Category Archives: Fashion shoots

photo shoot for Rosemary Lloyd, Miss Pure United Kingdom 2019

Photo shoot for Rosemary Lloyd, Miss Pure United Kingdom

Rosemary Lloyd is Miss Pure United Kingdom 2019

Rosemary Lloyd is already “Miss Pure United Kingdom 2019”. But she jetted off to the USA to compete in the “Miss Pure International” pageant.

Rosemary won 8 awards at the “Miss Pure International” pageant!

Rosemary Lloyd has just returned from the United States where she was competing in the “Miss Pure International 2019” pageant, where she won a total of 8 awards;

  1. Miss Congeniality
  2. Academic winner
  3. Print model
  4. Crowned to serve Essay
  5. Be the impact project
  6. Creative writing
  7. Artwork
  8. International Queen 2nd runner up

Knowing Rosemary some of these awards didn’t surprise me. For example “Miss Congeniality”. You can get a good taste of Rosemary’s nature if you watch the video clips she posts on her facebook page.

I was more surprised by the “Crowned to serve” essay, because I happen to know that Rosemary is dyslexic. When I asked Rosemary about this I made a new discovery – Rosemary is a published poet!

I don’t want to write a lot about Rosemary here. Anyone who is interested can easily find interviews with Rosemary Lloyd on the internet.

Rosemary Lloyd’s photo shoot

Rosemary needed some photos for the Miss Pure pageant. I took these photos in my studio last February (2019) but they have been under embargo until recently.Photo shoot for Rosemary Lloyd, Miss Pure United Kingdom 2019 Photo shoot for Rosemary Lloyd, Miss Pure United Kingdom 2019 Photo shoot for Rosemary Lloyd, Miss Pure United Kingdom 2019 Photo shoot for Rosemary Lloyd, Miss Pure United Kingdom 2019 Photo shoot for Rosemary Lloyd, Miss Pure United Kingdom 2019 Photo shoot for Rosemary Lloyd, Miss Pure United Kingdom 2019

The creative team on this photo shoot

Rosemary Lloyd did her own make up.

The designer is Forever Devine.

Rosemary Lloyd: photo shoot for magazine cover

Photo shoot of Rosemary Lloyd for magazine cover

Fashion photo shoot of Rosemary Lloyd

I was asked to set up a fashion photo shoot to take photographs of Rosemary Lloyd for the cover of “World Class Queens of England Magazine“. Rosemary is the magazine’s first UK embassador. We did the photo shoot in my studio in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey.

Who is Rosemary Lloyd?

I’m afraid that is too big a question to answer in my simple blog. She is more than just an internationally known model. She has won more accolades than I can list here. If you are interested you can read an interview with Rosemary in the September 2018 issue of “World Class Queens of England Magazine“.

Sigrun created a dress based on the union flag

The styling ideas for this photo shoot came primarily from Rosemary Lloyd herself. She wanted to use a very patriotic theme based on the union flag. Specifically, she  wanted to portray the character “Britannia”. Rosemary asked  Sigrún Björk Ólafsdóttir to design a bespoke dress that included the colours of the union flag. Sigrun also made the union flag shield.

Who is “Britannia”?

According to Wikipedia the word “Britannia” was used from 43 AD to mean “Roman Britain”. In the 2nd century, Roman Britannia “came to be personified as a goddess, armed with a trident and shield and wearing a Corinthian helmet”.  This figure has appeared on many British coins over the years, and has been perceived to be a symbol of of “British maritime power and unity” (the words of Wikipedia again). I associate Britannia with the old British penny that was in circulation prior to decimalisation, but I discovered she is also featured on some variations of the modern 50p piece. I think it is fair to day Britannia is a fairly familiar figure to most people who have grown up in the UK. But I suspect most other people won’t have noticed her before.

While I was “researching” this information I realised how little I notice what is actually on our coins. They are so very familiar and recognisable, but could I tell you what they actually look like? I don’t think so.Rosemary Lloyd as "Britannia" photographed by Ian Trayner | dress designed by Sigrún Björk Ólafsdóttir

 

Additional styling for the photo shoot

We replaced the Corinthian helmet with a tiara from Swarovski. This was supplied by the magazine’s editor for our photo shoot. It is far more befitting to Rosemary Lloyd’s title of “World Class Beauty Queen of England” than a Corinthian helmet.

