logo

Category : Fashion and Beauty

Jewellery and Fashion, at Hotel Claris, with Lila

A Jewellery shoot, 3 Stories and a lot of Drama

Lila in a white room with jewellery

These images from a jewellery project have gone up rather late in the day, the truth is the job was intense.

I walked into the meeting as a photographer and left as the production manager. I should have been more suspicious. Basically they handed me a budget and then did the equivalent of running to the hills… taking the images was the easy part!

The thing with budgets is that they always  look bigger than they are, and being in sole control of production makes for a lot more work as well, as you are now sourcing everything… and everything costs money.

So after it was all done and having spent so long looking at and working on the images, I needed a break and did not return to them for maybe 6 months. With all the madness now behind me I realised they were not bad and promptly put some on my website and Instagram.

They proved popular and may have landed me another jewellery shoot which by the looks of it will be a much simpler affair; if they try to hand me the whole budget I’ll hand it right back, I have been upping my game in pass the parcel.

For this jewellery shoot I had a story in mind for 3 different scenarios, involving spoiled little rich girls, cat burglars and bohemians . I started looking for appropriate models, the clients said they did not want normal types, but interesting and edgy ones; after a lot of casting and emailing they, in the end, got cold feet and erred on the side of caution.

The story got kind of lost as well.

The models and hair and make-up people (special shout out to Elena who works for Barcelona hair Academy) were great to work and the actual shooting was fun, so I guess the moral is, delegate as much as the budget will allow and then perhaps a little bit more!

  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
Asia Valente looking like Bardot

A White Dress, A Windy Beach and A Modern Day Bardot

Asia kneeling in the sand‘And God created woman…’ is a famous film starring Brigitte Bardot and one uneventful day I got a message from a girl who could quite easily reprise the role.

I quite often get messages from models looking for collaborations of some sort.

If I don’t have something in mind I often rely on my next response to determine whether they might be good to work with or not; I ask them “have you got any ideas?”

An awful lot give a response that basically says “but I’m a model!” meaning they just expect to turn up and pose… This is Barcelona people! There are lots of models here and it does not hurt to get a little more involved in a project and pull your weight, especially if its not for a paying client; we all have to sometimes wear more than one hat, at times like this, if we want to get something done.

I have several bad experiences of models and make-up artists cancelling for ridiculous at the last minute for work like this and even had a no-show one time for a job with for an accessory company that actually paid good money.

Anyway… Asia sent me a text and when I asked the question she had it all planned out, so hats off to her and the job was on.

We met at her hotel and headed for the beach, first stop was Mamarosa near the W Hotel, I had used this spot before, last summer, but on this day the wind was ferocious and without an assistant setting up my preferred lighting was impossible, I ended up hand holding the flash a lot of the time, regardless of the compromises we got some decent shots, but decided to find something with less hurricane season ambience, so next stop Bogatel which tend to be more sheltered from winds sweeping in from the interior.

Asia was determined to take the dress into the sea even though it is still quite cold this time of year, the only trouble was she wanted me in the sea as well, so camera in one hand, a flash in the other and trousers rolled up as high as they would go, I waded in hoping not to take a plunge.

We got a few shots and then decided on a little break she promptly lay down and dozed off. At first I was restless to be doing something, but soon settled into beach life and chilled out.

There was a bunch of riotous Spanish girls nearby having a good time, bravely plunging into the icy sea, the fun was infectious and even if the sea was cold the effect was kind of heart-warming.

Eventually her majesty awoke and we got down to work, The light had improved I felt and again I was satisfied with what we had, at the very end, when we packing up, I took some impromptu shoots which I quite liked, she was looking the most sweet and innocent I had ever seen her; Bardot had finally left the building.

  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
Violeta fashion Shoot

Bohemian Beach Fashion Shoot, in Barcelona

Bohemian Beach Fashion I have been running a film group in Barcelona for about 7 years, I do this because I love showing people films that they might not get to see and as it is situated in a cultural centre and there is also a great bar, so the whole evening is very sociable; people arrive early and leave late so they can chat and just hang-out.

One of the unexpected outcomes of hosting this event is that it is quite a  good networking tool, I never think of this when there, but slowly getting to know people over a period of time leads to a very natural way of connecting: slow networking if you like.

Anyway, I got to know a girl called Alessia, who is a stylist and blogger and we kind of fell into doing a shoot together.

