Kelly Hathaway – Our weekend together

Kelly Hathaway, September 2017

Wow, what a weekend!

Kelly is not only a fantastic model, but also a close friend of mine. So to have the opportunity to spend the weekend with her at her place was a no-brainer. I was gonna be there come hell or high water!

For a change we had a bit of a plan, I turn up early Saturday evening, we eat, shoot outside in the dark, back, relax, sleep, then shoot the following day. It didn’t quite go that way though:

8pm – home and food ordered (Chinese – NOM!).
9pm – food arrived.
10.30pm – went out to shoot.
12am – back home and decided to shoot some more.
1.30am – carried on chatting and drinks while watching a film.
2.30am – Kelly got sleepy so she went to bed.
7am – I was awake and prepping.
10am – Kelly awakes.
11am – video shoot.
12.30pm – more food and chat.
2pm – afternoon shoot.
5pm – shoot finished.
5.30pm – 1 hour live broadcast on Instagram.

Kelly Hathaway, September 2017

So as you can see, quite a busy weekend. If there’s one thing we learnt though, is to switch the primary shoot day from the Sunday to the Saturday. Not to maximise shoot time, but simply so we can properly have some fun afterwards with food and drink! Yeah, we are so professional! But I gotta say the photos were simply phenomenal.

And this is the thing I love about working with models who are friends as well. There is a whole different atmosphere during the shoot. In fact it isn’t even a job, it’s friends hanging out who just so happen to also produce photos for the enjoyment of others. What is also nice is that when you have worked a few times with a model who you really click with, it means you don’t have to worry as much about experimenting more with the more crazy ideas.

What is also nice is that the model themselves have a lot more trust in what you are doing when you want to experiment. There’s nothing worse for a model than to work to say concealed nude levels but a photographer to snap (and even worse post) images that show more than the model was happy about. There’s really none of that when working with a model who trusts you entirely and who you get on so well with.

What was a great bonus on the shoot is Kelly’s place. It’s a lovely home, and with lots of space, large windows, good sized bedroom and Kelly isn’t someone who likes lots of stuff in there too, so it was very easy to move stuff around to get the shot needed. I hope to shoot there many more times, I know there is still so much I can do at that place!

So that’s about it! Enjoy the pictures, we very much enjoyed making them!


Kelly’s portfolio for more images and booking can be found here – Kelly Hathaway Portofolio 


Sophia West

Sophia West, Sept 2017

Hello! Okay so straight off the bat I wish to apologise for not posting anything in a while. I have no excuse – I had been lazy.

Not that I had been lazy with shoots. Not at all! I have lots of posts to catch up on, but today I shall be talking a little about my most recent shoot with a wonderful model, Sophia West. A dancer by profession, this was the third time I had worked with her, but there had been a two year gap between this one and the last one (I did a dance video with her the last time, click here to see that).

A lot had happened in that time. When I last worked with her she hadn’t done too much modelling, and didn’t even have a modelling name. I normally recommend models have a modelling name, especially with the internet, as a way to kinda keep their personal life a little separate from their modelling life. It’s not perfect, but it does help. So through our chat during the last shoot I helped her choose her new name. She loves it now.

After our last shoot she started doing a lot more modelling, moving up from lingerie and topless to nude, and dear God, she has a phenomenal figure for nude work. During the two years she did get a lot of shoots in, but for various reasons I won’t go into here, we never did get another shoot in, kinda loosing contact over that time. Well that all changed a month or so ago when I fired off a random ‘hello!’ message in her direction.

So a few messages, a date sorted and a couple of ideas in the bag (though not too many, I usually make it up as I go!), she came down to visit me.

And what fun we had.

Sophia West, Sept 2017

When I first met Sophia, she was already a good model, but in two years she now knew exactly how to pose to make the most of her figure, great makeup skills, a good collection of outfits and a wicked smile that looks perfect.

I had a couple of ideas in my head for the shoot, including a couple of outdoor setups that could be done in a few minutes. Luckily days before the shoot I saw a coat in a charity shop that almost perfectly fitted into the design I had for one of the setups. I don’t know if I have mentioned it before, but I always recommend hitting the charity shops for outfit ideas. You can get some fantastic stuff for peanuts.

For the rest, go to Primark!

One other setup is the car shot. That was done right at the end of the shoot. I had intended to do it at the beginning, meeting her at the car park with my camera and just rattling off the shots, but stupid me forgot to bring the sunglasses. No matter, just wait a few hours and get it then. The result came out better than I had even anticipated!

So that was about it, the shoot with Sophia. Because of the issues inbetween the two years (which again I won’t go into), we have a lot of catching up to do, and are already discussing our next shoot. I feel I might have to do another video too, as I am wanting to get into that a lot more!


Sophia West’s portfolio and contact/booking details can be found here – Purpleport

Oo-er! Bit raunchy innit???

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Kelly and Serenity, October 2016.