But what about the trident? The obvious way to find a trident would be to buy one online. However as far as I can remember, I don’t think I had prior notice that Rosemary would be posing as Britannia. I think the first I knew about it was when Rosemary unpacked her costume.

So what to do? One option would be to ignore the trident. But then I had a moment of inspiration. I fetched a garden fork from the garage. All that was required was to reduce the number of tangs from four to three in post production. What would we photographers do without Photoshop (or equivalent)? I liked using the fork because it is obviously real metal in the photographs, and not a plastic prop.Rosemary Lloyd as "Britannia" photographed by Ian Trayner | dress designed by Sigrún Björk Ólafsdóttir

World Class Queens of Europe Magazine

For the magazine World Class Queens of England Magazine we got not only the cover, but an additional eight pages in the magazine. The editor liked the photos so much that he also put Rosemary Lloyd on the cover of the sister magazine, World Class Queens of Europe Magazine.

Rosemary Lloyd as "Britannia" photographed by Ian Trayner | dress designed by Forever Devine | tiara by Swarovski

Rosemary Lloyd as "Britannia" photographed by Ian Trayner | dress designed by Forever Devine | tiara by Swarovski  Rosemary Lloyd as "Britannia" photographed by Ian Trayner | dress designed by Forever Devine | tiara by Swarovski Rosemary Lloyd as "Britannia" photographed by Ian Trayner | dress designed by Forever Devine | tiara by Swarovski

The creative team for this photo shoot

The photo shoot was done in my studio in Kingston upon Thames. After Rosemary asked me to do the photography I had a good look at the style of images that appear in previous issues of the “World Class Beauty Queens” family of magazines. I needed to adapt my lighting to be consistent with their brand. I found the best solution was to use a beauty dish fitted with a “shower cap” diffuser as the key light.

The theme of “Britannia” was from Rosemary Lloyd herself.

The union flag dress and shield were designed and created by Sigrún Björk Ólafsdóttir.

The navy blue dress was designed by Forever Devine.

Hair and make up were by Cindy Purezka.

The tiara was from Swarovski, and the sash was supplied by the editor of World Class Queens of England Magazine. I am told the crystals on the sash are also from Swarovski.

bridal gown photo shoot Shamali

Commercial bridal gown photo shoot

Bridal gown photo shoot for Shamali

Shamali wanted a “wow” image to show off a bridal gown from her new collection, and she commissioned me to create it.

Shamali is an exclusive range of high quality bridal gowns to suit every shape and personality. The collections are all designed exclusively by Shamali and hand finished in England”.

Commercial photography

Although I am primarily a family portrait photographer, I also do some fashion and commercial work. I have had the privilge of photographing Shamali’s bridal gowns for a number of years. This summer (2018) Shamali asked me to create a single “wow image” for promotional purposes. She also wanted me to take some additional bridal gown images for her website and catalogue.

Photographing bridal gowns in a relatively confined space

Shamali decided we would do the photo shoot in her shop. This is very convenient because all her bridal gowns are already there, as well as other props. Of course I have to bring my lights and photography equipment! However the space is relatively confined as far as photography studios go. You can Google “Daisy’s Bridal Couture” and have a look at the front of the shop in Google’s streetview to see what I mean.

I always enjoy visiting Shamali’s shop because of the calm atmosphere, and the warmth and friendliness of Shamali and her staff.

The first challenge – creating the set

My first challenge was to design a photography set that looked elegant, and was suitable for photographing bridal gowns. You can see the set I came up with, but I shall keep how I made it a trade secret!

The second challenge – “going the distance”

In order to photograph a model full length without distorting her body, it is necessary to place the camera at some distance from the model and use a long lens.  The model will then appear to have normal proportions. In contrast, if the photograph is taken close to the model using a wide angle lens, we may find we are looking up at the face of the model, and down at the top of her feet, with her legs foreshortened. This is not at all flattering. The resulting images exaggerate the size of the torso, and “shrinks” the model’s legs. So for fashion photography usually one wants to get a good distance away from the model and use a relatively long lens. For a full frame (35mm) chip camera, lenses with a focal lenth of 100m or longer would be good.

And that brings me to my second challenge – how to get far enough away from the model? The solution was to place the camera on the pavement outside the shop and shoot through the doorway.

