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”.

 

Lifestyle Photo Of Mature Couple In Casino

 

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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Summer Of 92, Venice Beach

I captured this image way back in the summer of 1992. I was enjoying the last few days of my summer touring the USA and ended it at Venice Beach in California.I spotted this lifeguard called Trec patrolling on his tower on the beach and politely asked if I may take his portrait. During the shoot and the usual exchange of polite conversation Trec with some pride told me he was 36 years old which as you can see from the image was a big surprise.

 

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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Photo Retouching Contentment, Bribing Children & Blending The Soul Of A Place

Creative Retouching Contentment, Bribing Children & Blending The Soul Of A Place

As well as being an advertising photographer I also offer high-end photo retouching services.

This means even when not working on an assignment I will often challenge to myself that even on a family holiday I return with at least one killer image that represents the place and my experience of it.
There was a time in my younger years where I would never relax when away and I’d be running around every day at dawn and dusk shooting like a man possessed.
Over the years my way of working has changed (to the relief of the wife) and I often feel the need of a more challenging and unique way of creating that requires a little more of a planned approach.

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This image (well some of it) was shot on the Costa Del Sol in Spain during one such family holiday. I had been out with my camera a few times during the week but mainly scouting for inspiration for the killer image.
Was struck me about the area was the amount of people out at both morning and night walking their dogs, running, cycling or on rollerblades simply enjoying the beautiful coast and its climate.
The coast was dotted with these striking looking lifeguard towers and clusters of exotic looking Palm trees along the beach that provided shade and a perch for the large colony of Parakeets.
Inspiration was gained and I decided I would venture out at daybreak later that week and capture some of these elements and create the image below titled Contentment.
The model is my youngest and cheapest child to bribe for a shoot Ava with my neighbours very photogenic dog Barney who were both captured upon my return home.

Contentment

It’s hard to believe that only a few weeks ago I was with the family sunning ourselves in 24 degrees in sunny Spain.Although a family holiday I as always took along my cameras,tripod etc and ventured out several times at dawn during the week to capture some images that represented the location as I was experiencing it. The Costa Del Sol is a lovely area of Spain with beautiful beaches and people out enjoying the warm climate either cycling or running often with their dogs in tow.The image I created below shows the beach,palm trees and one of the several lifeguard towers that occupy the beaches. The final element was to photograph the lifestyle image upon my return to the UK which completes the outdoor family lifestyle of the Costa’s.The final image shown here ended up combining 11 separate images and retains details as fine as dog hairs which is always a time consuming but hugely important element in all of the work I create.

 

M.Y. Lifestyle

A couple of weeks ago I was asked by my good friends at The Monks Yard where our studios are based if I could update imagery for their business facilities & onsite cafe.

With a date arranged I got on the phone to Katie a model I have worked with many times over the years and who I knew would be perfect for the shoot.

As far as the imagery was concerned I came up with several ideas and it was planned that the day would consist of 3 Lifestyle images set in the Cafe followed by approximately 600 plus stills which would be used as part of a Stop Motion video promoting other parts of the business.

Here is the first of the finished stills from the Cafe shoot.

Joyful Memories At The Beach

I’ve lived by the coast pretty much all my life and as a result it has featured in much of my work over the years and still inspires me to create new work.
This beach scene was captured during a visit to the Algarve in Portugal last October with the model being captured last week at the beach in the south west.

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