Skip to main content

My First London Fashion Shoot

Well I finally did it. I bit the bullet and faced my fears and headed to London with a good friend, Mr. Panikos Hajistilly to do my first location shoot. We chose our locations together and Panikos organised a model and brought so much of his gear which he kindly shared with me. And probably most importantly, he showed me how it's done.


I was so surprised to see just how much wonderful light was there, just waiting to be used. I am a studio photographer and while I understand the use of studio flash very well, I am very much out of practice and out of my comfort zone with using available light. Its one thing to place lights and backdrops around my subject in the comfort of my studio. Its very different to find the right light and the right backdrop in unfamiliar territory and to place my subject in it. That may sound simple enough but honestly it is not, particularly on a day with no clouds in the sky. One of our planned locations just wasn't possible as a result of the direct sunlight causing strong shadows and harsh light.


I have a thing for incorporating lights into my images. I love neon, fairy lights and colour right now so there is no place better than a city for that. 


I was lucky to have a wonderful photographer with me who did have experience in this area who also brought with him some vital gear that made a big difference to our shots. Like this image below, without the addition of a portable flash and a high quality lens this wouldn't have been possible. 



I have to give credit to Panikos for this shot in front of St. Paul's Cathedral. Not only did he choose the location but it was entirely set up by him as well. I can't take credit for anything more than clicking the button (and hand holding my camera very steady which wasn't easy on Millenium Bridge). But it was great to still take away an image of my own even if its not entirely my own. 


(Panikos being extra careful by using a tripod in order to prevent camera shake - I'm a little too lazy for this but he proved that sometimes its essential and certainly the more reliable way to ensure the focus is sharp)

We started off without flash, while we still had enough light. Those were nice too and something that can be done without an assistant which is definitely handy if on my own next time. Putting a light on a stand not only gets in the way of those walking past but its also likely to get blown over in the wind. Its much safer and easier to have someone hold the light instead. 

(This was all natural light - no flash was used here)

When we were done I decided to do some exploring on my own before my 8 o'clock train. Panikos had told me how beautiful Kings Cross Station is and I knew there was an interesting light tunnel there too so I had a wander. Wow, was I impressed. I've not seen a train station this lovely before.  




The following image is from a beautiful light tunnel at this station. I am so into colourful light at the moment. I love this space and can't wait to use it with a model sometime. I'd love to have my daughter in her pointe shoes and some sort of ballet outfit posing in the middle of this. I think I'm going to owe her big time for that though.


This definitely won't be the last time I take my camera gear into London. In fact we've already got new plans and a model lined up for the next trip. It looks like I'll be spending quite a lot of time in London this year. Three trips already and 3 more planned for March. I might get comfortable with this location shooting afterall.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

I am Still Me: A Story about a Transgender Boy

  Meet Leo. Leo is 15 and currently going through an epic transformation that has momentarily turned the lives of himself and those around him upside down. A mum who once had the daughter she always longed for is now coping with the realisation that she will be living the rest of her life with a son instead. When your child is born you have certain expectations of the typical life they will lead but most of us know and accept that it won't necessarily end up the way we imagine. Not every person wants to marry, have kids or be involved with the opposite sex. Most of us have come to accept this and can adjust to whatever comes our way relatively easily. But few of us have expected to have to deal with a change in sex. Its not that we've hoped it won't happen, but just that it never occurred to us that it might. This is a new adjustment that we as a society are being presented with today, just like so many others that have come before. When I first heard that Phoebe

London in Spring, Whats Not to Love?

Well I know there is still a lot not to love but I'm choosing to see the great things about London at the moment. I am having a ball this year visiting London as often as I can. Which is unusual for me since I usually prefer the comfort of my own home, in rural old Leicestershire. Staying home and avoiding people has always been the easy option. But this year, possibly due to the wonderful weather we keep having, has me longing for venturing out. Again, just like my last trip, I headed out with my good friend Panikos Hajistilly . Living in North London he finds it easy to meet up for our shoots. This time though I had more of an idea of the sights I wanted to use as the backdrops for my portraits. With it being spring I was in search of colour, preferably flowers. Admittedly. I didn't quite get what I was looking for. The white fronted terraced houses with pink magnolia trees we did not find unfortunately. But I did make it to Peggy Porchen's which was a must see on m

Family Portraits with Fine Art Flair

I have a love and hate relationship with family portraits. I love the finished piece and creating something that is truly special to the family. I love that in years to come something I made is going to be a cherished and valueable memento for this family. What I struggle with, is getting all members of the group to look their best at exactly the same moment in time. You would be surprised at how difficult this actually is, particularly when it comes to 6 children. But I always get there in the end, whether it is the luck of a moment or with the aid of Photoshop. I ensure that everyone in the portrait is looking their best, even the dog. Seeing as this family is actually made up now of two families we also did portraits in their respective groups which I chose to do in different style to their main group. I love adding a bit of style for the overall main group and what you see above is something that is proving popular with my clients. I love adding props and giving a sort of Vani

Teen Portraits - Prom Season is Just Around the Corner

If your child is heading to prom in the next couple of months I'd say there is probably no better time than now to have portraits created of your growing teen. With the purchase of a new (and probably expensive) outfit wouldn't it be nice to capture this milestone with a portrait created by a professional. Across the pond this is a hugely popular time to create portraits, and although I am not American (I'm Canadian) I wholeheartedly agree that this is a special moment to record. My prom was a key memory in my teen years and in fact I myself had professional portraits created also. I think I'll go dig them up if I can, though admittedly I think my mother has them back in Canada. I wonder if I can get her to scan one for me. My daughter is currently making plans for college and in the running is one that will move her away from home, as many others are probably experiencing for themselves, particularly those who are 18. This makes it all the more important to