Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Pure Curvation Day

On Sunday 24th June, an event was going on in little Cranleigh. OK, not that little. (It's the biggest village in the UK, don't you know?). Pure Curvation (model agency) were having what I guess you'd call a 'fun day'.

There was a make-up artist (Rachel Nicholson again!), make-up assistant, Sammy Ford ;) a handful of photographers (myself, Pete Baldrey and Wayne KC) and a few of the girls from Pure Curvation flitting in and out throughout the day.

Activities included shooting, BBQ, ClickMore Pizza (if you've had it, you'll know), a bit of editing and generally nattering and having a giggle!

The Pure Curvation models who turned up were Jo Wood, Rehea Watson, Nickilee Hallett and the soon-to-be-PC, Marlyn Woodend! We also had a couple of extras who popped along to say hi and talk about potential modelling opportunities. All 'round, a pretty good day!

Pete did a little bit of shooting with Jo and a bit with Marlyn and I, myself some relaxed shooting with Marlyn and Rehea. Wayne got a couple of cheeky images of Rehea aswell having a little experimentation session (and a few arguments) with the studio equipment as generally, he prefers to work on location.

Meeting Marlyn face-to-face for the first time was an absolute pleasure. She was a wonderful girl to work with. Such a natural and I loved the makeup from Rachel for our little shoot.

And Rehea was beautiful (as usual... cow) and even in such a long flowing plain coloured dress, you could still see that she's got it. All she's got to do is get those big sexy lips in front of the lens and BAM! Stunned! The girl is oustanding. Fact.

She didn't even technically need the makeup but as you can see, you can't deny, it's pretty lovely. Good choice of colours again from our Rachel! (Thanks Rachel!)

I'm hoping there'll be another one of these events because, even though I didn't get that many images, it's alway wonderful to meet up with the Pure Curvation team and their girls.

They're always so sweet (or pleasantly abrupt in Nickilee's, case ;) ) and I still managed to chat to a few of the girls about arranging other shoots and discussing the potential to work with a few of my clients towards the end of this year and next year.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Jo Wood: Inside and Out!

For my shoot with Jo Wood (Pure Curvation models) I met with her at 10am in Cranleigh and we had a quick cup of tea and then went straight out to find the gardens where we got our 'Alice' pictures as I like to call them. Reason being, Jo had a beautiful blue dress (with little white rabbits on) and of course, those big blue eyes.

I'll show you.

This one was taken in a sculpture garden in Ockley which we poked around and found to be incredibly interesting!

Then, on the way back, we found a beautiful hydrangea bush that matched Jo's dress perfectly and so we made an emergency stop and got the following image. Pleasantly lit by the lovely Mr. Sun.

Next we found a gorgeous iron wheel. So, naturally, Jo changed in the car and promptly started climbing on it! (Can't take her anywhere). Meaning we got this one:

And then there were also some pretty pillars. So she started draping herself all over them too ;) Giving us this rather lovely headshot:

It got to about 1pm (I think) and we got back to Pete Baldrey's to do a bit of work in the studios. We started on black and Jo brought a stunning vintage golden jumpsuit, which it turned out, was rather tight around the bum! The colours were lovely and played out rather lovely against the black.

By this point we were joined by Nickilee Hallett (another Pure Curvation model!) who was also shooting that day (their shoot details can be seen on Pete's blog here)! We had a giggle and then we tried a little something else on the black!  We decided to get a little bit cheeky and colourful and I think it's safe to say, that even with more colours, nothing stands out quite as much as those icy blue iris'!

And finally, our last look was actually a first for Jo. We decided to get a little bit rocky with a band t-shirt which shall remain anonymous (;)) and some skinny jeans. The make up was a bit darker and we had a small zigzag design pencilled onto her undercut making her look much punkier!:

I loved working with Jo and definitely hope to again! I think we got some awesome looks on this day and I think she enjoyed it too! ;D


Rachel Nicholson: The Old Yew Tree

So, similar to that of the Field Shoot, I had this other idea a while back. This being about a year ago, I think.

There's this old yew tree at Waverley Abbey...

... there it is. And it's just, quite frankly, a beautiful tree. It's actually growing atop some rubble left behind from the abbey and because of this, it has risen above the ground and all of it's roots are on display.

Now, I have seen a few pictures of models sitting on this tree in my time but in my opinion, I have always thought the tree to completely outshine the model in question.

So basically, I wanted to do something with the tree and make it just a bit more special. I thought about a really long dress, block colour and getting my model to lie upon these roots and have ribbons spiraling away from her body.

Now then, I shared this idea with Rachel Nicholson a while back and she was more than keen to do the makeup for me and we did discuss the idea of her being the model for this one aswell.

