June has been a bit more normal in regards to shooting, in certain aspects. While the country is still in Lockdown, sticking to the guidelines provided, I’ve managed to continue with one more shoot for my headshot project, as well as going along to a few group shoots that have started back up again. Obviously there have been no gigs to go along to, and I can’t see there being any for quite a while yet, but at least I have had a reason to take my camera out of it’s bag on a few more occasions this month.
Continuing on with my headshot project, I arranged a shoot with Claudia, who I’ve worked with a few times before. Meeting up at a local grassy area, we walked around for a bit and I spotted a few different locations which I thought would work well. Claudia asked me about makeup and styling during communications beforehand, and for this shoot we decided to go with a more natural look. The idea of this project is kind of simplicity, both in terms of me taking minimal kit and whoever I am photographing with their styling, but in the end, it’s whatever the person feels most comfortable with as I know some people are more than happy to be seen/photographed with little or no makeup and others won’t even step outside without it.
Next up, on one morning I decided to go for a bit of a drive to somewhere I hadn’t been before. I’d read about this area in the local online paper and thought I’d nip out and take a look, deciding to go early morning to avoid any other people being around and keeping the ability to maintain social distancing. I’ve been to Beacon Hill a couple of times before, but not really walked round and explored the area, and only really stayed around one of the car parks, for this trip it was around another car park that I wanted to go as right next to it was the Rhododendron Labyrinth. Seeing some photos taken there showing off the bright pink flowers, I thought it would look great at sunrise with the sun starting to shine through, however when I was going out it wasn’t the best weather, all cloudy with a bit of light rain added. This was the only chance I had to go as I would be back at work the following day, so while the photos may not be the best photos taken of this area, I still took some with the intention of going back sometime, maybe next year when the flowers start to bloom again next summer.
A few group shoots now, and with the regulations starting to relax a bit, we’ve been able to meet up outside to take some photos so long as social distancing is still adhered to and the groups are no larger than 6 people in total. There were two events with Meadows Camera Club and one with Creative Photography Events.
Kicking off with the first one back, Meadows Camera Club met up at Brocks Hill Country Park to work with Alisha. I’d worked with Alisha once before at one of these events and it was good to see her again. I’ve been around Brocks Hill on a number of occasions, just for a walk, doing some photoshoots and even a video shoot one time, but on this occasion it was someone else who had planned to use this as a location so they took the lead on choosing where we went. The first stop was at a location I hadn’t been to before, a field almost to the side of the main areas, where we were almost right on the back of some houses, but it made for a good backdrop and area to shoot in for a couple of setups before we moved to another location. Next up was an area I’m more familiar with, back towards the car park at the sort of play area, where we found a nice bench surrounded by trees which looked really nice. Final place was a row of trees with an archway along the path. Really good to be out again with the camera, even though I had taken an older camera as the weather forecast was for it to be raining quite badly, and I took the camera I take out in the rain, but that didn’t materialise.
Another shoot with Meadows Camera Club now, and we were at an industrial estate in Leicester, working with The Miller Twins. Using a few different locations around the estate, shooting some individual shots and then with the twins together, it was another good evening out with my camera. Right at the end of the shoot I took some darker images, knowing I would try to composite them later on and they turned out really well. It’s a technique I like to use every now and again due to its easy setup and the end results look really different to anyone expects due to the nature of pretty much killing all available light and then using a flash to create the image.
Finally for June, I was back with Creative Photography Events for a group shoot with Cariad. Starting out on location, with all the new Pixapro equipment at PGD, I took along my own trigger to minimise any unnecessary handling between attendees and I was able to use all the features, particularly the High Speed Sync, when we were working outside to keep the shallow depth of field look that I wanted. Heading inside for the other three sets, we started out with a high key setup, which I’ve used on a few occasions, and I’m really happy with the images from that setup. Finishing with a couple of more low key setups, one with only a strip light, then adding another to make a two light setup. Fantastic to be back with this group, and Cariad was amazing as always.
And that was it for June. I was looking forward to some shoots moving into July, but right at the end of the month we learned that Leicester would be the first city to not have restrictions lifted and actually have some of the earlier restrictions re-introduced, which means that the studio I normally use has had to shut again and only essential travel should be taken. While it was said to be two weeks, it won’t be reviewed until the 18th July, so whether I get out at any point in July with my camera is still unknown, but hopefully it’ll be good news in a couple of weeks.