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Beauty photo shoot for Magnitone

Beauty photo shoot for Magnitone brushes.

A few months ago, I was contacted by Magnitone Lucid to do a beauty photography of some of their latest skin products. The product itself is an intelligently designed pulsar brush to clean your face and body and keep your skin clear, fresh and free of any leftover makeup. It was more than a year ago when I did the last beauty photo shoot and I was excited  to be part of this project. On the very first session, I was booked for 8 hours in the studio with 4 models and a very tight schedule with loads of images to be taken. We had to go through many looks, outfit and make up changes on each model and thanks to the perfect team as everything went nice and smooth. When it comes to beauty photography there are two  important factors to be considered. Lighting and make up. We had a fantastic celebrity make up artist Paul Herrington who can do absolute miracles when it comes to make up, and he can do it very fast which was very important in a very busy scheduled photo shoot.

Video commercial with Pixie Lott.

Shortly after the photo shoot I was asked if I would be interested to do the lighting on one of the Magnitone Lucid commercial with Pixie Lott. I don’t have much experience in video production but I know how to do the lighting so I had no problem to say yes to this one. Here is the video and some of the images from that session.

Video and editing Dan Gable Spart Tv Production.

 

 

 

 

Beauty photo shoot round two.

Shortly after the first session I was hired for the second round of beauty photo shoot. This time we had to focus more on the models skin reader then brushes. Once again I had to make sure that the light is perfect and really shows the skin in the best possible way and even we had only one model this time we had much less time to do the shoot and much more requirements  from the client. In commercial photography it is critical that the picture is in best quality and the product looks very good and having just a few minutes per look including makeup and setting the lights. It is not an easy job however once again we end up with excellent results.

 

 

 

 

 

I was extremely excited and happy to work for Magnitone. Mostly because of their fantastic approach to every project.

Click on the link to see more of my work.


Triumph motorcycle photo shoot on location.

Triumph motorcycle photo shoot on location.

I had this idea of a motorcycle photo shoot in the fields in my mind for quite some time now and just a few days ago I have managed to put all the things together and now I can share  a few words about it with you.


In my head I knew exactly what I want and when I found out that my friend Martin Bella just bought this beautiful and very classic Triumph motorcycle I knew I have to take advantage of it. I contacted him right away and he was more then happy to help me my with the project. He also agreed to pose for me which was absolutely fantastic because I now had to only worry of one more model. The very next day I started to scout for a good location. I know that if it comes to location in London, there will be lots of problem from the start. Mainly because every where you go you need a permit or pay lots of money for it. So the only solution is to find some place outside of London. I have spent a few hours in the car driving around and found a great location in Lakeside just a few miles from East London with lots of open space, high grass and a bridge in the background and also it was very close to my studio which was very convenient for every one.

Photo Equipment.

I was going for one particular look and I decided to use only one light source,  Elinchrom Ranger RX with large octa and plenty of sun light.  Octa gives you this very pleasing and soft light which is perfect for what I wanted to do. I had my assistant holding the light mounted on the monopod so was very easy for him to manoeuvre and move around with it. I also had 0.9ND filter from Lee Filters on my lens which gives me this 3 extra stops to kill the ambient and throw background out of focus. With everything in place and ready to go there was only one thing missing… The sunlight. The sky was full of clouds with sun coming and going every few seconds playing with my exposure. The plan was to have very bright and sunny pictures and instead we end up with very moody images. But hey, when you are going for a photo shoot on location you have to be ready for every situation and just deal with it. In the end we were very happy with the images and glad that there was no rain…

Problems.

For those of you who have never done a shoot on the location with the lights there are a few things you may want to remember. Well, for a start you are limited to your camera shutter speed which is 1/160 and you are left with F-stop and ISO to play with. Your shutter is being replaced with the power of your strobe and if you want to underexpose your sky you want to make sure that your light will give you enough power to lit the subject. To underexpose the sky you have to set the camera to let say F11, F16 and by doing it the whole image will get much darker and that is including your subject. Once you set your background exposure, you have to fire the light on the subject and that is the time when the power of the strobe is important. So if you are on maximum power, and still have not enough light there are a few things you can do. Number one – come with the light source closer to the subject. Number two – change the setting on your camera and sacrifice the sky by over exposing it. Number three – avoid the sky. Compose your image without including the sky in it…

Below image without using strobe.

and here is the one with the strobe.