I like doing fashion these days, much more than I used to in the past, but the usual problem is getting things organised and finding reliable models and collaborators.

I met up with Alessia a couple of times with a view to discussing this and admit that, having done a few shoots in the past I know often they can come to nothing. With Alessia however she was very much on the ball and before I knew it the whole thing was set-up and ready to go, what a luxury!

The actual shoot coincided with another one with a regular client I love working with (Barcelona Hair Academy), so it was a kind of frantic day.

I got to the location early enough to have something to eat and relax a little, which was great as we were doing this at a very cool restaurant on the beachfront called Gallitos, they were very kind to let us use their space and generally get in the way of the very efficient (and patient) staff. Also with us was Eneritz Rojas, who was doing hair and make-up, she did an amazing job and was a fun person to work with.

We planned to do maybe 4-5 different looks and we worked right up to sunset. Our model was Violeta, a real star, lots of class and no attitude, so a joy to work with, the only minor hitch during the shoot was the over-zealous security connected to the W Hotel who claimed some nondescript wall was actually their wall and private property… Really? It was as public a thoroughfare as I have ever seen… So a little cat and mouse fun ensued.

  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading

 

Fashion shoot, Barcelona

My latest article about Capture One Pro

Fashion shoot, Barcelona

Bohemian beach fashion, Barcelona

Where Oh Where Will All My JPEGs Go… Apple Photos or Capture One Pro?

This is the title for my latest article about Capture One Pro 8 on the website PhotosApps.Expert, It was meant as a jokey working title but it seems to have stuck.

Read the full article here

Iracional Belts. Handmade Gaucho belts in Buenos Aires sun flair

Fashion Shoot, Gaucho Style Belts

Irrational Belts, Handmade in Buenos Aires. The ParkI was contacted by Philipp, the MD of Iracional, a German/Argentine accessory company. They wanted to do a shoot for their belts. The style of the belts is a traditional Gaucho design and they are handmade by a guy in Buenos Aires who is famous for his horse saddles, etc.

The idea was to have some models in the street interacting socially and naturally, one model in particular acted so naturally he did not bother to turn up, which considering this was a paying job in a city where such things are a rarity did seem a little cavalier. I remember jokingly saying to Philipp when we were looking at the model’s portfolios that he looked like a party animal and was sure to arrive late… Luckily the agency owner sent her own son over to cover and he did a great job.

Philipp set up the shoot because he was visiting Barcelona and realised that it had certain characteristics similar to Buenos Aires, Argentina and Uruguay are the spiritual home of the Gaucho), also, as I never tire of telling people, December and January here can be brilliant weather-wise, almost always sunny and not really that cold.

So, once we got started after the delay of the no-show rock star model we headed out and looked for locations.

In this city there is maybe less problems regarding doing such shoots in public spaces but even so, given the choice between putting a flashgun on a stand or having someone hold it, I choose the latter; the carbon based life-form light stand is so much more agile.

At that time of year you have great light, but it goes quickly, the park shots were mid afternoon and the images against the wall started with a nice natural light, but in the end I was using flash to get the look I wanted.

  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
Barcelona Hair Academy, Women's Session, general shot

Back to School, Another day at BHA

Barcelona Hair Academy, Women's Session, many handsI got invited back to Barcelona hair Academy , which is I guess is confirmation I must have done an ok job the first time.

This one was a workshop for women, maybe a little quieter than the first time. I more or less knew how to set up the artificial lighting and got on with it. I did however want to try and get more examples of finished work, as they tended to be a lot more dramatic than what occurred with the male grooming event. I think in the future, if there are any more such events, it would be a good idea to do more serious portraits, as there is no point in just repeating oneself and I am sure the client and even the models would like decent shots of the results, as would I; I want to get more beauty/lifestyle images onto my new site.

I probably said before that it is a great place to work in, lots of space and light and the design is good without getting pretentious, the only thing to be aware of as a photographer are mirrors, you’ll find yourself popping up in the most unexpected places, there is at least one of me reaching up and exposing way too much midriff.

  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading

 

Barcelona Hair Academy workshop

Barcelona Hair Academy

Barcelona Hair Academy workshopI have been getting my hair cut for a couple of years now by Emma,  she has now set up with Cecilia a new venture, the Barcelona Hair Academy.

