Wednesday, 30 December 2009

A new year - new resolutions

2009 was a bit of an odd year. I moved to London. Lived on my own for the first time in my life. And spent a whole lot of time on a variety of things I'm passionate about. There were good times and bad times. But most importantly I am a year wiser, have more experience and a tonn of memories to look back at.

I like lists. I like to improve. And I like to be structured. (Wow what a fun person I sound like......haha). So this year I thought I'd be a bit more structured about my resolutions, to help me keep focus, keep improving at what I do and make 2010 a fun and eventful year. So I have come up with 24 new year resolutions for myself for the new year. Why 24 you say? So that I can aim to achieve two of them each month. According to my calculations that should in theory mean that I'd be able to post two blogs a month about it, plus 1-2 blogs a month related to photoshoot I do, which if my math is still alright that would mean I'd be able to blog just about once a week. In theory I say....... Lucky you! :)

But anyways, I head into 2010 with a positive attitude and am determined that 2010 will be a great year.

These are my New Year Resolutions I thought long and hard to come up with:

- Improve my video editing skills
- Exercise more
- Learn a song I can impress people with on the piano
- Be an awesome photographer
- Do a shoot that pleases my creativity and senses once a month
- Be nice to Ben
- Grow my hair longer
- Share useful information on Twitter
- Take awesome pictures of the a1 boys
- Update my website and blog more regularly
- Make time to read other people's blogs
- Keep up to date on things web 2.0
- Be happy with my weight
- Expand my networks
- Wear the expensive designer dress I bought in Iceland
- See a musical in the West end
- Light more candles
- Regular worship of Joss Whedon
- Do fun things
- Spoil myself often
- Do a gooder job than a badder one
- Go on holiday
- Believe in beauty
- Fall in love

Hopefully by making these public and not just putting them on a yellow sticket note that I am likely to loose or put in a drawer, this will inspire me to keep going back to them.

Do you have any resolutions? Is it a thing of the past, stupidity cause nobody ever follows them or a good opportunity to try to make the next year even better?

a1

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Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Photographing A1 at their 10 year celebration concerts

How quickly has December gone by?! It's Christmas already! For those of you who went to the concerts, you'll know that Ben Adams is a big fan of Christmas. He has Christmas lights in his music studio all year around :)

I've been asked a lot lately how it is to work with the boys in a1. For those following my Tweets or Facebook page you'll know that I've been photographing a1 during their seven 10 year celebration concerts in Oslo, Norway. I've also been following them around behind the scenes with a video camera during their TV performances, Radio appearences, rehearsals etc.

Photobucket



Photobucket

One of the things as a photographer I'm finding interesting is how everything seems to be moving in the direction of more and more video. So I'm not surprised that the new Canon 5D mark 2 camera I just bought (hurrah!!) has a movie function. I managed to capture some awesome video stuff during the concerts with my camera, so will be posting it at some point on my pages for sure. It was also awesome to have my new Canon 70-200 f2.8 lense for gig photography. I'm just starting to go through all the images I captured, both during rehearsals and concerts, and will spend some of my Christmas holiday editing those. Gig photography is a new challenge, as I'm mostly shooting in different lighting conditions and where models are more still, so this was a fun challenge.

So what happens behind the scenes in the world of a1? Lots of laughing pretty much! ha! I've been capturing a lot of it on my little Flip camera, as it's so easy to carry around and film moments that occur. Most of the captures I'll end up editing into a Behind the scenes video that gets added on YouTube, Facebook and the boys' video blog. Ben, Christian and Mark have so much fun spending time together, that for the rest of us that are part of the team, it's such a joy to be around them. Even if things doesn't go to plan, someone will make a joke about it and everyone will end up laughing. When Ben pretends to be a Transformers robot, built out of loud speakers and tables in one of the NRK waiting rooms, you can't help but laugh (or capture it on film for all to laugh at of course). It's those silly moments, and the genuine passion and talent the boys have for music, that makes it so inspiring to be part of the boy's journey.

Concert rehearsals:


A1 - robots in disguise


More a1 stuff to capture in the new year as they will be entering with their new song "Don't Want To Loose You Now" in the Norwegian Eurovision contest. For those interested in more details, you can join this Facebook group.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Working with a1

I'm sure many of you have shed a tear or two as I haven't blogged in a while.... no? Things have been so hectic, I haven't had a moment to sit down and reflect on my life and work, and I have so many stories to tell! I've been doing a few great shoots, but most of my time have been spent working with the boys in a1.

As most of you know who know me or follow my work, one of the things I do is work for Ben Adams (British singer/songwriter/producer for those who have missed out on this amazing fact). Recently he and his old band, a1 have been working together again as they have 7 upcoming concerts in Norway in December. On the way so much has happened, and they've now released their first single as a band in 7 years for the first ever Red Nose Day in Norway. This makes me happy because:

1) The boys deserve all the success they can get as they are truly talented and nice boys
2) It's great to see good music go to a good cause, and I'm feeling surprisingly all about charity these days
3) It's given me an opportunity to photograph the band for their single cover, concerts posters, promotional press pics etc!