Behind the scene video.

I knew that this will be very interesting subject to shoot so I asked my friend Pavel Prijma if he would be interested to do some behind the scene video. I love the quality of his work and I highly recommend him for any job.  To see more of his work just click on the link.

Also, many of you may know that good picture is not work of just photographer but the whole team. Every person involved in the shoot is a part of it, and I would like to say a big thank you to Kasia Bober, Martin Bella, Pavel Prijma, Michal Gutowski and Sandor Nadasdi to be part of this one.

Photo shoot dream team…

To see more of my work just click on the link.


Portrait photography – recreating someone else’s work.

Portrait photography – photo shoot inspiration.

If comes to portrait photography one of the very important factors is inspiration. Most of the time before I even start to organise a photo shoot  I look all over the internet searching for some good pictures which I like and then study them trying to figure out the lighting and all the details. I had a few clients in the past who asked me: “Can you do that ?” and we all know how difficult it is to recreate someone else’s work and how much we can learn just from doing it.

Recreating beautiful pictures.

I have seen a few images in the past which were fantastic and I tried to come with results as close as possible to the original.
And let me tell you something. It is not an easy job to do it, and here is why. If you are trying to recreate a beautiful picture of Brad Pitt, and you have managed to achieve a similar lighting, and picture is still far from what you want. Guess what ? It will never be the same because you are missing the main subject…Brad Pitt

Lighting makes no difference.

For a lot of viewers, it makes no difference to them what kind of lighting is on the subject. Makes no different how was it done, how soft is the light, they don’t care about rules of composition and the golden hour. There is only one thing they see, the subject.
Only us freak photographers pay attention to all the details studying every inch of the image.
So, what I’m trying to say is. If you wonder why you can’t achieve it, way the image you are creating looks nothing like you would like it to be, maybe you should find a more interesting subject…
It took me some time to understand the fact that the most important thing in the image is the subject, and if there is the story and all the details in place image will be even stronger. And thats way as much as possible  I’m trying to create every thing in my head.

My favourite pictures.

Here are some of my favourite pictures I would like to share with you and which ones I was trying to recreate some time ago. Unfortunately  I don’t know who took this picture of Anja Rubik and Charlize Theron.

Below original image of Charlize Theron.

Portrait Photographer

and here is the image I took

Joanna_Ignaczewska

 

Below original image of Anja Rubik which I was inspired by

Portrait photography

and here below image which I took

portrait photographer london

Why am I writing about it.

A few days ago a photographer told me that he was trying to recreate one of my pictures and I have to say, it made me feel great about it and I’m glad that there are some people who appreciate what I do.
Here is the image I’m talking about and a few words on how I have done it.

portrait photography london

 

To create this image I have used Canon 5D Mark 2 with 2.8 200mm lens. I was lying down on the floor  to achieve this interesting look of the floor in the picture.

On the left hand side of the model I have placed large 2m Octa from Elinchrom, on the right hand side placed large white reflecting board. Camera was set to ambient light of the windows. Rimlight on the models leg comes from the window.

Camera settings: F3.2 at 1/125 ISO320

To see some more of my portrait photography and how to recreate the light just click on this link.


Lingerie photo shoot – recreating the day light.

Recreating outdoor light in the studio.

Lingerie photo shoot.

So today I would like to tell you few words about my latest lingerie photo shoot. Quite often in my spare time I do test shoots. Just to try new stuff new lighting and techniques.  This time I asked friend of mine Tiger to pose for me. I had photograph her before and I was very happy with here and I knew that I can’t go wrong choosing here for this session. To make this image I needed a good looking girl which Tiger was perfect for. Originally I had different idea for the shoot but I didn’t have enough time to find a good location for this and I end up in the studio, trying to recreate the light from the location. In my mind I had this picture of sexy girl standing somewhere out side of the house on the porch or doorway.  Obviously I don’t have any porch in the studio in fact I have only three walls and big white infinity cove to play with, but with a little bit of creativity I knew we will be able to pull something out of it. One of the most important factors in this kind of photography is make up. And if comes to lingerie I always work with my favourite make up artist Gosia Peruzynska which can do absolutely miracles if comes to making beautiful people look even more beautiful. Below is the image I took that day and I thing it gives you that feel of outdoor shoot.

