Travel Lifestyle, Dawn in the Dodecanese

It’s been a another busy year shooting assignments especially video work.As a result fitting in shoots and producing new work for my book has had to take a back seat.
Finally this last few weeks I’ve had a break from commissions and produced a shoot with a couple of models, stylist and makeup artist for my travel lifestyle work.
Ive also had time to commission a complete rebrand and update the website to reflect the changes.
Also coming shortly are some beautiful custom promotional packs that will be sent out early next year to individual clients.

So this shoot was shot in two stages.The backgrounds were shot on location in probably my favourite place the Greek island of Rhodes.
My love affair with Greece goes back many years and taken me to many parts and this was my 3rd visit to my favourite place of all.
I had planned to shoot some Aerial work but decided against it as to do what I had planned legally was going to cost a lot of money to get permissions needed so maybe that’s a plan for another visit.

I planned the locations I wanted to shoot before leaving England and once on the ground set out before dawn to get the best light and of course avoid the bloody tourists !
Rhodes did not disappoint I was rewarded with some incredible views and gorgeous light and my job of capturing was easy.

Once I had returned it was time to edit my collection and create several backgrounds to which I planned to place the models.
The image below of Lyndos was created with 18 images.The reason was I wanted to use a longish focal length lens rather than a traditional wide angle that is often used for landscapes.
This would allow me to capture my interpretation of what Greece is all about, historic temples, mountains and of course the sea.
The longer lens would compress and bring all these elements closer together creating a softer more tranquil look that helps make up my style of work.

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Lyndos At Dawn

 

 

 

The second image below is captured at  Mandraki Harbour in Rhodes town and was a multi image composite.
I was around 22 years old when I came here for the first time and spent the night at Mandraki harbour while waiting to catch the early morning ferry to Kos.
My memories of the place where of the statues at the entrance to the harbour and these distinctive arches.
Memories are a funny thing and the image below fits perfectly with that but the reality was that the locations were not as close together.
Not a problem I removed the car park and positioned my tranquil memory of the harbour entrance in position.
I also replaced the rather plain floor with something more elegant.
I realise none of this is something that would be tolerated if shooting to promote the location for a visit but hey it’s how I remember it !

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Mandraki Harbour

 

 

 

Below are a few behind the scenes images shot here at our studio base. Not as glamorous for the models as being in Rhodes (or as warm as it was late October).
The location was perfect enabling me to concentrate on capturing the correct light quality, shadow quality,perspective etc to blend the models into the backgrounds.
A great team is vitally important to to pull everything together.I called upon Natasha Musson who I have worked with before to organise the styling and makeup artist Suzanne Peppard.
The models were supplied by Gingersnap who Ive also worked before on many Business Lifestyle shoots over the last few years.
Our models Katie and Sal were great professionals even when the cold took it’s toll.

 

 

 

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Palace Of The Grand Masters

This is the first image completed from a recent trip to Rhodes.
The location for this image was the medieval castle courtyard of the Palace Of The Grand Masters in Rhodes old town.
The models however were captured a little closer to home and composited into the scene taking great care to seamlessly blend all the necessary elements together.

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Affluent Evening Lifestyle

Following on from my Anniversary Venice themed shoot last year we once again decided on another affluent lifestyle themed shoot for some new personal work.
This time the location was the very beautiful 16th-century Dillington House in South Somerset.
We had two models booked for the day, Simon Bond whom I had worked with last year on a worldwide campaign for Mimecast and the lovely Avril O’Riordan.
Being a personal shoot I wasn’t looking to create dozens of images just one or two to add to the book and website for promotion.

 

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Commercial Lifestyle Photography “The Anniversary” From Silage Pit To The Romantic Waterways Of Venice

Commercial Lifestyle Photography “The Anniversary” From Silage Pit To The Romantic Waterways Of Venice

Commercial lifestyle photography means being not only well planned but also fully briefing everyone involved.
I’m an honest chap but I do confess that when briefing the models for this commercial photography photoshoot I left out the fact we were shooting in an old farms silage pit!
It all started a month or so previous while shooting a worldwide commercial photography advertising campaign for my client Mimecast.
One of the mature models on the shoot that day was the very experienced (and ex Milk Tray Man from back in the ’80s) Tim.
Tim like myself was keen to update his Book with new images so we agreed to collaborate on something to benefit us both.

