Wednesday, 20 April 2011

film and material

Elle in film 01

I recently had the pleasure of doing a photoshoot on film for the first time in my life. I guess I wasn't particularly old school as I used a digital camera to set it up and do some of the shooting. But after I thought we were set to go I used a medium format film camera for the main shots.

Elle in film 01

My concept for the shoot was to work with loads of interesting textured material and turn it into an outfit for Elle from Mustard. I bought a good 15 meters of this stuff in a couple of different colours. It was picked for it's texture as I knew I'd be shooting it in black and white on the film camera. Huge respect to Ashley Cover who was styling the shoot and made a dress out of the mass of cloth with just a few pins and a damn good head for fashion. Make up and hair was done by the awesome Christelle Pellecuer, and it looked great as always. These two are starting to become my go to team for shoots - they are really chilled and love getting involved. Just as importantly they tell me when things are good and when they are not.

I really enjoyed shooting on the slow and clunky medium format film camera, it made me slow down and analyse everything I was doing. It made the shoot more planned and a bit less spontaneous, but I still found it great fun. I also loved printing the images in the darkroom the next day - it's impossible to show online how good these look on 8x10 matt paper with the awesome deep blacks and shadows detail that it gave.

A huge thanks to Niall and Matt for being my film technical assistants, I couldn't have done it without you.

Here's some of the digital versions that I took in a prolonged set up.

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Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Mount's Bay Gig Club for Crew Clothing

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A few months ago I had an awesome commission to shoot lifestyle and portrait images in Cornwall for Crew Clothing. It consisted of a two day job with the first day travelling and scouting and the second day shooting. The images have just appeared in an advertorial piece in Coast magazine and they look great in a double page article.

I travelled down from Bristol on the Friday, looking out of the car window at the sunshine and praying that the weather gods would keep things the same for the Saturday. My brief for the shoot meant that I had to shoot outside and if it was raining - well I would just have to cope. I arrived in Marazion in Cornwall at lunchtime and checked into my hotel, which had the amazing location of being about 20 metres from my meeting spot the next morning with my car parked somewhere in the middle of the two places.

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I spent the afternoon with Helen Bowkett who was to be my guide for the shoot. We talked about my brief and the location. I was to shoot members of the Mount's Bay Pilot Gig Club, both whilst rowing in scenic action shots and also in a more relaxed lifestyle setting. Crew Clothing is their main sponsor and this was primarily to feature in Coast magazine to help promote Crew's  involvement with the coastal community.

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The next day I awoke  at 6am to get the first light and when I got outside I realised we were going to have beautiful weather. There was a slight misty haze but otherwise a clear day. So we quickly got the boats out and headed onto the water. Thanks to Helen's organising I had two rowing gig's and two teams at my disposal. So I sat in one and got both boats to row exactly where I wanted  making sure that the boat I wasn't in stayed at the right distance and in the right place by shouting at them across the quiet morning water.

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After a damn good early morning session I headed back ashore and downloaded files whilst waiting for my contact from Crew to turn up with the clothes for the rest of the day. I was feeling great about the rowing images and knew that I had some stunning shots in the bag.

When everyone had changed in to their branded Crew clothes we headed off over the sand towards St. Michael's Mount with the aim of getting some lifestyle-fashion images. My idea was for relaxed group shots and portraits of the gig club members showing the new line of Crew's GBR Atlantic Series at its best. With about 30 people to look after I let them chat away whilst pulling a few people out of the group to take their images. We wondered around on the beach, played silly games and generally had a laugh. I snapped away, grabbing various helpful people me to assist me by holding my spare camera and reflector when I didn't need it. To put it simply I had great fun running around enjoying the fact that 30 people didn't mind me taking their pictures.

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After a big lunch and more file downloading we took a selection of the rowers who we felt had got on particularly well with the camera to grab some more images. We headed off on the beach for a bit to start with. I got my feet a wet because the tide was coming in so fast it caught me whilst I was concentrating on taking pictures and not where the water was. To finish the day's photography we all went to the Terrace of the Godolphin Arms that looks right out over the bay, got a round of drinks in and had a good old chat.
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After a good 10 hours of shooting I finished the day and could relax. The 3 hour drive home felt like nothing because I was high on the great feeling of an awesome day's photography.

A big thanks to Crew Clothing for the fantastic job and also to everyone in the Mount's Bay Pilot Gig Club who were wonderfully helpful and understanding when I kept asking them "can you do that again please."

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Friday, 15 April 2011

Family Kiting

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Sometimes you need to do a test shoot to prove to a client that you're up to their task. This is exactly what I did recently for a kite company and although I haven't heard back form them yet, I still thought I'd share the pics with you. They wanted me to show the fun family side of recreational powerkiting, so I hooked up with a kite-flying family and headed off to the beach.

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When people are at the handles controlling a kite it's basically impossible to show their faces and the kite in the same shot. So I needed to try and find compositions that would show the fun and emotion involved in kiting, whilst still suggesting or showing the kites themselves. I found that I could either leave the kite out and put the lines and handles in frame - this way I could show the happy faces of the awesome Way family. Alternatively I could get my happy family to show me their excitement by doing quite large gestures - this meant I could shoot from behind them and include the kite whilst still demonstrating the emotions involved.

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I like a challenge and this shoot certainly got me thinking, but I'm pleased with the results, particularly considering the gusty wind that made flying the kites a whole lot harder than it should of been. You can see more from the shoot on flickr.

A massive thanks to the Way family who were totally at ease with me asking them to do all sorts of crazy things whilst still keeping the kites flying.

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Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Tricia Gilliam

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I recently did some work for Tricia Gilliam, who is an interior designer just about to relaunch her career. She's a fantastic lady who is always up for a laugh and so full of life that I doubt anything will ever stop her getting where she wants.

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If you are interested in Tricia's design then drop her an email or hit up her website. Her style is traditional and grand, but with a lovely homely feel to it.

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Tuesday, 5 April 2011

An afternoon with Jimmy Galvin - part 2

This post is the second part of a 2 part piece about my photoshoot with the Bristol based artist and musician Jimmy Galvin. You can find the first part here: An afternoon with Jimmy Galvin - part 1
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After a good few hours taking photos in Jimmy's front room the light outside started to turn golden and delicious. So I headed out on a walk with Jimmy to see what we could find.

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After a few shots on the crescent where Jimmy lives we went to look for other locations. Jimmy got excited about somewhere he knew and lead me to a great location with crazy lines all over the place and a nice urban gritty feel to it. The sunlight did the rest as we ran around finding the best spots to take photos before we lost the golden rays...

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A massive thanks to Jimmy for all his cooperation and ideas. To find out more about him please head over to his website: www.jimmygalvin.com

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