30 December 2009

He's behind you… a photoshoot with Sam Bond

It was the first work day after Christmas, the rain was chucking it down, and I had a headshot photoshoot to do.  My subject was former SKY TV Gladiator Atlas, and current Southampton Mayflower Theatre panto (Santa Claus and the Return of Jack Frost) star playing evil henchman 'Thaw the Glaciator', Sam Bond.

It was the first time in years I'd been inside the Mayflower Theatre, as well as my first photoshoot there.  I love having access to buildings and places that you normally you can't get into.

I'd decided before leaving home that I was going to shoot with natural / available lighting.  I was travelling light, with just my Canon 5d mark ii, and Canon 70-200 f2.8 lens.  Lighting in the auditorium was about as bad as bad can get.  The seats were lit by several lights high up on the ceiling some 30 metres away.  It was the daylight equivalent to shooting under the midday sun.

This was the second time I've had the pleasure of working with Sam, the first being on a lovely summers afternoon at Portland Bill, Dorset.  Then we were working with wonderful sunlight, a reflector and a stunning location.

Sam knows what he wants, he knows his angles and what works best for him.  This I like because it helps the whole process as it becomes more of a collaboration between photographer and subject.

If you have great lighting and an experienced subject then normally you'll end up with lots of images to select from.  Poor lighting and an inexperienced model and the numbers go down drastically.  Today we had poor lighting but an experienced model, so we were somewhere in the middle.

29 December 2009

The killer Blackberry Application?

Blackberry don't make a big deal out of advertising Messenger but for me its right up there alongside Email as the killer Blackberry application.

During my 8 week trip to North America in 2009 I bought a local pay-as-you cell phone as normal. I bought $50 worth of credit with it, which I guessed would last 2-3 weeks at most. With so many people owning Blackberries, more so in Canada, I was able to make great use of the Blackberry Messenger (BBM) feature and I still had some of that $50 credit left after 8 weeks of travelling.

But what is it? Think of it as a combination of a text message and instant messaging.

What are the benefits?

::   it doesn't cost any extra
::   it works via the mobile network and also wifi (should you not have service)
::   you can tell when a message has been delivered and read
::   you can see when the other person is typing a message back to you
::   you can use it to send photos
::   you can record and send short voice messages
::   it works just as well sending a message to someone in the same city as it does to the other side of the world - because of this I was able to keep in touch with people in England from my mobile phone for free when calls and texts would have cost loads.

To connect to another Blackberry user you'll need to swap PIN numbers. To find this look under Options and Status, its normally an 8 digit alphanumeric sequence. Fire up your Messenger application, Invite your contact using their PIN and once they've approved you as a friend you'll be away.

28 December 2009

The Photographer

Someone just included me on a note on Facebook. I liked the note so much I'm sharing it here.

"A photographer was invited to dinner with friends and took along a few pictures to show the hostess. She looked at the photos and commented 'These are very good! You must have a good camera!' He didn't make any comment, but, as he was leaving to go home he said 'That was a really delicious meal! You must have some very good pots'"

01 December 2009

How photos can be used in advertising

Both of the advertisements on this page were taken from the same Lyndhurst free magazine and are both excellent examples of how photographs can be used for advertising your product and company.

The first is from a photoshoot in the New Forest with Southampton florists and mother & daughter team who make up Floral Enchantment.  In the background is their shiny new van.

If you need a florist in the Southampton are who are passionate about their work then look no further than Floral Enchantment.   www.floralenchantment.co.uk

floral enchantment advert

The Kleeneze advertisement is a more interesting use of a photograph taken on a family portrait photoshoot in the grounds of a New Forest hotel.

paul newton advert

If you need some photography undertaken, whether family or business portraits, please think of me, Michael Palmer Photography - Southampton based but I travel and work worldwide.

30 November 2009

Fashion Photography in New Forest, Hampshire

It's not often I shoot fashion, but this autumn I collaborated with model and former racing driver Sophie Fisher for an autumnal fashion shoot near Lyndhurst in the New Forest.

It was a bitterly cold and foggy morning but we managed to do five outfit changes before retreating for a hot mug of hot chocolate the Lyndhurst Park Hotel.

If you are a designer, or have some clothing you'd like photographed on location then please think of me, Michael Palmer, Fashion Photographer in Hampshire!

Business Portraits | Real Life Characters

Over the weekend I had the fortune (although some might argue the case against) of working with two business people truly deserving of the "Characters" title.

If you would like a Character photoshoot, or a more traditional business portrait please don't hesitate to place your order by getting in touch with me and asking me nicely if I'd like to shoot you.


