Google | Digital Garage

I was booked to photograph the Google Digital Garage event in Wrexham at the new Enterprise Hub.

 

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https://learndigital.withgoogle.com/digitalgarage

 

THE BRIEF:

You will be required to capture:

 

The space:
  • Shots of the actual Digital Garage event space – overall set up and close ups for social media campaigns
  • Shots of people interacting with the space – avoid closing up on anonymous faces
  • People talking with our staff members
The event:

 

  • Capture broad range of ages, gender, backgrounds to highlight diversity in our audience
  • Shots of guests enjoying themselves e.g laughing
  • Any branded decor, inc catering etc
  • Speakers presenting and guests asking questions
  • General event atmosphere (including speakers interacting with delegates)

 

The light was a bit tricky in the main room, I didn’t want to use flash because for one its an annoying beep when people would be listening to the person giving the talk and also it’s distracting for the people. I had people putting their hand in front of their face when they seen me with the camera in their direction so I felt like flash would be even worse.

I used ISO500 which did give a bit of grain to the images but not a distorting amount.

The Google PR team also wanted the images the same day so I only had a few hours in the afternoon to edit and get them all over to them. Normally I would have spent a little more time on the edit to refine them but I had to comply with their timeframe.

Here is a selection of the images that I sent to them:

 

 

 

 

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KOOKIE Magazine | 3rd Edition

Yesss…. back again to shoot the cover for the 3rd edition of KOOKIE!! This time it was a little different because unlike shooting my Soph for the 1st one and then Viv’s daughters friend for the second, Viv hadn’t met this girl before.

At first I thought Emily was going to take a while to relax, it’s a daunting situation being in a studio when you’re young and don’t know the people around you. BUT she was a natural! And her character burst out in front of the camera she was brilliant! Sophie took some behind the scenes footage for us, using my phone on a gimbal and I used that to put this little video together to promote the third edition:

She had loads of energy and that was exactly what we were looking for, we let her do her thing with the odd prompt now and then, a few outfit changes and we were done in an hour! Getting good at this now 😀

Here is a selection of some of the shots:

Currently waiting on their decision for me to do the final edit.

KOOKIE Magazine | 2nd Edition

I was delighted when Viv contacted me to ask if I would photograph the front cover for their second edition. I wasn’t expecting it, the magazine is co-run by Viv & her friend Nicky who is based in Australia. In the back of my mind I had just assumed that they would want to shoot the second cover over there. So it was a lovely surprise to be asked to shoot Number 2! There’s no guarantee that you’ll get a cover shot, it just depends on the model and how the shoot goes and I will admit I was a bit nervous incase I had just got lucky the first time round!

Viv brought along Zoe, a friend of her Daughter. Instantly a natural in front of the camera, with a relaxed and beautiful smile. The only issue we had in this first shoot was Zoe’s hair, Viv had an idea for her to have ‘space buns’ so the first hour was spent trying to get those right but a professional was definitely needed. Regardless, we went ahead and did the shoot, trying different things and got lots of shots to see what worked.

They want the same relaxed, fun, energetic feel for all the covers so we tried to get Zoe to be as animated as possible.

We re-scheduled for the following week and booked a hairdresser to be in charge of the ‘space buns’. It’s very rare a session just goes to plan, there’s usually always something that doesn’t go to plan so being versatile really pays off.

They chose one from the second session, Viv was much happier with the buns it was the look she wanted. I tidied up her skin and then it was made into black and white ready for the illustrations to be put on:

It was released in March 2018 in the UK & Australia, it also gets shipped all over the rest of the world to those who order online or subscribe.

Screen Shot 2018-05-01 at 12.58.44Screen Shot 2018-05-01 at 12.59.23

https://kookiemagazine.com/themagazine/

Eddie | Spotlight Profile

I was asked to photograph Eddie Caswell, he is an actor that needed Spotlight Profile updating. This was a new type of project for me, in the past the only performers that I have photographed are DJ’s like Radio One DJ Kutski:

 

https://www.facebook.com/djkutski/

 

And other hard dance DJ’s like MKN for their promo packs, these are images which are used for all their up & coming gigs and events:

https://www.facebook.com/DJMKNOfficial/

 

Spotlight has different specifics though so I did some research before the shoots.

 

 

Spotlight: #1 UK Casting Calls Website

What’s Spotlight?

