As you may have noticed recently one of my current projects is a new magazine publication called CT magazine or Creative Talent Magazine, now I have started a new partnership with Darlington College and I am really excited about it.
What is CT Magazine
CT Magazine is a new magazine which is aimed at showcasing the hidden talents behind the fashion photography that we seen everyday. The idea for the magazine came about after working on a variety of different shoots for clients and I noticed that although there is always a huge team of people involved in putting together and taking these shots, only a small amount of them ever get credit for their artistic work.
I mean have you every looked at a model in a magazine and thought I would love to work with them, but dont know who they are. Well with CT magazine the idea is to show everyone off to their full potential and give full credit for their work.
So every image published in the magazine is accompanied by full credit, including contact details and in some cases a bit of editorial about them, giving you an insight into their world and how they got where they are today.
To check out CT Magazine please go visit the website www.ctmagazine.co.uk and read the latest issue and find out more about the magazine.
So by now you are probably thinking that a great idea and how do I get involved. The first thing to do is to go and give the FaceBook page a like www.facebook.com/ctfashionmagazine and get in touch either via facebook or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Darlington College Fashion / Art & Design Students
As the idea behind CT magazine is to promote the hidden and unknown talent of people in the fashion industry, I thought that it would be a great idea to work with the local college to showcase the excellent work done by the students, and at the same give the students both an idea of what its like to work on a professional brief as well as helping promote their work.
I was asked by Darlinton College to come in and speak to the students about CT Magazine and the possibility of them being involved. So on Thursday I went along to Darlington College and was planning on talking to maybe a couple of students about the whole idea. “drum roll please…”
However, after talking to a senior lecturer I was asked if I would be happy to talk to all the students on the course at once, so in total I was talking to about 50 students at once. This may sound scary but I am more than happy to talk to large groups of people and the response I got was amazing. The students are all really excited about being part of CT Magazine, and although the talk was initially about the magazine, I decided to open the floor to questions and kinda opened the flood gates to all sorts of questions about what I do, and about photography in general. I have to say this was really cool, I really believe in education and think that in this digital world it is way to easy to buy a camera and call yourself a photographer, or buy a software package and call yourself a designer. So passing on advice to students and the true value of what they are doing was amazing.
So after my talk I had a further meeting with the lecturers and they came up with the idea of setting the work for CT Magazine as part of the students course work, and that way they can add it to their portfolios and help them get into uni. This to me is a great idea, as I love the thought of being able to help people get on in life, and showing students just how things work in the real world. Kinda helping them to bridge the gap between theory and practise.
I find this a really good idea as its too easy to learn something and not see it truely applied in a real world context, and get a shock when you get out into the world, but combining CT magazine and Darlington College students allows the magazine to showcase their amazing talents, as well as helping them to gain valuable industry experience they simply would not get anywhere else.
So I have managed to go back to college and come away with some homework, a thing I have not done in quite a few years. But I am so looking forward to working with Darlington College and the amazing students that go there.
If you want some more info on the work of Darlington College please check out their website http://www.darlington.ac.uk/ or follow them on twitter www.twitter.com/darlingtonfe and remember to say that I sent you.
So watch this space for exciting development with both CT magazine and Darlington College…
So there I was waiting in a meeting for my other side of my life, that of a business strategist and I started reading a magazine. There was a spark of inspiration as the photographer in me noticed that in most of these magazines there is not credit given to all the people involved in making the shots happen.
So I decided to change that and produce CT Magazine – a fashion magazine with a different. The aim of CT Magazine is not only to show you the latest fashion trends, but to showcase the talent behind the photos, everyone from the photographer, model, make up artist to the designer, stylist and studio. Its my goal to show people just how much hard work goes into making fashion photographs and its not all glitze and glamour, although that is part of it.
Where do I find CT Magazine.
You can read the latest issue of CT Magazine right inside facebook just go to the CT Magazine facebook page at www.facebook.com/ctfashionmagazine and click the Read CT Magazine link.
Or if you prefer you can read the latest issue on the CT Magazine website at www.ctmagazine.co.uk
Do you want to get published?
