Finally, I've got some time to update this damn blog. And boy, am I updating it with something cool. Last week I had one of my favourite people come in a help me with a love project that I had been trying to do for some time. Kristýna - AKA - Blue Kiss is my favourite tattooed, blue hair, punk rock attitude beauty, that is crazy enough to put up with my ever expanding crazy ideas. After all the first time we ever worked together she agreed to be painted in black paint for a shoot. This time there was no paint to be spoken of. Instead this time we would be using a projector. Using a handful of images, shapes and words, we played around with a couple of styles and concepts and below are some of the results. I'll hope you'll agree that we definitely captured something different.
I seem to spend every free moment of my days, working. From 6am to 1am I'm working, non-stop. I've actually forgotten what having a break feels like. I'm constantly trying to build my business to new and exciting heights, but this does require spending countless hours locked away in my office and studio, working. Arranging and conducting photo shoots, wedding meetings, client meetings, answering never-ending messages and emails, editing photos, creating content, researching techniques, scouting locations, the list goes on and on. But I do all of this whilst also working a ''Day Job'' as well.
The last time I can remember of taking any real time off, was about 2 years ago, when I went on a family holiday to Tunisia. Well in between those two years I worked myself into the ground and was starting to get depressed with not being able to unwind properly from the constant state of busyness I was always in. Trust me when you have your own business and want to really make it succeed you will put your everything into it, and devote whatever free time you have to it, to make it work.
A few weeks ago, I thought to myself that I was well overdue a break from anything business related. So I scheduled a mini break away, between all the hecticness of photo shoots and meetings. So I went and brought a tent and some camping supplies and packed it into my car and headed to a place I love, The New Forest.
I planned on spending two and bit days there, with no particular plan on doing anything but relaxing and taking some time for myself. The whole camping experience was something I loved, I was free of a computer screen, I was free from electronics, I was free from any real home comforts. During the days I made the most of the exceptional weather and walked endlessly through miles and miles of vast open heaths and towering forests. taking in the natural and uninhibited landscapes. Sharing walk ways and roads with wild ponies and cows at every turn.
I ended up walking over 40 miles in two days and nearly crippled myself in the process. My feet are still paying the price for it nearly a month on. But I loved every second of it. I came away from the little break, feeling absolutely knackered and drained physically, but mentally I was rejuvenated. I felt ready to dive straight back into my busy workload with 100 times more energy than I had before I went away.
So now that I know, that even a small break away from the work life, won't jeopardise my overall business aspirations, in fact, it will do the complete opposite. I will have to make more time to break away from it and take the chance to relax a little bit more often.
So the last couple of weeks have been an unstoppable whirlwind of a ride. I wanted to let you all know that I hadn't fallen off the face of the planet, just been working my ass off. I've a few new projects that are currently in the works and taking a whole bunch of my time and energy to organise and orchestrate. But I have been shooting a ton of new work between these projects. Here's a very quick sneak peek from today's shoot with the stunning Kelly Maynard. Trust me you'll want to come back to see the rest of these photos once they are done.
Stay focused focused you beautiful people.
A couple of weeks ago I got to work with one of my all time favourite people Nicole Hinson. Good times are always had whenever I work with this lovely lady. This time was no exception. We had planned for a late evening sunset shoot in some local fields close to where I live.
The shoot itself was one of the more memorable ones I've ever had, for one specific reason, we got a visit from the local police during our photoshoot. The fuzz turned up and shit got real.
Thankfully it's not as bad as it first sounds.
Now let me paint the scene for you, myself, Nicole and her fiancé Josh, arrived at the local farmers field which has public walking access through it around 7pm. This field is right next to a quiet country road, that every now and then cars do use. In the time that we were there I saw about 10 cars and about 6 motorbikes travel down it. No one else walking through the fields at all. We covered a couple of looks from simple portrait stuff to clothed/ lingerie. But this was still enough for someone to call the local authorities and report us for suspicious activity.
We were happily minding our own business when, we saw the blue flashing lights come over the crest of the road and my gut instinct was that the police had come for us. The only reason I thought it would be for, was somebody didn't want us on their land, and we would be asked to leave. I have been asked a couple of times by security guards or police to move from certain locations in the past, and I've always done as I'm asked. No point in arguing with authorities.
Once the police officers stopped and got out of their car, we made our way over to them and greeted them. Very polity they asked us what we were doing. I dutifully told them we were doing a photoshoot. Then the female officer in attendance spoke up and asked Nicole if she was there on her own free will and if she was safe. My mind started to race and was thinking about what could we have done to make someone think that Nicole was in any sort of danger.
The officers then explained that they just had a report of two men and lady in a field and that it was their responsibility to investigate and make sure everything and everyone involved was ok and safe. At that point I relaxed a little bit. Until another police car arrived and another two officers stepped out.
Was doing a modelling photoshoot in this location really frowned upon?
They took all of our details and went to check them out. Yet again we had to explain what we were doing and how long we planned to be there for. Thankfully none of us had any outstanding warrants etc so they all came back good. The officers said that we hadn't done anything wrong and that we were perfectly allowed to carry on. We kindly thanked them and told them we totally understood why they stopped us and that we didn't mind. After all, they were doing their jobs. Although it did hinder us a little bit, the fact that someone took the time to call the police and report something they looked out of the ordinary is kind of a good thing. We could have been up to no good and Nicole could have been in trouble for all they knew, so it hurt no one for the police to come and check it out. After all, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Whenever the lovely Dannii Lou contacts me and asks me if I want to work on some images together, the answer is yes. Always yes! Dannii Lou was the first professional model I worked with many years ago when I started out. I had photographed other people before I had met her, but Dannii Lou was the first professional model.