Spotlight - Leading UK Casting WebsiteIn the UK, aspiring actors who are serious about pursuing this career must be members of two websites/organizations: Equity (an actors’ union, more on it here) and Spotlight. Even though this is not required per se, if you’re not a member of these, then you’ll be viewed as an amateur.

https://actinginlondon.co.uk/uk-casting-the-spotlight/

 

How To Create The Perfect Spotlight Profile

Danielle Tarento is a freelance producer and casting director whose recent musicals have included Dogfight, Titanic, Mack And Mabel, and Parade. Here, she shares with Spotlight her tips for creating a great Spotlight profile.

Every actor knows that if they aren’t on Spotlight then they might as well not be in the business. It is the best artist directory in the world… and I’m not just saying that because I’m writing this blog for them! Whist it’s career suicide not to have a Spotlight page, just having one isn’t enough either. You must make the most of all the information fields that your page allows so that casting directors have the best possible chance of finding you.

 

https://www.spotlight.com/news-and-advice/tips-and-advice/how-to-create-the-perfect-spotlight-profile/

 

TIPS:

Lots of really useful information on these sites, the main points that I noted in regards to the type of images that actors have on there are:

  • Portrait not landscape
  • 10-15 images
  • Mainly colour, only a couple in Black & White
  • Headshots – shoulders up
  • True to the person – they must look like who they are
  • A mixture of light & scenes to show how they look in different situations

 

 

THE BRIEF:

Two separate shoots were to be done, the first at Eddy’s home before he went on holiday. This was to get some relaxed images of him in various outfits and the second shoot was to be done in the studio once they came back from holiday while he had a tan. In all, a mixture of relaxed & character shots in mixed lighting situations was required.

 

SHOOT 1 – EDDIE’S HOME

PIC OF ROOM

Eddie lives in a beautiful little house in Overton, small cosy rooms full of character and tiny windows. I used the room that had the most space and best light as creatively as possible. There was only one window so this was going to be the only light source. Not wanting to use flash because the studio shoot was going to be using studio strobes and we needed natural light images as a contrast. Ideally we could have taken some outside but it hadn’t stopped raining for days so that wasn’t an option.

The window was fine in this case, if I was photographing more than one person then it wouldn’t have been enough light. I had to use a very wide aperture to let as much light in as possible.

Eddie had chosen different outfits so I used the light and things in the room to compliment each outfit.

I have added a few images from each of the ‘looks’ below with a brief explanation to go with each:

Standing at a 90 degree angle to the window gave strong shadows on the face which worked well for the shirt and braces, the contrast of light and dark works suits a powerful character.

 

 

With his ‘Grandad clothes’ I moved a desk to near the window so that he was still being lit by the window but i was able to put a lamp on in the background to create an ambient light. This worked well with these clothes and gave the feel that you were in a cosy living room.

 

 

For his shirt and cap set I had him leaning over the banister on a 45 degree angle to the window. We were going for a rugged, workman, truck driver vibe for this one.

 

 

Then we removed his cap and I shot down the wall while he was looking out the window, which could be portraying an old man in his country home.

 

 

Lastly, we went for a detective / chief / sergeant look, he was standing almost face on to the window which I was shooting from and this gave more of an even light on his face, could be in an office environment.

 

 

EVALUATION

This was really enjoyable to do, I didn’t know where we were going to be shooting until I arrived and had a look round to see where would work best. This was quite a small time frame with only 1 hour to get a varied selection of different looks. These looks could have been enhanced with further editing but that’s not what’s required for the Spotlight profile, just clean images in different light and surroundings. I think we achieved this really well with the location and time we had.

 

SHOOT 2 – STUDIO

I went for the same approach as the shoot that we did at his home. He brought along the clothes he wanted and then I chose backdrops and lighting that i felt suited the character of the clothes. The lighting set up was kept simple, for all of it i used one strobe from different angles, mainly directly in front of him and raised high or off at a 45 degree angle. Apart from with the white backdrop which i used one strobe directed at it and one directly in front of Eddy.

 

 

EVALUATION

We completed the studio session in 1.5 hours and again it was really fun to do, Eddie was brilliant to work with. It was a refreshing experience because I generally have to choreograph adults positions but with Eddie being an actor he was at ease running through different expressions and stances.