So the aim of CT magazine is to help people show off what they can do. So if you work in the fashion industry as either a photographer, model, make up artist, designer, stylist or anything else, please get in touch. We are always looking to show off what people can do and how much hard work they put in.
You can get in touch with CT magazine by any of the following
I was lucky enough to be invited to watch the latest lines to come out of Burberry for next Spring Summer season as part of Milan Fashion Week, and have to be honest I was pleasently surprised. In my head I was still picturing the Burberry line as being a very chav driven line with the traditional check pattern on caps. But to my surprise there was not a cap in sight.
Instead there was a whole load of colour and very smart looking lines, suits and formal work wear are very much on the agenda for the Spring Summer 2013 range from Burberry.
This makes me very happy as this in my view is what Burberry are all about, smart clothes and professional people, it was such a shame that there line got taken over by chavs, but it seems they are back on track and very much on target.
|Burberry Spring Summer 2013|
I was actually taken a back first by the use of bright colours on what would normally be very dull things, suits, formal trousers, jackets etc. But after a while I found them very appealling, nothing better than bringing back the suit by adding a whole load of bright colours to it. When I say bright I mean bright, reds, yellows, blues are as bright as you can imagine.
And in my opinion this works, as the suit in general is on the decline so its nice for Burberry to not only get back to their roots, but to bring their roots bang up to date.
One of the key features of the new lines is eye wear, and again although they are very traditional looking sun glasses, they are splashed with colours, and bright colours. Almost made me think of kiddy sunglasses for adults. But again it worked.
Bags (no not hand bags)
Another huge thing next season is the continues rise of the bag or man bag as some people call them, I see a bag like this myself being used not on a daily basis, more of a replacement for my briefcase. As you look a bit silly dressed smart – casually but carrying a briefcase, and this is the market and exactly where the bags fit in.
In my view most men will use them just as I do, as a work bag, dont think many men will actually use a bag daily as a woman does her hand bag. Yet again the look of some of the new Burberry bags are on trend, not feminine as you would expect, although some were at bit girly for my tastes. But I am just happy that after all these years these bags are being mass produced, I remember a few years bag I could not find a casual briefcase replacement anywhere, so well done Burberry for bringing them up to date.
Now as you will expect there are some very smart looking shoes in next seasons line up, just the fairly normal work and casual wear. But and here is the bit that I will never get, there are sandals, yes sandals although the bright colours feature on these again. The fact that they are paired with socks just screams old man, just like your grandad would always wear his sandals with socks.
So my advice would be take sandals out of the range, I dont know anyone would would wear sandals with a suit, that is unless you live in a hot country, but even then only at a stretch.
But all in all I really like the new Burberry look, they are going back to the formal style where they started from and lets hope that in doing so the Chav element disappears.
Well done Burberry for a great show, cant wait for the ranges to hit the shops
With this age of digital technology and the ever increasing advancement of photography. I thought I would touch on the main areas of photography as I see it. I am not going to cover every single type or area of photography, nor I am going to cover all techniques.
Its my intention to give you a bit of an overview of the key areas and why they are different in an aim to help you find success in your photography.
The area of fashion photography has to be one of the most popular areas of photography, yet many people still don’t understand the two key areas of this industry.
Although it can be said that pin-up, glamour and beauty can also be classed as fashion, in my view the main two areas of fashion are Advertising Photography / Advertorial Photography and Editorial Photography.
Advertising Photography / Advertorial Photography
The main thing in the advertising area of fashion photography is that the shots should be about the clothing, shoes, or what ever else fashion you are trying to show off.
If you look at the following photograph, you can clearly see that the main focus in the image are the boots and tights, and although the model is posing in a good way, which makes the shot work, your key focus is on the clothing.
|Fashion Advertising Photograph|
As you can see the aim of this shot is to sell the fashion, its not about the lighting, the model, the hair or anything else.
So in short any shot that is intended to be used for anything such as an advertising campaign or an advertising article (advertorial) should be done to showcase the intended subject in such a way to highlight the fashion / product being advertised.
