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!

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:


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


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




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:


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.


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


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