PORTRAIT: Mary and a Merc

A couple of years ago, I met vintage car owner Steve Barratt. We were working together on a band promo shoot – the band had booked me to shoot their new promotional shots, and they hired Steve to bring along his classic Mercedes-Benz. We stayed in touch, and Steve asked if I would shoot his car with a model. Of course, I said yes, and we got planning. With our model – Brighton based DJ Mary – organised and a location confirmed, we just had the weather to keep our fingers crossed for! Typical of the British weather though, we had to shoot in between bursts of rain, although the dramatic clouds worked in our favour. Mary styled her own outfits and did her own make up and hair. Check out the photos!

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PORTRAIT: Star at Tilgate Park

Last week, I drove to Tilgate Park in Crawley for a portrait session with model Star, who was fabulous to work with. Our plan was to build a “reading den” to shoot Star in, and we dragged suitcases of books and blankets into the woods.

But then we wandered on into the park, and there was a large lake. Star sat at the edge of the lake and I took a few closer up photos. A bit further along, I saw a shrub with similar colours to Star’s pink hair and red velvet dress. I took a bunch of frames of Star tucked into the shrub. And those unplanned shots were my favourites of the session. Funny how that happens sometimes..!

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PORTRAIT: Jacqueline Damelle.

A couple of weekends ago, I was photographing fabulous model Jacqueline Damelle. We had a few ideas we wanted to try out and – along with the talents of make-up artist Chloe Butterfill – we set to work. Unfortunately the arrangements for hair styling fell through on the morning of the shoot, but few things ever go to plan, and Chloe did a great job working on Jacqui’s hair as well.

I usually shoot on location with a bagful of speedlights and pop-up softboxes, which is fun and can be very creative. But it has its challenges too. Dragging camera gear, light stands and modifiers around a busy city centre or 45-minutes into woodland or 30ft down a cliff face can be tough. Add to that our British weather is charmingly unreliable! And there’s been more than one occasion where I’ve dropped a speedlight onto concrete, lost filters in the sea, and had shoot-thru umbrellas spattered with alcohol. So it was incredibly *nice* to be in a studio environment, a quiet, still, warm place where our model had a changing room, our make up artist had running water to clean brushes, and I could spread out my gear without fear a rainstorm/tourist/seagull might suddenly wreck/walk into/defecate on my stuff!

As a collaborative/trade shoot, this session was a lot more easy-going than a regular shoot. Without any client, it was a fun opportunity to try different things. On the white background, I used a large octabox as the key light, and some strips to help brighten the background. On the black background, I went for side lighting for a more dramatic look. Check out the shots below!

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