 

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Lifestyle portrait couple grade canal Venice

An Anniversary

An Anniversary weekend was the concept that Natasha my stylist came up with during our meeting to discuss ideas for the shoot.
It was perfect and from that point, various ideas started to develop and I decided that Venice would be a perfect backdrop for an affluent couples romantic anniversary weekend.

A quick casting with model agency Ginger Snap for a suitable wife for Tim and Andrea was approached and sold on the glamorous concept!
Unfortunately, budget and time restraints meant no Italian location shoot (or jolly as the wife would call it) with models in tow were going to be on the cards.

My original plan was to fly out to Italy and capture the background scenes I needed but work and other commitments meant it might be a while before I could do it.
I did however already have several images in my archives that were perfect for my vision for the shoot and a selection of these were shortlisted.

By studying the images for camera perspective, light quality and direction I made a shooting plan needed to seamlessly composite the models together with the locations.

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Techie Stuff 

I’m very lucky I have access to wonderful studio spaces when I require one.
On this shoot however I needed to blend the models into mainly daylight scenes and In my opinion, recreating daylight with artificial light rarely blends as seamlessly as I’d like.

My preference (when possible) is to use the real stuff! Once I had the correct quality of natural daylight I could then add some extra lighting to add any modelling if required.
For example, in the dancing image in St Marks Square, the dawn light was pretty soft but did create some light modelling as you can see on the lamp post.
With this in mind, a flash diffused with a 7ft umbrella was added to the right of the models to help melt the models and background together or if you prefer “sell the fake”.

 

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Silage Pit 

So why shoot in a silage pit? The silage pit was my shooting preference for a couple of reasons. A, For the most part, I needed overcast soft daylight and the bright concrete wall’s and floor provided good natural reflectors giving fairly shadowless even light.
B, This also had the added bonus of providing a clean uncluttered background to aid the masking in post-production.
On top of this next to the shooting area was an open-sided barn with a roof.

This would allow some protection if the weather decided to get worse (rain) or better (sun) both of which would have not been welcome in producing the images.
It also was a handy area for setting up the laptop so we could preview the images and do quick composites as we went along.
A great team effort saw the day come together perfectly apart from one light that didn’t want to play ball which was quickly replaced.
Big thanks to our models Tim, Andrea and their agency Ginger Snap. Stylist Natasha Musson and Monks Yard for the use of the Venetian parts of the old farm!

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Commercial lifestyle photography shoot mature couple dancing in st marks square Venice

Behind The Scenes

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A Lifestyle Photographer Surviving In The Bush…

A Lifestyle Photographer Surviving In The Bush…

Not sure about you but it scares me slightly to where time seems to go, does it speed up as you enter your thirties? I reckon so.
As I look through the thousands of images I’ve captured over the years many feel like they were completed in the months previous when in fact some were captured well over 25 years ago.
This particular image comes from a lifestyle photography production completed a few years ago. It blends the rustic beauty of Exmoor with two gorgeous female models with the concept being about friendship and survival.
Having spent nearly 3 decades now capturing images, I myself often feel a little like a survivor!… it’s not easy but then the best jobs never are.

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Unveiling Of Alp Yanki

Today sees the sale of our home in Turkey finalised which to be honest leaves me slightly sad.We bought the property close to Bodrum around 8 years ago as an investment and, as a result, made many friends in the area and my many trips created many happy memories (and images) but it’s simply run its course and it’s time to move on.

 

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Bluegrass Inspired Banjo Shoot

Inspiration to create images comes in many forms at least for me. While retouching some work the other week I decided to randomly listen to something completely different from my normal playlists on Spotify and put on some Bluegrass music. One track, in particular, hit a chord (pardon the pun) which as you may expect from the Bluegrass genre contained the Banjo.

 

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Corporate Portraits At Dillington House

It was only in September that I found myself on location shooting at the beautiful Hartham Park house near Bath.
This week I was at another beautiful historic house called Dillington which happens to be only a few minutes from the studio.