Cecilia asked me to do some publicity shots at the new location, a very cool space in Gracia, an old industrial building now housing various start ups and the like.

The session was a male grooming workshop, beards were obligatory. The kind of events are fun to do as they have a certain glamour, the space is great with lots of light and you kind of have ‘carte blanche’ to do you please and no one can complain, kind of reportage without repercussions.

The natural light was very good and I augmented it with a flash mounted facing the windows for some crosslight and fill, I experimented with gels and colour balance as well.

This job was originally imported into Apple’s Aperture, but as they have seen fit to discontinue development, I have started working with Capture One Pro 8 and this project has ended up in both; I wanted to try out some images in it and these were the ones.

I find situations like this work best if you stay detached, so people are natural and get on with their business, it has some of the benefits of doing interiors in that you don’t need to worry about interaction so can get in a zone and concentrate, it can be very zen-like at times and the the time can fly by; I often stay longer than intended or was commissioned to, but if 3 hours feels like 2 why worry about it?

  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading

Fresh Faces Model Competition

I recently spent a day photographing an event, I was also interviewed for it and below is the unedited text I supplied them, I don’t know how it will be edited, it rambles and rants a bit, but what the hell, I wanted to get something new online…

You were recently shooting Fresh Faces 2012, how did it go?
It went very well. Quite a long day I guess, so the wine, cava and canapés at the end of the day were much appreciated.

What did you think of the models and the winners Magdalena and Jose Manuel?
Well there were 4 winners including the Revlon award, I think it was a split of classic models in one category and perhaps edgier ones in the other, All in all a good looking bunch and very friendly.

Was it easy to work with the models and organisers?
Very easy, I was pretty much left to my own devices, usually I tend to work with more lighting but took this day as a chance to travel light and work mostly with the ambient, trying to be a fly on the wall as much as possible, though of course models have a 6th sense when it comes to cameras so trying to photograph them unnoticed was a challenge.

What was the highlight of the day and which are your favourite 3 shots from the contest?
I guess the most exciting part may have been the actual catwalk as I have never done one, so I felt I learnt a lot and could go back and do it much better next time, all the photography of the models getting made up was also fun and I could happily do that for hours, though I am beginning to realise I need to try and find ways to not get too predictable, as it is quite limited in what you do and what occurs, so I like the challenge of how to see it with fresh eyes and a new perspective.

Could you tell us also something about yourself and your background?
I studied Philosophy and literature at University, but always loved photography, I started out as a kid in school and learnt the dark room, After travelling for a year doing travel images I got a job assisting and this was the real education, big complicated shoots with loads of lighting, travelling all over the world, I don’t think you need to go to university; teach yourself and assist a pro, and for god’s sakes learn the rules before you decide to break them.

What photography do you specialize in? Is it fashion photography?
I tell people that living in Barcelona you can’t really specialise if you want to get work! But the truth is I like variety a lot and I believe being out of your comfort zone can lead to better results, if you can deal with the extra stress. I generally shoot people, usually in environments, and I like to use artificial lighting as a rule. I also love modern architecture just because it is slower and more considered and it lets you play with form, colour and light, almost like abstract painting at times.

What are your inspirations/influences?
Well for day to day inspiration I follow a few of blogs (for example Strobist & The Candid Frame). Regardingphotographers I like well, they vary from week to week, but one that stuck with me was Robert Frank, mostly because I saw his big exhibition in New York a couple of years ago. What really caught my attention were not the prints which you can see anywhere but rather his contact sheets. They remind me of days I shot with film and would wander around looking for images, always mindful back then that you had 36 frames and it cost money! Just seeing the linear succession of a roll of film, the errors, the pencilled selections and him jumping from one scene to another perhaps over a  several days was fascinating, when you see finished prints in exhibitions or books you might think such a level of creativity is beyond you: the contact sheets told the true story, about the process, the mistakes and the eventual success. I would love to see more exhibitions like this.