Now editorial photograph can be a bit tricky, as its often difficult to get the shot to be simple enough to be used as part of a story. Which is the whole essence of editorial photography, your photo is meant to tell a story, arouse the imagination, leave the viewer in wonder. Editorial shots should be done in such a way that the shot is not focusing on one thing in the picture, but focuses on many aspects, which all work together to tell a story.
If you look at the photograph below you can see it leaves you wondering, it doesn’t focus too much on any one thing. Leaving not only the end use, but the intrepretation up to the end viewer.
Pin-Up / Glamour
Now when you hear the word Pin-up and Glamour most people immediately start to think of women with their boobs out simply on show. In my view this is not the correct use or way to see either Pin-up or Glamour, as you must remember that the word glamour is short for glamorous, and Pin-up photography is actually taken from the use of the final shots. Such as in terms of posters, calendars, etc.
One of the most famous Pin-Up models of all time was of course Bettie Page and if you look at her work it was done with an air of tease about it, it was not done in an erotic way. That is the whole essence of not only Pin-up but Glamour. Showing a model off in a way that is glamourous not sleazy.
Both Pin-up and Glamour shots can be done in a variety of different ways, wearing a variety of different clothing, although this is typically stockings, high heels, nipple tassels and in general clothes that are revealing, whether than be cleavage, boobs, bum, legs the choice is yours.
I tend to think of decent Pin-up shots in the same vein as Glamour, as both done correctly should be done to tease, so showing a bit of cleavage or wearing tassels is meant to be done is a way that produces art NOT porn, the key to this is both the outfit and the pose, for a great guide to poses check out posing secrets.
If you want to take a shot of a woman with her boobs out, then you are either getting into the realms of erotic photography or porn. Don’t try to pass off the shots as Glamour, but if the end shot makes the woman look good (and not just because she is topless), such as in lads mags then thats Glamour.
Simply put if you would be happy to hang the final shots on your wall at home then you have created art, however, if the only place you ever see your shots is either on your computer or office wall then thats not art.
To show my point if you look at the shot below, you can clearly see that, although the model is wearing very few clothes, it is done in a way that is artistic and done with the pin-up style in mind (and before my fellow pin-up togs start shouting, yes I know its not true pin-up its more fashion) whilst making the model look glamorous and not erotic or pornographic.
|Pin-up style Mermaid Shoot|
Now this area of photography seems to be a bit misunderstood, firstly I will start of by reminding you what Boudoir means.
Imagine hiding in a cupboard and seeing a woman in her bedroom wearing underwear,getting dressed or simply relaxing. In short the shots you take that are Boudoir should be done with an air of sensuality to them yet not simply be a photo of someone in her underwear. You need to add feeling and the almost cheese factor to the shot to make it work, just as if you caught the lady in her bedroom undressing.
So to take a boudoir shot, don’t simply take a shot of someone in her underwear but add something to the photo by adding the “caught in the act” element to it, without adding the erotic element and you wont go far wrong.
Portrait / Beauty / Hair
If you concentrate your photography on taking head and shoulder shots, this is most commonly know as portrait, beauty or hair photography. This is a very popular area of photography as it shows off the work of everyone involved including the model and make up artist, its not just about the photographer.
Typically beauty shots are used either in models portfolio or in hair and beauty campaigns, as the level of close detail is unmatched by any other form of photography.
|Close up Beauty Photograph|
Now there is one thing to remember when taking close up photographs, and that is that as the eyes are the windows to the soul, they should be in focus, so start with the eyes in focus and you cant go far wrong. As for lighting, make up, hair thats for you to play with and decide what you want from your shots.
Landscape / Architectural
Ok moving away from people slightly and onto the wonderful world around us and what is Landscape and Architectural photography. This area of photography like so many is easy to do, yet hard to master.
Capturing the world we see everyday in such as way that makes your shots stand out.