 

Here is how I’ve done it.

I wanted to achieve this beautiful daylight look. I put 4 large 2.4m x 1.2m white boards in front of my model then fired 4 strobes in to these boards. This reflected back producing a huge light source from which I created this beautiful soft light.  Behind the model I have placed one more large black board and fired one gridded strobe to separate the model from the background.

Here are few more images from the same lingerie photo shoot session.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Swimwear photography – photo shoot in Cyprus

SWIMWEAR PHOTOGRAPHY

Lingerie and swimwear photography is probably my favourite kind of photography and I’m lucky enough to make my living out of it.


Just recently I was asked to do a swimwear photo shoot in Cyprus for one of the Latvian company producing beautiful lingerie and swimwear.
I have a flight booked from London to Larnaca, three days in the villa right on the beach, all gear pack and ready. I couldn’t wait.

SWIMWEAR PHOTO SHOOT – MY CHOICE OF GEAR.

A knew right away what is my choice of photographic equipment.
Going to place like Cyprus give you this opportunity to use my favourite gear – California Sunbounce and California Sun-Swatter

Most of the day it was very strong overhead sun. Ideally we should take picture in early morning hours or towards the sunset when the sun is not that strong and directly over the head but in this case we didn’t have enough time to do so. We had to photograph over 40 outfits and we had to use every minute of the day we had.

The answer to it was of course my favourite California Sun-Swatter which give you this beautiful defused light and possibilities to open up a stop or two to throw the background out of focus a little bit more.

CALIFORNIA SUNBOUNCE

Another piece of gear I have to mention is Sunbounce it comes in variety of colours and textures and let me tell you something.There is the reason why I love it, the way its build, what kind of light it projects and how easy to manoeuvre it make my live so much easer and faster during photo shoot.
Ok it does comes with the price but it’s worth it every penny.
On the picture below you can see my assistant bouncing light in to the model crediting nice rim light on the model.

 

Swimwear photoshoot – Cyprus 2014

LOST PHOTOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT

Now, with every photo shoot there is the story behind the scene and even if you are experience swimwear photographer and you know the location and all the tricks you may always learn something new from your mistakes.
So my mistake was not securing all the gear and just having it lying on the floor.
We were all busy shooting when all over a sudden strong wind took the biggest reflector strait to the sea.
I was just standing there looking at it going all the way to the bottom. At first didn’t look like is very deep and I didn’t worry much, but shortly I found out that it’s about 9m and I had this feeling that this is the last time I saw it…
Unfortunately we had to carry on with the photo shoot And we had to leave it there until evening.
Here is short video I took a minute after it happened.

California Sunbounce in the water

Eventually after 6 hour under the see we had it recovered by a diver…
Here are some of the images from the photo shoot.

Here are some more articles about my work.


Fashion photography with children – photo shoot for Amberley London

Fashion photography.

Fashion photography is a big part of my work and here is one more story I would like share with you. A while ago I was asked by luxury childrenswear brand Amberley London to capture their elegant clothing for their website in the studio. These clothes are exceptionally beautiful, and perfectly lit in a studio environment it is easy to create great images.So when they again booked me for their new range and an outside shoot was decided I knew a totally different approach was likely to be needed. In the studio a photographer decides the light, outdoors well guess what – the weather and the sun might have a different way of looking at things.

Here are few images from the first studio session.

Thankfully my experience of such shoots and the fine planning required to overcome any lighting challenges meant that with the right team and the right equipment choice we have again delivered a wonderful set of images matching the clients brief. And I must stress the WE here, the best images are rarely the product of a lone photographer and I knew a great team would be the backbone of this particular job’s success.
So we assembled a fantastic crew including make-up artists, wonderful young models, catering and lighting assistants. And with myself and the client scoping the proposed location before the date and keeping a close eye on the weather reports I carefully selected the equipment I was certain would enable me to create the photography Amberley required.
We chose the fabulous Manor House Gardens in South East London as our spot, which on a summery day would give us exactly the surroundings and feel we desired. We then hired a large space within the Manor House itself as we needed a comfortable area to prepare in.

