Neon Nights

Recently I've wanted to do a shoot using only coloured gels and thankfully I got my chance, if you see my other blog posts you'll see that I recently purchased the new Broncolor Siros L pack and I have to stay that they made this shoot a lot easier that it would have been without them.

This shoot was a busy one and so we didn't have much time for behind the scenes images, so we have put together some sketches of the lighting setups which I will explain below. This shoot which was to be called 'Neon Nights' was shot with model Anja and Georgina Davies who did the hair/makeup and styling. The idea for this shoot was to start out shooting in a hotel before heading outdoors as it got darker to capture some night time shots.

The first set up we did was in the hotel rooms lounge area, as this was the first shot of the day it was still bright outside but I wanted it to feel like it was night time and so we placed one strobe off camera right, angled downwards and covered with a magenta gel facing the model, we then placed another strobe also off camera right, angled downwards but covered with a blue gel, this strobe was set so that it would shoot light across the background whilst also creating a bit of a rim light for the model. The final and main light to this set up was placed off camera left, using barn doors with a grid so that we were able to control the spill of light keeping it on the model and not the background. For this strobe I did not use a gel so that I could retain some of the natural skin tones.

Here is a behind the scenes image along with a sketch of the full room set up, below that is the final image.

For the second set up we moved to the bathroom where the Broncolor lights really came in handy. In the bathroom there were no plugs and I wanted to have the door closed luckily because the broncolor strobes are wireless and run off a battery this was not a problem. The bathroom had a lovely glass sink which allowed me to place one of the strobes directly underneath it blasting light upwards illuminating the model, some of the sink and walls. The second strobe was placed outside the bathroom, covered with a blue gel and blasted through the door which was diffused glass allowing a soft light to fill the bathroom.

Here is a sketch of the set up along with the final images. For the second image the light outside of the bathroom remained the same but the strobe underneath the sink was held high up, off camera left and directed at the model.

First bathroom set up

First bathroom set up

Moving to the bedroom three lights were used for this set up. The first light was placed off camera right and used the barn doors modifier again, this strobe was also covered with a purple gel. The second strobe was placed off camera left and covered with a blue gel, for the final strobe I used a snoot to really focus the light onto the models face and body without effecting the environment.

Below are some of the room images including a sketch of the set up.

By the time we finished this set it was dark enough and we ventured outdoors to a few locations to get some outdoor images.

For these outdoor shots I used only a speed light covered with a small, light purple gel, the rest of the light came from the neon lights in shop windows and street lamps.

Here is a sketch of one of the outdoor shots including the final image.

Check out the full editorial below, there are more set ups however I did not want to overload you with sketches :) so hopefully this will help give you an idea of what was done to make the other images you see below.

'NEON NIGHTS'

Model: Anja Kuligowska

Hair, makeup and styling: Georgina Davies

Emilie

Here is a quick behind the scenes look at one of my recent shoots…

In this first image I used a small silver beauty dish with a grid as my main light, this light was placed high up above the model and tilted at a downwards angle to add some contrast to the image, I then used a small silver umbrella off camera left to fill in some shadows and lastly far off camera right in front of the studio windows I used a large octabank with a diffuser to wash some light over the entire scene. (The second beauty dish facing away from my model is not turned on and is instead left in the scene to add to an earlier image that was taken as you will see in the final images below.)

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And the result:

Even though Emilie is standing up the lighting set up remained exactly the same.

Even though Emilie is standing up the lighting set up remained exactly the same.

For the second look I kept the octabank where it was in front of the studio window but this time it was to be used as my main light, I then moved the silver beauty dish slightly off centre, to the right, to help fill in some of the shadows whilst still adding more contrast. Lastly off camera left is the silver umbrella which helped fill in the shadows on the grey background.

And the result...

For the image below my lighting stayed the same but I switched to my macro lens in order to get a close up.

For my final lighting set up I moved my model against the opposite wall and placed the octabank off camera left as my main light, I then placed the beauty dish to the right of my model in front of the window to add some more punch to the image.

