July started off with me going along to Meadows camera club for an evening working with Courtney. There wasn’t much of a plan for shooting, but upon entry to the studio I did see that there were a couple of new wallpaper backdrops attached to a wooden board on wheels, that I thought we could use at some point in the night. As Courtney has come camo themed clothing, we decided the first setup should be using a kind of leaf netting, and I thought of the idea to add some green/blue gels to it. The next two setups also used coloured gels and then we finished off with the new backdrops.
Up next was another camera club, this time it was Click Group Shoots. The theme for this event was ‘lingerie’ and we had two models to work with on the night, Klaudia and Jodie, both of them I’ve worked with before. There were two setups, one was a more low key style on a black backdrop, then the other was a high key setup using a white backdrop. It was a good night, I got some images that I was happy with and had a good chat with other photographers, what more do you need from a club night.
The next event for July was yet another camera club, this one was The Photography Social, and a unique theme in that it was ‘Pop Art’. For this evening we had three models, Charlotte, Aimee and Nicola, who all had some funky makeup and clothing, and with different coloured backdrops we could create some interesting images. I had an idea in my head for how the post processing was going to go, it would be a similar style to an event last year which was comic book heroes and villains. For that I tried to go with a comic book style effect, and I thought it would work great for these photos as well. The end results were interesting, and I was generally happy with how they came out, but it did take a bit of tweaking in Photoshop for them to come out as I wanted them.
Next up I was out at a music gig on a Sunday for the Future Sounds of Nottingham final. I took photos and wrote a bit about it over on another site, so rather than repeating myself, I’ll link to that but also include a few photos in this blog post.
For quite a while now I have admired the work of Jake Hicks. When I think of coloured gel photography, I instantly think of his work, and as I do a lot with coloured gels, I’m always wanting to learn more and what better way than to learn from the best. He holds a few workshops each year, on different subjects, but I’ve wanted to try and get along to one for ages. I’ve always had other plans on days he’s previously held events, but I finally had the opportunity to go along to one with the subject of ‘Big Studio Lighting in small Spaces’. The events are held at Amersham Studios, which isn’t that close to me, but with it being a weekend, the traffic wasn’t too bad on the way down. The event lasted for around 7-8 hours and a lot of details were covered, which I hope I can take into my own future shoots (one of which I will talk about next). We did have the opportunity to take some photos, but I encountered a strange issue when taking photos which was that my camera fired the flash twice, but only took the one photos. I’ve never experienced this in any situation before, and it didn’t affect the photos until the last set as they could recycle really quickly, but it was a strange one. It was such a great day, a lot of information to think about and take in, and I hope to be able to go along to another workshop at some point in the future.
My next shoot was with Nico and I wanted to try out some of the techniques I’d learnt on the Jake Hicks workshop. Some of them didn’t quite go as planned, but I made them work in the end and then the main one I wanted to try, I came away with some good shots, but I definitely had some things that I want to try differently on future shoots. We also worked on a few ideas that Nico had, mainly on the theme of ‘Bad Bitch’ with a twist. The basic idea was to use a couple of balaclavas then pair them with clothing you wouldn’t expect, so in this shoot we used an evening dress then a bikini. These images came out really well, and I always enjoy working with Nico. Can’t wait for our next shoot together.
Back to Click Group Shoots now, and I’ll cover a couple of events here. Firstly there was a scooter club event on location, then one themed as ‘Character Portraits’. For the scooter club night we met up at a local park and then headed over to the local pub to wait for the scooter club to arrive. Nobody knew really what to expect, or how many people would turn up, but as soon as the first scooter arrived, they just kept on turning up. It wasn’t the easiest thing to photograph, lots of scooters next to each other and people walking all around them, so I decided to focus on the details and luckily I had taken along my macro lens, which worked perfectly for this. They were only there for about 45 minutes, so it was a shorter club night, but it was something different and everyone who was there enjoyed the event.
The Character Portraits event wasn’t particularly my style, but it was one of the events I’ll go along to, take a few photos, but I’ll mainly be there for the social aspect. We had three models, Hazel, Amanda and Geoff. It was something different and I’m happy with the photos I took, but it’s not a style I’d really shoot myself.
Finally for July, I had two shoots on the same day, starting off working with Tinkerbella who was holding a studio day at PGD, then I headed to a group shoot with Charliee.
I’ve wanted to work with Tinkerbella for a while, she has some fantastic tattoos, which I’ll admit aren’t for everyone, but I love tattoos on a model. I had the opportunity to take one of the hourly slots on her studio day, and while we only had an hour to shoot, I arrived with three ideas which we managed to get through. Firstly we worked with my kind of go-to setup using coloured gels, creating some bright colours in the background, then we went with a low key art nude style, finishing up with a coloured backdrop, using gels. Tinkerbella was fantastic to work with, once I’d set up the lights she could go from pose to pose with ease which made capturing great images so much easier. She had outfits to match everything I wanted to do and knew exactly how to pose for each lighting setup. Some of my favourite images taken and I hope to shoot with Tinkerbella again sometime.
After the Tinkerbella shoot, I drove over to Birmingham to meet up with Shawn and Charliee who were holding a group shoot at The Custard Factory. I’d never been to this location before, but looking online, it has huge potential. After everyone had arrived we headed over to our first location but there were already some people doing some filming there, so we picked somewhere else and ended up going back to the original location later on. Charliee is great to work with, and even working with a group of photographers can make sure everyone gets good photos. I had some portable lighting, which I’m always wary about on group shoots as I’d like to get it as close to the model as possible, but that isn’t always possible on a group shoot when others are taking photos as well, so I have to compromise a bit and move it further back. We shot in about 5 locations, using the graffiti as backdrops, and while at times there was a bit of rain, it only started getting too heavy to shoot in towards the end of the shoot and even then, for only about 15 minutes. Later on in the day, it was getting a bit cold, so we decided to have Charliee doing some jumping shots to try and keep her warm, which seemed to work for a bit, and that created some great images.
A fantastic day, both the hour with Tinkerbella and the group shoot with Charliee, two wonderful models who I wouldn’t hesitate to work with again, you can’t take bad photos of these two.
(Some nudity in the images below)