A few weeks ago we did the photoshoot, and had an amazingly fun day. Not only do I love all the boys to bits as they are genuinely super nice and fun to hang out with, but they are so easy to work with as a band as they are such pro's when it comes to photoshoot and they vibe off each others energy in such a wonderful way. The shoot flowed so nicely and I got such a variety of results. We did single cover shots for Red Nose Day, concert promotional shots including for their poster and also did a set outside for general promotional pictures. The boys are so creative, enjoy what they are doing and so focused on getting good results, that it made the day one of my most enjoyable shoot days I've had.

Single cover for "Take You Home":



"Take You Home" was released last Monday (Universal Norway), and is already doing really well over there in the chart after it's first week. I went over to Oslo with the boys and spent a week with them to promote the single and prepare for their upcoming 10 year celebration concerts at Christiania Theatre 9.-12. Dec and 17.-19. Dec. It was great to be back in my home country, and I had so much fun capturing the week and events on my Flip cam. I was able to capture a lot of behind the scenes material from the boys' many TV and radio slots, including their first performance of their single on Norwegian xfactor. Fun!

You can watch some of the behind the scenes footage below from the photoshoot day a few weeks ago:





For anyone particularly interested more behind the scenes videos from last week will be put up on Ben's blog as this is ready and published on the www.

A few other pictures captured during the photoshoot day:





Really can't wait till all the concerts in December. I'll be sure to bring my camera and capture some moments from all their concerts :)

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Unexpected surprises and two boys with crazy hair

Sometimes the unexpected brings surprises and good things. I thought I had my day at Lordship Park perfectly planned, but I ended up doing a shoot I hadn't planned at all and am so pleased with the results from it. When one of my models cancelled the day before, Simon Jennings who I was shooting with in the morning asked if he could bring his model mate Luke Abby. I ended up getting some great images that I could also use for my project "Look but don't touch" that I was shooting for in the morning. As I was busy shooting Simon & Deborah from the morning, I left Luke in charge to come up with concept and styling ideas. With the ever so wonderful Sandra Bermingham there to do their hair & make-up, the boys looked amazing and ready for an editorial fashion story at this wonderful location.

What I loved about shooting the boys together was the chemistry between them. They work so naturally together, which makes it interesting to capture them and you know that no matter how they pose, they're aware of what the other one is doing and how it will match in the photo with what they are doing. Even though they're both young, they got such a passion for fashion, they pose like they've been doing it for years and they understand what you're trying to capture. They're great fun to work with and get involved to get the best result. They really worked as a pair, kind of like little Ant & Dec's of the modeling world - love it! I'm sure there's a lot to come from these boys, they simply rock.

Don't say you love me Look but don't touch

Luke & Simon Boy stop looking

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

A boy and a woman at the location of dreams

I recently had the pleasure of working with two wonderful models in a wonderful location with a wonderful make-up artist, stylist and assistant. It was a bit like Christmas and birthday at the same time for a photographer!

The shoot was for my "Look but don't touch" project, and I wanted to capture a "young boy, older women" theme, as I thought this would be really interesting to capture. The location was the location of dreams for a photographer, Lordship Park. I saw the pictures of this place and just fell in love with it.

Simon Jennings is 17 and definitely one of those up and coming models that I'm sure will achieve great things due to his natural talent and passion for modeling. As the theme for this shoot was a bit of a Mrs Robinson theme he was the perfect male model for the shoot. His passion for the shoot really helped make this a good one, and he already modeled like a pro. I was impressed by his level of commitment and skill. Not only was his looks perfect for the idea, but his posing, understanding of what I was trying to achieve and how the hair & make-up as well as wardrobe all contribute to the final image result was all in place. Accompanied by a great attitude and sweetness, he was wonderful to work with.

Deborah Ann Gaetano is a highly experienced model, and had the perfect look for the shoot. She's a classic, sophisticated beauty and knows how to work any situation. She perfectly embraced the idea we were shooting and worked to perfection with Simon. It made it so much easier for me to capture and the shoot flowed incredibly nicely. She is just a joy in general and brought a relaxed and light heartet atmosphere, which helped make this one of the funnest shoot days ever.

In addition I had the wonderful Sandra Bermingham who I could not have lived without on the day. I'm pretty sure she can read my mind when it comes to a brief. It was one of those really hectic days, where we were doing a whole load of shoots, and she perfectly gave me the looks I had in mind for each different scenario (for one of the later shoots with Deborah I think I gave her a one word brief, and I got some amazing stuff so wahey!). I normally have a full day to focus on a shoot, so to work with such fast past, with multiple models, was a new and great experience. You need good make-up artists that you trust for days like that! Simon also got the wonderful Ihunna (Stylist) involved to help us with wardrobe, who brought some amazing stuff! She also totally understood what I was going for and brought things I hadn't even thought of, which made such a big difference to the result. Also, if I hadn't been so lucky to have an assistant this day, I don't think I would have managed! Nick Tucker had kindly agreed to assist, and his help was absolutely invaluable. I didn't realise how much of a difference it would make on such a busy day, but definitely lesson learned for me.

Had so much fun at this shoot, and such a lovely team. In the process of editing the images at the moment, which is coming out how I had in my mind, so excited to keep editing and see this story unfold in images. Thanks so much to everyone involved, you were amazing :)

Simon & Deborah

Simon & Deborah

Simon & Deborah

Friday, 11 September 2009

And it was all yellow

I've always been scared of yellow. Not of the colour itself, but to use it in pictures or what I wear. So the only thing to do was to stand up to my fear and do a shoot based around yellow! Yes! I found this dress that my mum used to wear in the 60s that she gave to me when I was clearing out my loft a few weeks ago. It's bright yellow, so I thought it would be perfect for a little 60s themed shoot.

