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


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!

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.


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.


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.