Sunday, 18 September 2011

Ceri Williams: Foxcub or Vixen?

Here she comes again.

Ceri Williams. Saturday 17th September.

Unfortunately, we had no Rachel today. She must have other friends or something... (boo, hiss).

Ceri arrived at 10am with her newly orange-red hair. We took a couple of shots, and then she went for her hairdressers appointment.

We wanted to get a variety of looks. To start off with we went for:

Something simple.

Something alternative.

Something edgy.

Something cute.

Something happy.

... and something relatable. :D

And then we broke out the hairdye for a change of feel. This time, a darker red.

It looked hot.

So we spiced it up a bit.

Oh yeaaah!

I ♥ these.

Especially that one ->

Anyway, the hair, I think, kicked it up a notch. We pretty much built a whole portfolio. We had:


Strong yet feminine:



Elegant (another favourite):


And hatful:

We had a great day all 'round. We had £30 worth of Domino's pizza, a wonderful cup of tea courtesy of Robin Gould, fight co-ordinator extraordinnaire and live music from the musical prodigy himself, Matt Evans.

Like this? Look out for our next shoot on the 1st October. Where The Nicholson will be present once again saving me the hassle of attempting make-up. Urgh.

Actually, speaking of Nicholson, if you find yourself at all fond of the artistic touch she has brought to the shoot table, please spare the time to visit her recently-created Facebook page and 'like' to show your support. Thanks.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Ceri Williams: The Subtle Swan

This one is titled as such due to this being a little bit of an ‘Ugly Ducking’ story, except that Ceri has, by no means, ever been an ugly anything.

I think you might understand the title a little more by the end of this blog. It's more of a transformation reference.

Ceri is, in fact, a rather lovely friend of ours who, throughout all the time that we’ve known her, has been, what can only be described as a ‘cute tomboy’. She rarely ever wears make-up, she’s always wearing jeans and a t-shirt or hoody (often brightly coloured). She has a style of her own and even though she seemingly never tries, there really is just something about her that you can’t quite put your finger on. She has a face (not unlike many other people) but hers is particularly captivating. She’s exciting, funny, and off in her own little world most of the time but whenever she’s in a room, I still think that subconsciously, most people can’t keep their eyes off her. Even the way she speaks is lovely. And she’s just got these big, beautiful eyes.

Before I seem as though I’m caught up on some sort of strange, less than mild crush on her, this is Ceri normally:

See. Cute and tomboy-ish, right? (she's even climbing trees and playing with sticks!!!)

Now Rachel and I have spoken about Ceri before. She’s a model you see, but she has no idea. Another fantastic thing about her. Ceri is an incredible girl. She’s so very talented. She can sing, she can dance, she can act. A good fighter, a good conversationalist, a good writer. She could probably do anything, but possibly the most wonderful thing about her is that she genuinely has no idea how truly talented she is. One of those, ‘Yeah, I can kind of sing but…’ people. Seriously. No clue. It’s quite amazing, really.

When I first started to teach myself about photography, Ceri was one of my first ‘victims’. I asked her to come with me to Waverley Abbey where we went to practise (because I really needed to get the hang of setting up for outside! Too blurry, too bright, I had no idea). Ceri was pretty shy about it but came along all the same and followed instruction whilst I swore at the camera and tried to figure it all out. I thought back then that I would get her back in front of the camera when I was better and knew what I was doing. She had not done anything particularly different that day but I really found it hard not to notice quite how photogenic she was.

So now, you may have heard… somewhere along the line… that I have a Canon 7D now… which is alright, I suppose (;D) plus, I can take pictures a little better, I like to think. And so, Rachel and I have been conspiring…

So, quite late on Sunday (11th Sept), after another shoot, Ceri was at our place with some of the guys that had come over. We snuck upstairs, approached her from the shadows, hit her over the head with some bars of soap in a pillowcase and dragged her downstairs to the studio. (Note: there was a slight dramatisation in that last sentence somewhere, we may have just picked her up and run downstairs with her).

I grabbed a nice, pretty top combo for her to wear and Rachel did some nice gold and brown make-up that looked rather stunning, as always.

This is what we got. (Note: There wasn’t a single bad shot of her and we only took about 12 pictures, if that for the sake of variety.)

