27 May 2011

Fitness shoot in Hayling Island

After we finished shooting Maria said to me that doing this shoot was one of the scariest things she'd ever done.  However I'm getting ahead of myself.

I met Maria somewhere along the road in Hayling Island, in a pub car park.  A much nicer meeting place than my regular B&Q car park meeting point.  She'd bought me cake and a nice bottle of wine.  I already liked her a lot!  We started the shoot in the normal way, with a relaxed cup of tea and coffee, with a slice of chocolate cake each for my assistant Karl and myself.

The weather the day before had been awful, more like winter than early summer and I think both of us were a little worried for today.    It was still rather windy, which was going to make shooting on Hayling Island beach all but impossible, but the sun was shining, and it was actually rather nice out.

After tea, cake, and helping a Mum whose pushchair had just fallen over into the road (quiet road thankfully, baby wasn't hurt, just a little shocked), we started to shoot.

We moved around through 3 different locations around Hayling, and I think, especially considering this was Maria's first ever photoshoot we both did rather well.

24 May 2011

Nicole Costa in the UK

36 hours before the Bodypower Expo weekend American fitness model Nicole Costa sent me a message on Facebook to say her sponsors, Allmax were flying her over for the event and did I want to shoot?

We've shot twice before, once in Miami, and again in Las Vegas.

So an hour or so after the Expo finished on Sunday, both tired from two long days, we headed on out to try and find a location.  After 20 minutes driving around more roundabouts than Nicole has probably seen in her entire life we ended up near the top of the multi-storey car park at Birmingham International Train station.

I take my models to all the most glamorous of places.

Considering it was just the two of us, so no one to hold my shiny silver thing, and that Nicole didn't come prepared for the shoot (she did well with putting together 3 "make do" outfits), I think we did rather well.  We shot for just an hour but the photos are some of my favourites from our shoots.

No problems with security at the station either, I was convinced we'd at least get a visitation from them.

20 May 2011

Fitness Portfolio Book

With just 1 day to go before the Bodypower Expo in Birmingham my fitness portfolio book from Ubyu arrived.  They even sent me an email to say my delivery would arrive between 10:08 and 11:08 (it arrived 10:20).  Most impressive.

The book took a few days longer than their suggested 10 days print time, so bear this in mind if you're placing an order.

Ubyu have their own software which you can use to design the book with.  This worked very well for me, it was quick and easy.  Even with the 400+ pages and hundreds of images things went very smoothly.

My only disappointment, and its quite a big one because it's so obvious, is the cover.  The print and quality are all great, but the alignment of the images is not.  The spine, which was sized to their website calculator suggestion, sadly didn't quite work out right.  Add to that the front & back images are not centred correctly and you'll see my disappointment.   Everything looked just fine on their software which I used to design/upload the book.

Whether this is my fault for not preparing the images correctly I'm not sure.

Only time will tell if the quality of the book will stand up to lots of sticky fingers flicking through it at fitness events this year, but for now the quality of the binding seems top notch.  Very much like the option to choose the colours of the inside cover, head bands & the marker ribbon.  A nice and unique touch.

I've included a picture of my hands to show the scale/size of the book.  I wanted something I could pop in my backpack or camera bag, so I opted for their smallest size, 15 x 20cm.  I made the right choice, the size is perfect for me.

Excuse the picture quality, these snaps were taken with my phone camera.  These pictures doesn't do the quality of the book justice.  The printing is as good as I've seen in any print-on-demand books I've had done before.

I wish they didn't have such a silly name, even if I could remember it, I've no idea how to pronounce it, which makes recommending them a tad tricky, even though I'm happy to!

09 May 2011

Pregnant Fitness Photoshoot in London

A couple of weeks I did a quick fitness shoot while in London.  The weather was perfect.  I can't remember being in London on a nicer day before.  We met outside the Park Plaza Hotel at Westminster Bridge.  I hadn't seen any photos of my subject, so she told me to look out for the "black pregnant girl"

She was easy to spot.  ;-)

Finding a location to shoot was easy, we just walked in the opposite direction to the tourist hell that surrounds the London Eye.  I knew of a park just 5 minutes walk away opposite St Thomas Hospital.  Its a quiet, mostly locals park, perfect for a fitness shoot.

