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.