I booked lovely model Maysoon (yes the girl who was on Big Brother last year looking fabulously gorgous) who was up for some 60s fun! Make-up girly Melodie Briere did a great job in doing hair and make-up for the occasion. Lovely girls, great team = great day and lovely results. I loved Maysoon's dark features, which was really brought out when I put her in the yellow dress against a yellow background. Probably breaking many photography rules with yellow on yellow, but you be the judge of if it worked! I liked it and thought the yellow/black vibe worked for me. Also turned some of them into black & white which I may post up at a later point.

It was one of the hottest days of the summer, so after we had done the 60s vibe, we headed in to London close to Buckingham Palace to capture some more commercial, London chick pictures. After me and my car being searched for anything terrorist like and practically being escorted out of St James park, I was all good to go. Do I look like a terrorist? I felt my creativity being a little crushed by security guards and stupid rules that you can't photograph near the palace without a license. Oh well, found some ways around it, so got some good shots :).

And it was all yellow....

Maysoon

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Pealing walls, brie on bread and a naked chick

I've wanted to do an art nude shoot for a while. It was one of those things on my list of things to try, but I just hadn't gotten around to it. So it was only when I started talking to the awesome Adam Robertson that the perfect opportunity emerged.

We thought it would be a good idea to collaborate on a shoot! Learn from each other, share ideas, get inspired by seeing how another photographers works - it all sounded good to me. So many photographers seem scared of working or sharing with others, not sure what you guys think about this but would be interesting to know? This experience to me was definitely beneficial. I learned loads, it got me out of my comfort zone and I had a fun day in general. I'd definitely collaborate with other photographers again. Great way to get inspired!

We had booked awesome model Elizabeth Trump for the day, which we were both very exciting to be working with. She has that sophisticated, sexy look of a french actress and is absolutely beautiful. She's edgy, but at the same time timeless. And was also a really lovely girl, which always helps!

I've wanted to stay away from going all glamour. I don't mind nudity, but there is a fine line between art and sleesy. I wanted to make sure that anything topless or nude I did was done with my own twist and came out beautiful. Adam has done a lot of art nude, so was great to have him on hand for any guidance. Was such a fun day, and I felt totally comfortable with everything as both Elizabeth and Adam were amazing. I managed to capture Elizabeth exactly how I had hoped and was so happy with the results.

The location we shot at was amazing. Just about to being torn down it was full of asbestos, dripping ceilings and paint pealing off the walls. Love that stuff! There is beauty in everything....... you just need to see it.

We ended the day with brie on bread. Random, but true. Yum!!

A challenge I hadn't thought of is "how do you show off your topless shots with all the rules and restrictions around on the www"? Flickr set my account to unsafe! But managed to get it sorted after flagging the relevant images appropriately. Personally I think the body is a beautiful thing and if captured correctly can make some fantastic images.

Not sure what the rules are on blog, so including one of my safe images, but there are a few more on my Flickr. I'm starting to add up a few less images around the www as hopefully I'll start to be able to sell some now that I've got a few more things going on, yay! Still sharing a couple of images from a lot of the shoots I do though, as it's always great to share and get feedback. :)

Elizabeth Trump

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Exclusive portfolio shoot offer!

I fell in love with a location - Lordship Park!



I love this location so much that I think it will provide such a wonderful place to offer some portfolio shoots, so I've gone together with my photography partner in crime Adam Robertson and put together an offer we think any model building their portfolio couldn't refuse lol.

As part of this portfolio offer, not only will you get pictures from both of us, but you'll get pictures from two different sets within this beautiful Victorian house. There are several floors at the location ranging from French Grandeur elegancy to futuristic 60s to feminine, light rooms with French and ornamental doors. If you're looking to get a variety of photos at a beautiful location that will help the images stand out, then get in touch to book your slot.

I'm so excited to be offering a shoot at this location and know I'll be able to capture some absolutely beautiful images!

Contact me via email (cecilienh@hotmail.co.uk) or on any of my social networking sites.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Hot dogs, sun and a muse

How shit has the weather been lately? Where has the summer gone? It's impossible to plan an outdoor shoot and feel safe it won't rain, yet alone a beach shoot. I was so determined to do a beach shoot this year (you have to during the summer really don't you) so had been crossing all fingers and toes for days hoping I was going to be lucky for the day I had my beach shoot with Chloe Tweedie booked. It rained all week, but when the weekend came we actually got a really lovely day, wohoo!

My fellow photographer Adams Robinson claims to have muses. I thought this sounded quite cool and movie like, and thought I'd want some of my own haha. After my shoot with Chloe I think I might have found my muse! Outside of her obvious beauty, she's the most versatile model I've worked with. We covered fashion, commercial and slight glamour, and she delivered everything I wanted and more for all. She was also absolutely lovely. So I got such a variety of images, and was super pleased! My friend Christine D, came along on very short notice to help out with make up and did an amazing job. I love dark eyes, and we went for quite dramatic make-up to give the shoot a bit more of an edge.