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And the result:

Check out the final images from the shoot below:

Model: Emilie Johansen

MUA/Hair Stylist: Georgina Davies

Tom Riley

Recently I put together a photoshoot in London, the idea being to capture images in various locations around the city. London is very busy most of the time and so I wanted to start this shoot early in the morning where we would have only the early morning joggers to worry about and with the help of my new broncolor siros L lights I knew moving around would be a breeze.

I booked a lovely hotel close to the where we would be shooting, it had a amazing view over the river and so I knew it would fit in perfectly with the shoot.

The first location was near the hotel underneath a nice arched bridge I spotted when scouting locations a few weeks prior to the shoot. The bridge lights were surprisingly bright and because of this I was able to use one as my main light and use my Broncolor Siros L strobe as a hard fill light. Below you can see some behind the scenes images and see how strong the light was, the strobe is off camera left.

Here are the finished images.

Then as the sun rose it was on to our second location which was to be outside of a coffee shop, it had started to rain a little bit and so I was slightly worried as I definitely wanted to capture some images outside but luckily the little bit of rain was temporary. Once we reached the coffee shop we set up outside, the staff were really friendly and even provided us with a cup of tea to use :)

For this set up I used a silver beauty dish as my main light, on my camera I used a ND filter allowing me to use a wider aperture so that I could create some separation even with Tom being so close to the wall.

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Here are the final images, on the second image the lighting remains the same the only thing that changes is my position.

Next to the coffee shop was a large open square which looked fantastic and so I had Tom walking towards me and away again while I continued shooting so that I could capture a fluid motion.

Here's me demonstrating how to walk, as if people need to be told! Below that is the final image.

For this set up I used my 24-105mm f/4L lens to give me more flexibility. My strobe is off camera left lighting the right side of Tom's face and giving me a strong shadow on his left side.

Next we headed back to the hotel and changed outfit before heading out to the next location. This location was nice, it had a row of trees with street lamps on the other side which went back into the distance, in these shots I wanted to go for a casual look and so I had Tom again walk towards me so that I could catch some movement rather than a static shot.

We found a good section of the wall to capture a few portraits, for these shots I used a 50mm f/1.4 lens, again we used a silver beauty dish high up, off camera left and angled down to create a nice hard light and some deep shadows.

Lastly we headed back to the hotel where I planned to take advantage of the beautiful view. For this set up I used a large Elinchrom Octabank placed very close to my subject and feathered slightly helping to give a nice soft quality of light and a bare strobe on the lowest power setting, behind camera to create some fill light.

Below is the final image and a diagram of the lighting setup.

I really enjoyed this shoot, everything came together nicely and we were able to walk away with some really great shots, above all I am glad it did not rain! 

Thanks to Tom for being a great model and so open to ideas and as always thank you to Georgina for her incredible assistance on this shoot. You can check out the full selection of images below.

Model: Tom Riley                                                                      

MUA: Georgina Davies

Autumn Sun

The idea I had in mind for this editorial was to shoot mainly outdoors with a mix of studio. I wanted this shoot to have a natural effortless feel and so I set out to find a suitable outdoor location. Along with Georgina I ventured into a large country park that we knew well, this time we went deeper in than we had before and I'm glad we did as we came across some great locations, the problem was that it was a very overcast day when scouting, it even began to rain heavily just before we found the last location.

As I planned this shoot to be a on a sunny day which the forecast ahead said it would be I had to use a bit of imagination as to what the scenes would possibly look like with sun light running across them. Here are some of the scouting images:

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Happy with the locations we found I began looking for our model. Usually it can take me days when trying to find the right model for a shoot but after only a few hours of searching I came across Tiana. Tiana was tall, beautiful and had lovely natural curly hair, she was perfect for what I had in mind. I reached out to her and thankfully she was interested in working with me on this shoot. With my model secured, I booked a studio not far from the outdoor location so that we wouldn't have too much travelling time between both. Georgina then began deciding on makeup ideas and looking at outfits for the shoot, she managed to find outfits that suited the natural warm feel I was going for which was great.

The next tricky part came when deciding how I was going to tie the studio images together with the outdoor ones. I came across a green background paper which at first I was hesitant about using as I felt it might be too on the nose but in the end I decided to go for it.

On the day of the shoot we got into the studio, I put on some music and Georgina got to work on the hair & makeup. I began shooting the first look and I’m happy to say the green paper worked out great, it was a very light green which became even brighter when the strobes hit it and so it was perfect for what I wanted. For these shots I used a two light setup, I used a large octabank with diffuser, high up, angled down and off camera right for a soft wash of light over Tiana and I used a small gridded beauty dish behind Tiana for a harder rim light.

The studio also had an infinity cove so without having to waste time changing papers it was nice to get some seamless shots as well.

The studio also had an infinity cove so without having to waste time changing papers it was nice to get some seamless shots as well.

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Here's an image of the full seamless set up:

For the main light I used a large octabank, high up, tilted down at an angle and off camera right, for my background I used to square softboxes at even heights and lastly I used the black sides of two polystyrene boards (which definitely looked like an animal of some kind had taken a bite out of them 😬) to swallow up some of the light and control the amount of spill onto my subject. (For the black and white image present in the final editorial images, I kept the setup the same but simply turned off my main light.)

After a few more outfit changes it was a wrap at the studio, so we loaded back up the cars and set off. As we drove the sun came out in full force and I was very excited to get shooting. We reached the location in good time and began carrying the equipment to the first location. The outfits Georgina had chosen for this setup worked beautifully along with the sunlight which enhanced the scene.

Next was the lake shot which I was very excited about, Tiana was a trooper and got straight in, I'll admit I was more reluctant to wade into the water but once in we began shooting and I loved every minute of it.

Lastly we moved onto the final setup of the day which was to be the tree shots, I loved the look of this tree the first time I saw it and I was happy to see it looked even nicer with streaks of sunlight running through it. The clouds had begun to move over head blocking out the sun for minutes at a time and so I used the extra time to get my lighting where I wanted it, then as the sun peaked through the clouds all there was for me to do was measure for the ambient light and adjust my strobe settings accordingly.

From the previews alone I could see the images were looking great, Tiana moved really well, changing after each shot, the only time I had to stop was whenever the sun would disappear behind the clouds again. This shot was a simple setup, I used a large octabank just behind me, off camera left as my main light and I used the sun behind my subject as my backlight, the rest was just balancing the two for the exposure I wanted.

Here is the finished image:

Lastly I had recently seen Tarzan in the cinemas and really loved a scene where Margot Robbie and Alexander Skarsgård were in a tree in formal clothing it was a nice mix of everyday wear (in the 1800's) and nature. Although we weren't in a jungle... or the 1800's I still liked the idea and so I asked Tiana if she wouldn't mind climbing onto the tree and just like the lake before I had even finished my sentence she was already half way up! 

The sun filtering through the trees was creating some lovely light streaks and I wanted to keep those in the shot and so I moved my octabank far away from my subject directly in the direction of the sun and put it on a low power setting to just help give the light that was already there a little kick.

Here was the final image:

This was another fantastic shoot and we came away with some fantastic images. A big thank you to Tiana for being so open to ideas and easy to work with and as always a big thank you to Georgina for not only the hair & makeup but also her assistance on this shoot.

Check out the full editorial below:

Shades of Spring for Elegant Magazine

I recently put together a shoot with actress and model Summer Clover and my frequent collaborator Georgina Davies. Unlike the other shoots I have done in the past I wanted to go seasonal for this project so with timings in mind I decided to go for a spring themed shoot, which involved a large hedge and LOTS of flowers.

The flowers we chose were all spring flowers Daffodil’s, Pansy Blossoms, Tulip’s, Daisy’s, etc… they each had different colours and so we decided that it might be great if we matched the colours of the outfits with that of the flowers. For one thing it would give a nice cohesion to the editorial which is never a bad thing and for another it looked nice :). So agreeing on this idea we began to put the shoot together, we sourced flowers, a hedge and outfits that we thought would work best with each flower. I wanted if possible for each outfit to almost represent a different personality, each flower is different and so I wanted each image to feel slightly different as well.

I knew from the start that I wanted to submit this editorial for publication and I’m happy to say that it was accepted by Elegant magazine and published in their April issue.

Check out the editorial below

Here's a picture of the editorial printed in Elegant Magazines April issue.

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Suite Intentions for Elegant Ink Magazine & Winner of PDN's 'The Body Competition'

I recently did a shoot in November with the intention of submitting to a magazine for publication. For the shoot I found a nice hotel suite in London unfortunately the check in time was late into the afternoon so I knew I would not have much time prior to the shoot to scope out the room, so instead I tried to gather as much information as I could from the images on the hotel website. For the most part the images helped a lot in that I was able to see what the room looked like and plan my ideas to fit certain areas in the space, what the images did not help me to do was be able to tell the exact size of the room for instance how high the ceilings were and how much space I would have for lighting and moving about etc…

Here is an initial sketch of my idea for the bed scene there are of course more but I won’t overload you with terrible art :)

From these I was able to at least visualise how I wanted the images to look and feel.

From these I was able to at least visualise how I wanted the images to look and feel.

The next thing to do was find a model. After looking around I came across Kristiana, Kristiana was tall, beautiful and had various tattoos, each of these things accumulated together to create a fantastic look and so although I had not started this editorial with a tattooed model in mind seeing Kristiana encouraged me to adjust my ideas. The good news was Elegant Magazine who showcase many fashion and beauty editorials from great photographers around the world also have a tattoo section to their brand, Elegant Ink. This was perfect for me as I knew that the magazine would still require the shoot to be fashionable as well as elegant ;) whilst still showing off Kristiana’s tattoo’s and so I reached out to her explained my ideas, what I wanted to do and was happy to find that she was excited for us to work together. After ironing out all the details I was able to start preparing for the big day.

As it was late into November in London the sun was setting very early in the day and so I took into consideration prior to the shoot that by the time outfit selection and hair and make-up was done we could possibly have lost all of the natural light from outside however having this editorial move from morning to night was important for me and so to imitate natural daylight I used a large octabank with a diffuser as my main light, it worked better than I could have hoped and the room lit up as if it were morning.

Here you can see a bit of the large octabank high up, off camera right lighting the scene. If you look back at the images above you can also see just how much of a difference the octabank made to the look and feel of the final images.

Here you can see a bit of the large octabank high up, off camera right lighting the scene. If you look back at the images above you can also see just how much of a difference the octabank made to the look and feel of the final images.

Following the story we moved onto evening and so I took a different approach to the lighting, for the couch set up I used a gridded beauty dish high up, off camera right and pointed down at a 120 degree angle as my main light, the large octabank was used far back off camera left at it’s lowest power setting to fill in some shadows and a final light was used behind the couch to emulate light coming in from the corridor and again fill in some shadows. Another reason a gridded beauty dish was used as my main light was because above the couch there was a small lamp creating a nice hair light above the model and I wanted to keep as much of it in the image as possible and so by using the gridded beauty dish I was able to direct the light exactly where I wanted it whilst keeping in some of the ambient light as well.

Here is a diagram of the lighting set-up with the final image below.

Here is a diagram of the lighting set-up with the final image below.

The bathtub scene was a to be a beauty scene, I initially planned to do a triple merger with Kristiana approaching the bath tub, undressing and entering the bath however in the end it worked better just having the beauty images. To light these I used the octabank far back, off camera left at a a 90 degree angle to wash light over the scene, I then used the gridded beauty dish also off camera left, just above Kristiana and angled down at a 120 degree angle to light her face and body this light was my main light.

If you look into her eyes you will be able to see the position of the beauty dish.

If you look into her eyes you will be able to see the position of the beauty dish.

This shoot was a special one for me as it was the first time I decided to go for a magazine submission and I am very happy that this shoot was excepted and published. I have many more ideas jumping around in my crazy head and I can’t wait to try them out, I am looking forward to more shoots in the new year and many more publications.

Elegant Magazine

Elegant Magazine

Check out the full set of images below.

Model & Make-up: Kristiana Zaula                                                                                                                                                   Hair: Georgina Davies

Have a Happy New Year everyone!

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Update: I am happy to announce that this editorial has been chosen as one of the winners of PDN'S the Body Competition. It is an honour to have my work chosen and I couldn't think of a better way to enter 2017. 

You can check out the winners gallery here:

http://www.shutterloveonline.com/contest_galleries/thebody/2016/#main

Gabriela

Recently I decided to set up a shoot to refresh my portfolio which is always a good thing to do every now and again. For this shoot the theme I chose included a lot of black and white and so I really wanted to capture some emotive expressions to help the images stand out, I explained my ideas to Gabriela (and explained that Georgina would be continuously spraying her with water) but she was more than happy to try them out. 

We did our first set up over a white backdrop using a large octabank as my main light, a gridded beauty dish as my rim light and two small soft boxes to light the background.

We did the second set up over a dark grey backdrop and here is where I feel the images really came to life. Gabriela posed and moved really well so it only took a little direction here and there from me and we began capturing what I feel are some of the best images from the day. For this setup I used a small gridded beauty dish as my main light, high up off camera left and tilted at a 90° angle, another gridded strobe with barn doors to help direct the light as my rim light and finally a small soft box off camera right at a low setting just to fill in some of the shadows.

Here is a behind the scenes look of the earlier set-up, the two strobes lighting the background were later switched off and the main light changed to the beauty dish for a darker image.

Here is a behind the scenes look of the earlier set-up, the two strobes lighting the background were later switched off and the main light changed to the beauty dish for a darker image.

I later decided to pull out my mamiya and snap a few film shots which I love, forever a slave to to seeing my images instantly it was a little nerve racking waiting for the film to develop but I’m happy to say they turned out great!

Here are a few:

I had a great time on this shoot, I got to try out some new ideas and give my portfolio a boost at the same time. I'm looking forward to the next :)

Model: Gabriela Bohacova                                                                                                          

MUA:  Georgina Davies

Image courtesy of Gabriela

Image courtesy of Gabriela

Roxanne

Check out some of the images from my shoot with Roxanne below.

Happy 2015!

Happy New Year!

Well it’s that time again, another great year has passed and it’s the beginning of a new promising year!

I’m happy to start this year off with images from my latest shoot.

I was lucky enough to photograph two very talented dancers Adam and Jasmine, something that I have wanted to do for a very long time. The first challenge was deciding on the style of dance I wanted to capture, both dancers were trained in various styles so I was spoilt for choice. Researching a few styles I came upon Pas De Deux and immediately knew it was the one. There is great movement and a sense of connection between both dancers that I wanted to capture and so we set to work.

The second challenge was deciding on how best to light both dancers, I wanted to not only light them well but also maintain shadows in the correct places to help create drama. I used a four light set up to achieve the look of the images below, a large octabank feathered off to the side as my main light, a small gridded beauty dish as my rim light and two soft boxes to light the background:

Me being me, I couldn’t let Adam and Jasmine escape without getting some portraits of them, for this we used two different backdrops with two different styles of clothing.

Luckily their chemistry flowed into their portraits as well as they did while dancing and we captured some great images. Check them out below…


I had a lot of fun shooting Adam and Jasmine and look forward to some creative shoots such as this throughout the year.


Happy 2015 everybody!

Duvall

It's always great when you get to work with someone who has an energy all of their own and very recently that’s exactly what I got to do. I had the pleasure of working with an artist/music producer called Duvall who I have known for a few years now making this particular shoot much more fun for the both of us.

I would usually speak about what lighting set-ups and modifiers I used but to be honest beyond all the equipment and lighting techniques the thing that I feel made this shoot a success was how open Duvall was to trying things out and funny enough when left to his own devices he gave me some of the best expressions I’ve seen in a long time.

Check out some of the images from the shoot below:

The first set-up was at a location I had stumbled upon a few days previously, it was a quiet area with a canal but what drew me to it was the two red bridges.

The second set-up was done over a white seamless backdrop with the aim of turning the images black and white later on in post. For these images we wanted real dynamic expressions and poses.

