If you know me, or follow me on Instagram, you'll know me know that I am a big fan of Hot Rods and have been since I was a kid. In the back of my mind for many years has been the thought of combining my interests and creating a car shoot with a difference. Then in February 2016 I had one of those lightbulb moments after meeting with Ma-Ga London.
Ma-Ga London promotes its watch and accessory brand as the edgier and darker Daniel Wellington and Olivia Burton, reaching out to the inked culture. My thinking was to introduce the Hot Rod and Custom Culture, who have always been synonymous with tattoos, with Ma-Ga London watches and accessories, at the same time combining my interests. They say shoot what you love, so what could be better?
The concept of the shoot was to portray the Hot Rod culture with a lifestyle photoshoot. Yes its important at some stage to show the detail of the watch but this campaign is about showing your personality. Creating and building a Hot Rod or Custom is about being an individual, adding style and detail which makes your build unique and reflects your personality. The same ethos applies to Ma-Ga London - Create your own identity.
You don't have to go with the flow. Be you. Make your own statement and see where it takes you.
The model. I've worked with Grace Gray on many occasions and she's an absolute joy to work with. Grace doesn't need any art direction although I can't help but suggest a few ideas from time to time. I also learn from 'the talent' as she delivers ideas I would never have thought of. This shoot consisted of a small team, me and Grace! As well as modelling Grace is also a professional make-up artist and did her own hair and make-up.
The Gear. The lighting was a mix of low September ambient light, a silver reflector and a Bowens 500 Esprit strobe with a white beauty dish. Nearly all the shots were using my 70-200mm f2.8 lens, mounted to my Canon 5D MKIII on a Manfrotto tripod to help reduce camera shake as the light wasn't as bright as I would have liked so I shot at a slower shutter speed and kept the ISO down to reduce noise.
The Hot Rods. Thanks to Hot Rod Ron who kindly let us use his 1930 and 1931 Model A Fords which he built himself. For the Hot rodders out there here's some of that spec that we like! The maroon Ford Model A is a 1930, has a standard body and arches, runs a 318ci small block Chrysler engine and white wall cross ply tyres keep the car on the road. His other Ford Model A, in the background, is fenderless (no arches), runs a 1961 Studebaker 259ci engine, 1940 Ford brakes and running gear and has a 3"chopped roof.
Above: Hot Rod culture lifestyle photoshoot with model Grace Gray.
Below: From the Femme Fatale Range, the Maida Vale watch with Pastel Pink Leather strap by Ma-Ga London. Lens used: Sigma 150EX Macro f2.8.
Above: It wasn't as important for me to show the detail of the watch face in all of the shots. Reflecting your personality was top of the list.
Below: From Ma-Ga London's Femme Fatale Range, the 'Maida Vale' watch with its quality Pastel Pink Leather strap worn inside the wrist by model Grace Gray with Brown Tiger Eye Onxy with perforated Gold Skull Bracelet.
Below: A more traditional style of wearing your watch the 'Maida Vale' features Sun Ray Gold Dial with 'Billy Bones' motif worn with Brown Tiger Eye Onxy with perforated Gold Skull Bracelet makes an edgier alternative to Olivia Burton watches.
Below: I stupidly put a lot of pressure on myself as I wanted,as always, to create the perfect shoot and produce a series of creative images which I thought could be awkward to light, certainly within the time restraints of the shoot. Working with Grace is so much fun and it always helps me knowing she will 'make good' and we will always get the shot. Note to self, adding pressure to yourself doesn't help, don't do it again.
Ma-Ga London 'Maida Vale' watch from the Femme Fatale Range with Pastel Pink leather strap, Sun Ray Gold dial and 'Billy Bones' motif.
It was time to leave Hotrod Ron and move onto a new location, with a different watch and yet another Hotrod for our next look. Enter Neil Tadman's 1934 Ford Sedan and Ma-Ga London 'Whitechapel' watch.
A big thanks to Neil Tadman and wife Heather who also kindly gave up their time and let us work with such an amazing prop! Neil is an upholsterer by trade and runs Neil's Auto Interiors in Essex. The 'prop' is a 1934 Ford Sedan built by Dave Haskel and runs a small block Chevy engine, TCI frame, has a two and a half inch roof chop and a Oyster Pearl interior which is of course all Neil's handy work.
Many of you know how I love to colour coordinate my images and I must admit I'm extremely proud of this combination. The 'Whitechapel' watch has a 'Blanc' leather strap, Rose Gold case and Eggshell White Dial. Add a beautiful Redhead wearing a black turtle neck sleeveless top to complement the paint and 'Billy Bones' motif and striping on the side of the car and it's a perfect match. Neil also has a skull handle on the glovebox of his dashboard. (It doesn't take too long in the Hotrod community to find skull and crossbones detailing).
Ma-Ga London 'Whitechapel' watch from the Billy BonesRange with Blanc leather strap and Eggshell White dial and Rose Gold 41mm case.
Whichever way you wear your watch, inside the wrist or outside, the Ma-Ga London 'Whitechapel' from the Billy Bones Range, is designed to be comfortable, attractive and hard wearing so you can wear your Ma-Ga 'Billy Bones' wherever you go and change the strap to suit any occasion.
Above: It's hard for me to pick a favourite images from the shoot but the above image is certainly a contender from the 'Hotrod culture' series.
Below: I couldn't resist including a shot showing off Neil Tadman's beautiful 1934 Ford Sedan Hotrod.
For the next shoot I was thinking about a British HotRod in central London, that would be cool!
The watches are from Ma-Ga London. From the Femme Fatale Range is the Maida Vale which has a pop on/off (self change) Pastel Pink leather strap and Sun Ray Gold dial. From the Billy Bones Range we feature the Whitechapel with a leather Blanc pop on/off (self change) strap, Eggshell White Dial and Rose Gold case. Both watches feature the 'Billy Bones' motif. We also feature a Brown Tiger Eye Onxy with Perforated Gold Skull Bracelet. Find out more and see the full range on the Ma-Ga London website.
Ma-Ga London Website
Ma-Ga London Facebook
Neil's Auto Interiors Facebook Telephone 01702 530930
UPDATE MAY 2018
Since I originally published this blog I have commissioned Hi-End Fashion and Commercial Retoucher Anna Rovkina to retouch a selection of images for me which I recently shared on social media https://www.instagram.com/philjonesphotography/
Here they are!