The creative team

Shamali provided the bridal gowns, shoes and hair jewellery. She also provided the “studio space” in the form of her shop, Daisy’s Bridal Couture.

The model for this photo shoot was Olivia Dunn.

Kirsty Cox did Olivia’s hair and make up. I have worked with Kirsty a number of times, and I can recommend her professionalism, and the quality of her work. I have included a couple of head shots to show the quality of her work.

commercial bridal gown photos shoot for Shamali, hair and make up by Kirsty Cox commercial bridal gown photos shoot for Shamali, hair and make up by Kirsty Cox commercial bridal gown photos shoot for Shamali, hair and make up by Kirsty Cox commercial bridal gown photos shoot for Shamali, hair and make up by Kirsty Cox commercial bridal gown photos shoot for Shamali, hair and make up by Kirsty Cox commercial bridal gown photos shoot for Shamali, hair and make up by Kirsty Cox commercial bridal gown photos shoot for Shamali, hair and make up by Kirsty Cox

commercial bridal gown photos shoot for Shamali, hair and make up by Kirsty Coxcommercial bridal gown photos shoot for Shamali, hair and make up by Kirsty Cox

How did I light the “wow” bridal gown image?

I used two lights.

The main light is from a white 55cm beauty dish, fitted with a grid, from Viewfinder.

The rim light caressing Olivia from behind was provided by a tall slim softbox. But a similar effect could have been attained using a variety of lighting modifiers.

The studio set is all white. The background is white, and the columns are white. Areas appear dark because there is little light shining on them. This is an important principle; control of shadows and control of light are two sides of the same coin – and equally important as each other. That is my (allegedly humble) opinion!

commercial fashion photo shoot in Kingston upon Thames

Commercial fashion photo shoot in Kingston

Commercial fashion photo shoot for Mimi Florence Designs

Mimi Florence Designs is run by a gifted mother of three beautiful kids. She loves to crochet and make jewellery. Each item is custom made for the client. We set up a commercial fashion photo shoot to provide high quality images for her.

Personally I would describe designs from Mimi Florence as “extremely flattering for ladies who have lots of self confidence”. I mean particularly women who feel good about their bodies.

But look at my images from the photo shoot, and judge for yourself.

Commercial fashion photo shoot for Mimi Florence Designs, photography by Ian Trayner Commercial fashion photo shoot for Mimi Florence Designs, photography by Ian Trayner Commercial fashion photo shoot for Mimi Florence Designs, photography by Ian Trayner Commercial fashion photo shoot for Mimi Florence Designs, photography by Ian Trayner Commercial fashion photo shoot for Mimi Florence Designs, photography by Ian Trayner Commercial fashion photo shoot for Mimi Florence Designs, photography by Ian Trayner

 

 

Commercial fashion photo shoot for Mimi Florence Designs, photography by Ian TraynerCommercial fashion photo shoot for Mimi Florence Designs, photography by Ian Trayner

Commercial fashion photo shoot for Mimi Florence Designs, photography by Ian TraynerCommercial fashion photo shoot for Mimi Florence Designs, photography by Ian Trayner

Technical info about setting up this commercial fashion photo shoot

Shooting high key in the studio

For the high key shots I used pretty standard high key lighting. I used two flash heads for lighting the white background, one on each side. These were each fitted with a tall slim softboxes. For the key light I used a 1m deep octaganol softbox with grid. I angled the key light with care so that it gave (a) flattering directional light on the models and (b) a good spread of light on the ground at their feet.

Yollanda’s hair obliged me to move the key light to the “less convenient” side of my studio, that is to say the right hand side, looking at the model from the camera. This side is less convenient solely because of the shape of my studio, and there is less room for putting lights on the right than on the left. If I had not done this, I would have been struggling with a shadow on Yollanda’s face from her hair (because her hair has a parting on her left, which is the right as you look at her from the camera).

Shooting outdoors using natural light

When we went outdoors I used only natural light. The location is the garden at the back of my photo studio in Kingston upon Thames. If you look at the very last photo, Michelle’s eyes are looking more or less in the direction of the sun, which was already quite low in the sky. Michelle is the model with slightly wavy hair, who is wearing the pink top. The models were sitting in dappled shade under a tree. Because sometimes the sun threw displeasing bright patches of light on the models, I had an assistant (actually it was Venus, the make up artist) hold up a semi-translucent screen between the sun and the models.