Children’s fashion photography

is understandably a type of job you approach with care and consideration, youngsters can tire easily and we have to ensure everyone on a shoot is comfortable and well looked after. And with Amberley’s clothing being such a refined mix of beautiful designs, exquisite fabrics and attention to detail it was imperative that both my models and the garments were lit perfectly and captured beautifully.

This is where careful equipment planning comes in. Early summer can be notoriously tricky to create great photography during the day. Harsh light, bright light and high temperatures can be a testing mix.
And we had it all; fortunately I and the team were prepared.

I had come armed with my brilliant California Sunbounce and California Sun Swatter to help me take control of the lighting conditions. The names indicate the roles they play and the extra ability they give to a photographer. The Sunbounce is a very large rectangular reflector, housed in its own lightweight frame. This is where a lighting assistant is indispensable. I cannot hold the reflector and my camera ! But with careful direction I was able to have my assistant reflect light where we struggled to find it and create striking highlights on our models when the image called for it.


It is no understatement to say you are harnessing the light from the sun and making it work for you.

But what happens when there is too MUCH light? This is a common problem on outdoor shoots and one we cannot just rely on our cameras settings to overcome. Blown highlights on skin, hotspots on clothing, this is not the recipe for good photographs. No we need something serious to help us in these conditions and that’s where the Sun Swatter comes in. Similar in shape and scale to the bounce it is a taught sheet of translucent material giving me a reduction in direct light of 2-3 stops. It basically gives you a portable piece of shade. Again set within a sturdy frame it has a support pole for precise positioning. My assistant simply holds it above the model as you would a parasol.
This enables me to negate any risk of blown highlights and to shoot with a shallow depth of field without over exposing any part of the image.

Add in another assistant with the reflector and we can create highlights really making the clothes stand out and the image ‘pop’. Between them, or used singularly, the bounce and the swatter are two of my smartest investments. As I know I have in my arsenal of light controlling devices the right equipment to produce wonderfully lit and correctly exposed images at the beginning of a shoot, the middle and the end.

In the below image of the lovely pink and white dress you can see these two products in action. Or rather you can’t and that’s the point. The lighting is totally natural but rest assured my team are controlling it. The Swatter gives me my shade, the bounce my highlights. But to the viewer this is not visible. It’s a fabulous shot that looks simple to take. And that is my aim – every single frame.

Amberley sell clothes and their customers have to trust that what they see is what they will receive. But on some of the images the light bounces of the grass and you cannot avoid a green hue, it’s physics. So we have to pay careful attention in post-production and correct this anomaly of science with some astute white balance adjustments to bring things back.

As I’m sure you already know or are learning from this piece, there is a lot more to photography than just having a nice camera and pressing the shutter. It is an art yes, but more than that it is a science.

And it is predominantly the science of light. This brings me to my last image from this session and a good example of how understanding the limits of your equipment may point you toward using something altogether different. For this is lit with a powered studio strobe. An Elinchrom Quadra shot through a deep, gridded Octa to be precise. It was clear to me that as the sun descended and we had chosen a shaded area the bounce would simply lack the power. So in turning to portable electric studio lighting we were able to continue producing perfectly lit and exposed children’s fashion photography for our client. Again relying on my assistant to hold the Einchrom under my direction, the soft light, with the grid preventing any spill off the subject, still has that natural feel of the sun and is not recognisably different to the rest of the day’s images.

And that is crucial in this type of fashion photography. Consistent quality and tone of light throughout the shoot. Created by wildly different products but delivering a constant high end look to display and compliment the designs of Amberley.
Without an intimate understanding of these light producers and controllers the day would have been lost. And without a fully readied and briefed support team it would have been pointless me bringing them.

So I hope you can see by these images that with care and consideration (and planning, lots and lots of planning) all these components dovetail in to one another seamlessly and the images you are being paid to produce deliver exactly what the client needed.

You just have to sometimes beat the sun at its own game to achieve it.

Big thank you to Rob Anderman and the team for helping me with the lighting and all the obstacles we had to overcome during entire photo shoot.

Here is one more article about location photo shoot.


Actor Headshots Photography Session

Headshots photography – session with actors.

