New Blood: Old Concept

(l-r) Gia, Farrah & Porsha

I recently revived a workshop theme that I haven’t done for well over two years. In fact the problems with finding reliable models for the “New Blood” showcase events (essentially three very different models whose only similarity is that they haven’t worked on my events before) was one of the reasons I stopped doing workshops at all.

Porsha at Strangetown Studio

It’s “reassuring” to discover that nothing has changed and new models are still, on the whole, a fairly unreliable bunch. Of the three models originally booked for this event, only Porsha actually honoured her booking. The other two had to be replaced when they dropped out at quite short notice (one within the 36 hours before the shoot). Suddenly, I remembered why I stopped doing these particular workshops.

Luckily, two wonderful and very professionally-minded models, Gia and Farrah stepped in to save the day. In the end, this was a very successful workshop.  Here are just a few of the images I managed to capture in between running from group to group…

Winter Sunshine

Please forgive a bit of self-indulgent nostalgia. One of the highlights of the year, in so many ways, was the second FOTO-CLUB Spain trip. Same villa, a couple of the same models and I’m ashamed to say I haven’t posted any of these here before. Funny how being snowed-in for two days makes you pine for Spanish sunshine. Here’s the stunning Lauren, who despite insisting she was not a model, turned out to be one of the best models I’ve ever worked with…

“Booster”: Lottie Locke

The recent “Strangetown Booster” shoot that I ran through FOTO-CLUB gave a small group of photographers the opportunity to photograph four models in my Strangetown Studio and around the Telsen building in which it’s based.

I was more than happy to have an excuse to bring back the gloriously beautiful Charlotte “Lottie” Locke for the event and as it was mid-summer, the light evening meant that we were able to use both natural window-light, studio flash, and ambient light (augmented with our own LED lighting) elsewhere in the building.

Always an utter delight to work with, Lottie managed to cover everything from classic high-key beauty to grungey urban rock-chick in a single evening. Note to self: Book her again soon!

Rapid Descent

Every time I’m doing a Photoshop demo for my students, I like to dig out an image I haven’t used before if possible, just to keep it a bit “fresh” for me as much as anything. This week, I trawled one old hard drive and found a very static image of the lovely Bethanie Stokes which I’d taken during a workshop in Digbeth, Birmingham, a couple of years ago.

I used this image to briefly demonstrate the “quick selection” tool and a couple of the motion filters, settling on the “motion blur” filter to give an impression that Beth was rushing down the steps, sliding the hands down the handrails as I used to do as a  kid. All done in about four minutes so not the finest piece of editing I’ve ever done but for once, I decided to save the image at the end of the session rather than delete it. I kinda like it.

Roseanne Indoors

So once the light dropped to “unacceptably-high-ISO” levels during the “Special Studio Evening” with Roseanne, we headed back indoors for the more usual Studio Evening stuff… namely, studio lighting. In the studio.

So here are a couple of shots from the indoor section of the evening…

A Special Evening With Roseanne

Every few months I select a model that I’ve been wanting to work with and invite them to pose for a group at the studio under the “Special Studio Evening” series of events. On the most recent occasion, my model was the lovely Roseanne who had braved Brum traffic to drive all the way over from Cardiff  at rush hour (not a feat for the faint-hearted).

And the great thing about running these shoots in what we laughingly think of as the British summer is that we can make the most of the early evening light by starting the shoot outside.

 

Sunshine Sasha

I’ve been working with the wondrous Sasha quite a bit of late, mainly shooting fashion for a clothing brand. Once the “white background” studio shots are in the can we grab a few more “natural” semi-editorial shots either inside the building (when the weather is iffy) or in the surrounding streets of Birmingham‘s Jewellery Quarter (when the weather is good). This little sample were shot using a mixture of daylight and a little splash of fill from my trusty (& cheap) Yong Nuo speedlites.

And finally, as the sun started to get lower in the sky, I chanced my arm with some contre-jour shots with the flash again popping some light into the shadows (mainly on Sasha’s face).