Also, because I needed more light coming onto the models from camera left, I had another assistant hold up a large white reflective screen (by large, I mean something like 6 feet by 4 feet). This threw just the right amount of light back onto the models faces. This combination gave a very pleasing natural light effect. Unless you were an experienced photographer, you probably wouldn’t notice that the ambient light had been “modified”.

The creative team behind this photo shoot

Photographer: Ian Trayner
Models: Yollanda Musa and Michelle Chaxs
Make up: Venus (search instagram for @_makeupby_vee_)
Designer: Mimi Florence Designs

flour photo shoot in Kingston upon Thames

Flour photo shoot in Kingston upon Thames

Why do a flour photo shoot outdoors?

Flour photo shoots make a LOT of mess! Originally I invited model and performance artist Katie Berns to do this photo shoot in my studio, which is in Kingston upon Thames. But after doing a bit of research I realised just how much mess it was going to make! So I changed my plan, and we did the flour photo shoot in the garden. This was very easy to arrange, because the studio opens directly onto the garden through some wide doors.

The day after we did this flour photo shoot, there was a lot of flour in the garden, and because it had got damp, it was sticking quite stubbornly to plants and other things. All my clothes pegs got flour stuck all over them. There are still signs of the flour now as I write these words, three months after we did the flour shoot.

What made this flour photo shoot so challenging?

What made this particular flour photo shoot really challenging was the extreme cold. We did the shoot in early March, and it was VERY cold by (South East) British standards. Although it was above freezing, it was only above freezing by a few degrees, and the air was damp. It felt extremely cold even to me, and I was fully dressed. Poor old Katie – I was seriously worried about her wellbeing. But she was extremely professional, and totally dedicated to capturing some stunning images.

It was also threatening to rain the whole evening, but fortunately the rain held off – all except a few small drops. If it had rained hard, we would have abandoned the flour part of the photo shoot. (We also did some ballet and dance photography in the studio, earlier in the day, before it got dark).

When Katie got too cold, she put on my thick fluffy dressing gown and headed indoors to warm up and stop shivering. She was very brave, and I was very impressed by her professionalism and fortitude. I have to add that she could have stopped at any time.

How to do a flour photo shoot

From a technical point of view a flour photo shoot is very straightforward. You don’t need a particularly high shutter speed. I was using 1/200s, so there aren’t any problems with syncing a studio flash.

As with any other photo shoot, the photographer will arrange the lighting according to the image you wish to create. The flour in flour photo shoots is usually lit from behind, against a dark background. But this is just a matter of taste. I think when the background is dark, or black, the contrast of the white flour against the dark background is extreme, so this tends to give dramatic images. My personal preference was to avoid putting a powerful light on my model from the front. I wanted to have sufficient light to see Katie, but I wanted most of the impact of the images to be from the light on the flour, and the rim lighting along the sides of Katie’s body – and through her hair.

When I was researching how to do a flour photo shoot, I discovered there are quite a lot of descriptions available on the web (now there’s a surprise!) I am not the first photographer to do flour shoots by a long chalk.  If you go online you can find images similar to these. However next time I intend to add a bit more photographic creativity!

Because I wanted a dark background, it made sense to do the flour photo shoot after dark. Next day my neighbour said he had wondered why there was so much lightening during the night, but no thunder!

Is it possible to hire me to do your very own flour photo shoot?

Absolutely. This would be a “standard photo shoot”, so visit this page to see my rates.

flour photo shoot in Kingston upon Thames, photography by Ian Trayner, model is Katie Berns

Flour photo shoot with Katie Berns performing amazingly in freezing cold and damp conditions

flour photo shoot in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey flour photo shoot in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey flour photo shoot in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey flour photo shoot in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey flour photo shoot in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey

 

Technical information

F8, ISO 400, 1/200s

I used three studio flash heads. It doesn’t matter which ones you use, but I had the luxury of using three Ilux 600 Summit heads. These are 600 Watt flash heads, and they are battery powered, so they are fully portable. I bought mine from Photomart, and rather annoyingly, they have come down a lot in price since I bought mine!

The flour was lit from both sides behind Katie. This had the effect of putting bright lighting on the flour,  and they also cast a beautiful rim light on Katie Berns’s body. The modifiers on these lights probably aren’t critical, as long as you can control the spread of light. I was lucky because I could use a tall thin soft box with grid on both sides.