West Wittering beach is an amazing location and I'd recommend it to shoot at. Just contact the peeps who manage this private beach before you plan to do a shoot there. They were very lovely. I had shot at this location before, doing a quite commercial looking shoot, so I wanted to capture more fashion images as well as some shots in a more glamour direction as it's something I didn't have on my portfolio for a beach shoot already.

Sand everywhere. Getting a tan whilst you shoot. Beach hot dogs. Nice, warm seawater. Nice company. Great model. Great picture results. You can't really complain :)

Chloe Tweedie

Friday, 24 July 2009

Photography project "Look but don't touch"

I did a personal photography project last year called "Losing you", which I had so much fun doing and got so much good feedback on, that I wanted to do another project this year with a similar approach.

In addition to being a bit of a techy girl and all about everything web 2.0, I also work for music studio Parkbench Studios, where my photography services are now integrated. With the music connection and my general passion for music I really enjoyed last year taking inspiration from a song and capturing that in images. One of the most fun challenges for me as a photographer is to capture emotion, expressions and a story. Working with a song as a base is a great way of doing this and for both this project and last year's project, it seemed to inspire not only myself, but the teams I had involved in working in a new and creative way.

Last year's project was about losing someone you love, and the images was moody and sad to build the story we were telling. This was all put together in a video with the song playing over it. If you want to check out the result view here (view in HQ). This year the song is much more up tempo and sexy, which I'm very excited about. So I am capturing different versions of relationships, from the traditional to the non-traditional and trying to see it from my eyes. I have already captured two boys, two girls and boy/girl that I'm editing at the moment. Still have a couple of shoots to go and arrange, so still going.

As last time the wonderful Ben Adams has let me use one of his songs for my project, so much respect, thanks and gratitude to him! He keeps writing songs that inspires me to be creative, I don't know where he takes it from, they just seem to come to him. Wish I knew how to express myself with music that way, but being able to be creative through photography seems to give me that same buzz and feeling of achievement.

I have a young boy/older woman shoot coming up soon, which will be very subtle and with a fashion edge, that I can't wait to capture as I'm looking to do this at the location of my dreams. And also planning a threesome theme for my last shoot for this project, inspired by a Gucci ad I saw, so if there are any models that want to be part of this, get in touch.

When all shoots are done I'll put everything together in a video with the song over it, so should hopefully be good! I would love to do something exciting with these projects one day, like an exhibition where people can look at the images and hear the music at the same time, but I'm probably way ahead of myself haha. Excited to be inspired and working on something I enjoy :).

Photobucket

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Romance, rain and a VIP room

I've really enjoyed doing shoots with multiple models lately. This shoot was my first go with a male and female model, which I had been looking forward to a really long time as it took a while to arrange. Having finally been able to arrange my full team to be available on the same day (Yash, Chelc and MUA Louise Seymour), we were all good to go!

My TT was never meant to transport 4 people for long distances, so after a rather uncomfortable (well good for me cause I was driving and obviously in the front) drive we got to our location. And also, it did give my models an opportunity to bond in the back, which was good as we were doing quite an intimate shoot. Louise had already done her wonders with make up and hair and outfits were all sorted and matched.

This shoot is also part of my personal project for this year "Look but don't touch". For this one I wanted to capture a boy/girl relationship and make it quite intimate and sexy. Think "girl and boy next door", so with quite a relaxed feel to it still. How do you get two people who have never met to look like they're in love? This was what I wanted to challenge myself with for this shoot. After going through my concept and playing them the song where I'm taking inspiration from for the project, Yash and Chelc understood the brief and gave 110%. Although there was moments of rain, spider webs to sit in (and spiders to avoid) and moments of inbetween giggle attacks, the final results were just what I wanted to achieve and slots nicely into the overall project I'm working on.

I'd love to do an exhibition one day with this project and the one from last year, having headphones people can listen to while watching moving images. We shall see, but in the meantime I have a couple of more shoots for the project this year before completed.

I take my hat of to Yash and Chelc for their performance and being as determined as me to get a good result. They looked like they had known each other for ages. Although most of the finished images have a serious feel to them, I also had to capture some inbetween moments as it makes me look back on the day with a smile and remember what a fun shoot it was. What made me laugh the most must be when Yash renamed the falling down ruin staircase to the "VIP room", and whenever it started raining called everyone to "come into the VIP room!".

Also in addition to make up and hair Louise did an amazing job doing behind the scenes filming with my Flip cam (will try put together a video of the clips soon) and helping with general lighting/reflectors. Wonderful team and a fun day!

Come close

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Beauty in the sunlight

Kathrine James is a beautiful girl, there is no doubt about that. She can hardy walk the street without people turning around whisteling or calling her Rhianna, at least after my experience. I had photographed Kathrine before when we were working together on a band project at the early stage of my photography career, and was really looking forward to shooting her again!

My memories from last shoot was that she really gave it all during the shoot and ended up delivering some great shots crying on demand in my bathtub with messed up hair and make-up running all over her face. Have yet to see a model do that after that (although I seem to tend to like putting models in my bath tub)! Although I promised I wouldn't make her cry for this shoot, she as usual gave it all and jumped into any awkward location I suggested no matter how dirty or full of potential small and crawly animals they were.

