It was an exciting night for KOOKIE Magazine at the British Society Of Magazine Editors Awards in London….. winning LAUNCH OF THE YEAR!!
Unfortunately I wasn’t at the ceremony and it was such a surprise to Vivien Jones – Editor and Co-Founder of the magazine that she didn’t manage to get any footage at the time. Apparently the front cover of KOOKIE was displayed on the huge screen as she accepted the award… I wish I’d been there to photograph it!
Since then I’ve done a promotional shoot for Vivien to be used in articles promoting the magazine. Keeping in style with her previous shoot and the KOOKIE vibe – simple, clean, fresh, bright, natural:
Back in 2017 when I was asked to shoot the 1st cover I was so excited, not only because it was my first ever cover shoot but because of what it was for. I love what this magazine is about, it’s fun, educational and at the same time shows girls a world of possibilities and successful female leaders and entrepeneurs that they can aspire to be.
We are now working on the 6th edition and it’s been a huge learning curve for me:
Working to a strict brief & time frame
Consistency throughout the shoots – connection with the model, lighting, edit
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.
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.
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:
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!
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:
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:
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:
This is a screenshot from the KOOKIE SHOP where you can buy the magazine in the UK & AUSTRALIA: