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

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!