So one area of photography that I have had very little experience in is erotica. There’s no particular reason why but I think it was because for the longest time I was quite comfortable in my little home studio, but at the same time I knew that it would be useless for any form of erotica photography. I know, I tried it once and although the images were ‘good’, it felt wrong being in such a clinical place as a studio. Well that changed more recently when I found a lovely little location just outside of town, know to many of us in the circles I frequent as ‘Tims Cottage’.

It’s a tiny little place, but if you know how to maximise the little areas that are available you can get a lot out of it. So the location was sorted, now it was down to the models. I had done an erotica shoot there previous to this one, but it was a little ‘softer’ than I wanted. The images were great, but I knew I could do more. Funnily enough the model who got the ball rolling was a lovely girl called Kelly (Link to her portfolio below). She was the one who first suggested getting a girl/girl erotica shoot done. She had not done one before and was really interested what she could do. And she is very comfortable, confident and happy to try out most things!

The second model proved to be a little tricky. At first Kelly had a person in mind, who was more than happy to get involved. But about three days before the shoot the other model had to pull out. Sometimes these things happen and you just have to work quickly to fix the issue.

Then at the last minute Serenity stepped up to the plate. She too was more than happy with what was required, and had a little experience in it – although in her words “…none of the previous ones I ever did was this technical and posed so precisely!”. I’ll take that as a compliment!

So the plan was to really get quite erotic. Not pornographic – I didn’t want anything too visible – but the implication of passionate intimate moments between two lovers. And I think we nailed it. Even though the two girls had not met each other before, they got on like a house on fire. And were perfectly comfortable just trying things out and talking about ideas they had too.

All in all, it was a huge success. I was so happy with how the images came out! Kelly too really got a lot out of it, even mentioning that she got many more bookings purely off the back of this shoot (That goes to show that collaboration shoots can be a great benefit to models when done well!). Serenity too was extremely happy and immediately got back to me to work together again. So result for me too!

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Rage

Woohoo! I made another video! this time it is called ‘Rage’, featuring model Ecce and using the theme music from the PC game Quake (edited by me). It was filmed at an old abandoned asylum which I am so using again! The place has so much potential!

Rage

I’m not doing that again!!!

Hello! It has been a while since I have written anything. I have been just so busy with the day job and shoots and finally the video idea that had been running around in my head for ages!

On the back of the dance video I had made with Sophia West many months ago I had wanted to do another, and while mentioning this to the fantastic model Anna Rose, I stupidly said “It would be great to do a dance video but all in one take!”.

She loved the idea and that was it, I had to do it. She would freestyle the dance and I would record it.

Now it was also a bit of an experiment for me too, as I have wanted to get a budget steadicam setup for future works and you kinda have to have one for a one take dance video! I will fully admit that the result is not 100% perfect – I did do many things wrong. Some of it I could cover up in post, the others only I will ever see and agonise about! But for your viewing pleasure, here is the dance video that we made!

Anna Rose – Freestyle (Explicit Lyrics)

But I’ll say one thing… 15 takes later and a dying model and photographer from all the hard work, I’m not doing that again!

MUL-TI-PASS!!!

Lilu - Kent England, 2016

Lilu – Kent England, 2016

I had a cancellation recently about two days before the planned shoot day – always annoying and expect a blog post about what models should do before a shoot – and usually there’s next to no time to find a replacement.

But not this time! The lovely Lilu (like the Milla Jovovich character Leeloo in The Fifth Element) came to to the rescue after a desperate casting call plea was posted online! And she was all kinds of lovely! And she has this interesting tattoo that runs all up her side and around one of her breasts. I am usually a little picky about tattoos on chests but this one intrigued me!

It was also a later shoot than I usually do. When I first started photography, I used to do my shoots in the evening after work. And it nearly killed me. By the time I had finished the shoot, it would be around 10-11pm, and I am the type of person who likes to then get cracking with the editing. So by the end of it all it would be the early hours of the morning.

This shoot would start around 4-5pm, but to turn down an opportunity to work with Lilu would be crazy so for the first time in forever I didn’t edit any photos until the next day. To all of you models who have worked with me, you know how alien that is to me. But I did it!

Anyway, the shoot was fab, the pics was wonderful, and we both had such a laugh doing it! Enjoy the pics!

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An experiment in slow-motion… on a budget

Hello! So the other day I made a video short. It’s nothing spectacular but it was a relatively successful experiment on how to do slow motion video.

Now I’m a fairly poor man, and the cost of cameras that do slow motion decently aren’t cheap, but I then heard of a plugin for Premiere Pro called Twixtor which apparently is good at slowing down videos in general.

So I got a willing victim, my model friend Marilyn to do some general movements and looks during a shoot and filmed it. Now it was a rush job. I didn’t use a tripod or really be that careful on holding the camera still (and boy, does it show on the raw footage!), but I filmed enough that I could piece together little snippets of video together. Most of what you see here has been slowed from its original 50fps down to about 10-15% of that speed.

