Morgana, photographed in London



Morgana
(Click on the Image to be taken to the shoot gallery)

Whilst I"m not usually a fan of studio based group shoots for various reasons, and tend to not to attend too many, occasionally there will be something which persuades me to join one. The neon shoot last July was one such, and the opportunity to get a few shots with Morgana was enough to persuade me to join a recent 'MeetUp' shoot in North London.

The promo for the event described Morgana as 'the alternative legend Morgana', and that sums things up pretty well. If you're not familiar with Morgana's work, a quick google of Model Morgana will fix that, and make it pretty clear why I'd be happy to put aside my indifference to group shoots, and sign up for this one. Additionally, I'd already exchanged emails with Morgana, having used one of her corsets in a previous shoot, when shooting her good friend Lucy Fur, so not least, this was also a good chance to meet her properly.

Of course, one of the reasons I'm not usually enamoured of group shoots is that in order to keep things running smoothly, the lighting setups need be functional, and, in order to keep six photographers happy, pretty much suited to all. So, broadly speaking, you will end up with a setup that's comparatively straightforward. No harm there-most of my lighting setups are usually one light, two max, with very occasional straying into the rock'n'roill bleeding edge dizzy heights territory of three lights. I'm that crazy, me. Anyway, my point is, simple lighting does not automatically equal bad lighting, but I do like it to be my own lighting, rather than someone else's. If someone else has set up the lights, and told you the aperture/speed for the shot, I find it difficult to feel that it's 'my' photo. Anyway, I managed to end up being the last of the photographers to shoot for each of the lighting setups, which meant that I could actually experiment a bit with the lights, and change them round a bit.

For two sets, I didn't change anything, but for one set, I thought there was potential for something a little more dramatic in changing the lighting. The light was originally set up with a big octobox, with the model far enough away from the white background to drop it out to grey. But, nothing dramatic. Adrian Jones, one of the other photographers had brought along some pretty impressive antlers for his own image, and was gracious enough to let me use them for a couple of shots. Very gracious-I know that as a photographer, having sourced a prop, and set everything up for the image *I* want, to have someone then go 'cool-I'll do that too!' is more than a little galling. So, hat's off to Jonesey, for being so genuinely generous in letting me steal his antlers for a couple of shots. Anyway, first thing I did was take the ambient lights down to leave just the light from the proper lamp, and take the soft box off it, so that we'd get much more direct light, and stronger, much more dramatic shadows. This resulted in a couple of images from the session that I can definitely call my own.

But, this does highlight the good side of group shoots-meeting other photographers, and seeing how they interact with the models, and how *they* get the best out of the situation. It's always interesting to see other photographers work, and there's always something you'll learn from seeing this interaction. After this shoot, for example, I know that I'll be taking much more of an interest next time I'm anywhere near an antiques place, or second hand junk shop-as I've realised now, you never know when something might show up that may well make an image some way down the road.

So anyway, Morgana. Blimey. I have to say, out of the images I got, I could pretty much have picked a dozen or so at random, and been very happy to post them. She's an amazing model, and I'm looking forward to collaborating with Morgana again just as soon as I have the opportunity, but this time having much more control over the setup, and full control over the concept of the shoot. In the meantime, click on the image above to be taken to the gallery of images from the first shoot, and check out the iPad wallpaper, featuring Morgana,
right here.





Elle Jonas in London

ElleJonas2-499
(Click on the Image to be taken to the shoot gallery) I photographed Elle in a somewhat last minute fashion almost a year ago. We go some good images-not least, it was pretty much my first attempt at shooting high key art-nude-but as it was such a last minute thing, we didn't have much time to do any planning. If I'm honest, this time wasn't so much better, but at least we scrambled together a dozen or so photographs for a very short mood board, to at least give us some pointers as to where we would go. Additionally, on arrival at the studio, we found some huge letters which had been discarded by one of the other units near to the studio, and were just stood waiting to be binned.


So we nicked 'em. Obviously. Be rude not to.

kayleigh
Unsurprisingly, the shoot went in a different direction to the mood board. This isn't unusual for me. Rather than slavishly copying the mood board, I like to take it as inspiration, and see where the shoot takes us. I've had some great results in taking this approach, and this shoot was certainly no exception. This shoot gave the perfect example of this.

Elle was particularly inspired by an earlier image of mine. A nude, except for a pair of ballet style boots, and which I've included here. Elle wanted to get something similar. Ish. There's no point in trying to reproduce the earlier image-that was a single, spontaneous moment in a shoot a long time ago, as the model was attempting to carefully stand in the incredibly awkward boots (and forget about walking anywhere…) to prepare for the 'proper' shot.
ElleJonas2-630 - Version 2


It served as great inspiration, though, and I'm equally happy with the shot which came out of my collaboration with Elle. Still a (mostly) nude, still boots, but not anonymous, very powerful eye contact, very different lighting and finishing, and a highlight shot from the sitting.

In the post production, on a lot of the images I went for slightly heavier processing, to get a different light and tone to the images. I wanted something cooler (temperature wise) , stiller and more 'fashiony' (that's a word, right?… yes???) . I also finished up a number of the images in mono, and that again gives several of the images a slightly different feel…

Anyway, in the overall, a shoot that I'm very happy with. You'll find a selection of the images in the gallery which you'll get to by clicking on the image at the head of this blog. And there’s an iPad wallpaper from the shoot
here.

Kayleigh Lush in Spain Part Three: On the Rocks

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(Click on the Image to be taken to the shoot gallery) Update part three from my shoot in Spain with Kayleigh Lush.

The friend we were staying with in Spain knew a lot of quiet spots where we'd have no trouble shooting nudes. And, travelling in October doubtless helped, as the beaches were likely to be much quieter than they might be earlier in the season. As we drove down to the beach in the early evening, it looked like we might be out of luck. It was pretty overcast, with very few breaks in the cloud. By the time we reached the beach, things were looking up, and we managed to find ourselves on a wonderful shoreline, beach and rocky outcrops, pretty much deserted, and with sunshine breaking through the clouds.

I'll return to the shots we got on the beach in a future blog, but for the moment, focus on the images we managed on the rocky shore.

Working our way round the headland from the beach, we very quickly found ourselves in a very rocky, but surprisingly accessible, shoreline. Within minutes of starting to explore, we managed to find a great half collapsed building-probably a boat house-right on the shore, and took full advantage of the arch directly overlooking the sea. Kayleigh quickly found a number of ways that the archway could be integrated into the images, becoming an integral part of the shot, rather than just a pretty bit of scenery. We also took full advantage of the more dramatic outcrops we found, with Kayleigh posing dramatically close to the edge of the outcrops as we shot.

Again, another very fruitful shoot, and one which has given me a number of images that I'm very proud of. You can check out the gallery by clicking on the image above.