Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Alice Cushnan: The Blossom

A lovely man, by the name of John Summers, contacted me recently about his niece. He told me that his niece Alice, was definitely model material, etc, etc, but doesn't everyone think that their sister/daughter/niece/cousin is model material? Probably.

John, was right though.

Alice (John's niece, keep up) messaged me via Facebook after I said to John that if she was interested in giving it a try, she could contact me. I took one look at her face and thought 'yes'.

It soon occurred to me though that Alice actually lives in Gloucester, which is not exactly around the corner but then again she is also very pretty. So, here's what I did:

I invited my good friend, Rachel Nicholson (note: ever-fabulous makeup artist... I think you see where this is going...) and her partner Simon out to Gloucester for the day with Martin and I. The plan being, Rachel and I work with Alice for the first part of the day whilst the boys entertain themselves, and then we all meet up for dinner. Yum yum. They were up for it. I win.

Of course, by this point, Martin has already followed any mention of Alice by singing "Alice? Alice? Who the..." you know the song. I am still suffering from this fatal mistake 3 weeks later. Seriously, it's just not that funny anymore.

So ANYWAY we pick up Alice (Hello Alice) and head to the Rococo Gardens which are beautiful but you have to pay to get in. Oops. Missed that memo. Rather heroically, Martin paid for everyone's entry. Thanks Martin!!!.

Now, Martin and Simon wandered off and entertained themselves somehow. Wandering around and making fun of something, no doubt. Meanwhile, Rachel got started on the make-up.

By the time we got shooting, Alice's nerves had kicked in. Happens all the time but it did mean that she couldn't loosen up to begin with. Regardless, Alice happens to be incredibly photogenic. Here's one of our first shots:

Lovely black and white headshot. Nice and easy. No pressure. Didn't even had to look at me. :D

Throughout the morning, however, Alice slowly got more and more comfortable and I think it showed. We went from some fairly awkward shots to some more relaxed poses like these:

(This was only about 15 mins into the shoot too)

(Surely you've seen Snow White? You never choose the red one, Alice!)

Even caught a couple of smiles :D


Then, we dropped Alice back home (after inviting her out to dinner, of course) and then Rachel, Simon, Martin and I all went to a lovely pub for a roast dinner. And pudding. Yum yum. But that's not why you're still reading, is it... ? 

You want to hear (read) more about the model. *sigh*

Alice and I are hopefully working together again later this year (nothing yet officially arranged) in studio.

So watch this space for a bit more from Alice!

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Alyssa Johnson: Secret Sex Kitten

Alyssa Johnson and I had been meaning to work together for a fair while. We wanted to wait until we had the right opportunity as Alyssa had a fab idea for a shoot and we wanted it to be perfect. Wanting perfection, I also enlisted the help of the ever-beautiful Rachel Nicholson for the make-up. (Yes, again. What can I say? I like variety but she's really good!).

So Alyssa and I decide on a date, the 13th August (I know, risky!) and somehow, the most wonderful Pete Baldrey (aka. ClickMore) finds it in his heart to open up his studio doors for us at 10am despite having LITERALLY just flown back from Greece the following night and therefore being subject to a heavy dose of The Jetlag. We like Pete a lot.

After a cup of tea, Rachel Nicholson got started on the make-up as is becoming the usual drill. I set up the backdrop and lights whilst keeping an eye out for Rehea Watson (you may recall from a previous blog) on Soccer AM. The most beautiful Soccerette there has ever been, I am sure of it:

Now, not many things things can convince me to watch a football-related programme, but I have to say, Rehea Watson, the leggy stunner is definitely one of the exceptions!

Here she is on the Soccerettes' website!

Meanwhile, as you can see below, the make-up was coming along rather beautifully. I took a couple of pictures along the way (obviously) and Alyssa was painted up nice.

We had a couple of quick looks at Jessie J for a little inspiration (she does take a very good picture, that one) as Alyssa had mentioned her previously and then in no time at all, we were off!)

Alyssa is part St Helena'n which apparently accounts for this stunningly curvy bottom of hers. I mean, seriously, just look at it. Wow.

I would apologise to Alyssa for objectifying her a little in that previous statement but I'm actually not sorry in the slightest. I'm sure all of you are more than happy to know that she is also a really intelligent, funny and kind young lady but that we clearly aren't studying those aspects of her so closely at present.

So that was using the honeycomb like a spotlight to get that sexy ringleader look with the hat and cane. This lighting was easily the best for this set and I found it hard to choose my favourite edit.

Despite that being the better lighting for shapes and shadows, I also was rather fond of this following shot (a good one for you Rach, stellar job).