Kathrine is possibly the prettiest mixed race girl I've come across. Her great skin and gorgous facial features, eyes and lips photograph amazingly and I was excited to capture some great portraits.

For the photo geeks reading this blog, I did a few shots where I photographed towards the sun which I don't normally do. Thought this came out really interesting, so I will definitely experiment more with that! There was a hole in the clouds coming down at us creating some really interesting light and it hit her perfectly so it looked as though the sky had opened a spotlight on the world stage just for her.

Good luck with everything you do Kathrine, the world awaits you :)

Kathrine James

Kathrine James

Saturday, 4 July 2009

New Photography Facebook Page

I've been wondering and pondering long on if I should set up a Photography page on Facebook. And the other day I was convinced I should, so here we go:

Click to go to my FB Photography page

Feel free to have a look around in all the albums, add yourself as a fan and leave me a comment! And if you like my images and want to show some extra support, it would be super great if you post the link to your friends around the www. I shall love you forever :)

New Facebook Page!

Friday, 3 July 2009

A wind machine, bath tub and black masking tape

When model, Sam Grierson and I get bored, what else to do than shoot? With only one proper previous shoot together, it was time for us to do another one, so we dug out her best lingerie, some cute dresses and some black masking tape and ribbon!

Sam currently holds the very prestigious title of being my most viewed picture on Flickr (with an image of Ben Adams following closely behind), as well as another picture from her previous set being my most favorited and commented on picture. We had so much fun during our last shoot, so we had been talking about shooting together again for ages, plus I was kind of curious if it was just that particular set my Flickr contacts liked or it's simply Sam that everyone loves! But then again, who wouldn't love Sam, as she's a bundle of joy and always makes me laugh.

For this shoot we were determined to experiment. I had bought a wind machine especially for the occasion (ok so it's an air cooler, but it does the same thing) that we had a lot of fun with on the day (and Sam is convinced I pose in front of every time I drag it out to keep myself cool in this London heat). And the set with black masking tape and ribbon was interesting to say the least! I also decided it would be a good idea to fill my bath tub with water and put her in there with a long dress. Not quite how sure how successful the bathtub pictures were, but we should at least get some points for trying! Look forward to your feedback to let me know what you think.

Picture added to Flick album.

Sam Grierson

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Special offer available on e-book "Digital Retouching for Fashion, Beauty and Portrait Photography" till 7th of July

After my last blog post and getting quite a few queries if I would be able to get a discount for people interested in it, I've managed to get my friends and blog readers a 20% discount on the Gry Garness retouching e-book. The book is priced $38 USD and is available to you for $30 until 7th July. With the current exchange rate, that's about £18 GBP.

The page you need to go to in order to get the discount on Gry's book is: www.grygarness.com/books/9780955830341.htm.

Gry and her methods taught me everything I know about re-touching, and this book is definitely worth an investment!

Please contact me on Facebook, Twitter or email (cecilieharris@hotmail.co.uk) for the discount code. Or post a comment on this blog with your contact link and I will ping it over :).

Monday, 29 June 2009

My first published image

I recently had my first image published in an ebook by Gry Garness, which was a little moment of proudness!

Digital Retouching for Fashion, Beauty and Portrait Photography in Photoshop CS4

Gry is an amazing retoucher and I've been taking a few lessons with her to enhance my retouching skills. Just in the few sessions I spent with her I learned so much and it has added an incredible valuable. Would definitely recommend it if you are looking to enhance your own editing skills. She specializes in beauty and fashion retouching.

One of my portraits (which seems to be my strongpoint) of Marina Berry was chosen for the book and I'm proud to have my image displayed and used in one of the portrait tutorials. I've never seen any of my images retouched by anyone else, let alone someone that has retouched images of the likes of Sugarbabes and such. It was really exciting to see her take on my work, so thought I'd post a blog and include the result below.

My first published image!

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Mark Read album cover

Let's face it, I'm going to brag in this blog. Reason is that I recently had the pleasure of shooting Mark Read's album cover for his debut solo album "Peace at Last". Very exciting!

Mark Read is one of those brilliant artists who as well as being a brilliant songwriter, also has a gorgous voice and always delivers a great live set. He has such a genuine passion for what he does, and is always a pleasure to listen to and in general just hang with.

For this shoot we headed down to Brighton to capture the right images for his album cover and sleeve, and to match the theme we went for something that looked quite peaceful and with wide open spaces (also a song on his album...... check out my high level of knowledge here). We found a perfect spot and were lucky enough to have the sun out and blue sky. My favorite stylist Phill Tarling was there as well, so made for a very fun day.

It's quite odd, yet amazingly satisfying to see one of your photos on a CD in a store! An amazing moment of proudness.

The album is available to buy online or in HMV stores. Definitely worth getting as the album is full of great tracks (get a feel for the tracks on his MySpace www.myspace.com/markreadmusic), and also to look through the album sleeve and admire the full range of my images from the shoot :).

You can download the Single and Album from itunes.

But a hardcopy obviously even better, so you can look through the album sleeve at my glorious pictures :)

I also attended one of the days he was filming his music video, which was super fun to capture some behind the scenes, so will make sure to share some of them on Flickr as well.

