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A little bit of art…
This is the very lovely Helen who I was lucky enough to shoot at the now-not-so-new-home-studio. Up until now the only problem with some shoots was that the temperature was too low (sometimes in the the ‘proper’ studios the temperatures have been hovering around zero when shooting in January – not good for the poor models at all!).
The benefits of shooting from the house is that this is no longer the case – but today was quite the opposite – sat on a motorway for an hour or three in the baking sun isn’t too good for anyone’s complexion, so I was a touch concerned when Helen turned up red faced and panting at the door (there may be a wee bit of artistic licence there haha) after having a bit of a horror journey to get to mine.
No worries though as it turned out, as soon as I raised the camera to my eye I knew we were going to get some awesome shots – I don’t know what it is about some people, but the camera does truly love them, and Helen is one of those – stunning!
I just love this shot, and so it would seem do the very nice (obviously!) people at Flickr, as it went onto explore almost as soon as I had uploaded it – explore is a selection of I guess ‘the best’ pics submitted that day (I’m not sure this is entirely true, as it uses some kind of funky algorithm to select the pics, but hey ho), and in no time at all it was one of my most highly viewed pics.
I’d still like it if no one else did really, as it’s this sort of shot I just adore – thanks very much to the beautiful Alice La Vie.
From the time spent with Stefano, I thought it’d be good to use some of his lighting techniques with the very lovely Sara, and see what came out in the mix – I must say I’m very happy, and some of the shots are just lovely. Onwards and upwards….
The wonderful Ella Rose!
I spend quite a bit of time these days trawling through the internet looking for inspiration, and time after time photographs from one man would make their way into my favourites list – there is just something about his lighting and style that makes me drop my bacon sandwich and inspires me to do better. The man in question is Stefano Brunesci, and his work is just amazing – emotive nudes that just exude style.
I noticed from one of his portfolio websites that he does tuition, so I thought why the hell not, get in touch and go for it.
He’s not cheap, but I decided to book up and the date was set. I didn’t really know what to expect – I knew I was shooting from his house, but was kind of expecting to be in some fancy studio – so was a little surprised to find I was shooting in his kitchen, watched all the while by a three legged cat called Wicket. The afternoon flashed past and was brilliant – he was a great teacher, and showed that you don’t need particularly fancy equipment, or huge hangar sized studios to achieve the excellent results that he gets. It was so interesting seeing how another photographer interacts with the models, and how they get the sort of shots they do – I may have to become more vocal if I want to achieve the results he gets, as he is really quite encouraging with camera in hand. The model we were shooting was the lovely Ella Rose, and I ended up with cards full of excellent shots, and a head full of ideas.
I just need to go home and put these ideas into action!
Now this is Art!
Not the picture obviously, but the beautiful piece of engineering soaring over Birmingham airport in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the great plane. It was a beautiful sight, which unfortunately only lasted a matter of seconds, but I did manage to grab a few snaps, and it’s probably the first and last time I’ll see one fly – the costs of keeping this beauty airworthy are prohibitive, and if things continue as they are, it’ll run out of funding next year, and that will be that.
It’ll be a terrible shame if it doesn’t fly again
Sorry mum if you were expecting pics of churches
They will be back at some point I’m sure, but you can’t really blame me eh?
This is the lovely Leah, who was helping me out at short notice after a different model flaked (dictionary definition: behaving in a way that is not responsible or expected), who has, in the past, been photographed by David Bailey – so not much pressure to produce some decent shots eh?
I loved this one
I’m not sure what it is about black and white portrait photography, but I just love it – this style of shot, a bit retro, especially with Dakota’s outfit – I think it just works.
Dakota is another fantastic person to work with, described by some as a pocket rocket (tiny!) every time we shoot we seem to get something special – great fun too!
I just love this shot!
This is the beautiful Holly, or Ivory Flame as she is better known. I’ve always wanted to do art nude work, but previous attempts in the studio have always left me more disappointed than inspired, so I decided to bite the bullet and shoot with someone who I thought I’d get some decent pictures with. Having looked around the various portfolio websites, I had noticed lots of fabulous pictures featuring Holly, porcelain skin and curly red hair, and every one pretty special, so it was a no brainer for me to contact her and sort out a shoot.
I was not disappointed!
It was just such a lovely shooting experience – she looks wonderful, and is so very graceful, but much more than that is the way we were able to work together to get the desired photos – we’d take a few frames and then both study the back of the camera and discuss what ways we could improve the image, a change of position here, a movement of light there, re-shoot and review.
All in all, a great afternoon in the studio when I should have been in work – what better way to spend a days holiday? A great learning experience for me, an afternoon spent with Holly who was lovely, and the realisation that to get the best images sometimes you need more than someone who is just pretty.
This particular shot is taken with my InfraRed camera, which gives the (slightly strange) blue tone to the overall shot, but also emphasises the feather collar – I like it! A colour version of this shot can be seen here.
This is one of those pics that just happened in the studio, and it is just fab! I’ve always seen the bathtub in the studio, but only shot with it a couple of times – you can’t fill it with water, which makes it a little less interesting – but this time Jess, the model, wanted a few bathtub shots, and this is how it turned out.
I’d like to say this was totally my idea, but it’d be a barefaced lie, so I won’t – thanks Jess, fab pose
What a year so far!
At the beginning of the year I made two resolutions – one to have a bit more direction in my project 52 and the other to take some pictures of people. I’ve not been too successful on the first point, but that’s mainly due to the obsession that has developed from the second…
I’d noticed in all my pictures that I vary rarely take pictures of people, but that they were the sort of pics I’d naturally end up looking at when looking at other peoples work – so I thought why not go on a portrait course and learn how to photograph people – seems pretty simple, and I can’t believe I hadn’t done it before…
In February I therefore booked myself into a portrait course at TipTop Studios in the Jewellery Quarter here in Birmingham, and haven’t looked back since – I was terrified initially as I had no idea what I was doing, either technically or interacting with the model – up until then, most things I shot didn’t move or talk back! So I was lucky that the first person I shot was Jess, there was a moment of blind panic when you were left in the room alone and you realise you have no idea how to direct or what to shoot, but she was lovely and the pics from that first shoot I really love.
Since then I’ve taken over 8,000 pictures, and I’m guessing that 90% are portraits – what a turn around! The picture above is of Leanne, taken with an InfraRed converted camera – I love the contrast between the tattoos and skin that the IR camera produces, and the contrast between her beauty and the skull tattoos of her sleeve – you’ll also notice the pose is quite reminiscent of many statue pictures I ended up shooting before my awakening – I like that third contrast between the classical pose and the slightly more alternative subject matter, and I’m lucky enough to be shooting with her again – can’t wait!