So come the 10th July, I had bought a very cheap, size 12, pale pink dress, a metre square of pale pink cloth and approximately 35 metres of equally pale pink ribbon.

After Rachel had finished her hair and make-up, we headed straight to Waverley Abbey and walked along the riverside up to the ruins. Rachel, might I add, did look rather dolled up for a day out at Waverley, but then, I looked rather like a pack mule with all my kit and so I won't make too many comments...

We got to the tree and, to our surprise (Rachel's horror), the tree was CRAWLING with children. It turned out that a maternity group's children were all turning 10 at the same time and they had decided to hold a birthday picnic party at Waverley Abbey that day. Oh goody.

Now then. We waited a very short while for the children to run along and play somewhere else and then we began setting up. Rachel got into the dress (sort of*) and I started to wrap the ribbon around the roots (I thought at this point that it would have looked nice with more ribbon in hindsight). Then, once Rachel was in the dress, we elongated it with the extra fabric and began the shoot.

(*You may have noticed I earlier mentioned that the dress was a size 12. Now as you can probably see from these images, Rachel is not even nearly a size 12 and so it may humor you to know that we had to severely gaffa tape her into this dress in order to do this shoot. :D )

Now, naturally, these children came with their insatiable curiosity and started poking their little 10 year old noses in. We somehow managed to do the whole shoot whilst enduring such grilling as:
‘Why are you wrapping ribbon around the tree?’
‘Why are you taping that girl into her dress?’
‘Why are your eyebrows so dark?’
‘Why are you wearing those shoes?’
'Did you buy that butterfly to match that dress?'

‘Why don’t you do this?’
‘Why don’t you do that?’
‘Do you like grasshoppers?’

I’d brought a little pink paper box to place on the ground in the shots just as a little extra, I asked the children if they would kindly go and fill it with pink flower heads… which kept them busy for a few minutes. ;)

Despite all the interruptions, I think Rachel and I did well and got a really, quite beautiful shoot out of it. And other than Rachel being hit repeatedly on the back by an enthusiastic girl named Polly with the pretense of helping her make sure the tape was stuck on properly, and me having icing wiped on my bum (Polly again) and grasshoppers put in my hair, we seemed to get off rather lightly as we didn’t get any shots with the children in.

… well, except this one. ;)

Ally Phelan: The Field Shoot

I'd wanted to do this one shoot for a really long time. I wanted to find a wheat field and take a fair haired model there for a shoot at around sundown. I didn't feel I could get this image with the 350D and so I waited a rather long time, until I got the 7D in fact, to give this one a try.

About 6 months ago, I think, I contacted Ally Phelan (model at Pure Curvation) about using her for this idea. She, quite nicely, waited and on the 27th February, we met up for a coffee in Caffe Nero to chat about the event...

... we talked about the hair and the wardrobe and got to know each other a little better and I knew she was the one for the job.

 On the 6th July, I managed to convince my partner to come for a walk around the field to 'scout it out' and see whether the crop was high enough (which it was) and where the sun was at what time and then on the sunny (with showers) 7th July we finally did the shoot!

I picked up Ally at 5:30pm from her house on the way past and we drove to Hawley in Farnborough for make-up. The make-up was beautifully applied by Rachel Nicholson and then we took off to Basingstoke to our designated crop field where we got busy.

We only stayed for about half an hour and got the shot I was after pretty quickly. We wrapped up at about half 8 and went to grab a McDonalds (where Ally tried to convince me that the Spicy Deli Sandwich was the best choice on the menu... I think not).

This shot was my favourite from the shoot. I'm really pleased with it and I felt it was worth the wait.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Gabriella Howson: 'Derelicte Chic'

So, Sunday 3rd July, I have a plan for my first photoshoot with the new camera but "oh no!" The model can't make it!

I posted on Facebook asking if anyone was around and rather unexpectedly, a wonderful young woman by the name of Gabriella Howson mentioned that she was available if I was interested.

Now, I think it's important to note at this point, I have always thought that Gabby was one of the most beautiful women I knew. Especially for a fellow geek. :D So of course I went back and said I would love to shoot her. And the show went on!

In the morning, I was modelling for Wayne KC (Noir Photography) and Rachel Nicholson (make-up artist) for a bit of portfolio-building work. However it was the afternoon I was excited about!

At 2pm Gabby (and her brother, Dom) met Rachel, Wayne and I in a nearby pub where we chatted about 'the plan' as if there was one! :D

We headed to a derelict looking area in Basingstoke and Rachel got started on the make-up whilst we set up and chatted about the fact we forgot to get any lunch, make-up on men, and how Gabby actually looked remarkably like actress, Lena Headey.

Spot the difference!