I don't normally like to shoot under the midday sun, so I had to make sure Gillian was standing in shaded areas, while Karl, my trusty big shiny silver thing holder for the shoot, bounced sunlight onto her.

Thanks for a fun shoot Gillian, and wishing you all the best for later in the month when baby is born!  :-)

08 May 2011

Shooting a singer / songwriter

Last week I had the pleasure of photographing up and coming singer / songwriter Danica Hunter.

We had a little adventure as we shot our way around some of the more grungy areas of Southampton, before ending the shoot at a hidden away bluebell field where my dog got in on the action for a couple of the shots.

Interesting fact about Danica...  She really, really doesn't like spiders!

Thanks for Karl for holding my big shiny silver thing, and Russ for not quite managing to kill us with his driving!  ;-)

I'm currently working on creating some packages for musician photoshoots & concert photos, but in the mean time if you know any musicians who might need some new photos, please ask them to take a look at my Shoot the Music website.

03 May 2011

Inspiration from Winnipeg

It's impossible to keep in touch with all the models I've worked with over the years, although Facebook has made things much easier in recent years.  A couple of weeks ago  I saw a model from Winnipeg post that she was proud of having achieved 1 mph on the treadmill.   At first I thought she was joking, and almost put one of my normal silly comments up.  Thankfully I didn't and messaged her instead.

Turns out she'd been very seriously injured (almost killed) in a car accident in September from last year.

I asked if she'd like to write a few words for my blog...

"Hello, my name is Sherry Haig. I was in a car accident on September 11, 2010. That date is memorable for a lot of people and it is especially memorable for me now. I almost died in this accident but I now think of it as having a second chance at life. I believe there is a reason for everything. I am not angry or depressed about the fact that my life has completely changed, instead I have a positive outlook on life and look forward to the future because I feel there are many good things yet to come.

My boyfriend was driving our car when we were t-boned on the passenger side which is where I was sitting. All the airbags were deployed which saved my life. The left side of my face collided with my boyfriends big hard head and caused multiple facial fractures around my cheek. My right hip, femur, pelvis, sacrum and some ribs were fractured. My liver was lacerated and my lungs were punctured. I had multiple surgeries for my hip, femur and face. Plates were placed in my left cheek. Nothing was done for my ribs, pelvis and sacrum as they can heal on their own. I was in a coma during these surgeries thankfully as I didn't feel any physical pain while my repairs were healing. I was released from the hospital and sent home permanently in January.

Being at home for the last 4 months I developed many new goals and dreams. I used to compete as a fitness model so I want to be able to train and compete again next year. I go to physiotherapy 2X a week and to the gym 5X a week to help regain the strength in my quadriceps so I can eventually walk without a limp, run and then compete again. In order to compete again I know I have to strengthen my legs which means I must use the treadmill as often as I can during the week. The most important things in life are your loved ones and health. These things are more valuable than any inanimate object.

If you are afraid to compete or didn't place at a competition what is stopping you from competing or trying again? There are no limitations on whatever you want to do in life. The sky is the limit."

These are a few pictures from our 2008 shoot in Winnipeg.  Here's wishing you a full recovery Sherry.  :-)

Image for my new business card

With the moose on a sabbatical and me needing some new business cards, I've decided to change the image I'm using to something new.  I've narrowed it down to these 4 images, but I'm undecided which to go with.

The card needs to instantly engage people so people ask about the photo at a networking meeting etc.

Alternatively the fifth option is to use the moose photo again....

Decisions decisions.

01 May 2011

Fitness Flyer

I'm trying something a little bit different, flyers aimed at being distributed to gyms and fitness events over the next few months...

Here's a PDF version of the flyer just incase you'd like to be really kind and print up a copy for your gym notice board.

If you'd like a few of these for your local gym, please get in touch and as soon as I've got them back I'll put some in the post to you.