For the final set-up we shot over a black backdrop to better emphasize the coloured CTO gels we were using along with the haze machine.

Light & Shadow

For this shoot I planned to shoot indoors which was a good idea seeing as it had poured down non stop the day before and the day of the shoot which would have seen us walking around in wellies getting soaked all day… not good. 

In the first set up I knew I wanted to create some black & white portraits, and so I made sure to position my lighting in a way that would allow me to create some bright highlights and dark shadows over the model that I knew would look great later on in black & white.

For the second set-up we used a much warmer coloured background which we decided on after picking out the outfits earlier in the day. The dress and styling for this set-up worked perfectly together and we got some really graceful images. It helped that Emily's has done balley from a very young age which I feel comes across in the images nicely helping strengthen the theme we aimed to achieve.

Check out some of the images below!

Sun & Smoke

I decided to set up a shoot in order to add some more content to my portfolio, I knew for the first set up I wanted to shoot outdoors, we'd come across this great location a few weeks previously and loved it. After a spot of London weather in the morning we were unsure if we were going to still head outdoors but with some luck a small window of opportunity opened up for us and we made a dash to the location. The first thing I looked for was where the light was falling and found a spot that looked perfect.

 

For the second set-up I had two options I wanted to try, over backdrop or on top of a car using smoke grenades... We went with the smoke grenades :)

The smoke grenades only lasted for 30 seconds so I knew once we started shooting we had to get it right, I set up the lighting and locked them in, once I was happy with the way they looked we used a smoke grenade to test how it would appear in the scene and how the light would effect it. They worked great! Apart from a little bit of coughing from all of us and laughing when we realised how much smoke actually came out of these things we managed to get some great images, Jasmin moved fluently with the smoke giving a great performance all I had to do was capture it.

This was a fun shoot with a bit of experimentation and I look forward to trying out a few more crazy ideas soon!

Tom

Recently I got the chance to shoot a friend which is always nice because you already have a good connection and good chemistry is always great for photography. For this shoot I really wanted to get a 1940’s style set-up for Tom and so after brainstorming and getting a few necessary items together i.e, braces, cigars, a hat, a gramophone etc… we went looking for the hardest part of the shoot, which was finding a setting in which the images could be deemed believable. Luckily we found a place which had great olden style rooms and a vintage look which was perfect for what we had in mind.

Here you can see a image of the room and the set-up we had for one of the shots with Tom and Nyah.  For this set-up I used an octabank as my main light and a gridded beauty dish as my rim light. To help add some warmth into the image and help fill in some of the shadows I also used another strobe with some CTO gel pointed low and upwards towards both models. (The fourth strobe to the left of me is not firing.)

Here you can see a image of the room and the set-up we had for one of the shots with Tom and Nyah. 

For this set-up I used an octabank as my main light and a gridded beauty dish as my rim light. To help add some warmth into the image and help fill in some of the shadows I also used another strobe with some CTO gel pointed low and upwards towards both models. (The fourth strobe to the left of me is not firing.)

For the second set-up we wanted to capture some cool natural shots of Tom on a small pier we’d found while scouting a few weeks prior to the shoot. For these shots I used only one light, a large octabank which you can see in the image below:

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Staying on schedule we then moved on to the other side of the pier near some fields to catch the sunset which didn’t disappoint. Below you can see where I placed the octabank and also how strong and how warm the sun is as a backlight.

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I had a lot of fun on this shoot and it hardly felt like work even when humping my hefty battery pack and strobes through the woods.

Check out the final images from the shoot below, I’ve included a shot with just the sun as a backlight as it reminded of when I first began taking pictures before all the lighting and equipment when I focused more on the simple things :)

Lauma Apele

The shoot...

I reached out to Lauma because of her distinctive look and because I absolutely love her style. Initially I wanted to go for something different, when I first contacted Lauma my first idea was to shoot somewhere dark and melancholic as I felt her tattoos would naturally lend themselves to the scene but then I thought more about that idea and it felt kind of stereotypical to me and so I wondered if it might be nicer to create some contrast in my images and to go for something much warmer and bright. 

