Welcome to my first Throwback Thursday Blog!
Instead of sharing one or two nostalgic images as part of Throwback Thursday, I thought it would be a great idea to share my blogs from yesteryear!
Background to the shoot. A few years ago I was fortunate enough to have a small network of amazing models I could work with on a regular basis. Whenever I needed to test new equipment, try out new lighting techniques or just shoot for the fun of it there was always someone there to help me, for which I'm so grateful. My first Throwback blog has to feature the amazing Kelly Amber. We had so many shoots together and so much fun too as you will see on the behind the scenes video. I hope you enjoy the blog!
Above: This image of model Kelly Amber wearing Seiko Sportura watch was used on the front cover of EOS Magazine July - September 2014
Throwback Thursday - Strength and Beauty
Model: Kelly Amber
Images taken September 2013
After having several fantastic photoshoots with model Kelly Amber during 2012 including the damsel in distress series: The Train Journey, A Female Assassin and Kallisto, it had been far too long since our last shoot so a date was set and a fitness shoot was our theme, a good excuse to catch up and have some fun.
When planning a photoshoot, making decisions on wardrobe, make up, hair styling and props are an integral part of my creative thought process as is choosing the right model. For this shoot I decided to keep it all low key, without an assistant or styling team behind me. The main reason for this decision, quite honestly, was that it would be nice to take the opportunity to chat with Kelly and put the world to rights, and as Kelly is a qualified beauty therapist, she is more than competent doing her own make up for this shoot.
Depending on the concept of the shoot and of course the budget, I usually hit Lakeside Shopping Centre, act as though I’m a stylist and get a selection of outfits and props. In this case, not long after a date was set, an email from Kelly arrived with the subject line “Outfit choices so far…” complete with a couple of selfies. A red, white and black theme instantly grabbed me and my creative process had begun.
This may not come as a big surprise but I’m very much a visual person and like to visualize from an early stage how the end image is going to look. Shot in the studio against a black background, traditional old school black cast iron York Fitness weights, a solid steel chrome barbell and dumbbell cutting through the darkness was all part of my vision. Creating an image that I could use as part of my marketing and use to make new business contacts would be useful, producing a behind the scenes movie to start my YouTube account would be awesome! Fortunately for me I work extremely closely with a full service creative agency, WWJ and Brad Carter, who is responsible for WWJ’s film and motion, offered to help out! Why, how could he resist?
I wanted the images to have a commercial look about them and create a series of images which could be used for an advertising promotional campaign, so the next obvious choice for me was to contact family run jewellers in Billericay, Bellefontaines, who I had already worked in collaboration with, helping to promote the Rodania watch brand. Not only are they a lovely bunch of people, they are also very supportive when it comes to helping and working with local businesses. A quick text, followed by a phone call, led to me visiting the shop. Sitting there in the window was a red, white and black Seiko Sportura Chronograph watch. As I’m slightly obsessed with colour coordinating my images, this was the obvious choice and would to be the focus of the shoot - no pun intended.
Any of you who follow me on Twitter, @PhilJonesPhoto, will know that on the day of the shoot I had an early morning start setting up the studio. A wise old photographer once told me to make time and set up the lighting before a shoot, if you’re in the studio alone, use the self-timer even if you’re as non-photogenic as I am! I use the set up time to visualize the end shot and think about poses and angles so I can give art direction to what I want to achieve.
Once I have created the lighting set up and mood I want to achieve, I can relax knowing the tricky stage is complete and all that is left is fine adjustment and tweaking of the lighting when the model is on set and the shoot is in progress.
It’s important to create your own style of photography and this can be achieved in many ways, such as through lighting. Look at other photographers work on Flickr, Behance and Deviantart. Read blogs and practice recommended lighting setups, then try new things. If they don’t work, so what? Learn from your mistakes and experiment.
The next stage for me is my favourite. The Photoshoot. As a photographer I believe it is important to build a rapport with the model. Not only does it make the shoot more fun but it creates better shots too. Again, every photographer has their own style and this is part of what makes me, me!
Take a look at the finished Behind The Scenes video and you’ll see what I mean.
What you didn’t see on the video is the outdoor location shoot. I already had permission from Basildon Sporting Village to photograph on their running track to create new images for my Shutterstock photo library account. I was also keen to create contrasting images to which I had just taken in the studio. Images which promote the Seiko Sportura to a serious athletic and fitness audience where performance, high precision and the strength are as important to them as it is to the Sportura brand.
I hope you like the results and that this article has given you an insight into how I work and plan my shoots. If you have any questions it would be great to hear from you. If you have any feedback, it would be great to hear that too. Make sure you sign up to my Blog so you don’t miss any future posts. Thanks for your support.
Strength and Beauty, the Seiko Sportura range available from Bellefontaines’ Jewellers, Billericay.
Studio: Bowens Esprit 500 Flash Heads
Canon EOS 5D
Canon EF 24-105mm f4 L series IS USM Lens
Tethered to MacBook Pro using Adobe Lightroom 3
Behind the scenes video filmed on a Canon C300
Track photography: Canon 70-200mm f2.8 L Series IS USM Lens
Above: Image featured on front cover of EOS Magazine July - September 2014
*NOTE* My images may not be reproduced, copied, edited, published, transmitted or uploaded in any way without my written permission. All content © Phil Jones, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. Use without permission is illegal.