After this bit, unfortunately (I had to hold back some tears) Alyssa had to go and wash all of the make-up off. *sob*

We stopped for pizza, again provided by Pete. *worship worship* So big thanks for that or we might have starved. I forget to eat when I'm shooting you see and then other people go hungry thinking I must be stopping for food soon... Soon right?... Right Chloe?... Nope. I starve them. Quite mean really but certainly not deliberate. Accidentally evil. Yes.

So, a generous-sized portion of ClickMore pizza each (guzzled like little piggies) and a little rest. Alyssa half-naked and wearing her undies and a really gorgeous little wrap around whilst she ate and then had the next round of make-up applied. We were doing lingerie next. Exciting.

I set up the next load of lighting and backdrop stuffs. Put something comfy down and covered it over in backdrop. Worked rather nicely, I think:

That was a softbox up by the face and another dimmer one up high shining down over the body. I liked it as I think it gave a beautiful tone and shade variety that highlighted all of Alyssa's shapes and curves rather well.

Also adore the following shot. Same lighting but a lot more powerful, I think. Gorgeous expression from Alyssa and I think it just really highlights those eyes of hers. Especially with the delicate blue eyeshadow.

Then we had the flowery shorts! Love these.

Cute on a stool!:

And I got a couple of lovely headshots too!

... and of Rachel:

And of course, one of me, courtesy of Rachel:


Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Victorian Wh*re Dogs: Yes, Really.

They're a band. Victorian Wh*re Dogs. My apologies for the language.

A heavy rock band that actually, I would heartily recommend. Even for those who aren't a huge fan of screaming lyrics, I think the melodies and such would still win you over all the same. Plus, I think Barney could convince you that you in fact do like screaming vocals actually.

The 'team' consists of:
Steve More - Drums

Andy Nuttall - Bass

Steve Emerson - Guitar

Adam Crawley - Guitar

Barnaby Whattingham - Vox/Samples

The shooting all started one, indifferent Thursday evening in Guildford. We met there at The Star and then headed out around the town (technically speaking, for my first band shoot) to get some images in the bag.

Now then. I think it's safe to say that these guys are a bit... quirky? Luckily, we were accompanied by Lil' (Steve M's significant other) who was there, probably, to keep tabs on the behaviour. :D

We were all over the place!

The Multistory:

The High Street:

The Cellar Wine Bar:

The Laundrette:

The phonebox, the alleyway, the ruins, the church...You get the picture(s)...

And then, upon editing, we identified that still hadn't found 'the one'. Though these were 'OK'. Hmm. So then, plans were made for Sunday.

We were all set to go to Brookwood Cemetery to get a load of variety as there are plenty of non-death-related parts of the site that we could use. Lil had brought backup for the boy control. Amy (Andy's woman). It was going to be epic I bet. Unfortunately, on arrival, some mardy cow yelled over to us demanding to know the purpose of our visit and upon receiving the requested information preceded to inform us that no photography was allowed on site. Fair enough. Our (my) mistake. Didn't see the sign. Apologised and informed her that we would leave in this case but did that stop her? No it did not. She went on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on.

So we eventually just left. As we had said we would. Sheesh. Calm down, lady.

So we headed to The Look Out in Bracknell. Had a go at something I had thought would look cool. I was wrong, it looked crap. Unfortunately, we had a time limit but we still did get a couple of good shots here.

Still didn't get 'the one' though. Boo. :( Stupid cemetery lady...

The following Tuesday, I was invited to band practise. No Lil. No Amy. Left on my own with the guys. Panic.

Ha ha but it was OK. Had a lot of fun and got to hear the guys in action! Got all the first 5 images there and a load more I was pretty chuffed with. Played around with the shutter speed. That was fun. And generally was on the floor contorting myself around equipment and trying not to get thumped in the face by flailing guitar heads and see-sawing cymbals!

T-Shirts and CDs available here!

Meeting up again soon to try and get this band shot that we've been trying to get. Have some ideas. Watch this space...

And while you're waiting, perhaps attend a gig or two!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Savage Media: Grist To The Mill

On week commencing the 11th July, I spent a couple of days on Savage Media's film set for Grist To The Mill (working title, I believe).

Savage Media are an awesome bunch of people:
See here for the Savage Media website!

Bill Thomas (Director) and Jason Emery (Producer) run an amazing team every time they put a piece together and I love to go along and watch them all at work... whilst taking pictures as much as physically possible.
Now of course, any Canon 7D nut is going to know, that this baby can shoot at 8fps (that's a bit fast) and so all of a sudden, action was most definitely my thing. Yeah. *cheeks-are-in-agony-due-to-massive-grin* I could basically cry I am so happy.
(He's running)

"Snapsnapsnapsnapsnapsnapsnapsnap" - That's what it sounds like. :D

Sounds like it's purring at me...

Mmm. Happy noises.