Mark Read album cover

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Two pretty girls in a park

This shoot took me ages to arrange! First I had to find two gorgous girls who wanted to be part of my project "Look but don't touch" that had the right look and attitude, and then a good make-up artist to join the team. In the end found an awesome team though, so was worth the wait.

Everything fell into place for this shoot. Perfect models (Ella Durston and Sapphira OShannon), great MUA (Katie Duckworth), great location and lovely day. We all squeezed into my TT and headed towards Ealing for the shoot. With a model looking slightly like Katie Holmes, and another with hints of Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Lopes, I knew I was in for a good shoot.

I probably had at least 30 different people offering to be my assistant for this shoot, as the theme was an intimate shoot with two female models. You can imagine why this made people want to turn into photo assistants in a flash. However, I was so focused on getting the right images for my project that I didn't want any additional distractions. So we stayed a complete girly team for the day, which worked incredibly well. I love models that are up for anything, and Ella's effort sitting in spider webs, probably full of spiders and spider babies almost deserves a full paragraph in itself! Somehow I was glad I was behind camera, but total kudos for the effort put in. Both models were great to work with and I was able to utilize their different strengths.

This is the second time I've worked with a two model team, and I've found that I really enjoy this setup. There aren't too many models to worry about, but you can play one against the other to get some really interesting result. Creatively, this was a great experience, and no matter how I twisted and turned my lense there was only good angles to catch. Can't wait to get further down the line with the rest of my shoots for this project as it's already starting to take shape.

Check out the pics from this shoot on my Flickr.

Ella & Sapphira

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Monica, white wings and an afro.

She's miss Harris, miss Monica Harris...... (ok I realise my sense of humour is terribly aweful, but I've got a bit of a hang over and my head hurts a little). No excuse not to blog though.

So many shoots lately. My latest one with Monica was a blast. An evening shoot, so we were racing from one location to another to do as much as we could before loosing light. You gotta love a girl who brings huge white wings and big afros to your shoot. Love a bit of weirdness and creativity! We also ended up shooting on my balcony using my studio lighting to light her and had the black sky as background. Worked pretty well and was something I hadn't tried before.

One thing I really enjoyed about this shoot is that Monica is such an experienced and accomplished model, which makes it such a joy for me as a photographer. Things flow so much easier when you're working with someone who knows their poses, angles, expressions etc. She has done a lot of lingerie modeling, so I wanted to capture her from my perspective and add something new to her portfolio. I always try to capture someone's beauty with my own interpretation. So I wanted to go softer, sophisticated and sexy. Hopefully I was able to do that.

All pics on Flickr.

Monica_0004_Web

Monica_0067_Web

Monday, 25 May 2009

Boys in the park

I'm very excited as I've just started working on my new personal photography project this year! I will post another blog about my project very soon, but for the purpose of this post just mention that it's about capturing different kind of relationships, and different kinds of sexy. As my last project it's also based on a song, this one called "Look but don't touch".

My first shoot was to capture two male models, playing with the whole gay relationship thing. I wanted to do this one last as I thought it would be the most challenging to do, however due to model availability turned out to be the first one I did! With this I wanted to go quite subtle and for the images to have more gay undertones than being direct (will play more with different aspects in some of the other shoots on this project). I also want to point out both models were straight, which is what I wanted for the shoot. Both Kristjan and Phillip were great on the day, and gave me exactly what I looking for.

Hitting Battersea park seemed like the right thing to do, so as the weather was on our side that's what we did. I love Battersea park! Not only is it my favorite place to chill on a Sunday with friends or do coffee in the park in the week, but it also provides such a diversity of locations for a photographer. A little gem for sure. Once I'm done editing the shoot, check out the pictures and keep your "location scout glasses" on :). After surviving quite a funny moment when shooting in the public toilet and someone came in to use it while we were there, we were good to go for the rest of the day.

Also first time I've shot two models at the same time (with exceptions of bands), so was very pleased with the day. Can't wait to finish editing these and look forward to my next shoot for my project!

Check out pictures from the shoot on my Flickr.

Look but don't touch

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

This will be a whole lot easier to do if you don't touch yourself

Last bank holiday weekend. Photoshoot with Emanuel Lundgren. Swedish model with blonde hair (obviously), great sense of humor and knows how to pose. We also had the lovely Frid as assistant for the day and Angela Deviatova to do the make-up. Good times.

I didn't really have any plans for the weekend so decided to shoot, as I needed to expand my male images still on my port. So wanted a bit more fashion and had a few ideas I wanted to try out. I love working with models who are creative, and as soon as I started throwing some of my crazy ideas at Emanuel, he starting adding his own creativity and we had a lot of fun. A bit of editing to get final results, but hopefully we'll get something that works. Just started editing so we'll see what comes out!

Why is it that everyone tease me for my kick scooter?! I got so much stick for it sitting in my hallway during the day, however when it came to shooting outside, guess who wanted to bring it with so we could include it in an image?! (And this after laughing quite loud at how ridiculous I would look at it). And also guess who actually picked one of the scooter pictures for me to edit?! Yes. Don't laugh at my kick scooter peeps haha.