I also had a fill light in front of Katie, near the camera. I don’t remember the ratio of the fill light to the rear lights, but the rear lights were significantly brighter than the fill light. In a situation like this, I would recommend experimenting with the lighting ratios to see what pleases you most.

My recommendations if you want to do your own flour photo shoot

  1. Do it outdoors if you possibly can! If you have to do it indoors, be aware that you will have a fine dust of flour covering everything, and a thick pile of flour on the floor. And be aware that flour gets very sticky when it gets damp, so I recommend cleaning it up as soon as possible after the shoot!
  2. Think about the set. Do you want it dark? Will it be necessary to do the shoot after dark? If you are not sure, test it. Although we did this shoot after dark, I don’t think that will be necessary if you have some powerful flash heads. It may even be possible to make use of the sun, if there is direct sunlight (best from behind the model I think).
  3. Have a look at flour photos on the web, and then try to add your own thing. For example I found this youtube video quite interesting;
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcSZaPXHSJ0
  4. Avoid throwing flour directly into your model’s face! Check that she (or he) doesn’t have any reactions to dust, or flour. Don’t let your model freeze to death if you are working outdoors. Ho ho.
creative fashion shoot with Linda Blissett

Creative Fashion Shoot with Designer Linda Blissett and team

Creative Fashion Shoot with Linda Blissett, Cerys Wrigley-Moss, Karen Messam and Teresa Opiala

This creative fashion shoot was inspired by a series of photographs taken by Lindsay Adler.

The Aim

I wanted my model to wear red, or possibly red and black, against a red background. Her make up would have to match, and I wanted to add movement into some of the images.

The Creative Team

For a fashion shoot like this it is important to have a good team. The first thing I did was invite Linda Blissett to come on board as the clothing designer and stylist.  I have admired Linda’s style for a long time, and I realised that some of her designs would be ideal for this project. I was also eager to meet her, because she has always been very friendly on the phone, and chatting online.

I was delighted when Linda agreed, and once she was on board everything became very easy for me. That is because Linda invited the rest of the team without me having to do anything. Brilliant!

Designer and clothing stylist: Linda Blissett
Model: Cerys Wrigley-Moss
Make up: Karen Messam
Hair stylist: Teresa Anna Opiala

I am happy to say the team worked brilliantly well together, and I have to give a lot of credit to Cerys’s mum Karen Wrigley-Moss too, because she came along and her help was invaluable.

Linda and I chose the garment we felt was most suitable, and we gave Karen Messam and Teresa Opiala free reign to interpret the brief in their own way.

creative fashion shoot with Ian Trayner, Linda Blissett, Cerys Wrigley-Moss, Karen Messam and Teresa Opiala creative fashion shoot with Ian Trayner, Linda Blissett, Cerys Wrigley-Moss, Karen Messam and Teresa Opiala creative fashion shoot with Ian Trayner, Linda Blissett, Cerys Wrigley-Moss, Karen Messam and Teresa Opiala creative fashion shoot with Ian Trayner, Linda Blissett, Cerys Wrigley-Moss, Karen Messam and Teresa Opiala creative fashion shoot with Ian Trayner, Linda Blissett, Cerys Wrigley-Moss, Karen Messam and Teresa Opiala creative fashion shoot with Ian Trayner, Linda Blissett, Cerys Wrigley-Moss, Karen Messam and Teresa Opiala creative fashion shoot with Ian Trayner, Linda Blissett, Cerys Wrigley-Moss, Karen Messam and Teresa Opiala

Photography Methods

This creative fashion shoot was done in my photo studio in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey.

The red background is a paper roll, lit evenly using two studio flash heads, one on either side. These heads were each fitted with a 140x30cm soft box. In some shots, two people, standing at either side, waved a lightweight red cloth up and down. I added some patterns and textures to some of the other images in post production. You may notice I added the appearance of shadows from a tree in one image too.

The face of the model, Cerys Wrigley-Moss, is illuminated using a beauty dish fitted with a grid, and her lower body is illuminated with an LED light panel. The latter provides a continuous light source that is adjustable, and has the same (or very nearly the same) colour temperature as the studio flash heads (ie if the white balance on the camera is set to “flash”, the light from the LED appears to be white too).