Personally I feel it worked well this way, shooting in a scene that at first seemed at odds to me with her appearance was in fact the best thing I could of done. Lauma has a very natural look that worked perfectly with the environment and the scene itself managed to draw more attention to her tattoos than I feel it would have if say, she had been standing in front of a wall full of graffiti.

It was a sunny day and so I kept my lighting very simple using a large octabank as my main light and a small beauty dish with a grid (wrapped in CTO gel) for my rim light. I kept them at a low setting so that it could just augment the natural light that was already washing over my model and the background.

We did two more set-ups after that the second being on a nice bridge we’d spotted a few days prior to the shoot whilst we were scouting for locations and the last one over a pebbled wall.

The images over the pebbled wall were done with one gridded beauty dish as my main light to give a focused but harsh light on my model, this helped to create some deep shadows whilst still defining her tattoos which was the important part of this particular shoot.

All in all it was another great day and I’m truly looking forward to the next shoot!

Twins!

For this shoot I wanted to take some images in central London and of course the most emptiest time to do that is very early in the morning, so with two very willing models we set out to catch the sunrise. The downside of shooting near the river thames is that it is absolutely freezing and so I spent the morning pretending I was on a beach somewhere but for the twins and my assistant it was a cold day at the north pole. 

In the end we managed to get the shots we needed before heading back to the warmth for the final set-up of the day. Here are some of the shots:

For the second part of the shoot I had enlisted the help of my dad to put together a wooden background a few days prior to the shoot as I felt it would work nicely with both models skin tones. After the first few shots I could see that the wood was a great choice and that it worked well.

I used three lights on this set-up a large octabank as my main light slightly feathered, a small soft box as my side light and another small soft box as my fill light. Setting up the lights in this way created some very interesting highlights and shadows and I got the images I needed to add to my portfolio.

Creative Itch!

Lately I’ve been busy attending to some of those new goals I set myself for 2014 and so hadn’t shot for a while... I was starting to get withdrawal symptoms :)

So I decided to set up a test shoot to try out a few ideas I had been sitting on. I already had a model in mind as I knew she could pull off the expressions I was going for on this particular shoot and so I reached out to Emma whom I had not worked with for about a year  as you can see back in my older posts. It’s crazy how time flies as it wasn’t till we met up that I realised just how long it had been.

We planned three set up’s for the day, the first was to follow up my dark, cinematic portraits of Adam. For this I used a large octabank as my key light and a small beauty dish with grid as my rim light, the positioning of the lights were almost identical to Adam’s set up minus a few small tweaks as I wanted these images to have the same feel and look.

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The second set-up was the most time consuming but also the most fun. The idea was to shoot Emma in six different outfits and then to later merge them together into one final image. Of course six outfits means, six hair & make-up changes which adds up the time but luckily everyone was focused and knew what we needed to do and so it all went ahead smoothly. In the end I decided not to merge all six images into one image but to choose three of my favourite outfit picks from the day along with six poses from each outfit and merge them into one.

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For the last set up, I wanted to try something a bit more elegant and so we came up with the idea to use water and petals, altogether 6,500 petals placed on a thin layer of water with Emma in the middle, sounds simple enough right? Well I won’t bore you with the set up and I definitely won’t bore you with how we got rid of the petals once we were finished (which was a nightmare!) but once set up correctly we knew it was definitely worth the effort and we got some great images. 

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year! I'm over a week late but  I thought I'd still say a little something…

2013 was a great year, I made new friends and had some great shoots. Anyone that knows me knows I'm always looking forward, always focusing on the next thing but as we came to the end of 2013 I decided to look back over what I had accomplished that year. We all set ourselves targets and goals in life and looking back I can see how much I've grown and how much I've achieved in the last year alone which is why I look forward to a harder yet promising 2014!

I wish now that I had recorded some of the year so that I could put up a short video of some of the things I got up to, maybe next year, instead heres a few images from some of my shoots last year.

