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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. 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.

Commercial photography for Magnitone London by Pawel Spolnicki

Commercial photography by Pawel Spolnicki. Magnitone Brush

Advertising photography. Skine care photography. Beauty phortography, skin care, beauty products. Photo by Pawel Spolnicki

 

 

 

 

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.

 Girls with beautiful skin. Skin care products.

Skin care and beauty photography by Pawel Spolnicki

 

 

 

 

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.


Headshots photography price guide.

Heashots Photography Price Guide

Headshot photography

Headshot photography is always a big part of my studio business. Over the years, I have learnt several lighting techniques and ways to coach people to be able to create the best results in the session.

As a headshot photographer, I noticed that other photographers charge lots of money for the service they provide and that’s fine if the work they do is good enough.
However, there are many part-time photographers with not enough experiences producing a low standard of work and overcharging clients. So the most important thing to remember when you are looking for a portrait photographer is firstly checking what you are paying for.
Have a look on their website, try to find some reviews and research the photographer and his work.
Check how long the session will be, how many outfit changes and how many images you will get in the package price. Also look for hidden costs, extra editing charges, printing charges etc.

Headshot photography

Portrait and headshot photography can cost a lot.

Portrait and headshot photography can cost lots of money in London.

How much should you pay, and what is the difference anyway? I had a good look on some of the London-based studios and some of the photographer’s portfolios to give you more information and make your life easier in search for your photographer. So here are a few things you should remember before booking a session. 

 

So, what you are paying for?

Headshots on average can cost anywhere from £50 to over £400.

You can find a headshots photographer for as little as £50, but you may risk ending up with a few poor edits and no guarantee of the quality of the images you will get. 

Some photographers are just starting and charging a minimal fee so they can get experience and build their portfolio. Their work may be average, and although you might find the quality acceptable, there is always a risk of not getting genuinely satisfying results.

£100-£150 – In this price bracket you should be able to find a good headshot photographer. Most likely 1-1.5 hours session with two to four outfit changes and 2-3 edited images. In this price, you are probably going to have an outdoor session as many photographers do not have their studio. Extra copies usually cost £10-£15 each.

£150-200 – most commonly a 2-hour photoshoot, a good number of outfit changes, you should be able to get 4-5 properly edited images of your choice.

In this price bracket, you should get an established headshot photographer with lots of experience in this industry. Most likely having his or her studio and giving you both indoor and outdoor session options.

£200-300 – For this price you are looking to have an established photographer with 2-3 hours photoshoot. Unlimited outfit changes, and five good fully retouched images of your choice. Also, many photographers may offer a make-up stylist in this price, so it’s always worth it checking is that is the case. Additionally, you may have access to an online gallery to help you choose your extra shots. 

headshot photography
Portrait Photography
Portrait photography
Portrait Photography

Always make sure that the time the photographer is offering you is enough for you to achieve the best results. In the end, you must obtain the right images that fit your requirements to get you the results you want to make. It could be a modelling job, a beautiful portrait for your yearbook, or being the next film superstar.

Here are some of the headshots I took recently and the price list for my services just for you to compare with the others.

Triumph motorcycle photo shoot on location.

Triumph motorcycle photoshoot 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.

Triumoh Motorcycle photo shoot by Pawel Spolnicki


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.

So I contacted him right away and he was more than happy to help me with the project. He also agreed to pose for me which was absolutely fantastic. Now I only had to worry about 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 everyone.

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 sunlight.  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 the 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 the 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 the 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 overexposing it. Number three – avoid the sky. Compose your image without including the sky in it…

Below image without using a strobe.

and here is the one with the strobe.

Triumph Motorcycle commercial photography. Picture by Pawel Spolnicki

Behind the scene video.

I knew that this will be a 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 a good picture is not a work of just one 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.

Photoshoot dream team…

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


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.


Children’s fashion photography – 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.

Children's Fashion Photography

Children's fashion photography

Childres fashion photography. Photo by Pawel Spolnicki

Childrens fashion photography. Pawel Spolnicki photography.  

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.

Children's Fashion photography using California Sunbounce
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.
Children fashion photography on location.
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.
Cmmercial and children fashion photography. Photo Pawel Spolnicki
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 the 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 disappointment.