The first time I got to work with her, I instantly noticed the difference from the people I had been working with, to who I had in front of me that day. The moves and looks that this woman was creating were effortless & beautiful, she rolled from one pose to next, and looked flawless every time. I still remember her teaching me about posing, and how certain things had to be placed and positioned, for the best results and images. Things I still remember and use to this day.
She has always been down for creating stunning images and gives it her all. On this occasion, I really wanted to create some moody and atmospheric portraits so we headed to a local forest. We found a spot well out of the way of passerby’s, and I just let Dannii Lou do her thing. A thing I hope you all agree she does so well.
A few weeks ago, I planned another one of my trips to London where I walked from the late afternoon all the way through to the following morning, making sure to capture some interesting images that I came across. What I didn’t realise when I booked my tickets, was that the day I was going, was actually the day of London gay pride celebrations. Only finding out the day before I was going, I changed my original plans, so I could be sure to incorporate the festivities into my photo walk.
I’ve seen many images from previous pride events and knew that it would be a sight to behold. I actually bypassed the main parade, as I didn’t want to be stuck against some guard rail being penned in like some sort of sheep. Getting one angle of a passing parade doesn’t fill l me with too much enjoyment. Instead I made my way to what is described as the heart of the LGBT community, Soho.
As soon as I stepped off the train I knew I had found the place where all the action was taking place. Every direction you looked there was a sea of rainbow flags. Thank god that the streets had been cornered off because the sheer volume of people in this small one square mile was like nothing I've ever seen before. No cars were getting through this.
I followed the general direction that most people were heading and instantly regretted it. I was met by a massive wall of bodies that were crammed like sardines into this little side street. You literally could not move. There was a bar in the middle of row of shops that had a DJ at the window pumping out tunes. This is why the street was jammed packed. It took a full 15 minutes to work my way through the packed crowd to the other side. A distance of about 100m. Once I got my breath back and regained my bearings and I set off walking around soho square and the adjacent streets avoiding the massive crowds of non moving bodies, capturing the sights and going ons I saw.
The place was awash with crazy outfits, on point makeup, face paints and impeccable bodies, on all sides of the gender Spectrum. There was thousands of young people, old people, all of various ethnicities, religions and walks of life having the time of their lives, celebrating the fact that love is a Human right and should never have rules or barriers around it. I’ll look back on that day with fond memories, as I was the first time, I’ve ever been to a place that where ever you looked everyone was smiling, it felt like everyone was your friend and everyone was just there to be themselves and enjoy life.
I love working on location. There is so much freedom when I get to work outside. I love doing studio work and working in indoor locations. But nothing quite beats working outside in vast amounts of open space and having to work with whatever you have around you. I got to do such things with the awesome Kelly Maynard the other weekend.
This was my first time working with kelly and after about 5 minutes of talking with her, I knew I had found the perfect model for the shoot we had planned. My idea was to head to the local forest near to where I live and play around with a couple of styles from simple beauty portraits to few more experimental art nude ideas. Kelly’s desire and commitment to our shoot was unlike anything I had previously experienced. She was quite literally willing to roll around in the cold wet mud for the sake of creating a beautiful set of images.I’m so glad we were lucky with the weather on the day, as for the previous 48 hours it had been constant heavy downpours and blusterous cold winds, and as much as I believe that Kelly would have stood for a period of time in the rain if it meant getting a good image, I didn’t feel that would have been fun or the right thing to do for our first shoot together. Here're a few of the images from our day in the woods. More will follow.
A few weeks ago I had the joy of working with a lovely new model Kristýna. I had been a follower and admirer of her work for the past year and was excited that we were getting an opportunity to be working together.
We had a few communications before the shoot and bounced around a couple of ideas. She chose a couple of ideas similar to my previous boudoir photoshoots as well as a few more edgy art nude ideas, and then to my surprise a concept that was unusual to anything I had tried before.
Kristýna a native of the Czech Republic was like a breath of fresh air, someone who was willing to put commitment and her all into an idea. After we ticked off a few different styles, we got stuck into the unusual idea we had. Which was to be covered in black paint. We wanted to capture something different, that neither one of us hadn't done before and this was certainly it.
If you've never experienced what a whole load of paint feels like on your exposed skin, then you won't know how weird it feels and how useless you become, when you can't move a great deal in fear of getting paint anywhere it shouldn't.
I tested the paint on myself the night before, for a couple of reasons. The first being to see if there were any reactions to the paint being in contact with the skin. Thankfully all was good on that front. The second was to see how much paint would be needed to get the shots we wanted. You'll be surprised at how far a little paint does go.
The useless feeling comes over you soon after you have paint over your hands and body, and you can't do anything. You start feeling like you have to scratch every other part of your body that doesn't have paint on it. You get the urge to pee. §In my case, this all happened at the same time as my phone started to ring. Talk about Sod's law.
Never the less Kristýna took this challenge and accepted it, without any hesitation. She embraced the messiness and owned it. Apart from the odd stray hair that got in her eyes, we didn't have too many problems in getting the images we wanted.
I thoroughly enjoyed working with Kristýna, and couldnt have asked more of her on the day. We are already planning for the next shoot. Hopefully, this time, there won’t be any paint in sight.
A very quick and easy method to correct off white backdrops using Lightroom. ( PURE WHITE BACKGROUND )
I've always struggled to get perfectly lit backdrops whenever I shoot head shots or modelling profiles. There is always parts of the backdrop where the light drops off or is uneven, sometimes shadows are cast across it.
But now there is a quick and easy way to correct any slight off colours or shadows. It revolves around using Lightroom's adjustment brush and the auto mask feature.
Don't forget to subscribe to stay up to date with new content as I release it.