After having to disappoint Emanuel as I didn't have a baby (or a dog) to include in the shoot, we hit the park for some outdoor images. Trying to keep him from going over to a couple with a baby to ask if we could borrow they're precious little one for a couple of shoots, I had to point out that it looked like a screamer. We settled for trying another idea including multiple versions of Emanuel instead (which is where I pointed out that the retouching would be a lot easier if he didn't have body contact with himself). We'll see how the final result turn out, but always enjoy a shoot where I work with a fun team for the day.

Emanuel Lundgren

Monday, 4 May 2009

How do you find inspiration as a photographer?

Some of the reasons I got into photography is because it stimulates my creativity, as well as it gives me an opportunity to capture beauty or an interesting moment. I love images that draws you into them and tells a story and you wonder what happens next. I love expressions!

So I try to do this as much as possible in my own photos. One of my sources for inspiration is to look at other photographers and images. There are so many great photographers with great ideas and ability to capture beauty to take inspiration from. With the internet revolution the last few years it makes it even easier to see what else is out there and get inspiration to keep growing yourself. I tend to use Flickr a lot to browse, favoriting images I like and photographers I want to connect with. (Images in this post are not mine, but that I have found an inspiration).

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I tend to take pictures of people as I really enjoy capturing someone's personality, and it helps create a story in a picture. As I keep shooting I've discovered I'm most comfortable with portraits, but try to keep remembering to bring in the environment where it makes sense and can add to a picture.

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I really love networking with other photographers to get their view on what inspires them and drives them to keep shooting, coming up with new ideas and what makes them tick as a photographer. Everyone has their own way of working and idea behind what they are doing. For me it still makes me feel like a kid at Christmas when I come up with a new idea and get a team involved in executing it and you see the final images.

For those that have been reading my blog or following my Flickr stream for a while, you'll know I did a project called "Losing You" last year. This year I have a new project! Also based on a song as last time, this one called "Look but don't touch". This will have a much more high energy and sexy vibe, and I'm so excited to get going on it! First shoot next weekend!

Sunday, 12 April 2009

A one handed stand, healthiest smoothie ever and the Piano Man

Have you ever met one of those people that immediately inspire you to get better, be creative, work hard to achieve your goals and generally want to be a better person? Joe Leary (dancer/model from my latest shoot) is one of those people.

Had a shoot with Joe yesterday, which I connected with on Model Mayhem. You never quite know what to expect when working with people for the first time, even if you've communicated with them on social networking sites. Have to say I've been really lucky so far though. I can't say enough nice things about Joe after my shoot with him, who was so humble, nice, extremely professional and determined to get a good result. So passionate about what he did and to do it well, which was so infectious. Love people in general that has a passion for what they do, and work hard to achieve their dream. Whenever I put music on he couldn't stand still, and just had to move, so I incorporated a few more dancing shots that I was planning as I was so fascinated about how good he was. Hence the first dance picture put up on my Flickr. So we ended up doing a mix of dance ones in my studio and some more modelly ones in studio/outdoor location.

I think he turned me into a dance and smoothie addict in a few hours. Watching a dance performance on YouTube to Brandy's Piano Man, got me hooked on dance (I used to go to lessons myself, but that's years ago and I'd probably break a bone or two if I tried to move like that now) and this song. Great tune!! We ended up putting it on repeat for most of the shoot. And after he made the healthiest smoothie ever of fresh fruit (and very good as well!) I feel it balances out my unhealthy Easter egg eating these last few days. I feel fat already. Must go with more smoothies next week. An amazingly fun shoot, and happy with the pics I captured!

With Joe's determination, talent, charm and looks, I think we'll all be seeing much more of him in the future somehow. I just have that feeling he'll achieve whatever he sets his heart out to achieve.

Gonna start editing this set of picture shortly, look forward to your comments on them. Link to Flickr album here.

Joe Leary

Joe Leary

Joe Leary

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Shipwrecked hunk following my directions. Yes, please!

Don't you just love it when a model says "do what you want with me, I'm up for anything"!? I know I do!

Has anyone starting to notice a slightly new trend on my portfolio yet? Yes? Hot guys! Yes.... I think I'm liking this. I tend to shoot women as I love it and it inspires me. There are so many things you can do with a female model, and it's turned into a bit of a comfort zone for me. So one of my goals for this year was to master the art of photographing guys as well. I was really pleased when getting in touch with hot model and ex Shipwrecked hunk Rowan Bailey, and thought he'd be a great start to getting some great male model shots!

One thing I wanted to mention was that I've always had slight pre-conceptions of guys that look that good. I'm thinking they must be either arrogant, up themselves, lazy or lack a brain. Rowan is none of those things, and helped me realise that I shouldn't judge people by their cover. He came prepared, he was creative, passionate, open-minded, sweet and really down to earth. Quite inspiring to see someone being really passionate about what they want to do and be driven. I can relate to that, and I get inspired by people who are goal orientated and know what they want to achieve.

I also invited Elisabeth Rider, who I have worked with previously, to work with us on the day (there was make-up and oiling of body to do... hard job, but someone has to do it... haha :). With Rowan so open to try out any idea we threw at him, we had such a blast. Such a great team of people to work with, which really make a shoot day so much more enjoyable.

Given free range to try anything.... I did! I think I might have blind folded him. For selfish reasons really. ha!

Can wait to add the results on my portfolio.......... See pictures on my Flickr site.