The rendering times increase greatly obviously as Twixtor then has to render hundreds of brand new frames of video. But I think the result came out pretty well! I will try some more soon but outside… with a tripod!

Odette – The Greek Goddess

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Odette Flaur – December 2015

Every so often you meet a model and think ‘Where have you been hiding???’, and Odette was one of those times. It’s not even that she’s a new model or not active – she’s all of those things – but when she contacted me to do a shoot I immediately thought of that phrase.

Born and raised in Greece, modelling wasn’t her first job. She was a professional tennis player, and up until a couple of years ago was travelling to other countries to play tennis. But then she got a modelling contract and hasn’t looked back. And boy am I glad she hasn’t. For one she lives relatively locally to me now, and secondly she is stunning. I mean it. She has not only a wonderful personality, but simply one of the best figures for nude work I have seen. I could do a shoot with her every week and not get bored!

Well anyway, she came, we chatted, and got the first bit out of the way. That was the main shoot.

Then we got to the part that we really wanted to try. Body painting. I had been wanting to do a metallic statue kind of shoot for a long time and had planned to do this shoot with another model a couple of months before. For a variety of reasons that fell through but I still had all the bits and was holding out for a model who I felt fit the look for it. Odette was that model.

Now straight away, when you get a lot of this body painting gear, there is pretty much no manual anywhere that just lays it out straight. How the hell do you use this stuff? You see, it doesn’t come as a paint, but as a metallic powder, which you then mix with a mixing liquid before painting. But how much do you use. It only comes in a little 1oz container. It’s tiny! And the mixing liquid only comes in a 4.5f oz bottle. How the hell does that little amount cover an entire human.

Well it does. Jeez I only used half of it. It would seem that a little does indeed go a long way. With just a basic soft brush (I used a one inch wide one from a local paint supplies shop), you can easily cover someone with half of the amount you get. However I did read not to use the mix on the face and to only use the powder directly to cover that area. Handy tip! But the powder does get everywhere if you’re not careful.

It worked like a charm, she looked fabulous as a statue!

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More of Odette can be seen on her portfolio located on Purpleport – http://purpleport.com/portfolio/giuliettarossini/

New year, new lighting…

I finally did it.

After nearly 10 years using the same lights I bought from Jessops (remember them?), I have finally updated my kit.

For all those years I used a very cheap, basic set called Portaflash. It was Jessops own brand of lighting gear for the startup/amateur, and at the time they were a bargain! You got for your money pairs of lights, stands, brollies and cabling to connect the lights to your camera (which had to have sync port). The lights were so basic it had three settings – full, half and quarter. Oh and the modelling on/off switch and the power switch.

And that was it.

Hell the recharge time at full power was something like 5 seconds. So on a shoot it would be flash – wait – flash – wait – flash – wait etc… One on of my shoots patience was a must, but it did allow for a little more chat time!

Eventually though it was time to get a new kit. Now I am a poor man, so I couldn’t be going for the big names, and therefore I was really having to look around. However on a site I visit someone had mentioned a company called Lencarta. Never heard of them and had never seen any of their gear in a photography shop. But I went to have a look. Their price for lighting kits was slap bang right in my price range and the reason they weren’t in shops was because they don’t sell via shops – only direct. So I looked at the reviews for their lights (specifically the ones I am looking to buy). They were glowing. I mean seriously positive. Hell they were rated better than the big names.

So I bought them

smart_1soft1umbI went for the Lencarta Smartflash 2 kit, and like the old lighting kit it most came with two of everything. But it also came with was independently controlled wireless transmitter receivers, spare bulbs, spare fuses and one large brolly and one softbox.

And it blew my mind away. It made my old kit seem stupid in comparison. Firstly recycle times. At full power (and these lights were a lot more powerful) the max wait time was one second. One second. Think about that for a moment. By the time the lights have fired and the model is really just moving into the next position the lights are already charged and ready to go. Also the transmitter/receiver sets that came with the kit now enable me to independently control each of the lights; their power, the modelling bulb, or even to switch the lights off altogether. Before I had to either change which light the receiver was on, or swap the whole light over to the side I wanted it to flash. Bliss!

Another great feature is the air cushioned light stands. So now if you are adjusting the height and it slips out of your hand (poor grip or whatever – it happens to all of us!), then the stand will suddenly slow down in its descent to stop any damage being caused to your kit. Brilliant!

Another thing that was fantastic was their delivery time. Now I bought the lights over Christmas, while they were closed, so I had to wait until they were open to then even start doing anything about my order. They opened the first Monday after new year, and then 15 minutes later I got a text saying that the courier had picked up my gear. Then 20 minutes later I got a text with my delivery slot – the next day. And it was delivered, right on time.

All of that for £5. Amazon could learn a hell of a lot from this.

So Lencarta won me over with their stuff. Which now means that I want to get more gear for my new toys! If only I had the money…


You can see the kit I bought from this link: CLICK HERE