Whispering Pines

What an amazing photoshoot to start 2018; we had a beautiful location, an amazing model and thankfully no rain! We located this beautiful cabin in East Sussex which the owners were happy for us to use, it had lovely grounds around the property, a lake and a boat right outside it’s front door.

The first images were taken on the peer right outside the cabin, after a few standing shots I thought it would be a great idea to try sitting on the edge of the peer only problem was that it was surrounded by a lake that was too deep to stand in. Fortunately the cabin had a lovely row boat which we used to get far enough around to get the shot.

Here is a picture of me keeping extremely still so that I don't rock the boat and fall right into the water.  To the top left of the image you can see the corner of a large octabank with a layer of diffusion lighting the model, I'm also using a 120mm macro lens   The final image

Here is a picture of me keeping extremely still so that I don't rock the boat and fall right into the water.

To the top left of the image you can see the corner of a large octabank with a layer of diffusion lighting the model, I'm also using a 120mm macro lens 

The final image

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The next image was taken in a tree which Megan was more than happy to climb, I think the only worried one was me but there was no need to worry, Megan was great, she climbed right up and we got to shooting.

Here's an image of the lighting set up for the tree shot, I have a octabank as my main light on the highest power setting, whilst I have a gridded, silver beauty dish on a lower power setting providing fill.

Here is the final image

Here is the final image

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Next we wanted to get a shot of Megan cutting and eating an apple, this was a tricky shot for many reasons including the fact that she would be using a very sharp survival knife. just like the tree however Megan was eager to jump in and it turned out great. See below

For this shot I placed the octabank, high up and off camera right as my key light (see below) and a the gridded, silver beauty dish as my rim light, behind Megan, off camera left and angled downwards. On my 50mm lens I used a 0.6 ND filter to allow me to open up my aperture and better separate Megan from the background.

For this shot I placed the octabank, high up and off camera right as my key light (see below) and a the gridded, silver beauty dish as my rim light, behind Megan, off camera left and angled downwards. On my 50mm lens I used a 0.6 ND filter to allow me to open up my aperture and better separate Megan from the background.

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Here is a picture so you can see the octabank placement 

Here is a picture so you can see the octabank placement 

Next it was onto the lake to capture the images I was most excited about since seeing the boat when arriving at the cabin. 

For this light set up I used a set up very similar to the tree shot with the octabank off camera right, angled downwards as my main light and the gridded silver beauty dish off camera left as fill.

Once I got a few of the close ups we pushed our model Megan further out into the lake and handed her an oar. (We won't go into the fact that Georgina fell into the lake whilst trying to do this the first time) Check out the wide shot and close up below:

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With such an authentic location I wanted to capture some images of Megan in front of the rustic looking cabin. For these shots I wanted it to feel more like the sun was beginning to set, unfortunately with it being a cold, cloudy day there was no chance of that happening and so it was out with my trusty beauty dish. For this shot I used only one Broncolor Siros L light, very high up and angled downwards, I also removed the grid on the beauty dish to throw the light more and imitate direct sunlight.

The only light is the beauty dish off camera right, the octabank to the left of the image is not on.

The only light is the beauty dish off camera right, the octabank to the left of the image is not on.

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After capturing the last outdoor shots we moved inside the cabin to capture the last set of images.

There wasn't much room inside the cabin for large lights but I still wanted to use the octabank in order to create a nice wash of light across the scene. In this picture you can see how close the octabank is with myself squeezing in front of it to get the shot. What you can't see if off camera left I have again used a gridded beauty dish to add some fill light.

Check out the result below

Check out the result below

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Lastly we couldn't leave without capturing some images in front of the cabins fireplace, it took us a few goes to light it but once we did we were able to capture some really beautiful shots. To help amplify the orange light coming from the fireplace and add more warmth to the scene I covered a strobe with CTO gel and placed it on the floor next to the fireplace, angling it upwards. To the left of camera I used a strobe on a low power setting with the beauty dish and grid attached to add some subtle fill light. See below 

Check out the full set of images from the shoot below

Model: Megan Waters

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:

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                                                                                                          

MUA:  Georgina Davies

Image courtesy of Gabriela

Image courtesy of Gabriela