Dillington House

I had received a call from an online events company called Choose Your Event who needed some corporate Portraits for a magazine feature they where appearing in.
As CYE are based on the grounds of Dillington House (and a client of the company) it was arranged for us to use the house for both interior and exterior images we had planned.

Behind The Scenes


For the interior we chose one of the many rooms and it’s impressive fireplace to position the directors Ben & Simon Gray and to reflect some of the room back into frame and help set the scene.

 

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When it came to the exterior we where once again spoilt for choice but I decided on a couple of simple set up’s one of which was to show the famous golden local Hamstone and windows of the property.
As with all photography the best images are often those that are kept clean & simple even if sometimes they are far from simple to produce.

Behind The Scenes

 

 

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You can view the CYE Group website and their services  Here

Oh..Anaerobic Digestion! The varied days of a Corporate Photographer

Oh..Anaerobic Digestion! The varied days of a Corporate Photographer

Earlier this year I travelled to Scotland for a 3-day corporate photography shoot for my client KCP Ltd (see my post “Capturing The Cleaning Up For KCP” )
As a follow up a couple of weeks ago KCP asked me to shoot once again for them this time travelling a little closer to home to Basingstoke in Hamshire to capture images of the work they do at an Anaerobic Digestion plant.
The plant basically takes food waste and converts this into energy through some very clever process that went way over my head without much effort from the guy doing the explaining!
I wasn’t armed with much of a brief but KCP did ask that I show the huge domed tanks that they maintain and include their lorries in some images other than that I was free to capture whatever caught my eye which of course was fine by me.
Post-production was a pretty straight forward job which, to be honest, was a nice change from some of the recent quite demanding commissions I’ve completed. You can download my Corporate Photographer PDF Portfolio Here
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A break from the darkness

Lifestyle Photography Shoot, A Black Sheet And A Shaded Barn, Capturing Jock The Diver

Lifestyle Photography Shoot, A Black Sheet And A Shaded Barn, Capturing Jock The Diver

Inspiration for creating lifestyle images can appear when you are least expecting it.
A year or so ago I was snapping pictures, my kids, while they were exploring rock pools on a small Cornish beach.
I was pretty engrossed with capturing the best shots I could on my iPhone while not dropping it into the water again (yes I destroyed the last one this way) when suddenly a dark dressed figure appeared between the rocks heading for the water.

The guy was all geared up in a wetsuit but not for surfing for diving complete with tanks and spearfish and I remember thinking what a great image this could make amongst the towering rocks.
A year or so on we revisited the area and I decided to return to the beach to capture it and create the image that had inspired me.

Capturing the background was pretty uneventful and my hopes that there might be an amazing coincidence and the diver might turn up faded along with the beautiful light.
No matter, part of the fun creating composite images is tracking down people to photograph so I hit the web and contacted several local Diving clubs and shops seeking a suitable willing model.

I eventually got chatting to Mike “Jock” Stewart who teaches people to dive not far from my studio base. After chatting for a while he explained to me I may not want to use him as he was 66 years old and retired !… I explained even without having met him that he would probably be perfect.

Yes, I could have hired the kit and got a young attractive model but as a lifestyle photographer of many years, I want to shoot a mixture of work besides how much more interesting to have someone passionate about their sport with years of experience and many tales to tell.
A time was arranged to shoot the next day and I set off to get a few things needed like a bag of sand to help add the small details needed to complete the composite.
Like with all composite images there are several things that need careful thought before shooting like perspective, the colour of the surroundings, focus and of course matching the quality and direction of light.

At this point, I should show you an impressive shot of the interior of our beautiful old Hamstone Barn stuffed with lighting and grips..but in reality, a black sheet from Asda and the open shade of a disused farm barn was all that was needed to blend and match the lighting to the background scene.
Not all that impressive I agree but I knew this would give the best result, after all why try and recreate daylight in the studio when with a little manipulation you can have the real thing.

 

 

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The shoot went like clockwork and Jock was a pleasure to work with and quite happy to have water, oil and sand thrown over him!
The 3 completed images came together seamlessly in post-production partly due to some careful pre-planning and plenty of image retouching knowledge.

 

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Diver