This month consisted of mainly photography club shoots, as do most months, with there being a variety of clubs to attend in Leicester on various nights. While I can’t go along to any event every week due to my work schedule, most weeks I can go along to at least one. Other than these events, there were a couple of photo shoots I had organised to continue on with my projects, a burlesque show, a music gig and a late night / early morning attempt at capturing water drops. Let’s start with the photography clubs.
Ok, so this one isn’t technically a photography club event, as it wasn’t on it’s normal night of the week, but I ran a workshop on light painting with models at Solo Studio, and the attendees were from Meadows Camera Club. I had ran a similar event in December and with people interested in another I managed to find a date I could do before the nights started to stay lighter for longer, as it needs to be dark (or at least in a room you can make dark) for this to work. As before, I wasn’t taking too many photos, and the ones I did were mainly for demonstration purposes, but I did come away with a few images I was happy with. The model was Klavdia and we used various light painting tool to create different effects, and the attendees had the chance to have a go at the light painting themselves to create the images they wanted. My main aim of these events is for people to go away with the knowledge to be able to give this technique a go themselves.
At The Photography Social this month I only attended one event and the theme for that was pin-up. We had two models to work with , one who is new to modelling, Taylor, and one who I have worked with before, both on group shoots and one-to-one shoots, Claudia, who was perfect for this theme. There were two setups, with one of them having three backdrops that could be quickly changed up, so kind of 4 different setups. Another great night, some fantastic images as I said before, Claudia is perfect for this look, as was Taylor.
Just to slightly go off plan now, as another technically non photography club shoot, but one of the photographers who attends Click Group Shoots has recently setup her own studio and she held an open evening where people could attend, have a look around and there was also a model, Jadah, there for people who wanted to take a few photos and test out the studio equipment. As this was only about a 10 minute drive from where I live, and Jadah is a fantastic model, this was a no brainer. The studio is situated above a working mens club, and easy to find, however I may have made a slight detour via the bar before going to the studio. A good setup, some different coloured backdrops and you can get decent results. The studio is available for hire, and being very close to me, I may just do that sometime.
Back to the photography clubs now, and the events at Click Group Shoots. There were three events I went along to in April, starting off with bodyscapes. This is something I’ve wanted to try out for a while, and even did so last month, but nice to give it another go. There were meant to be two models on the night, however one was a no show, but having the excellent Rhia Rose made up for it. We did a few different setups and I experimented a bit with angles and light placement as this is still something new for me, but it was a very enjoyable night. Just having the one model made it a bit more like a social as there was more time to just have a chat with each other.
Next up at Click was a Sweeney Todd themed night. I’ll admit that I’m not familiar with this theme, not seen the film or any plays, or read any books, although I am vaguely familiar with the story of it, but it was still an interesting night. Similar to other themes that I don’t really know much about (Jack the Ripper, Peaky Blinders, to name a couple) I just turn up to see what’s going on and try to get a few decent images from it. I may not be able to setup and recreate any iconic images associated with the theme, but I have fun and try to work with the models involved to get something.
Finally for April with Click, there was a messy paint night. When this was first announced in the shoot plan, the model for the evening would be Nico Dee and I was looking forward to working with her again. However, on the night it turned out that we had two models, Rhia Rose was back with us again, bonus. There were two areas set out, each with a very different approach. The basic idea was using the body as a canvas and applying paint, but one was very minimal while the other was a bit more hectic. At the end of the night there was a major difference to how the two models looked, but it did create a variety to the images captured. This was a really interesting theme, kind of building a bit on the previous bodyscapes event, and adding paint, although this one was very bright and colourful compared to the other which was dark and more monotone. I really liked this event and it’s something that’s given me ideas for future shoots.
We’ll get onto the one-to-one shoots I had this month, starting off with a shoot with Ella Rae. I’ve worked with her before, mainly on a week long trip to Spain back in 2017, and then I think on one other shoot, so thought it was about time to arrange another photoshoot. The plan for this was to continue on with my coloured gels and fabrics projects, even combining the two a little bit. We worked on the coloured gels first, and I try to not really influence the outfit choices that much and then figure out what colours to use to work with the chosen outfits, then we worked with coloured sheer fabrics. It was a very relaxed shoot, plenty of time to get the images I had in my head and the shoot flew by. I hope it won’t be too long before my next shoot with Ella Rae.
