staff were so friendly and made sure that we were happy with our cameras and felt comfortable at the show.
We were then led to Somerset house and allowed into the press pit by the catwalk. I was a bit disappointed that there was not a raised catwalk this year, but I was impressed all the same. These are a few images I snapped while waiting outside.

 

 

When the fashion show started I didn’t know what to expect but it was definitely fast! I liked the fact that we sat through two shows of the same collections which meant that we had chance to practice! The Canon staff were on hand at all times to help and this made everyone seem calmer and happier. We were told once we had chosen a spot not to move from it, but there were places at the back that were ample to move from side to side or even step down if you wanted to. I stayed to the left between two people for the first show and had a good angle. However for the second show people just seemed to get in my way and I had to spend a lot of time with my lens zoomed right in so as not to get anyone else’s head in!
Mostly everyone was really friendly and it was nice to meet other photographers and find out what they do. Here is a couple of sneak peeks I sent my friend during the break.
Can I also point out that free Bueno chocolate bars were being given out before and after the shows?! Free chocolate!
The collections themselves were interesting and eye catching although I must admit I didn’t get much chance to look while photographing. My favourite collection was the Pretty In Pink which was so beautiful to capture with the lighting and the soft pastel colours. So beautiful!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you like my images, I was really proud of them especially for the first time I have ever done anything like that. I used a 70-200mm 2.8 lens which I hired from LensesForHire. I will be doing a blog post review on them.
After the show I took a look around with my press pass and went to a gallery (which I will blog too).
Overall it was an amazing day and I definitely want to go next year. I also got interviewed by Canon, cringe! So if that goes anywhere I will be sure to post it here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Photographing BHS Fashion Show

I am off to London Fashion Weekend today so I will leave you with another fashion shoot I have done recently!

I had the very good opportunity to photograph the BHS Chelmsford Autumn / Winter 2013 Collection Fashion Show. It was on Wednesday 18th and proved to be a very good night!

There was a Millie’s Cookies stand, a beautician, collections for Farley Hospice and a Fashion Show. I especially liked the cookie samples and the beauticians demonstration!

I took a fair few images of the event and used the lens that I hired from LensesForHire, which is a Canon 70-200mm 2.8 and absolutely beautiful! I really want one now but will be out of my price range for a while! I will be doing a review on the lens and the service in a few days time once I have returned it.

The BHS staff were the ones who walked in the show and they did a great job, in the second show I asked them to strike a pose at the end and this helped me get even better shots.

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