On Safari, Brum-style.

I’m very much looking forward to this week’s FOTO-CLUB “Night Photo Safari“. It’s been quite a while since we ran one and I’d almost forgotten to schedule any. Of course at this time of year, at least part of the 7:30-10pm slot will still be pretty light but that’s fine – we’ve done Springtime walks before and it’s actually a very different experience to the wintertime ones with a few other locations becoming usable. Less opportunity for light trails etc perhaps but more chance to photograph the model I’ll be bringing along (which I’m sure most people would consider a decent trade-off). All of these images used on the flyer were shot on Night Photo Safaris and the one of Emilie (in the hat) was shot at roughly this time of year.

Here’s the flyer if you fancy bagging one of the last couple of spaces…


Don’t Call Me Scarface

There was only ever one model in the frame to play the ubiquitous “Bond Villain” in the FOTO-CLUB “Bondesque” shoots – Mike Hanley. I’ve worked with Mike before so knew him to be a versatile character model but was delighted when he agreed to be “disfigured” by brilliant Make-up Artist Toni Cheshire. Well, he wouldn’t be a Bond Villain without some sort of disfigurement would he? Even the temporary paralysis of one side of his face didn’t put Mike off his stride. A real trooper.

Yes, the scar was entirely fake and provided by MUA Toni.

The Sweeney

You may have seen my last post about the excellent Daniel Specta who was one of two male models booked for the final session of the Portfolio Booster II course? Well, here is the other model from that evening – Sweeney. Sweeney has enjoyed some success as a rock guitarist but is such a lovely, gentle and polite young man (God, I must really sound old). I saw his portfolio online and decided at that moment that I must find a reason to photograph him. It didn’t occur to me later but I do think Sweeney looks rather like early Human League era Phil Oakey. What do you reckon?Anyway, here are a few of my favourites from the many images produced that evening…

Daniel In The Photographer’s Den

As a nice little finale for the Portfolio Booster II course, I arranged two very different male models. One was Daniel Specta, a heavily tattooed young fella with a great look and wonderful taste in sunglasses. Like most of the group, I photographed Daniel using only the continuous modelling lights of the flash heads and then the ambient lighting that can be found in the corridor outside my studio. And that is where I took this shot. Daniel’s ace shades were just crying out to be messed with in post-production, so I did.

Robyn Stainrod

Just to prove that size doesn’t matter, I somehow managed to put on a dance-themed session as part of the “Portfolio Booster II” course. Planned when I was still in the previous, much larger, studio, it was touch and go whether I’d pull the plug and go for something “safe” and small-studio-friendly instead. But no, two highly energetic dancers and a full group of around 8 photographers all managed to cram into the li’l Alto Studio and still pull off some cracking images.

I previously pasted some images of the male half of the evening’s dancing partnership, Nathan Lafayette, and so this time it’s the turn of the equally talented Robyn Stainrod. Here she is, doing what she does best…

More New Blood

One of my favourite regular events is the “New Blood” studio evening. 3 (usually) models that haven’t been seen at our events before, although occasionally I’ll have worked with them on my own or client shoots.

On the plus side, this is a great chance to see how new (or new to my studio anyway) models perform for the camera and especially in a group-shoot environment. Over the years I’ve been putting this event on, I’ve found some great models who I’ve gone on to work with many times.

The downside is that sometimes when booking models that are “unproven”  based upon a portfolio on a modelling site, there’s the chance that they’ll let you down. Sadly, this happened the last time I staged this event – a model that I’d booked suddenly “went AWOL” and refused to answer her phone on the day, leaving me a model short. I noticed on social media the next day that she’d been on another shoot but hadn’t seen fit to let me know so that I could at least have tried to find a replacement.

Anyway, here’s a flyer for the next one which includes images of some of the excellent models who’ve appeared in previous events…

Making A Bond

Funny how one shoot can lead to another, very different shoot. When I was photographing the gorgeous Sasha recently, it occurred to me that she’d make an amazing “Bond Girl”… and so the basis of the “Bondesque” workshop was born.

Too much to run over a single evening, I’ve decided to run this over two evenings. There’ll be a “Bond” (played by the brilliant Mark Hoban), two Bond girls (one “good”, one “bad” and including Sasha), and a suitably evil villain.

I’m looking forward to this!

Emilie Through The Arched Window

This very retro image of our gorgeous regular model Emilie Walt came from week 1 of the FOTO-CLUB “Location location location location location” five week series of location (surprisingly) workshops. This particular location is a near-derelict Victorian building which I’m told was once a toy factory.

There was no mains power and so the only lighting here came from two hand-held LED video lights augmented with a Birmingham City Council streetlight  shining through the window in the background.

Emilie and our other model, Charlotte “Lottie” Locke, braved chilly temperatures, spiders aplenty, and missing floorboards in the name of art.