28 June 2015

Making a clients life difficult?

What?  Surely the last thing any business should be aiming for is to make the life of the client that bit more difficult, but that's exactly what I aim for on any of my photoshoots.

Selecting and using only the very best of the best images can be rather difficult at times, but doing this means that only the strongest images from a particular photoshoot get released and as a result everyone looks better.

For example, lets take my most recent photoshoot, with WBFF Pro model Cristina Silva.  We shot for several hours over an afternoon, and ended up with just over 500 images that she had to pick from.

Cristina struggled to find just 20 favourites, and ended up with 33.

Below are three of my favourites from her selection, and below that a somewhat silly GoPro video from the shoot.


26 June 2015

Jarad James Nichols

Since reading "Yes Man" since years ago, if someone offers me an opportunity that's at all possible / practical for me to do, I'll take it.

So when a few days earlier an email arrived asking if I'd like a photo pass for a gig in Southampton later that week, I said yes.

I had no idea who Jarad James Nichols was other than he played blues rock and by all accounts was rather bloody good at it.

The venue was "The Hobbit". A somewhat famous pub in Southampton for its live music scene. In 45 years of living in Southampton I'd never once been there.

The room was small, probably the smallest I've ever seen. Even wedding bands have a larger stage than this to work with. That said, I kinda like the small gigs as you normally get to meet the artists before. Jarad was very quick to introduce himself. He came across as a very nice guy. The normal rule for concert photography is first three songs and you're out. Jarad didn't mind if I kept shooting, which takes the pressure off.

What's a word for beyond awful? Whatever you come up with, the lighting was substantially worse than that. It was dark, it was uneven, and it was mostly red. Could they have made it any worse if they'd tried?

The band were American, and had never had fish and chips before, so they were taken out to eat after the soundcheck. Over an hour later they still hadn't returned. Has anyone seen the band? No, oh.... Bugger.

Blues rock isn't really what I'd listen to at home, but I thoroughly enjoyed the music on the night. It was a top performance and I stayed until the end.

After the show I heard an old school musician talking to Jarad, respectfully saying that he was too good for this venue. I couldn't help but agree. The audience had been the worst I've ever experienced - low on numbers is one thing, but talking loudly with your friends, that's just fucking disrespectful to the artist.

If there is any justice in this world, Jarad should go on to be a big name, and I hope one day to photograph him on a "proper" stage.

08 June 2015

A photo training day at the New Forest Wildlife Park

I had a prospective client ask me for a 1-2-1 photo training day as she was planning to go on a safari in South Africa later in the year...   fast forward a couple of months and we ended up at the New Forest Wildlife Park.

We spent the whole day in the park, which was, being a Monday, really rather quiet.  Much nicer than the mayhem of a sunny Saturday at Marwell Zoo a few weeks back.

We were treated to the lynx plucking a chicken, and the wolves ripping apart a Shetland pony that had been the unfortunate victim of a hit and run driver in the New Forest over the weekend. 

I've only done a handful of 1-2-1 photo training days so far, but I'm looking forward to doing more.

At the end of the day I asked my client to pick her favourite 10 images - one each of lynx, wolf, bison, deer, mouse, otter, butterfly, wild boar, wallaby, and one extra.  As I was also taking photos, I thought it could be a good exercise for me do to the same...