What this means, is that the photographercan have some areas of the image blurred (due to movement of the model) while other areas are sharp (due to the speed of the flash). This is accomplished using a slow shutter speed. Finding the best speed is a matter of trial and error, and will depend on the effect the photographer wants to create. In some of the above images, Cerys’s lower body is blurred due to her moving, while her face and head remains sharp.

I also added a speedlight above Cerys’s head to give some highlights to her hair.

 

"Pandora's Box" fantasy photo shoot, Ian Trayner photographer, Yollanda Musa model

Fantasy photo shoot – Pandora’s Box

Fantasy photo shoot with PortraitX and Yollanda Musa

This was a fantasy photo shoot shot under the auspices of PortraitX. The aim was to shoot on location and capture the theme “Pandora’s Box”, with total freedom to re-interpret that story. So, with apologies to the ancient Greeks, this is my own personal version of the story of Pandora’s box.

Pandora’s Box

Once upon a time, there was a very beautiful young princess named Pandora. She had an uncle who was a powerful magician. He was feared by the people and it was rumoured he had a box that contained devastation. But he loved Pandora, and she loved him.

It came to pass that Pandora’s uncle died, and one day Pandora found herself in his quarters, admiring all the curious and strange artefacts.

One in particular drew her eye; it was a beautiful small box. It fascinated Pandora, so she took it into the castle grounds.

“Surely this box can’t contain anything terrible”, she said to herself. “It is so small, and so beautiful!”

Filled with curiousity, she opened the lid… just a fraction. She peered in, and felt a strange floating sensation, and a feeling of intoxication. She was captivated by a mystical green light, compelling her to open the box fully.

Darkness jumped out and time itself became a chaotic blur…

"Pandora's Box" fantasy photo shoot, Ian Trayner photographer, Yollanda Musa model"Pandora's Box" fantasy photo shoot, Ian Trayner photographer, Yollanda Musa model"Pandora's Box" fantasy photo shoot, Ian Trayner photographer, Yollanda Musa model"Pandora's Box" fantasy photo shoot, Ian Trayner photographer, Yollanda Musa model

"Pandora's Box" fantasy photo shoot, Ian Trayner photographer, Yollanda Musa model

Darkness jumped out and time itself became a chaotic blur…

Photography methods

I used off camera flash with natural daylight. Shooting was a little tricky, because there was a bright sun and many small clouds, and the sun kept going behind the clouds.

When Yollanda was sitting on the tree trunk, the sun was behind her (at about 10’o’clock if the camera is at 6’o’clock) and she was illuminated from the right (her front) using a portable flash. This was a 600W battery powered head fitted with a soft box.

The green light shining out from the box was accomplished using two speedlights with green filters. I found that a single speedlight was not sufficient. I also took Yollanda as deep under the weeping willow tree as I could, so the ambient light was as low as possible. The important thing to know when you use coloured filters, is that the brighter the flash, the less it is coloured by the filter. (This is not intuitive until you think about it, then it makes perfect sense). So I used two speedlights, both set at minimum power output, triggered wirelessly using a radio transmitter.

As always when using flash, you are effectively superimposing two exposures in one image; one is the image that is recorded by the ambient light, and the other is the image recorded from the flash. One image. Two superimposed exposures to give a final net exposure. The flash exposure is dictated by the power from the flash and the aperture. The ambient exposure is dictated by the aperture and the shutter speed (both are also affected by the ISO obviously).

Shooting “Darkness”

In the story, when the character “Darkness”  jumps out of the box, I wanted a long exposure in order to show movement, but I also wanted the scene to appear darker overall. The camera was mounted on a tripod to keep it still, and the flash was set to “rear sync”. That means the flash fired at the end of the exposure, not at the beginning. We had to practice quite a bit to get it right, and technically it was quite challenging.

Firstly I had to find an exposure that was long enough to fit in all the action. The image here was exposed for 1.3 seconds! That gives Marcus (who played “Darkness”) enough time to be recorded at his starting position, and then move to his final position before the flash fires. In between he appears as a blur.

But it was a very bright day, so how was I going to avoid overexposing the image? The answer was to use an aperture of F22 plus a 3 stop ND (neutral density) filter. A 3 stop filter reduces the amount of light getting through by 3 stops, that is to say it blocks 7/8 of the light getting through.

