Saturday, 27 September 2008

The day it was summer.......

Last Sunday it was actually sunny! In England! I know.... a miracle, right?

Lucky for me I had a beach shoot planned with model Clare, so we had been crossing fingers the weather would be on our side. Doing a swimwear and summer dress shoot in the rain... not so much fun. Also this was my first swimwear shoot, so a new angle to try to master. Although I love a good old sunny day, the weather represented another challenge, shooting in the sun. Lighting issues for moi! Luckily I managed to find an assistant for the day, the lovely Emma! She gave it absolutely all and didn't care that her shoes got all wet and she had to deal with her fear of flies while working with us. So thumbs up for Emma, for helping us get better lighting on the shoot.

There is always that moment right before you meet the model you are going to shoot for the day for the first time and you wonder how they actually look in real life. Do they look like they did in their portfolio and it will be easy to capture them right, or will it be more of a challenge and you'll need to spend a bit more time than planned on retouching skin etc. When Clare stepped out of her car looking a little bit like a mix of Charlotte from Sex and the City and Penelope Cruz, I knew it was going to be a shoot I would enjoy and we'd get some nice results. She was absolutely lovely to work with and we did a wide range of photos going from swimwear, summer dresses, commercial look, sexy and a bit more artsy.

Im working my way through the pictures as I write and if you check out the final images once they're done you'll see there is quite a mix in the results. There were so many things I wanted to try!

Below is a couple of the results with very different directions. All final images will be posted on this Flickr album.

While I wait

On the beach

She looks a bit like Charlotte

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Shortest shoot in the world... It was good while it lasted....

This shoot can hardly be called a shoot as it was almost over before it began. Ben Adams (British singer/songwriter for those who doesn't already know) needed a black & white headshot for his portfolio, so we grabbed 5 minutes outside his house after doing very glamorous things such as sorting passports and parking permits. I always feel like I'm in a computer game when we're driving through London on his moped, passing all the annoying traffic and getting to our destination quicker than any other way you can imagine in the city. Fun!

Even though the little time we had to shoot Ben never fails to bring some handsomeness to his photos, so I was quite happy with the result for his headshot.

I have shot Ben a few times before, where the latest shoot was for his solo project "What Jane Did Next", which was more of a street style/snapshot/lifestyle style to fit into the vibe of the music. I want to do another shoot in a different direction soon with him as he's such a pleasure to work with and photograph! We have a few ideas already so could be good.

Ben Adams headshot

Monday, 22 September 2008

My first male model

It seems to have become a trend that I keep shooting women, and for some reason I've stayed cleared of guys with pretty much one exception, until this very recent shoot in San Jose, California. I got in touch with Greg on ModelMayhem, as he was based near where I was visiting a few weeks back. And although I was looking for female models to photograph, when I came across Greg I thought it was about time I got rid of my "fear" of photographing guys. Surely it couldn't be that hard?!

So glad I went slightly outside my comfort zone, as it was a great shoot and as I'm working my way through these pictures as I write I'm happy with the results. Especially the picture included below. I feel I will become the queen of retouching guys soon as well! 

I should add a few more guys to my portfolio I recon. Maybe mix and match a bit even. I just realised I haven't photographed more than one model at a time. Remind me to do so! 

Greg Fanara

All final images on my Flickr.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

The wonders of ModelMayhem + Santana Row security watch

I have made a new discovery thanks to Lara-Jade who brought it to my attention - ModelMayhem! For those not in the know it's a networking site for models, photographers, make-up artists, hair stylists etc. Brilliant!! And it works! At least the experience I've had with it.

A few weeks ago I had some meetings in California and I was staying over the weekend. And as all my American colleagues were off doing interesting things due to labour day (why don't we have that in the UK? Any reason to have a day off.....) I wanted to take the opportunity to do some photo shoots. I don't know any models in California, but after a simple bulletin through ModelMayhem I had 15 models to choose from! Nice! I ended up shooting the lovely Amber, who also through this site had sorted a hair stylist and make-up artist for the day (Amberlee and Trudy). So full team for the day - yay for web 2.0!

We were shooting on Santana Row (probably the only cool place near San Jose). Challenge: You are not allowed to shoot on the street without a license (which costs much more money than I had). So using our best creativity, security watch skills and "oh, we're sorry, we didn't know we couldn't shoot here"-skills we managed to get some great results! Although I got caught by security  three times that day..... oh well........   Great team though, would happily work with all again when I'm next over. I feel so international...... lol

Been waiting for so long
Thumbs up to Amber for pulling off this pose! 

All final images from shoot on my Flickr.

Fashion on Battersea bridge

A recent shoot I did was one with singer and model Sarah Beake. We hit the streets of London and shot a variety of images for her portfolio. It was one of those days where it was threatening to rain and we weren't quite sure wether to go ahead or not. We took a chance, and luckily as soon as we started it stopped raining. London always surprises me with what it has to offer. Just by walking in little side streets on a Sunday in an area I thought I was familiar with, we found some real location gems!

Lighting was a challenge though as every time I had set my camera for one lighting situation the sun did something different. Behind the cloud, out of the cloud, behind the cloud, out of the cloud. It's funny to think about it now....... Made me say swearwords in Norwegian then.

I finally got to shoot on Battersea bridge, which I have wanted to do for like 6 months! It has this cute little pattern on the side of the bridge that have fascinated me in a sad photographer way, but thought it came out really well in the photos. I have a feeling there is still a ton of location gems around London, so will keep shooting there for sure.

A theme seems to be building up during my shoots - I keep putting my models in my clothes! Although I'm starting to run out of clothes to use that hasn't been shot before. Must mean it's a good excuse to go shopping again soon :)

A few of the final results:

Trying hard to forget you

Sarah

Sarah

All final images on my Flickr.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

hmmm....... I have a blog!

I almost forgot I actually have a blog! I set this up about two years ago and think I posted once. It's about time I start posting some stuff again I think. Surely I have something interesting to share and everyone is interested in hearing about it! Yes......? And if not I will write just for my own sanity. Sadly I'm one of those people that spend way too much time in photoshop and start to look at real people in layers imagining what another layer might bring for interesting results.

So what's been happening the last two years in a nutshell? Not a lot, but a lot at the same time (are you liking the logic?).  I think I can safely confess that I am a bit of a geek (but in a good way, and I think in the spirit of web 2.0 I'll stretch to say that even makes me a little cool) and also to some degree a workaholic. Next to a variety of jobs (yes I have a few that all inspire me in different ways), helping to create a girl band, a few interesting trips to interesting places, I have started to pick up my camera again and really getting addicted to photography. 

I've mostly focused on musicians, actresses and models and want to continue to build my portfolio till it's simply awsome. So spending most of my spare time doing as many shoots as I can fit in. 

I have fabulous plans to update my out of date website: www.cecilieharris.co.uk. This will include a new personal project I'm just starting that I'm very excited about. In the meantime I update a lot of my photos to my Flickr and MySpace site. I will start to share my photo journey on here including some of my shoot experiences and other random stuff. I have done a lot of shoots recently which was a lot of fun so will start to share some of that.

Till then, weekend is here, which means; getting a new mobile phone (as mine cuts out after 3 minutes of conversation), another photoshoot (on the beach this time!) and some more time in photoshop editing my first shoot with a male model. Very exciting. His name is Greg.