So a true decent landscape or architectural photographer tends to see the world in a different light and in a different way, in most cases that means being able to see how a shot will turn out after it has been through post production. As you have probably guessed landscape photography is simply the art of taking photos of the landscape and buildings around us, whether thats in the city, the countryside or the coast.
|Typcial Landscape Photograph|
I have only attempted to touch on a few of the major areas of photography, it was not my intention to cover every area of the photography industry, but more of a point to clear up the differences between the areas of photography. Educating people on exactly what each area is and what its used for helping them to make better use of their talent and become more successful in their photography business.
So no matter what aspect of photography you choose, just make sure that you keep to that area and be the best you can be at it. After all just because a decorator paints walls, doesn’t mean he also paints boats, cars or anything else.
Well I am all for a bit of photo editing, the odd blemish removal, exposure correction but clothing brand H&M have taken this to a whole new level.
Now let me start of first by saying I love H&M, I love the clothing styles and the photography I find very inspirational, but their latest vision has just gone way to far.
So what have they done
H&M have decided to use computer generated models in their latest campaign, they have taken a head shot of different models and added this to the body which has been completely built using computer software.
I think this is taking the whole use of computers in photography a step too far, I mean there are lots of wonderful models working out there, there are great make up artists and stylists, not to mention photographers. So why go in a direction that is not normal.
I find the normal shots of the H&M lines to be great and very natural, and normally taken on location with superb lighting and composition, but to decided to use fakery in your campaign is a step too far.
So my words to H&M are your clothes are wondeful and your ranges are too good to go and wreck it all by trying to save money and create artificial imagery.
So my final word to H&M is to use real people for your campaign, this goes for the models, make up artists, photographers and the editing team. Remember “People buy from People” not computers.
Model : Aaron Kah
Location : City Centre, Newcastle
Type : Fashion
This shoot was to be one of the shoots that has come so close to happening in the past that I almost thought it would never happen, sometimes I couldn’t make it sometime Aaron couldn’t.
But I am really happy that Aaron got back in touch about this shoot, as the end results are just amazing.
For this shoot I had a clear idea of the kind if thing I was looking for, I wanted a city centre location to shoot a very high fashion set of shots, with Aarons look I knew this would work well. So after many months of conversations, we finally arranged the date for the shoot and it was all systems go.
As I wanted there to be a clear image for this shoot of city environment, I knew just the right place. Newcastle city centre, having grown up in Whitley Bay and gone to college and university in the city I knew it was just the place to do this shoot.
The great thing about Newcastle is it has a great mix of old and new, and the council have cleaned up the city so gone are the old dirty buildings, instead its now clean buildings, although still old. Mixed with new modern developments, glass, metal, etc.
Newcastle is just a great city if you are looking to do a photo shoot and capture old and new in the same place.
We met at the Haymarket metro station, and headed straight down Northumberland Street, and thankfully my idea for the first set of shots were crowds of people and a busy street, which we got in abundance. The only problem is that when you want to shoot crowds, people are well mannered and tend to shy away from the camera. What this means is that when you take the shot, you get the crowd of people further away, and an actual space of empty around your model, not exactly the look I was going for.
In order to play with this, it required me lying on the floor shooting at a different angle, capturing the crowds and people from this angle makes the shots just work.
However, when Aaron and I were shooting we got approach by a group of girls asking to be in the shots, so we said yeah why not, they then kinda stayed in the background for a couple of shots, we almost had our our extras for our shoot, only problem was that they chose to wave at the camera, we I could not use the shots with them in. I think Aaron liked it though as he felt like he had his own entourage with him on the shoot.
We them decided to change location and went around to the entrance of the new Monument Mall, we decided to shoot in the doorway, as I knew it would give me great light and high fashion feel I was after. So we did a few shots in the doorway, and there were two problems with this location. One was the mannequin in the window, which I had to photoshop out of the final shots. And two a busy body cleaner who decided to radio security about us doing a shoot in the doorway. But thankfully we had all the shots we needed before any security staff turned up and went on our merry way.
Have to be honest, not sure why this cleaner chap had such a problem, we weren’t even in the main mall, just in the doorway outside the doors. Some people!
The next set of shots were taken a bit further down the road and made use of a new bench, like I said this modern bench looks really good in the old city environment, we also took some shots against the old buildings.
