Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Matthew Stainer: Behind The Scenes

Last week, on Saturday 25th February, I was working 'behind the scenes' on a photoshoot for Matthew Stainer of Matthew Stainer Photography.

He was shooting the fabulous Ceri Williams in a fantastic abandoned, derelict, run down limeworks (good for Urbex-ers!!!) near Hindhead.

This is Matthew:

He doesn't like having his photo taken but apart from that Nikon stuck to his face, I reckon he's not too hard on the eyes.

I have known Matthew for a very long time, we spoke about shooting when I first ever started modelling at 18 and have kept in touch ever since. Our first shoot was in November 2008 and we went on to shoot a further two times, the latest being incredibly recent (August 2011) as we had meant to do it back in my modelling days but between us had never found the time.

Shoot One (Nov 2008) ^

^ Shoot Two (Nov 2009)
Shoot Three(Aug 2011) ^

Since getting into photography myself in 2009, Matthew has always remained a great contact and friend and we occasionally exchange comments, feedback and emails as we build our portfolio work.

Recently, as our lovely Ceri has been venturing out into the wonderful (deadly) world of modelling, and Rachel Nicholson of course is building her makeup portfolio between her highly-demanding (yet awesome) job, I suggested to the three of them that they might like to work together. Matthew had asked a while back if he arranged a shoot and ever needed an extra hand that perhaps if I was free I could come and assist for the day, to which I confirmed that this of course would be fine if I was free. So, that's how I wormed my way into attending this one, basically. :)

I came along on the day as taxi, wardrobe stylist, behind the scenes photographer and extra pair of hands and the four of us met at the Bluebell pub in Cocking.

*snigger* - Childish, I know.

The car journey there was hysterical. The more that was said, the more we were streaming with tears of laughter. At one point, I thought my stomach was going to just leave me for someone else and my eyes were so full of tears, I couldn't see the road. When we arrived at the pub, our eyes were so red, my makeup was streaming, and I think I saw 'what the hell have I let myself in for' cross Matthew's face. We didn't behave much better from then, I have to say.

We all piled into Matthew's car and headed up the road to the Limeworks. It was AWESOME.

Matthew and I walked around and checked out the location in more detail...

 ...and Rach got started on Ceri's makeup for the 'truck shots'.

After the makeup was finished, I kindly made the observation that Ceri looked freaking awesome... albeit like David Bowie's long lost twin sister... XD
Separated at birth?

You know I'm right.

So we got Ceri into outfit number one:

(I don't know what she's doing with her face here.)

Except for the shoes as, as Rachel put it, watching Ceri walk in these shoes was like watching Bambi learn to walk. (That also set us off again. So many tears).

I started off taking pictures of Matthew at work...

... but then Rach started kindly ruining my shots for me... :

So shortly after, I began helping a little with the lighting:

Whilst Rachel developed a mad obsession with this dark creepy room that she wanted to investigate:

She peeped her head in with my little LED torch but got all freaked out by the strange shadowy shapes in there and dark corners so she ran back and got the little digital camera instead.

She popped her arm in, took a photo and had a look, relieved to see that it was just a room with some old shelves in.

Though in post-production, I took it over to black and white and upped the contrast and I began to notice something over in the right hand corner. I went over it a little with the sharpen tool and... well I don't know about you guys but...

... anyway, Matthew got some really awesome shots of Ceri over by the truck and then we got started on set two.

Rachel started painting up Ceri like a panda to get a Taylor Momsen sort of look going on, but unfortunately, due to the freezing cold weather, Ceri's eyes were streaming constantly...

.. so Rach did something a bit more simple around the eyes, and it looked ace.

(... especially when Ceri did her 'Eye of Shoggoth' impression.)

We headed over to this old office building and got set up:

... where we were lucky enough to discover a poor dead badger who had probably crawled in out of the cold to die. :'(

Despite the deceased company, Ceri cracked on and gave a cracking performance pulling off such stunners as this:

Image by Matthew Stainer

And then we took it back outside for the end of the shoot.

Ceri makes such a hot metaller.

And there're our behind the scenes images (and a couple of Matthew's).

See Matthew's blog here for final images such as these:

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