There was a very similar shoot this month, again working on my coloured gels and sheer fabrics projects, but this time with Nico Dee and her partner Benjamin. This shoot followed a very familiar pattern for me in that we started with the coloured gels and worked our way towards then shooting with sheer fabrics, but on this shoot we also finished with a bit of light painting. Again, I tried to not influence the clothing choices too much and then work with whichever colours I thought would work well, for example, one outfit Nico wore was a blue skirt, black top with yellow hat. My first thought was to have a blue and yellow light, but then I decided to go with two red lights to have all the primary colours in the image. Nico is great with the fabrics, being able to create a varied style of poses while working with the fabrics and I love some of the images that we managed to create with them. When I worked with Benjamin, while still using coloured gels, I quickly changed the lighting setups to something that I think works better with male subjects. We finished up with a bit of light painting as it was getting dark enough to do it and I had brought a few things along that I wanted to try out. This will probably be my last light painting shoot until later on in the year when the nights get darker sooner.
Just briefly, before I get onto a couple of events, it was early one morning and I was awake due to my weird sleeping schedule and I was thinking of something to do when I thought I’d give something a try which I haven’t done for a while and that is water drops. I still have all the equipment even though it must have been a few years since I last did any, but it’s a relatively simple setup, and it’s something quick and easy to pass a bit of time. There are many times that I’m up in the middle of the night and that’s generally when I do any still life or macro photography. These images came out pretty well, although I didn’t manage to catch any collisions really, but I’m not too bothered.
Now we’ll come onto a couple of events in April, one music gig, but first a burlesque show.
I’ve been going along to the Glitterbug burlesque shows since they first started, maybe 3 years ago, and I haven’t missed one of them. When I first saw this lineup I was really looking forward to this one, which ended up being billed as Glitterbug Elite, and it certainly was that. The performers on this show were either performers I’d not seen but heard lots of good things about, or they were some of my favourite performers. Add to that the host, Joe Black, was excellent, and it was a fantastic show. I’ve said it before but a good host really does make an event run well, someone who can easily fill time if needed, interact well with a crowd who are either being too quiet, or shut down and deal with those people who are a bit too loud, and your show just runs that much smoother. The performers were Vicky Butterfly, Aurora Galore, Starla Bright, Lily Lustre, Lux DeLioux, Arran Shurvinton as Nosferatu and Santana Rouge. A wonderful Glitterbug show, I heard lots of people having good words to say about it and I’m really looking forward to the next event.
Finally for April, I went along to a gig where The SoapGirls were headlining. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen The SoapGirls now, but I always look for any of their gigs I can get along to when they’re touring over here. Back in the UK and Europe for the ‘Sniff My Strap’ tour, they were starting with three dates in UK before heading off to Europe for a month or two and then they’ll be returning later on this year. A full list of tour dates can be seen over on their website.
This was their third date on the current tour, and the first Saturday show which promised to be eventful, and it certainly was. Taking place at The Trades in Rotherham, I arrived and saw a few familiar SoapSud faces waiting to go into the venue. Support on the night came from Kickstart Friday, who played a good set with some good sounding songs and a decent stage presence as they weren’t just standing in one place the whole time, I’ll definitely be checking them out again. However, I think most people in attendance were there for The SoapGirls. They came out on stage and with a set consisting of some brand new songs mixed in with crowd favourites, they played for almost two hours. There were a few technical issues, mainly at one point the power seemed to trip out and all the electrics on stage stopped working, but fair play to the venue staff, they had it sorted and working in no time. There was the usual crowd interaction and getting members on stage at various times during the night that everyone in attendance has come to know and love, but at the end we finished up with cans of shaving foam being handed out and things got a bit messy. I tried to stay away, mainly wanting to protect my camera, but I had to get in there for a few photos at the end. What a night, playing a near two hour set, putting on a fantastic show, I’m already looking at what other gigs I can get along to on this tour.