This simple, but effective, portrait was shot with minimum preparation and the absolute minimum of equipment. I used natural light and a camera in a most surprising location. During a business fair I was ‘Networking’ (chatting) with a Freelance Business owner about web-presence and the need for good, up to date head-shots. It transpired that Carol had not updated her on-line image for a while. Grabbing the opportunity with both hands we decided to get a shot immediately.
The Business Fair was held in the ground-floor room of a beautiful Georgian Guildhall. The building has high ceilings, light walls and a sweeping staircase to the first floor. The stairwell has a huge, bright, north-facing window that gathers the soft light reflected from the exterior walls of a modern, concrete and glass shopping centre.
We took up positions on the stairs with the light flooding in from behind and to my right. Carol was seated on the steps above where I crouched. A couple of position changes and it was done.
Lexi is a north Hampshire based musician and songwriter who was offered a photo-shoot for a ‘significant’ birthday. We decided to shoot in the woods close to Andover (The beautiful and historic Harewood forest). They are deep and dark, reasonably accessible and have a history of their own.
As access was on foot and would be in deep shade I took minimum kit along with my cameras, one flash, light-stand, shoot-through umbrella and reflector.
I had already made a reconnaissance trip and so we were able to move directly from location to location. However I kept my eyes open for possibilities and we made a couple of additional stops as ideas were brewed up between Lexi and me.
While I did my bit Lexi played; mostly her own music but she also played the battle of the banjos theme a couple of times.
The combination of great playing, pure notes and the oppressive heat, stillness and dark of the woods made for a really memorable shoot (even if I did look over my shoulder once or twice).
Barbara Holgate is a sculptress based in South West France. She creates small scale, finely detailed figures of both people and animals. I photographed her during the opening of her recent exhibition at the ‘4seasons’ gallery in St Aulaye, Dordogne, France
The gallery is compact, busy and was tight with friends and visitors for the opening night. After a couple of preliminary shots I decided that I wanted Barbara and an example of her work isolated from the busy background. It was important to show that the image had been made in the gallery but essential that the other works on the display stands and walls (including two of my own prints) did not pull the viewer away from Barbara and her mother and child group. The solution was simple. I blasted them with a burst of flash bounced from a small reflector. This cleanly lit them at the same time ensuring that the falloff of light kept the background dark.