So far so good. But could I get the flash bright enough to capture an image at F22 with a 3 stop filter? That is to say, the amount of light has to be sufficient for whatever is 3 stops brighter than F22! I just managed to get away with it, using two 600W flash heads, both fitted with small reflector dishes, and both as close to Marcus’s final position as I could get them. They are just out of shot to the right.

Poor old Marcus, not only did he have to do his leaping and grimacing until we got it right, he also had to look in the direction of 1200W of light flashing in his eyes! But he did an amazing job.

I also like the effect that a 1.3 second exposure has on the smoke, and it was this that suggested that time itself became blurred and chaotic with Darkness jumps out of the box, as stated in the storyline.

Akcnowledgements

Models: Yollanda Musa and Marcus Phoenix Godfrey
Make up: Shahida MUA
Styling: Akasha Asylum

bridal photo shoot with Amber Joseph

Bridal fashion shoot using natural light

What is a bridal fashion shoot?

A bridal fashion shoot is a photo shoot with a model wearing a bridal gown. The model here is Amber Joseph.

Can you do a bridal fashion shoot using only natural light?

Yes. Of course. But you need to use the available light to your advantage. It is necessary to see how the light is, and position the model accordingly.

I often use portable flash because it  (potentially) gives much more control and versatility over the lighting, and hence the images that are created. But it is extra weight to carry around, and takes time to set up.

To a limited extent natural light can be manipulated, for example by using a reflector. It is also faster working with natural light because you don’t have to position any flash heads, or measure their light output. If you are using natural light and working in “aperture priority”, it is easier and faster to change your aperture than if you are using manualy controlled (off camera) flash. So in a way it “seems” as if taking photogarphs using natural light is faster and easier. But is it faster and easier for taking really good photographs? creative photographs? and photographs that stand out from the crowd? Photos that make the eye linger?

In my opinion a good understanding of how the direction and “quality” of light affects photographs is just as important for natural light photography as for flash photography.

Our bridal fashion shoot

I took these photos on a workshop at Horsley Park, organised by Pete Bristo.  The model for this bridal fashion shoot was Amber Joseph. I have included a “fun” photo that shows that Amber is not only a beautiful model, but a “good sport” with a sense of humour.

bridal fashion shoot, natural light, Ian Trayner, photographer-in-surrey.net bridal fashion shoot, natural light, Ian Trayner, photographer-in-surrey.net bridal fashion shoot, natural light, Ian Trayner, photographer-in-surrey.net bridal fashion shoot, natural light, Ian Trayner, photographer-in-surrey.net bridal fashion shoot, natural light, Ian Trayner, photographer-in-surrey.net bridal fashion shoot, natural light, Ian Trayner, photographer-in-surrey.net ian-trayner_bridal-photo-shoot_amber-joseph__dsc0508 bridal fashion shoot, natural light, Ian Trayner, photographer-in-surrey.net, Horsley Park

Adding a sense of movement

This image was created by merging two photographs together. I was not planning to do that when I took the photos, and was not using a tripod, so it was necessary to line the photos up and do a few minor adjustments to where things were!

bridal fashion shoot, natural light, Ian Trayner, photographer-in-surrey.net, Horsley Park

Acknowledgement

Model: Amber Joseph
Locations: Horsley Park

Ian Trayner, Clarissa Holder, athletic photo shoot

Model portfolio photo shoot

Clarissa Holder is an agency-signed model, and she wanted to expand her portfolio. So I set up a model portfolio photo shoot for her.

What makes a good model portfolio?

A model portfolio should show variety, while remaining within the type of work the model wishes to do. The images should be of the highest standard possible. Our perception of how good a model is will be influenced by the quality of the images in her portfolio. And the quality of these images will depend on the skills of the photographer, and the creative team.

The creative team for this photo shoot

In my opinion, the quality of a creative team is crucially important if you want to create great images.  For this shoot, in addition to the photographer and the model, Donna Harris was the make up artist, and Evelyn Tolu (aka MissGoodliving) was the stylist.

Our remit

Our aim was to show the the beauty of the model’s face and body in a tasteful and artistic way. Although Clarissa has a very athletic body, we decided not to go all out to show that. This is because our aim was to create images that are useful for Clarissa’s portfolio, so we decided to take less specialized images. Of course it is impossible not to notice Clarissa’s athleticism, but it comes across more subtly – almost as a side product of the images.