Stunning, wouldn’t you say?

Next, we did something a little different. A look that blew us away even though we did it to her.

I’d like to mention at this point to any friends or family of Ceri’s, if they are reading, that these upcoming images do not really look like Ceri at all, of which we are aware and I guarantee that you will prefer the above images to these.

But the truth is, Ceri really suits high-fashion as a styling. I’m sure even those who don’t follow fashion can appreciate that the models are often made to look pretty unusual sometimes rather than typically pretty.

And so here’s the next stage of our experiment (again, only 20-25 pictures?):

As I’m sure you can understand. Ceri is a big hit already. I’d say ‘keep your eyes peeled’ but you couldn’t overlook this face.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Melissa Cann: Out Of Office

I finally got my studio equipment on Friday 2nd September.

A set of Elinchrom D-Lite it 4's, two 66x66cm softboxes, another reflector, Arctic White Colorama backdrop, a heavy duty backdrop frame and some other bits and bobs, if anyone's interested... (anyone???)

Naturally, I had to rope someone into guinea-pigging for me whilst I attacked them with my new kit. As it happens, at my new-ish job, there is a (very pretty) young office administrator who happened to mention that she would 'give it a go' if she had the opportunity. So here it was. The opportunity.

Melissa and I met up after work on Thursday 3rd Sept and drove to Frimley where we took a couple of test headshots like this one:

The idea of this was that she wouldn't be a bag of nerves when she got in front of the camera on the coming Sunday. Melissa's plenty confident but I wasn't sure whether being in the 'limelight' would put her way out of her comfort zone. I was very pleased to find, though, that it didn't at all. Melissa was as bubbly and fun as ever and we had a great time messing around and trying different looks.

So we agreed on the Sunday in Basingstoke. Notorious Nicholson was back on the case again and turned up at noon to find that I had (with the help of the resident men) shoved all of the furniture over to one side of the room and set up MY EPIC STUDIO OF EPICNESS in the other half. She also witness the kitten (Leela) attacking the new equipment (very helpful) whilst I was trying to get it set up.

This is Leela in her new collar, by the way. Cute.

Melissa turned up at half past and rolled in with a suitcase of clothes. Moving in, are you? Ah ha ha. Best joke ever... We all had sandwiches, lovingly made by Martin before he was banished from the now studio until we had finished. See. I'm learning to feed the models now. And then we set to work.

Rachel got going with the makeup and we started with something simple and floral. Soft light up front and ever so slightly harshly backlit.

Isn't she lovely?

We did all the dresses at the beginning as they were soft and simple. We got such images as:


I liked this little cream dress the most. It was really nice.

Now then. Clearly, we were due for a make-up change by this point as we'd exhausted the more simple and natural look and so Rachel (who was watching the car rally racing at this point) was tasked with something a bit more dramatic.

So here it goes. I whacked the lights up a bit and we went for something a bit more bright and zany to show off Melissa's fun side. Here's what we got:

If you don't know Melissa, this really doesn't look like her, by the way. Great job Rachel. Rachel? Rachel was watching the racing again. :)

So we pestered her again. Rayyy-ch!?

After this make-up change, Rachel went home to sort my pizza out for later whilst Melissa and I finished up with two more outfits. :)

This one was actually taken with the light in shot behind Melissa here. No softbox. Completely nakey. I'm quite pleased with it but would like to try it again a little differently.

Final outfit. Orange and purple. Fab. Very happy, just like Melissa.

And a nice 'over the shoulder' finish:


 On the whole, I would say Melissa was a huge success. She's got a fantastic face, a beautiful smile and those big brown eyes. I would definitely love working with her again (even though, technically, I 'work with her' every weekday... ) and I hope that she takes this shoot as the start of a fun and fantastic modelling spree! I think she'd do incredibly well in catalogue modelling with a face like that and so I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens from here!

To top this rather fantastic day off, Martin (my partner) and I headed over to Rachel and Simon's for a pretty darn massive pizza and Ace Ventura; When Nature Calls, which contains such memorable quotes as:

"I'm sorry, how... selfish of me... Let's do ALL the things that you wanna do."
and of course:
"And YOU must be the Monopoly guy! Hey... Thanks for the free parking..."

We need to get a hobby.