Monday, 21 May 2012

Ceri Williams: Despair and Destruction

That’s what you shall experience if you decide to work with Ceri.

Not really. She’s fab.

I sent her a text on the 9th May to enquire as to whether she was free on Sunday the 13th because I ‘had an idea for something’… and she was! And thank goodness otherwise this would have been a very short post, wouldn’t it?

I was in Wolverhampton that weekend so wasn’t sure what time I’d be back but I got to Farnborough around 4pm and Ceri and I went about shredding some old dark clothes into strips. She asked why but was told she’d see when we got there. To which she asked ‘Oh, are we going out then?’… Hee hee. I’m sneaky.

I managed also to rope housemate and legend, Matt Evans into coming along as well as an assistant, and assist he did!

We got to the location in Hindhead for about 6pm to meet the most beautiful sunshine I’d seen all year. At first I was a bit miffed as it was on the wrong side of the building but it turned out OK as it was falling in through a broken window. Could it get any more magical? (Obviously, I mean without a unicorn).

I got Ceri dressed and Matt and I knotted all the strips of fabric together before tucking them up under Ceri’s corset. We positioned them around her (in a fashion of which you might be able to gleam from the final photo) and just to finish the effect of Ceri’s fabric-y tendrils creeping their way across the building, I went around the back, climbed a tree (something I regretted not limbering up for in the days to follow) and threw some fabric in through the windows. This way, it looked as though Ceri’s dress was snaking it’s way up the walls and out of the windows.

^ There's me in the tree...

We started off sad, sorrowful and a tad creepy… O_o

Here's me directing that shot XD

Heh. I look like I'm directing Hamlet.

"No, no, Ceri! It's 'Alas! Poor Yorrick! I knew him, Horatio... yadda yadda'. Really feel his sorrow!"

Ahh... pretty... ->

 I wanted to ‘leg it’ after seeing this one on my display after taking. *shudder* :

But I didn’t! I soldiered on (very brave) and continued to work this girl to death after her nearly 3-month break from modelling…

Next up, Matt ‘Wind-Machine’ Evans, fanned my beautiful, yet scary subject to create some oomph/wind/epics and got Ceri to literally, put those lungs to use and scream the house down...

And a right banshee she became!:

If anyone heard us in the neighbouring houses, they’re not going to be approaching this place again in a hurry!

We got a couple more shots with a broken mirror on our way out of which this was the best one:

Poor little doll. What have you become, eh?
And then we spent a few more minutes working on a different project for Ceri before we lost the light.

All in all, a bloody good day actually!

Thanks to Matt and Ceri for your hard work on this one. We did good. x

Monday, 14 May 2012

Rachel Nicholson: Backseat Hollywood

Rachel, the ever-wonderful make-up artist is modelling for me again. Hooray.

I mentioned to Rach about 3-4 months ago that I had a couple of ideas/shots I really wanted to try, if she would be so kind as to be my subject on a couple of evenings for some of them. All of these ideas are still yet to be executed as I haven’t had the time. I've got so many things in here *points to where brain should be* and I can't put them onto photo!

But as mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been incredibly photo-hungry of late. One idea I had was shooting beauty or fashion within in a car, but of course, for that to work, you need access to a nice car!!!

With that in mind, Rachel and her significant other, Simon, motor photographer ( were due over for dinner on Friday 11th May. So thinking of Simon and Rachel it suddenly hit me- Simon has a Jaguar s-type. Red leather and mahogany interior… it was too brilliant.

(this is his car in the dark)
(More of his photography can be found here:

I texted Simon: “Simon, would you mind if I did a photoshoot with Rach in the back of your car?”… and then waited…

… for about 3 minutes and then as he didn’t respond (probably working), I texted Rach: “Rach, I want you in the back of Si’s car”…. She knew what I meant. Luckily, otherwise that friendship could have gotten mighty awkward.

So my impatience had caught the attention of one of them. Now to get the pictures taken tonight.

Rachel asks when.

I say "Tonight! Just kidding." (I wasn't kidding)

and then I say, "Well unless you CAN do it tonight?"

So she does. I love Rachel so much.

Comedy moment however is Simon texting back a bazillion hours later to say 'sure' and when was I thinking... Oops.


So they got to us about 8pm. Martin was cooking dinner and Si pulled up to the kerb outside the house. Rach was dolled up with her stunning make-up done to perfection, in a lovely black evening dress... and her Converse pumps.

Hello, I didn't realise we were expecting Kristen Stewart for dinner?

Anyway, we got right on it while the boys talked about boy stuff.

Pushed the front seats right forwards (as far as they would go), set up one light in the window, naked, no softbox or honeycomb, and one up from the floor. Both with their modelling lights on full rather than using the flash as otherwise it was too bright. I did consider the softboxes but they're a lot of hassle for a quick shoot. We only had until dinner was ready! Eep!

I got all snap happy and Rachel chilled out in the backseat, looking all lovely.

I had a go with my amazing new portrait lens (Canon 50mm f/1.4 for those who missed it last time and might care... ) which got me my favourite shot, here:

And also the Tamron to get a bit more in.

Love this one!

I did also have some on which I did use the flash but I think you'll agree that the warmer colour (above) is better for these shots...

Get a load of those sapphire-blues though!

I still quite like these ones... Rachel being in them helps, 'cause she just looks this fantastic all the time. *jealous*

It's quite a common thing actually, that you get gorgeous make-up artists working with you that you think should be the model...

... but I think I've found the prettiest. :D \o/

Can't wait to do some more.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Self Portraits: A Bit of 'Me-Time'

Right... truth is... I haven't been able to get my creative on for a couple of weeks and it's made me hungry for image creation. Big time.

So, I got a new lens for my birthday (thank you to all who emailed and messaged to wish me happy birthday. If you want to give me a 'free' gift, please recommend me to your friends, share my blog or share my Facebook page as that would be most ace of you.). Martin kindly bought me a 50mm f1.4 Canon lens. Yum yum. Unfortunately, due to various reasons, I had no-one to test it on! D':

So, needing to get a self-portrait done at some point (whilst they're lovely, I feel a little pretentious using old modelling shots as my portrait images), I volunteered myself late one evening. \o/

Here's how it went!

I got the camera, complete with new lens set up on my new tripod (another birthday gift, thanks Adam), set the aperture to f/1.4 (because I can :D ) focussed roughly where I thought I would be and set my camera on a timer.

That didn't work.

with such a shallow depth of field, of course I wasn't going to end up in the correct place. even despite the 20th or so attempts... O_o

So instead, I kept the same settings and then pushed the button manually.

Naturally I looked away at the last minute because I'm just so very shy. ;)

So that one was under a tungsten bulb and with the tungsten white balance setting giving it that lovely cold/blue look. Which I like. Makes me look a bit elfy.

And then next I popped up one of my lights for a bit of a sharp shadow/lighting effect.

And got this....

... with the shallowest depth of field EVER (n.b. not an actual fact)!
Well there they are then. Took a lot of trial and error to get just these two. Didn't really like the rest. Too blurry, not well-framed, wrong angle of nose, too much cowbell, etc.

Will refrain from talking a lot about myself now and leave...

... resisting.... usual... egotistical... comments... erk...

... struggling... with... self...

But I am pretty fabulous though.