In the time we had available, we set ourselves the following remit;

  1. To use a pale background to create simple images that show off Clarissa’s figure (ie “high key” photography)
  2. To use a dark background and coloured lights for something more unusual (ie “low key” photography)
  3. To take some classic beauty portraits
  4. To edit all the photos for colour and monochrome (black and white). This adds to variety and gives “more bang for your buck”. Of course the effects of the coloured lights are not visible in the monochrome images shown here (I may post them at a later date).

Donna gave Clarissa one “look” for the first two parts of the shoot, and she gave her a new make up look for the beauty shots.

Some images from the photo shoot

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Photography methods

Notice how my lighting has been designed to show the beauty of Clarissa’s face throughout.

An observant person may have noticed, looking at the image of Clarissa holding the hockey stick across her shoulders, that while she is brightest on the left side of the image, the background is brightest on the right side of the image. The effect of this is that she is brighter than the background on the left, and darker than the background on the right. Most people would not consciously notice this, although the effect adds something to the image at a subconscious level.

Would you like your own model portfolio photo shoot?

I enjoy bringing my creative fashion photography skills to the general public. Would you like your own model portfolio photo shoot? You do not have to be a model – everyone has the right to enjoy some creative photography. Imagine showing them to your granchildren one day; “Wow gran, you were really hot!”?

Or… maybe you know someone who would love to receive a creative “model portfolio photo shoot” as a gift? It is not just the experience, they will have the images “in perpetuity”. Photo shoots make excellent and unusual gifts.

“Beauty lighting”

For the penultimate image I wanted (1) beautiful lighting on Clarissa’s face, (2) a blurred but textured background, (3) a relatively shallow depth of field so that only her face is sharply in focus, and (4) a very soft light coming from behind and to the side. The purpose of this last light was to softly and subtely show the very beautiful lines of Clarissa’s cheek, jaw, neck, clavicle and shoulder.

For the final image, I wanted (1) beautiful lighting on Clarissa’s face, (2) a shallow depth of field to focus the viewer’s attention on Clarissa’s facial features, especially her eyes, and (3) I wanted to create a continuous dark curve down one side of Clarissa’s face and body, on the far side from the main light. For you to see this clearly I will have to show you the whole image (from which the image above has been cropped). To create this dark line all I had to do was prevent light from hitting her on this side. Just off camera to the right there is a black surface which blocks light coming from the right, and minimises the amount of light, coming from other directions, that is reflected back on to the model.

Please send me an e-mail if you would like to see coloured versions of these photos. You can find my e-mail address on the main part of my website.

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The creative team for this model portfolio photo shoot

Model: Clarissa Holder, signed to ModelsPlus model agency
Make up: Donna Harris
Stylist: Evelyn Tolu (aka MissGoodlving)

The ladies will probably kill me for choosing this image to publish! But I think it shows what fun we had.

Donna Harris, Clarissa Holder, Evelyn Tolu, model portfolio photoshoot

 

Rihanna-inspired photo shoot, part 2

Fashion photo shoot inspired by Rihanna

This photo shoot was inspired by a character that Rihanna plays in the film “Battleship“. She plays a small and very feminine “weapons officer”, who is totally at home in a very macho environment. Our “macho environment” is a large warehouse/factory that was originally used for building submarines! Although it is no longer used for that purpose.

Selected images from the photo shoot

I already shared some photos from the first part of this shoot (although I have just added some “behind the scenes” shots taken by Martin Brown to that post). Now I am sharing a few action shots, plus one more portrait of Yollanda’s face. This is because I want to show the quality of Viya La Belle’s make up.

When factory catches fire, Yollanda has to act, and act fast.

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Photography methods

In order to capture a sense of movement as Yollanda runs, I “dragged the shutter” and panned the camera to create the linearly blurred background. But I also wanted to see Yollanda clearly, so I added some rear sync flash, to freeze her action in the final instant of the exposure.

So, the resulting images of Yollanda running are in effect two images captured in the same exposure, and superimposed on each other. One is a slow exposure using ambient light, and the other is a frozen moment as the flash fires.

Acknowledgements

Model: Yollanda Musa
Make up: Viya La Belle
Photographer’s assistant: Martin Brown

Behind the scenes photos by Martin Brown

These “behind the scenes” photos were taken by Martin Brown, and I am very grateful to him for allowing me to share them with you.

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