So we had actors on set on the days I was there. Unfortunately I missed out on the actress, Eve Pearson which is such a shame as I really wanted to snap some pictures of her!

What's worse is I saw pictures of her later by Rachel Thomas, a fellow 'tog and she really did look as beautiful as ever. Hmph! *sulk*
Eve Pearson
Image courtesy of the wonderful Rachel Thomas

Moving on to the good bits that I didn't miss however... like the actors I did manage to catch!

There's Matthew Neal:

The devilishly charming actor who once spent a day speaking with a scottish accent for the purpose of an advert and had me totally confused when he went back to speaking normally after filming. I completely forgot that it wasn't his usual accent. Doh!

And yes, these sideburns were grown specially for this part. XD

There was Zachary Street:

Who is, quite frankly, a nutter. :) Always goofing around. Really lovely though and very good in his non-stop, cockney piss-taking, sarcastic accent throughout this piece. His girlfriend Emma also dropped by on one of the day and DEAR SWEET CHRIST is she pretty. Next beauty victim, I think...

There was Jason Marchant:

Who, rather impressively, read rather a lot of Latin to the boys in the prison wagon. Even under duress as the next actor tried to pull him in, mid story-time!

Then there was John Lee Pellett. Or, to our world, Baby John:

Here he is, the brutish 'thespian' holding his lethal weapon. A can of Relentless (product placement). XD

Now, for anyone who knows John, you may find it suprising to know that he lasted a long time through the filming before getting naked and jumping into a canvas tent full of unsuspecting camera crew...

Here's John getting shot though, just for good measure. :)

Well done, John. :D

Now then, next, we have to bow down in adoration for the amazing work of Ruth Pease for her makeup skills!

This is Ruth Pease at work on Kiera Gould. Our stuntwoman (and Assistant Director!)

And this is Kiera going through the practise run with the ack-toars:

Just to remind those who aren't aware or haven't twigged, this is Kiera:

Transformation much!

Amazing work from Ruth. A round of applause if you will.

Of course we then have the awesome costume from Julie Elgar! Here she is at work, dressing Baby John, a difficult task for anyone:

Now, really, we were seemingly lucky to get any work out of Julie on this day as she had realised that morning that her hair was long enough to put into, like, pin-up rolls. Not sure of the correct term.

I did manage to catch her doing some in the mirror but I did say I wouldn't put those pictures up... *snigger*...

Next, there were the crew...

Faye - Director of Photography

...and the camera crew

The sound guys (or Jay and Silent Bob?)

Robin Gould - Fight Co-Ordinator
(mucking in as an extra, of course)

We had Stuart Chambers - Art Director


Mick and Becky Parkin - Prop Effects

Becky was our smoke machine. :D

We had Nick Lewis - Pyrotechnic Co-Ordinator

Who made this shot possible (him and my 8fps!)

Fellow Photographers:

 Rachel Thomas - Unit Photographer

 and Wayne again!

And of course all the extras:

Chris Puttock - Stunt Performer

Adam Gould

Jon Boylan (also in charge of Gaffer)

(Author of Veteran!)

Robin Gould - Fight Co-Ordinator

Kiera Gould - Assistant Director

Kristian Mitchell-Dolby - Behind The Scenes Footage

And finally, just some cool images that I took on the day that I haven't managed to squeeze in up there!

Matt looking out of the wagon.

Kiera amidst the fight in the wagon.

John 'acting'.
For sale: £1m ;)

Naww! Poor zombie! Did no-one want to play with you?

Julie Elgar, stitching.

Kristian Mitchell-Dolby filming behind the scenes.

The wagon from the outside. Ooh.


Mark it!

Bill. In a man-catcher.

Ruth Pease. Standing by for more blood!
They should call her RUTHLESS Pease. Ah ha ha.
... I thought it was funny...

Om nom nom!
Zombie Love Scene pt 1

Om... nom... nom?
Zombie Love Scene pt 2

Bucket Carrying and Barrel-Rolling
I don't know why but I actually love these two images.

Sash at work filming Robin

 Setting up John's gun wound.
We thought he was brave getting that close to Baby John's trousers too.

Matt looking the exhausted hero.

Who shot Gavin G Smith!?
And WHAT will happen to Jakob Douglas now!?
And if you don't know what I'm talking about, you really need to go here and purchase his book. It's really, very good.

Kiera. With a bomb. This wasn't a very good idea, now, was it!?

Sound guy (Freddie) on the roof.
Tsk! Get down, Naughty!

Gavin and Robin.
Pesky French!


Although at a film set it's very frustrating to be a photographer (people get in your way a lot) there really are some awsome reasons to be there. You get some incredible shots, get to see fight scenes, explosions and even Baby John getting set on fire!

Also, by the way, thanks to the help of Sashi Kassoon, I filmed this on my 7D. First time ever.