Few days ago, I had another actor headshots photography session with a few fantastic actors from London ( Sabine Crossen, Fiona Rene, David Alwyn and Edward Lewis French ). We all had a really good time and lots of fun through the entire photo shoot. Working with actors is a spontaneous job simply because many of them are used to being in front of a camera and they are very good in following directions. However it is not often that I have a headshot session with four people at the same time. The idea was to set the lights and then photograph every single one of them and then change the lights for another set of outfits and looks. That bring some difficulties which I had to overcome. Normally when you do an actor headshot you set the lights specifically for this person and there may be many reasons for this, skin colour and condition, face features or age of the model. The idea of this shoot was to do as many setups and looks as possible and since I couldn’t spent as much time on each person as I would like to I was happy that the results were great.

Here are some of the images from the session.

 

To see more of headshots photography please click on the link.


Photography Studio Hire London – Your first time.

For many starting photographers willing to hire a photography studio could be a challenge. Partly because you have never done it before and partly coz you do not have much experience in studio lighting. So in this article I will guide you from start to bottom on how to do it and what to avoid.

Here are a few things you may want to check before booking photography studio hire London.

Studio size

– there is a big choice of photography studios in London with variety of sizes and prices. Always remember to pick the right studio size for the shoot. If you are planning to bring lots of models and a bigger team you may have a problem. Some of the studios have a limit of how many people can be accommodated. It is a good idea to check the website if there are any restrictions or call the owner for more information.

Equipment

– always check with the studio what is included in the hire price. Some of the studios have all the lighting and props included in the price and some will charge you extra for everything. Most of the studios have everything listed on the website, read carefully to avoid any inconvenience and disappointments.

Punctuality

– it is very important that you come and finish on time, in many cases there will be another person booking the studio after you and it is not nice to let the next person wait for you. Plus the studio owner may charge you extra for the delay and overtime. Always include setup/take down time in your hiring hours. That means that if you book studio from 10am till 2pm you have to do everything within the time frame.

When to book

– a good photography studio hire studio is usually booked up within one or two weeks ahead so do not expect to book the studio for Saturday calling on Friday. Make sure you call for booking much earlier. Most of the owners will reserve a date for you for a day or two giving you time to organise everything.
Also most studio will require from you a non-returnable booking fee to secure your date. This is to make sure that you will show up on the day and that the owner does not lose revenue in case you don’t show up or have an emergency cancellation.

 

Here is the link to one of the photography studio hire in London.

 

 


fashion photography

5 Critical Questions Answered to Help You Build a Great Modeling Portfolio

You will never get a second chance to make a great first impression and in this business, it’s all about first impressions. When you’re creating a great modeling portfolio, you’ll need to have a critical eye as well as high standards.

Is there an ideal size for photos?

If you’re in New York or Los Angeles, 9×12 and 11×14 are required while in London, you’ll probably need smaller snapshots. It depends on the market you’re working in and what you want to do. If you’re looking for print work 8.5 x 11 is optimal and what’s used in many metropolitan markets.

Do I need more than one professional photographer?

If you have the money to spend, then you can hire several photographers but you won’t get more work because of that. The key to getting your portfolio notices is to showcase the photos that show you at your best, that highlight your talents, especially if you’re an actor, and then execute a well-planned marketing strategy designed to get you more opportunities.

How many photos will I need?

In most cases, less is more. You’ll want to choose the photos that have that are considered exceptional by you and your photographer. If you’re new, six to 12 is enough to showcase. You can go up to twenty only if they are truly excellent photos. If you’ve purchased a book for your photos and you only have less than 12, put the photos on the right side of the book; the empty left side makes it seem like there’s more to look through.

What do I need to wear in my photos?

Some portfolios include, a full length fashion shot, a casual no makeup shot with jeans and a shirt as well as a swimsuit shot and maybe a lingerie shot. The truth is there is no type of photo you have to do for a portfolio. Of course, the more you’re willing to do, the more opportunities you’ll have available but the point of a modeling portfolio is to showcase your best look in a way that is natural and comfortable. A great photographer can bring that out no matter what you’re wearing.

Should I stick with color or do black and white photos?

If you want to show the full range of your look and talent, do both. Black and white photos are artistic and convey certain moods better than with color. Don’t be afraid to show different sides of yourself.

Remember, great photos plus a well-executed strategy equal more opportunities.

Here are some of the latest pictures I took for one of the London agencies.

To read more about modeling portfolio jus click on the link.