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Finally I want to mention the help I've had this past year. I truly believe that teamwork is the key to pushing yourself and creating great work. As it stands my team consists of myself and one other person :). This person has been invaluable to my work in 2013 not only doing the hair and makeup for all my shoots but for being the other head I needed to bounce my ideas off of (which I'm sure others will agree is a big help!)

Here are some snaps of Georgina sitting in while I test the light before a shoot - I asked her to give me a serious expression… my mistake.

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I've seen the benefits of having one person helping me and so I look forward to expanding my team of friends in the coming year. Well that's it for now, I've set myself some new goals this year so I better get to work on them. Happy 2014 everybody! :D

Beauty

Recently I put together a shoot so that I could add to and expand my portfolio. I wanted to create various looks on this shoot but my main aim for the day was to create a beauty shot. I wanted the image to be striking whilst still maintaing a warm feeling which is why I was very careful on selecting the model for this shoot. In the end I came across a model called Kristina who had naturally tanned skin and great eyes which was perfect for what I was trying to create. From the start I knew I wanted this image to feel warm and so I decided to use a hazelnut coloured backdrop which was very similar to Kristina's skin allowing me to blend them together nicely.

We then moved onto the seamless backdrop as they are always good to have :) before finally pushing for something a little darker and slightly more moody again taking care to insure the images had the same feel as the other darker toned images in my portfolio.

Check out some of the images below!

 

Shadows

I had a lot of fun on this shoot, one of the aims for me was to push away from my comfortable lighting set-up's and really try and create something different to add to my work. I had been watching a few new TV shows (Mostly moody ones incase you couldn't tell) when I came up with the idea for this shoot. I have a great respect for cinematographers and the way they use light to not only light a scene but also create drama where needed and so I wanted to incorporate some of that into this shoot.

Picking the right model for this shoot wasn't easy, mostly because I knew I wanted a certain look but luckily Adam responded to my casting call. Adam was perfect for what I wanted to achieve on this shoot and super nice to work with which is always a bonus. One thing that I was surprised and happy to find was that his hair lent itself to the scene nicely, in some cases even managing to draw your attention away from the fact that he's smoking which is a plus.

Check out some of the images from the shoot below, more to come! 

Chalk & Balloons!

It was one of those days, as usual I had checked the weather forecast about a week prior to the shoot and continued to check again every other day. All seemed well until two days before the shoot when my weather app decided to show a picture of clouds and pouring rain instead of the mostly sunny one it had done everyday previously.

So my location plans unfortunately would have to take a back seat for this shoot. I knew we would have to be a little more creative indoors for the day and I had picked up a black backdrop a few days previously but now decided that it might be a bit too plain for what I wanted to do. So with the help of my good friend and often assistant we put our heads together to think of a few ways to make the black background a bit more creative and not just with the lighting but with the paper itself. In the end we decided to be simple and use some chalk., luckily the ground we were on had unusual ripples and the chalk reflected that onto the paper creating a smooth, wavy effect, this was to be our first setup. 

For the second setup I wanted to add to the small project I've been doing and so it was a trip down to hobby craft to pick up some helium balloons, I grabbed about ten which then took three employees ten minutes to get them all ready while I stood at the counter in front of a growing queue feeling extremely sheepish. As soon as I finished there it was off to pick up a few small accessories and I was all set.

Both models Demi and Stella arrived the morning of the shoot looking very unsure about the weather, probably because they were getting soaked from head to toe! However once we got back to the studio they were much more comfortable as I ensured them I did not plan on making them stand out in the rain all day.

Set up 1

The first set up maintained the simple idea we used with the chalk and black background by only using one light. A gridded beauty dish up high and off centre left, with this I was able to focus the light just where I wanted it and also helped to give me a nice fall off of light on my subject.

 © WilliamHenry

 © WilliamHenry

Set up 2

I decided to continue with the project I was doing and so went with the blue background which I'd planned for when picking up the balloons and glasses for the day. The lighting for this setup was much bolder as I wanted the images to seem bright and fun. For this I used a large Octabank as my main light source and a small beauty dish as my rim light.

The day was a lot of fun and both models were great to work with which is always good.