This month was bookended by me going along to a few SoapGirls gigs. These have different blog posts so I’ll link to those now. It started off with a couple of gigs grouped together in one post, then at the end of the month I went along to three gigs in a row. In between those gigs, June was quite a busy month, so let’s get into it.
Most of the shoots this month were working with various people, either on workshops, group shoots or solo shoots, and I’ll start as the month started, with me attending Meadows camera club and working with Gemma for the first time.
This was a fun shoot, Gemma has a great look and she brought along a large variety of clothing options to work with. We started with taking photos against the graffiti door at Solo Studio, then moving onto a simple setup against a grey background with some different lighting for different outfits. Being my first time working with Gemma, I can’t see this being the last, we created some images I’m really happy with and she was fantastic to work with.
The other event I attended at Meadows was towards the end of the month, working with Amna. For this event I didn’t know if I’d be going along as I was at work during the day, so took my camera with me just in case. I arrived a bit later than normal, due to me finishing work at 7pm, then it’s about a 20-30 minute drive to get there, but it was worth it as Amna was another fantastic person to work with. We managed to fit in 4 outfits, and with the final one I tried something a bit different with the lighting, setting it up and using a plastic bag held in front of the lens to create a kind of soft and blurry effect. The images came out really well, and I look forward to working with Amna again in the future.
I attended one workshop in June, which was a 4 hour workshop held by Scott Choucino, and it was about modifying store bought modifiers. The basic idea was to not use modifiers (things that will alter how light looks – umbrella/softbox/reflectors/etc) as they are when you buy them, knowing what you want from your light and then how to alter the modifier to achieve what you want. That sounds a bit complicated, but it’s not too difficult to understand once you get your head around it. We had the wonderful Anne modelling for us on the day, and while I wasn’t going there specifically to get great photos, I went along more for the information and to learn something I could then apply to my future shoots, I did get some good images from this day. Scott is a great teacher with tons of knowledge that you can’t come away from these events without learning something new. I always keep an eye out for his workshops, and if it’s related to something I’m interested in and I’m not busy on the day, I’ll try to get along.
A local studio was having it’s first birthday, so they put on an event in the evening for people who have been along in its first year to get together, maybe see what’s changed if they haven’t been for a while and just generally have a social evening. There was a model there as well, so it was also an opportunity to have a play with some of their latest equipment, but again, it was an event I didn’t specifically go to with the intention of taking lots of photos, it was more the social aspect and to see what updates to the studio there were. I have only been along once before, and that isn’t to say anything against the studio, it’s a great place, with lots of natural light and studio lighting, it’s just a bit far away from me, and there are other studios closer. It was a good evening, managed to catch up with a few people I’ve not seen for a while and took some good photos of Renea, who was the model for the event, and I hope to be back over there at some point in the near future. I do keep an eye out for the events that that post online, but a lot of them seen to be when I’m either working or already have plans.
There was one burlesque show in June, which was Babybug, held for the first time at The Cookie. Up until even the day before, I hadn’t decided if I would be doing photos or video for this event, but in the end I decided to try and do both. The main video montage can be seen over on my YouTube page and then some of the photos are in this blog post. Previously Babybug has been held at Duffy’s Bar, and while that is a nice venue, it’s not the best to take photos or videos. I did a bit of video on their opening night back in 2017, but it was a bit tricky. I wasn’t sure what the lighting would be like at The Cookie, as the last time I was there it wasn’t great, but it looks to have improved since then and before the doors opened we had sorted that out.
For the video, I pretty much had my camera in the same position for all the performances, but not knowing where the performers would mostly be, I had a wide shot, but even then, when the performers came towards the front of the stage, they moved out of frame and out of the light. As I left one camera doing video, I had another that I took some photos with. Not wanting to move too much and risk knocking the tripod of the camera doing video, I stayed in my chair, rather than moving to a more central position which I would have done if I was just doing photos, as I prefer that perspective for photos. It was a fantastic night, the idea of these shows is that it’s the sister to Glitterbug and aimed more for performers wanting to try out new acts in front of an audience and for newer performers. Everyone was great, the crowd loved all of it and it was a really enjoyable evening.
I did one solo photo shoot in July and that was with someone I’ve worked with many times before, Jade. For this shoot I was trying out a new bit of equipment I had recently purchased, and the whole shoot would have a colourful theme. There were three specific images/looks I wanted to get out of this shoot, one using my new piece of equipment, one using Red, Green and Blue lights to create coloured shadows and one using a blue sun visor to create a sort of colour on half the face. Jade was amazing as always, we’d discussed ideas before the shoot and she had a few different outfits prepared for when we started shooting.
Trying out my new bit of equipment was a bit hit and miss as it has some additional bits which I hadn’t purchased and had tried to create my own, which sort of worked at times, but are not the best, so I think the official items may have to be my next purchase. We managed to get most of my planned shots done pretty quickly so we finished off with one of my go-to setups using coloured gels, and I’m really happy with how some of the images came out. They aren’t perfect, but it gives me something to work with on other shoots, and is a really good starting point.
Now we’ll come to the events this month with Click Group Shoots, of which there were 4 events.
The first of these events wasn’t one of the regular weekly events, but in the most recent schedule update, once a month there is the opportunity to work with Roxu Xi on a different concept each month. These events are a bit longer and spaces are limited, and for this one the theme was ‘Foggy Woods’. Being held at FFC studio, when I arrived everything was still being setup, and for this shoot we would be using dry ice to create a foggy effect. It was my first time doing anything like this, but another chance for me to try something new and take away some ideas to use on future shoots. It was a bit hard to get the dry ice to be exactly where I wanted it to be, and that was partly due to the group shoot setting, but I still use these events to take away ideas and then I can work on them more on my own shoots if I want to. Happy with some of the images that I got from this and these new events introduced monthly to Click Group Shoots look really interesting.
I’m going to group the next two events with Click together as the theme wasn’t similar but the way the event ran and the setups were. Firstly there was a ballet themed shoot, and then one with ‘The Greatest Showman’ as the theme. For both of these there were two setups, one black background and one white, with two models swapping over each time to get a variety of images. For the ballet shoot we had a variety of static and moving poses, with the models being able to get into go straight into different poses it was easy to photograph and come away with fantastic images. At the end of the evening we just had enough time to do some duo shots and these also came out great. The Greatest Showman shoot, the performers brought a variety of things along with them, and even though it was a bit tricky to photograph, we even had them in stilts and butterfly wings. Two fantastic evenings, great to work with new people, and I’m really happy with how the images came out.
Finally for June we had the Click event with the theme ‘Bubbles and Balloons’. For this we again had two models, Jadah and Lasma, and a variety of different coloured balloons to use. For the first set the models were also using bubble gum to try and get a certain image, but it was proving a bit difficult to keep on blowing decent sized bubbles without it then popping and going all over the face, which in turn needed to be wiped off and cleaned up, so it then went to kind of just using the balloons. When I go to a few of these events in a short space of time, these end up being more of a social for me, and I spend quite a bit of time chatting to a few people I’d not seen for a while, as well as taking photos when it was time to and coming away with some fantastic images.