This shoot was one of the quickest shoots I have done, and thanks to the professionalism of Aaron I got all the shots I could ever want, and he was an absolute pleasure to work with and took direction perfectly.
I think I have proven in this shoot that its not about shooting off loads of shots, but more about taking your time composing your shots right and taking the shot only when you are happy, this shoot lasted about 1 hour and I came out with easily 14 good shots. So again huge thanks to Aaron for this shoot, I would recommend him to anyone looking for models to shoot with.
But like I always say, you can be the judge of the shots for yourself.
|Sample shots from Newcastle City Centre Photo Shoot|
Model : Jade Slavin
Location : Quayside, Newcastle
Type : Editorial
At first this shoot took a while to organise getting both the location and people available, but once everything was set and after several emails about the shoot, look, feel etc it was all systems go.
This shoot was to be one of an Editorial feel although Jade is really tall and has a great figure for fashion, I thought making use of her look would fit excellent into my editorial / fashion portfolio.
This shoot was to be done at the newcastle quayside, although this shoot was to be a more urban shoot so it meant staying at the Millennium bridge end.
This time I was going to make use of the existing businesses, steps, etc around the bridge to give me a set of shots that were clearly set in a city urban setting.
Now as it is just typical on a shoot of the location variety you cant control the weather, and yes you guessed it, for this shoot it was raining. There was a point before the shoot when it was almost called off, but I know the weather and decided to go ahead with the shoot, which worked out well as all we got was a minor shower.
Have to say I was really impressed by Jade and the fact she was happy to work in this weather, and although it didn’t rain too heavy, it did rain. So a huge thank you to Jade for working through it.
At the start of the shoot we met at the Pitcher and Piano near the millennium bridge, we then set out trying to find the best location for the shots, without either of us getting too wet.
I decided that the best place for these shots would be around the entrance to the Mal Maison, with Jade sitting down and go for a more editorial feel than on the fashion side.
We did this and got some great shots.
We then decided to try some more adventurous shots, Jade walking and due to her figure and height this meant that these shots worked well. Althought to be honest I need a little bit more practise with this style, but the idea is there and I will continue to work on it.
Some of the best shots of the shoot were with Jade standing against bollards, posts etc, this is due to how tall she is as it is such a good contrast. We got some good shots of her standing, with a kinda waiting around feel to them. This was also due to the fact that there is a Taxi rank near the shoot so this is used in some of the shots.
We did manage to also take some close up beauty shots, and again although the weather was wet Jade was happy to stand around so we could get these shots. So all in all this was a good shoot, I got some shots I can use, definately more on the editorial side but good shots that I am happy with.
But again you can be the judge of the shots.
|Sample shots from Newcastle Quayside Photo Shoot|
Model : Natalie Locke
Location : Quayside, Newcastle
Type : Editorial
This photo shoot was one I decided to do in an area I have done lots of landscape and location work, but not many fashion or editorial shoots.
After several emails and conversations with Natalie it was decided that this shoot would be themed on a more casual fashion / editorial look, something that can fit into either area as fashion or editorial. That way the otufits could be easy to put together and makeup would not require a Make Up Artist.
As Natalie has a figure typical of a fashion model, the look, location and feel for this shoot would just work well and all three hopefully would make a good set of shots.
On arriving at the location we met just next to the millennium bridge, and as Natalie had done a few shoots in this area before she suggested we shoot at the far end of the quayside near the trees. This sounded like a good plan, only problem was as it turned out the trees were about a hundred miles away (well not quite, but you know what I mean).
However, when we got to the trees the location was great and well worth the walk, there is a jetty to use and the tree line looks ace, so well done Natalie for this great location.
Now to say we had fun on this shoot must be the understatement of the year, Natalie was fun to work with and as mad as a brush. She was happy to try all sorts of shots.
The first set of shots we took were on the little jetty thing, these required Natalie to lie on the ground, which she never complained once about, she was happy to move to where I needed her for the shots. We took some shots on the jetty and got some shots that really worked.