I will continue to work with Eddie with the selection and upload of his images for the Spotlight Profile and I look forward to seeing the final result.

This was a really rewarding project, I learnt a lot about what is required in creating a professional actor portfolio, utilising lack of space and light, quick thinking with limited time and using studio lighting for varying looks. I really hope I get the chance to work with more actors in the future.

KOOKIE | CELEBRATING THE RELEASE

It seemed only right to do a composite image of Sophie with our first copy of the magazine to celebrate the release! There is no better smell than the one of boxes that have just come from the printers filled with perfect unopened books…it’s heavenly!

I met Vivien Jones; Founder & Editor of Kookie Magazine, on delivery day when the mountains of KOOKIE boxes arrived and was so excited to get my copy. I knew as soon as i looked at it that i had to incorporate it into a composite to advertise the magazine on social media. Viv is also hosting a KOOKIE launch party this coming saturday (In 2 Days time) for all the contributors and i wanted to take her a gift so my idea of the composite to celebrate is going to be framed and given to her then……..so as always with any ideas i seem to come up with i had to do it fast so that i could get it edited and off to print!

This was my timescale:

Received my magazine copy: Tuesday evening

Came up with the idea for a Composite print as a gift: Wednesday morning

Shooting of Composite: Wednesday evening 8pm after my daughters Christmas Play

Editing of Composite: Wednesday 9-11:30pm

Print ordered: Wednesday midnight

Last minute ideas are always the most fun, it really gets my adrenaline pumping and i work so much better…..pressure is good!

I won’t breakdown the Composite process in as much detail as previously in my 7 Days 7 Composites Challenge because i didn’t use any new methods but i will just show a brief outline of the different components.

I would like to show this though:

_OC14313

This is the glamorous studio of my bedroom floor! There was no time to travel to my studio with Sophie because it was already getting late because we were out at Sophie’s Christmas play at church till 7pm so i had to improvise!

Equipment used:

  • Nikon D750 & Nikon 85mm 1.8 Lens for the full shot of the magazine (85mm so that it didn’t distort the shape of the magazine)
  • Nikon D750 & Nikon 35mm 1.4 Lens for the stars (because i had to be really close to them while i was throwing them) and for Sophie because my bedroom is really small and i needed to use the wide angle lens to fit her whole body in the frame.
  • Yongnuo Flash bounced straight up off my white ceiling for all shots.

First i photographed the magazine and then i sat and threw stars around with my left hand whilst trying to take pictures of them with my right hand (if only i’d had my tripod and trigger!! ha)

I then photographed Sophie wearing the same clothes as she wore on the Cover Shoot on the same white sheet:

I then put the kids to bed and set to editing …. only to find that all the shots i had taken of Sophie standing just wouldn’t fit right with the magazine…. the perspective was off which you can see here:

comp test

I always cut around my subject really quickly at first with the ERASER tool just so that i can test the perspective of them when i place them onto  the background, it’s a good indication to how i need to change my angle of the shot if its wrong. If the perspective is right i will then cut out the subject properly using more fine tools like the LASSO and then refine the edge.

I should of taken the photos of Sophie from a slightly lower angle…… unfortunately by this point she is fast asleep in bed and totally wouldn’t appreciate being woken up and dragged into my bedroom to throw imaginary stars around! So i had to make do with what i already had and decided to use one of the jumping shots because the perspective of this isn’t as important with her feet off the floor:

Kookie 1st issue!! PRINT small

This ended up working quite well and arranged more of the stars that i had shot separately around her as if she had thrown them in the air when she jumped. I also removed the original background and painted a new background that was the same colour of Sophie’s face on the magazine. There was quite a lot of tweaking to get the shadows right and lots of CURVES & LEVELS layers to balance out the image but i got it to a point i was happy with (….and had no choice because i had run out of time anyway and had to send it off to print).

The image above is the one i sent off to print and will be framed and given to Viv as a present for the launch of her new Global Magazine KOOKIE on saturday!

I also put this together for the social media advertising:

Sophie

This is a screenshot from the KOOKIE SHOP where you can buy the magazine in the UK & AUSTRALIA:

screen-shot-2017-12-14-at-09-41-38.jpg

All in all …….really bloomin exciting!!!!!! 😀

Client Work | Christmas

In November i run a weekend of Christmas Mini Sessions, they are 20 minutes long and i run them back to back all day. It’s really nice, we have Christmas music on and the parents get mulled wine and mince pies while i take photos of their children…. and if they’re good they get a little treat afterwards as well.