 

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 on Location

Fashion Photography on Location

Yesterday I had a location photo shoot which I planed few weeks ago.
As you probably now the biggest challenge for photographer is not the actual session but the whole preparation and putting all the parts together. I started by choosing a good model for this project. When you spend money on the photo shoot you want to make sure that everything is by the plan and you don’t want to find out on the day that the model you have, doesn’t really know what to do.
Luckily I knew right person for this who agreed to work with me. I have work with Karolina Bil on several project and I knew that she won’t let me down. Next step is make up artist and if you are long time enough in fashion photography you know who is good. For that reason I always work with my favourite makeup artist Gosia Peruzynska who can do absolutely miracles if comes to hair and make up.
Good model and good make up artist doesn’t come cheap but hey now body said is going to be easy…
So you have the right model and make up artist, now you can scout for the location and look for the good outfit. This time I knew exactly what look I’m after so I didn’t need any wardrobe stylist and if I want to find some good designer clothes I often go to TK Maxx.
You buy it, use it for the photo shoot and return it the next day. No problem…
So, when every thing is ready and planed down to the smallest detail and you are ready for the worst scenario and you think that there is nothing which can go wrong, guess what ? I didn’t think about wind.
It was so strong that we couldn’t even go to original location I choose for this shoot. Not to mention that we were using giant 2m shoot through umbrella from Westcott. Any way, we finally end up in another location somewhere between glass buildings having instead of two hours photo shoot just 15 min. But it was worth it. They say, Even the worst day in the field is much better then the best day in the office…
Below you can see some of the images from the day with the descriptions on how was done.
To see more articles regarding fashion photography just click on the link.

On both of those images I have used giant 2m shoot through umbrella from Westcott with Elichrom Qadra positioned on the left side of the model.   Camera settings: 200mm, F3.2, 1/160, ISO 50

Here is one more article about photo shoot on location and all the challenges I had to overcome.


Fashion Photography – My job as a fashion photographer

What is Fashion Photography?
Fashion photography is not only about the clothing, or brand that is being shown, it’s about the message that the image projects to the viewer. To make beautiful and interesting fashion picture you need to put few very important ingredients together.
First and the most important is model, then the outfit, makeup and hair, location and the last will be lighting and photographer.
Obviously skills of the photographer are very important but no skill can help if you have a bad model, not knowing what to do wearing really bad outfit and makeup.

My journey with fashion photography begging some time ago, that was the time when I didn’t understand how important is this whole thing. I could put a model in front of the camera and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with my pictures.
Took me some time to realise that it wasn’t about my lighting or my skills it was all about the models and the outfit. But I think this is the way we all start, and the more we learn the more we begin to understand what is all about. It takes time to built confidence, creativity and the understanding for the Fashion Photography. I the past I have been shooting for several companies with verity of clothing form lingerie to bridal and many others.

What is my job as a fashion photographer ?
It is not only to photograph clothing but also to illuminate the ideas and associations suggested by the seasons, the range of clothes, the designer or the design brand.
Fashion Photographer work both in studio and on locations to create original and eye-catching photographs that illustrate and advertise clothes, accessories and lifestyle.

Photographer must understand each client’s brand image and be able to work closely with other creative people to fulfil the idea. Fashion Photographer usually work in busy studios, and must have good experience in lighting and be able to work effectively under pressure.
Most of the time photographer has to work very fast to capture the entire collection within the hours.
The demand and pressure from the client is growing while the budgets for the photo shoots are shrinking every year.

Here are some of the images I took recently for few of my clients in the studio and on location.

 

Lingerie Photography

Lingerie photography.

 

Fashion photography. Photo Pawel Spolnicki

White dress. Photo by Pawel Spolnicki

Modeling portfolio photography. Photo Pawel Spolnicki

Wedding dress. Photo Pawel Spolnicki for Verise Bridal

Bridal photography for Verise Collection

Bridal photography. Verise Collection

Ecommerce photography. Photo by Pawel Spolnicki

Ecommerce photography. Photo by Pawel Spolnicki

Ecommerce photography. Photo by Pawel Spolnicki for Fame Fashion

Please click on the link to see some more interesting articles regarding fashion photography.


London Portrait Photographer-shoot with Jayvic and Jahilez

Here are some of the images from the latest session with Jayvic and Jahilez, two very talented singers and writers from London. As a London portrait photographer I knew that this will be very good session. The moment I saw those two guys I knew I have to come with something good, something which really show those two artists. I knew that there is potential and that both of them will do them best to get good result. The competition is massive, a specially in place like London so to make them stand out from the crowd I had to create something different. I decided to go for little bit moody look. The biggest challenge was to find the right place to shoot, and since I couldn’t find anything I want I had to do ti myself. So I went to B&Q I bought plaster board, paint wooden panels. Two days of work with few of my friends and here we are inside the room ready to shoot. I was probably more exited about building the set then taking the picture… However as in life even London portrait photographer can learn something new every day.

To show the wall lamps I had to drag shatter speed and set ISO to 400. Canon 5D mark2, 70-200 IS I also used one soft box placed in front and above the subject.

In this image I used to soft boxes in clamp shall position with two strip boxes behind the subject to create rim light.

To see more about London portrait photographer Pawel Spolnicki just click on the link S.O.P