Now the next set of shots were taken near the tree line, and again this is where the shoot became such fun. As we thought it would be a good idea to try to get some shots with leaves blowing in the wind, and as there were not leaves around, Natalie and Becky set about collecting handfuls of leaves from the nearby bushes. Once we had enough leaves, it was Becky’s job to throw them in Natalies direction at the right time, and again Natalie was happy to try this, bascially happy to have leaves throw at her. Now not many models would be happy with that. We tried these shots and as you can guess, they just didn’t work, but at least it was fun.
I them put on my serious photographer head and decided to use the trees properly, and this time we got some great images, we them decided to use the leaves in the shot, this meant Natalie holding a leaf over her face, and with a few test shots and lighting changes we got an amazing shot.
We them decided to walk further down the Quayside back towards the Millennium bridge, again Natalie was a pleasure to work with, she was climbing on roundabouts, railings, sitting on steps, in fact anything and everything to try to get the right shots.
By this time the sun was setting and the light was just looking amazing, and we got some amazing shots using the sun as a backlight with Natalie facing the camera, and these shots just worked (I liked some of these so much I had a hard time picking just one).
So all in all this was a really fun shoot, and again the model Natalie was a pleasure to work with she is happy to try anything and brings some great ideas to the table.
But as for the shots, only you can be the judge of whether you like them or not.
|Sample shots from Newcastle Quayside Photo Shoot|
Model : Emma Wright
Location : Riverside, Durham
Type : Editorial
This shoot was one that I decided to do to add to more the editorial side of my portfolio, thinking with more of the advertising and editorial theme.
After some emails and discussions with Emma it was decided that Durham was a good location for both of us and the concept for the shoot would be centred around bright clothing, in particular tights. So it was agree that in order to get a few different looks, Emma could bring different outfits that all centred around her figure and bright tights.
This sounded great to me as the good thing about Emma as a model is she has a great figure for fashion modelling, typical tall and slim.
The location was to be Durham City and as I know Durham quite a bit I decided to do the shoot down on the river bank, this is a great location as not only do you get the urban city environment, but you can also get the countryside rural feel.
We arranged to meet on at the pub just at the beginning of the bridge. Its always a bit nerve racking when you meet someone for the first time, I always worry that I will go up to the wrong person, but Emma stood out from the crowd and we made our way down to the riverside.
The weather was not too bad for a shoot, not too hot and not too cold, and with the light being difussed by the cloud at times meant that I could get some great lit shots as well as some sunny shots. We finally decided on the location of the little house thing on the riverside, great location and kinda quiet which I was surprised about.
We started the shoot and the first sets of shots were to be Emma wearing a more formal outfit in a long coat, shots taken in and around the entrance. Emma was an absolute pleasure to work with she took direction well and in most cases was already in the right pose before I even started composing the shot.
The main problem on this shoot was lighting, the area was dark, yet I didn’t want to make it too artificial by using lights. So I decided to use the reflector to throw a bit of extra natural light onto the shots, this worked great. We got some great shots around the steps, and after a quick change into a more casual look we took some more great shots.
Again Emma was great fun to work with and the shots turned out great.
After this very static shooting we decided to step it up a bit and take some moving shots, Emma was game to try these shots. So I climbed up on the wall to get a high view as Emma walked passed, and the first set of these just ended up looking like some peeping tom taking photos.
So we decided a more level approach was better, and although these shots were better the Emma walking towards the camera shot really never worked all that well, but when she got closer the light fell perfectly and we got the money shot. Great over exposed shot that uses the light just right, and with the expression she made for this shot makes the shot just pop.
We then tried more of the walking shots, this time with Emma walking away, and again due to her style and figure these shots just look great, and again she took direction well and looked in the right direction just at the right time to give us the great shot. (although this shot needed alot of post production to it due to the councils lack of upkeep on the path)
We then made our way back to the bridge and decided to try something a bit different and have a little play on the bridge, lets just say the shots are still in the experimental arena and need more work to perfect this style.
Really enjoyed this shoot, and Emma was an absolute pleasure to work with, and she was happy to try anything, even some of my stupid ideas.
I just hope you like these shots.
|Sample shots from Durham Photo Shoot|
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