This was my 2017 Facebook advert with images from last years sessions.

I’ve also put a little behind the scenes of my preparation for this years sessions:

Client Work | Newborn Sessions

I am so passionate about newborn photography, I love the opportunity to capture these early stages of new little lives and create Bespoke timeless images for families to treasure forever.

My Newborn Galleries consist of around 25 – 30 Images for the client to choose from. A viewing appointment is arranged within 2 weeks of their session, here they can choose their images from a slideshow gallery on my screen in the studio. An example session:

Here are a few images from some of the sessions I’ve had during 2017-2018:

Baby Gabriella

 

Baby Esmae

 

Baby Harry

 

Baby Valentina

 

Baby Jaxon

 

Baby Elsie May

 

Baby Alice

 

Baby Joshua

 

Baby Seren

 

Baby Oscar

 

Baby Aaron

 

Baby Betsie

 

Callie & Tomos

 

Baby Harper

 

Baby Edith

 

Baby Emmie

 

Baby Harper

Client Work | Weddings & Events

Naomi & Kevin | Civil Ceremony

Naomi & Kevin were married on the most romantic day of the year…Valentines Day!

Ryan & Perrie’s Wedding Day | Hawkstone Park

https://perfectmoments-photography.com/2017/11/14/perrie-ryan-hawkstone-park/

Perrie & Ryan-236

Perrie & Ryan were married at Hawkstone Park, and with the help of some extremely talented family & friends everywhere was adorned with beautiful rich rustic autumnal decor.

The Weather Gods were on our side too and i was able to whisk the married couple away up to The Follies for some beautiful photos surrounded by golden tree tops and panoramic views.

 

Steve & Siobhan’s Wedding | Bersham Church & Croes Howell Hotel

https://perfectmoments-photography.com/2017/09/19/steve-siobhan-croes-howell/

_SRH5220-Edit

Steve & Siobhan’s Wedding was so enjoyable from the moment we got there until we packed away in the evening…these two souls are seriously the most chilled, happy & humble couple I’ve ever had the pleasure to photograph. So grateful for every little detail and everyone involved in making their day as special as it was.

The were married at Bersham Church which is incredible and nestled in the beautiful woodland, I joined them on their Big Double Decker bus which transported them there and then back to the Croes Howell who were brilliant and made sure every detail was just perfect.

The pianist entertained everyone inside, the cocktail bar outside kept drinks flowing with the live music in the background and the sun shone all day…..it couldn’t of gone any better!

 

Matt & Vicki’s Wedding

Click here for full blog – https://perfectmoments-photography.com/2017/09/21/matt-vicki/

Matt & Vicki-7

Vicki and I went to High School together, but not seen each other for years since she came to watch me play when i used to be a DJ (…which feels like another life now!) so I was thrilled when she asked me to photograph her wedding.

Surrounded by their family and friends they were married in Ruthin and celebrated into the wee hours afterwards… I don’t think I’ve even seen Vicki so happy and I’m over the moon she’s found her someone who makes her grin from ear to ear.

 

Lewis & Chantelle’s Wedding | Plas Isaf

Click here for full blog – https://perfectmoments-photography.com/2017/07/24/lewis-chantelle/

Lewis & Chantelle-158

I met Chantelle last year when she travelled from York to meet me, it’s always a nervous and exciting experience for me…. meeting people to discuss being a part of one of the most memorable days of their life! And we got on like we’d known each other for years …..and I was so excited for their big day!!

They got married in the breathtaking Plas Isaf in Corwen, with all the beautiful features of the barn and the wrap around views of the countryside it was the perfect venue.

 

Craig & Lorna | Rossett Hall

Click here for full blog – https://perfectmoments-photography.com/2017/09/14/craig-lorna-wedding/

Craig & Lorna Wedding-474

How I ended up photographing Craig & Lorna’s Wedding is quite a funny story as we met early last year….whilst both in hospital, both of us struggling to breath or talk we formed a friendship that lead to her coming to find me when Craig proposed to her!

They were married at Northop Church & then went on to enjoy all their celebrations at Rossett Hall….it was a fabulous day from start to finish! So glad Lorna hunted me down after our hospital meeting, we had the best time capturing your special day!