Rowan Bailey

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Ben Adams on the floor

Ben Adams - Singer. Songwriter. Producer. Former A1 band member. Recent Celebrity Big Brother contestant (aka. green dinosaur). Chicken lover. Christmas freak.

While I'm finally having a night in and enjoying a glass of baileys, I wanted to write this blog about my latest shoot with Ben. After Celebrity Big Brother he's been keeping busy, but last week we managed to find a few hours to play around in my studio and shoot some pictures. Yay! The last three years I've been working for Ben I've seen a lot of pictures of him (where he always looks great and very commercial), and I wanted to try something in a bit of a different direction. So after capturing a few usual portraits I got him to take his shirt off and crawl on my floor. I know, sounds a bit weird! ha! I had this idea that I wanted to try a mirror effect. Thought the images came out quite interesting and captured a different side to Ben that I've seen before. I'm liking this kind of almost artsy stuff. Will let you be the judge though, be interesting to hear what you think!

Always one to want to try new things, Ben was happy to try out my ideas. We even tried a "the road to Ben's photo face" thing, but not sure that worked. So we ended up with the mirror effect idea, which I'll have a couple of different versions of (one more artsy than the other). Ben always throws himself into a challenge with great enthusiasm and creativity, so it was so much fun to be able to shoot him again.

Check out the pictures as they get added on my Flickr site - Ben Adams album


Ben Adams

Monday, 23 February 2009

Updated website!

I finally managed to update my website! It's been long overdue as I haven't added any pictures on the site since May last year. And anyone who are following my Flickr stream knows that I've been VERY busy with shoots since then! :)

So feel free to check it out. I've got some lovely music up as well on the front page and portrait page to entertain you whilst browsing through the pictures written by the wonderful Ben Adams specifically for this site. My "Losing You" photos are also up with music. So much to explore and see :)

Click here to visit www.cecilieharris.co.uk

Updated website!

Monday, 16 February 2009

A bit of french in my bathtub

Ok, so I didn't actually have anyone French in my bathtub, but for my latest shoot with actress Polly Brunt, we thought we'd go for a bit of a French inspired as a theme. For anyone having read my last blog, you'd know that I've recently moved to London and just settling into my new flat. This means I have yet to try out a lot of rooms and corners in my flat to see how I can use it for shoots. So for this shoot Polly thought my bathtub would do nicely (although I offered her my very professional and awesome backgrounds in my main studio!)

I find it quite interesting to shoot actresses as they tend to act their way throughout the shoot rather than just pose. Most actresses I've shot tend to create some sort of scenes in their head that helps them convey the emotion we're trying to portray in the images. It then gets quite interesting to shoot as I can give quite different directions than I normally would with singers and models. We wanted to try to create little scenes from a movie mainly in black & white, with a French sophisticated and natural beauty. Polly is such a beautiful girl, and in the bathtub shots in particular I thought she looked quite like Natalie Portman (who I've decided that if someone should ever play me in a movie that would be the actress I'd choose. Although a movie about me is probably not on the table at the moment one would think).

I wanted each of the pictures I chose from this shoot to tell it's own story, so I hope I've been able to put that through in the images. Hopefully our favorite shoot song for the day (we must have played "Freeze by Jordan Sparks" about 20 times!) helped us get into the grove and capture some good moments. I always tend to use music when I shoot, and I even have different shoot playlists pending on what sort of shoot I'm doing. Maybe it's sad, maybe it's clever, I don't know! haha

Was great to be able to shoot Polly again, as when you have shot someone before it gets even easier to get good result as you've already worked together. We had great fun, and I've already retouched the first image. More to come!

A long way from home

All photos available on my Flickr.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

New flat and lingerie

So much has happened since my last blog! So time for a little update me thinks.....

Just after Christmas I moved from Berkshire to London, so have spent the last month getting settled in my new flat. I love it! Spent Christmas in Norway with my friends and family, which was nice as well. Was nice to end the year with some downtime after a really busy year. So had a bit of a break from my photography the last couple of months, but am now back and starting to line up a great variety of shoots for this year. I have so many ideas! And living in London brings me closer to everything interesting, so can't wait to keep building my network here and meet new and creative people.

One of my first shoots here and in my new studio (/flat really if I'm being honest.... but it's perfect to do shoots in as well and fits my studio setup nicely) was with Model Sarah Beake. We had planned to shoot again for a while and yesterday we finally managed to get a date in and did my first ever lingerie shoot in a studio setting. On short notice make-up artist Elizabeth Rider joined us for the day and we had a nice little creative team. Elisabeth gave us two lovely looks, which really added to the results.

The idea for the shoot was a sexy, feminine lingerie shoot, and to be honest Sarah was the perfect girl as she's got a annoyingly beautiful look and body (the bitch... haha). We decided to shoot most of it on my bed with my new all pink bed linen which fitted perfectly with some of the lingerie she brought. It was all girly and feminine, which is what I was hoping to get from this sexy shoot. I see so many glamour or lingerie pictures shot from a male perspective, and I wanted to capture a similar setting from a female perspective and what I found sexy as a woman rather than what guys find sexy. So my aim was the the pictures would be appealing to both men and women. You be the judge of what you think :)

As I've just moved in I haven't got any curtains yet, so in the afternoon we noticed my neighbours getting increasingly curious as to what exactly was going on in my flat! ha! quite entertaining.....

Girl in pink