Do you have any works/success stories you would like to share with us? (magazine you’ve worked with, clients…)
I guess one should name drop at moments like these, but I cannot say anyone famous I have dealt with was the most remarkable person I ever met, nor stories done for famous magazines pleased me more than one for one that isn’t. People with stories are the best, A) because they are interesting and B) it keeps them distracted and can buy you more time! Any shoot where you go in clueless as to what to do and get something you love is an obvious success, but sometimes I get jobs where I have worked it all out in my head and pressing the shutter is almost a formality, I think that is a success as well, because the concept became concrete. I also do wedding photography once in a while and this is perhaps the hardest work, but in one day I might have 20+ images I would use in a portfolio which has to be exceptional in just about any photographic field, I also think most fashion photographers should try doing a wedding at least once, they would get a rude awaking I think!

What do you think are the challenges for photographers today?
The biggest challenge is to survive in a world where so many people think they are now pro photographers just because they went out and bought a DSLR! Photography like any creative endeavour these days favours all too often the people with the right contacts and/or business acumen more than actual talent, as a result there is a tendency to go for gimmicky trendy looks rather than develop your own style, which can take time. Most photography that makes money is not very glamorous but does require technical skills, as leaving too much to chance and passing off the results as ‘arty’ just does not cut it.

  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading

 

The Girl in the Governors Tower Green passage

The Girl in the Governor’s Tower

The Girl in the Governors Tower Green passage¨There is a derelict mansion in Alella, near Barcelona, called El Torre Del Gobernador, it is a labyrinth of rooms and corridors, some painted, vivid, with an obsession for ornament and detail, that is splendid, bordering on vulgar. There are fairy-tail turrets of glazed tiles fit for a Disneyland princess and here is where I photographed Mad, my sometime muse, a multi-undisciplined artist and radio DJ¨.

This was the blurb I added to my Vimity portfolio last night, after one too many cocktails, I wanted to enter it for their competition and I thought a back-story might be fun.

The place is amazing, we first went there last Sunday, but Roger, Mad´s friend, and the guy with a car, was having problems with a lunatic ex-girlfriend that somehow ended up involving the police. We got there quite late and had to be back home at 8pm so we had about 2 hours in which we got 3 different shots done, it did not help that I was having trouble with my radio triggers so was limited in what I could do.

I was quite pleased with the images I had and we talked about possibly returning, as it turned out, the national day of strike action helped me out as both Mad & Roger were free, so off we set to have another go. We had maybe 7 hours and the quality of the images are much better (even the radio slaves behaved) I am pleased with the result and everything post shoot was done quickly thus not giving me a chance to get bored or distracted, it also helped that I really have very little post-production to do, everything that came out of the camera was good enough to show as it was I think. a special thank you to Roger for driving us and being very chilled and patient, in the shot above he is actually hid behind the column throwing dust in to the air to get that effect with the suns rays, we all got pretty grubby and getting home for a shower was a great.

  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
  • preloading
Louise Muir Fashion hoody

More Experiences with a Home Studio

Louise Muir Fashion shoutI have not done much fashion myself but years ago, back in London, used to work with a friend who did, I was  doing the post production in Photoshop which was my big obsession at the time, i had taken a hiatus from photography and was working as a designer at a big agency.

I was contacted by Louise who got my number from a mutual friend and she asked if I would be interested, it was perfect timing because I had started to think i would like to try my hand at it and was just looking for a good opportunity.

Originally we were hoping to use a space that belonged to a friend but availability clashed with that of a model she had found so with some doubts I suggested we try it at my place. I had thought it was just going to be 3/4 length shots but as it turned out she wanted full length, bugger!

My walls are an ok shade of off white with is serviceable but the floors are wood and I did not have any real backdrops, not to mind that the space was severely limited.

I decided to put down a white bed sheet on the premise that it would make post production easier. I had to remove all the furniture and we had just enough space to work in but it was far from ideal. There is one image which shows the actual space.

It was a pretty long day, in 8 hours we shot close to 40 different garments. I really enjoyed it and the camaraderie  that develops during such a shoot is nice as well, we were snacking on pizza toward the end and drinking beer, it was cathartic and afterwards i felt exhausted.

What I have learned is that working with a model, who is someone happy to be photographed, is a joy, as you are not worrying about getting them to smile or relax in the same way you do for portraits, all you really need to worry about is the lighting and getting useful poses.

I definitely want to do more fashion, only next time I will make sure we get a proper studio if thats the look required because 2 days sorting out the background in the computer was extremely boring and a lot of time to loose, the actual images needed so little work as the exposures were pretty spot on.

  • preloading

  • preloading

  • preloading

  • preloading

  • preloading

  • preloading

  • preloading

  • preloading