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...


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.

Children's Fashion Photography

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.

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.