Back to the shoot. Now, Rachel, luckily not too exhausted (and starved) by this point did a lovely job of the make-up, as you can see here:

...and I finally got shooting. With my new camera. Squee!

The rather leggy 6ft Gabby, wasn't technically a model but god-damn... she could have fooled me. What a face!

We got a few images that I'm really chuffed with and overall, I'd say the model, the makeup, the ♥CAMERA♥ and overall the whole day was a huge hit.

Gabby took to modelling like a duck to water. Didn't feel the slightest bit awkward (I don't think... ) and just went with it. And it showed!

Even Wayne got into the spirit and after complaining about not having any makeup on all day (oh yes you did), Rachel gave in and gave him a seeing to with her makeup brushes! Ha ha. :D

As for Dom... well... see for yourself...

... oh dear.

The 'Big Day'

As of the day that I have received my very first digital SLR camera. Ordered on Thursday 30th June 2011. Arrived at 10:45am on Saturday 2nd July 2011. Canon 7d. Beautiful. This is when everything gets a million times better for me.

Whilst the 350D was a great camera to learn with, I found the restrictions closing around me rather quickly when I started getting a bit more adventurous and wanted to do more with my camera. The more I got smothered, the more I lost my 'keen' for photos. I decided I was going to save up for a while and buy a better model before trying to do any more with it.

So I shelled out £1200 on a Canon 7D. My first digital SLR camera! Chosen for it's prettiness and it's 8fps shooting (I've missed out on a lot of epic action shots in the past two years... realised it was something I really wanted to dabble in more). I could not contain my excitement when it came. I might have welled up a little bit when I first saw it laying there in it's box. Totally new.

There it is. Straight out of the box. Body only. It's beautiful, isn't it? Makes you me want to cry.

I then preceeded to look at it for approximately 45 minutes before actually getting a lens on it and playing. Though, once that bridge was crossed, I then forced my other half's brother outside to play 'keepy-ups' with his football out in the garden while I took photos of him and played with the settings.

I couldn't believe how the camera just purred away taking pictures when I got it onto high-speed continuous shooting... I thought Adam was going to cry by the time I let him finish kicking that ball but he held himself together rather well. XD

I've still got a lot to play with on this camera though at the point of writing this blog entry I have already done 4 photoshoots, been on a film set and have another couple of shoots set up for tomorrow.

Want to see some images from it? Next blog for you then!

The Early Shoots

My early shoots were with some truly fantastic people. I've worked with some friends (or victims as I like to call them), some models, some actors, and even done a little product photography for websites.

Whilst portfolio building, I worked with:

(Note: a fun game - Spot the Goulds!)

Jemma Gould (early victim)

Adam Gould (early victim)

Kiera Gould (stuntwoman and model)

Chanade Keisha Patrick (fashion model)

Stu (fitness model)

Paul (another victim)

Chloe Taylor-Green (fashion model)

Chris Courtenay (actor)

Ceri Williams (victim)

Kiera Gould (stunt performer) and Robin Gould (fight choreographer)

... and every one of them have just been absolutely fantastic (and patient!) whilst I was teaching myself the art of photography.

They all chipped in their time and effort for me all in exchange for my measly photos (and occasionally a McDonalds :D ).

Saturday, 2 July 2011

The Beginning

OK, so... I've finally decided to start blogging about my photography. I'm not sure whether this will be interesting for anyone but at the very least, I might find it interesting to read back one day!

 I'm going to start it off by briefly summing up how I got started and what I've been up to so far so that I can blog from the present.

I became interested in photography quite late. I  picked up a camera for the first time in 2009 at the fresh young age of 20 years.

Starting out as a freelance part-time model, I spent a lot of time with photographers, building up portfolios and the like. I had a lot of ideas for photoshoots but I found that the photographs themselves rarely came out as I had envisioned them. I realised that I wanted more than anything to create. To be the creator. As a model, your creativity can be limited as, whether your photographer is easygoing and flexible or not, you never truly have the control you need to create the image you are hoping for. You are always relying heavily on the photographer.

After getting to know a couple of photographers quite well, one in particular, (still a very good friend) Pete Baldrey effectively changed my life, I suppose. I mentioned that I would like to 'have a go' at photography and so he loaned me his Canon 350D and off I went!

My first 'photoshoot' with a wonderful girl, Kiera Gould (Masquerade shoot, note the pictures!), was amazing. We drove to Pete's studio and he showed me how to work the lighting and then told me to give him a shout if I needed anything. I was so excited! We were shooting late into the evening, throwing more and more ideas and potential images around. It is still to this day one of my favourite shoots just for the sheer amount of fulfillment it left me with.

After that shoot I was sincerely hooked and I am still bouncing around with excitement before every shoot to this day and I can be buzzing for days and days afterwards.
So there it is. That is how it began...