 

James & Susan | Lion Quays

Click here for full blog – https://perfectmoments-photography.com/2017/06/13/alice-in-wonderland-themed-wedding/

James & Susan Wedding-286.jpg

Neil & Sarah | Lion Quays

Click here for full blog – https://perfectmoments-photography.com/2017/09/11/neil-sarah-lion-quays/

Neil & Sarah-381

Neil & Sarah were married at the Lion Quays, Oswestry. I love returning here because it brings back all the memories of my own wedding that we had on a sunny autumn day in October 2010. The grounds at the Lion Quays are beautiful so we were grateful that the rain stayed off for them to enjoy them and the children (…and adults) had lots of fun and games!!

They had a wonderful day with their 3 amazing children, family and closest friends. Here is some of their memories of their special day….

 

Zachary | Baptism

After photographing Katie during her pregnancy and then Zachary’s newborn session I was really pleased to be asked to photograph his Baptism. This is what I enjoy most about photography, getting the chance to meet and stay friends with all my clients and document their families life as they grow up.

KOOKIE MAGAZINE | 1st Edition

AN INSPIRING NEW MAGAZINE FOR TWEEN-AGE GIRLS

 

I was contacted my Vivien Jones, Co-founder earlier this year to discuss shooting for the front cover of a new feminist magazine aimed at 8-12 year olds that she was in process of putting together with her friend Nicky Shortridge.

When she came round to visit me to discuss her idea she brought this book:

SITNP_3D-white

Fantastic book filled with images of girls from all around the world, strong confident and powerful, it really made me understand the direction that this magazine to be was headed.

Viv had a girl that she wanted me to photograph which i did at her home, the magazine was going to be released in December in both UK & Australia so she wanted the background to be something that would work with that, not too summery but not too wintery either and the aim was to get a natural, fun, relaxed portrait. I brought along my daughter Sophie because she knew the girl who was from her school and she could prance around and be the entertainment and hopefully get some smiles.

I took a whole load of images which Viv looked through and chose the ones she liked (Above SOOC) and sent them away to her team. After a few weeks she contacted me to say they didn’t think that one was going to work and could we perhaps use my daughter instead….and she loved the idea so we scheduled to shoot Sophie in my studio.

Again a neutral background was chosen, there was going to be drawn illustrations, Viv sent me these as reference photos regarding illustrations:

On the day of the shoot Viv brought the clothes she wanted Sophie to wear and asked me to shoot wide making sure i had all of her from waist upwards in the frame because they were going to need the negative space around her for illustrations and text. We went through a few ideas with Sophie holding her hand out when a bird could be sitting then we used a cup and straw that we thought we could perhaps have KOOKIE drawn on with illustrations but then decided against that because of the plastic problems in the ocean etc so that wasn’t something to be endorsed. And then we just let Soph be herself and got some natural shots of her dancing and mucking around.

This is just a small selection of the ones that were sent to the KOOKIE team, all shot in natural light & unedited until further instruction. After the shoot, i put it to the back of my mind so not to get excited about something that might not happen….because it is quite an exciting thought having your daughter in the front of an awesome new magazine….and being the one who shot it! 🙂

In the meantime Viv contacted me to do a headshot for her, she had some interviews lined up over the coming weeks and needed to update it.

Viv-29-Edit-Edit

To fund the magazine’s first year they set up a KICKSTARTER Campaign:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kookiemagazine/kookie-an-inspiring-new-print-magazine-for-pre-tee

This was to raise £50,000 for the first year of production.

Viv then went down to London for some interviews on Sky News & The Wright Stuff:

At the end of October while Viv was in London and i was shooting a wedding in Wales i received an email to say that they were going to use Sophie for the Magazine!! I couldn’t believe it, and it was a good job that it was the night doo of the wedding and not the vows because i really lost concentration for a good 10 minutes!!!

This was the mock up she emailed me and asked me to clean up the image ready for the illustrations.

Cover options v1-1

On November 1st the KICKSTARTER Campaign hit its target!! 

I finalised the image and sent the edited version to the Kookie Team:

Soph - Kookie-12-2

Then we had to shoot the back of Sophie’s head for the back of the magazine and this was the chosen image:

Sophie Hair-43

LAUNCH DATE IN UK & AUSTRALIA DECEMBER 2017!!