Lisa Blackler from Honesty Marketing

lisa blackler

Richard Heathcote - Voiceover Artist, Mac Geek and all around good guy - www.richardheathcote.co.uk

richard heathcote

29 November 2009

Mikey's Photo Booth

I don't do event photography often but it's always something I enjoy.  People are happy and having fun.

Here are a few of my favourite photos from my photo booth at the 4Networking 2009 Christmas Party.

What happens at Christmas Parties

...  doesn't always have to stay there.

On the 28th November 2009 business people from all over the country from the UK's biggest joined up networking group, 4Networking had their Christmas Party at Rookery Manor.

While wearing my event photographers hat I try and capture the essence of an event without actually dictating what happens.  If you need an event photograph for either a photo-booth or to capture the goings on, please think of me.

What follows are a few memories of the nights events.

Happy people everywhere.

As well as a few disturbed people.

Not forgetting the beautiful people.

Striking a pose.

Some people were having too much fun.

He's 'armless really.

The face of someone who has just seen Brad Burton topless?

Some people were just generally confused.

Even the balloons were happy.

Some people really really do not like having their photo taken.

Never ever touch the hair of the person on the left.

There were legends a plenty in the room.

Man with horn.

No idea how to caption this one.

Hands up who hasn't wanted to hit Brad Burton with a big stick at some point?

Award winners.

Come on!

A legend getting an award.

Some people wore silly suits.

Fat men dancing.  Always good for a laugh.

If anyone wants to use any of the photos from the party for facebook, twitter, blogging, website etc I will be charging £15 for each hi-res jpg image.  If you use any, expect an invoice.  Just saying :)

23 November 2009

Southampton Wedding Venue | Rownhams House

rownhams house leafletsI've lived within a mile or so of Rownhams House for most of my life, but it wasn't until a few weeks ago when they had an open day to celebrate the opening of their new wedding venue that I ever knew it existed.

Having had the tour, met the owners and their dogs I can honestly say its a great venue.  As soon as their library has finished being redecorated it's going to be even better.  If you're looking for a venue for your wedding get your name in their book quickly because they are going to get booked up very quickly.

The house is just a couple of minutes from the M27 but once you are at the venue you couldn't tell you are so close to civilisation.

Hopefully it won't be long before I get to shoot my first wedding at this wonderful new venue.

Their website says, "Hidden behind trees, woodlands and an ancient garden wall, an almost forgotten world survives within an atmosphere that has been described as 'quite magical'.  Rownhams House is managed by its owners who have been passionate about the place since childhood. The warm, old fashioned friendliness has gained the house very many friends."

For more information please visit their website at this link - www.rownhamshouse.com


19 November 2009

Magic behind the lens


By Tannis Miller

There is something about a successful photo shoot that makes you feel not only extraordinarily glamorous (because you do feel like a star!;) ), but it is almost as if every trace of inhibition that was once with you unravels like layers of an onion. In my own experiences with shoots, I have always worked with such great, experienced photographers who have made the shoots so comfortable right from the get-go, but it does always seem to take a few moments to break out of that shell completely! When this does happen, it all comes together. What’s left is nothing but your trust in the photographer, and their talent and eye that work together to create irreplaceable images!

The whole experience is like acting and the subject, the model, is the actor. If you think of it as slipping into a character and playing the role, it gives what you need to pull off certain shots without holding back, simply because you’re escaping into someone else. On the other side of the camera, the photographer is the film director, directing you into your most physically flattering angles while arranging the perfect lighting, all to create the most visually appealing image possible. A great photographer has a creative imagination and can produce interesting ideas regardless of the circumstance or location. This past September for instance, Michael and I shot in a dark parking lot on a gloomy, rainy afternoon. This could have been grounds for a lousy shoot, but with Michael’s talent and my positive outlook, we nailed some of my favourite photos yet! If you’ve been shown a glimpse of some of the amazing shots that have been captured straight out of the camera during a shoot, you’ll know what I mean when I say it can be a thrill! Actually, I remember during my first shoot, I could hardly believe it was even me in some of those shots –the work of a fabulous photographer goes a long way!

Like anything, practice is needed! Experienced models will know how their body positioning and facial expressions look best on film, but often only a few shots per shoot are actually used for anything. Only the very best shots should be released for marketing purposes, personal portfolio use, or any other use at all. You only want to ever show your best work!

Overall, when the right shots have been captured, the photographer and the model have connected successfully! It can be said that a good model can be just as important as a good photographer, but when the two are combined, the results can be wicked.

Tannis Miller
Fitness Model/Personal Trainer