At the end of a good photoshoot, it’s always difficult to shortlist the images and pick a handful of your favourites for retouching, especially when there are so many you love. I’ve also found that to be the case when looking back at my work over the last 10 years. Originally, in A Decade in Review, I had planned to post 2 or 3 images per shoot but after looking through each set of images, that idea went out of the window.
For my review of 2018 I’m going to attempt to be a bit stricter with myself and how many images I share. You all know the expression, less is more, well lets see how that goes!
The first model shoot of the year for me was with actress, model and current Deputy Miss England, Domenique was particularly interested in creating action-themed images which her agent could use to help with castings but also wanted to create a selection of character shots and commercial images.
After sharing my beauty images on Instagram I was now getting known for this style of work and not just for lifestyle commercial photography. French model Romy Bondy had organised a trip to the UK and asked if I would be interested in shooting creative beauty as well as a more commercial beauty look. Without the help of a Makeup Artist this obviously just wouldn't be possible but fortunately for me, MUA Gemma Howell was excited to work with me and Romy.
Above: We started the shoot with a commercial beauty look using the same lighting set up I had been experimenting with on recent shoots. It's always good to have a go-to lighting set up. Here I using the Profoto B2 Location Kit and a silver reflector.
Below: Gemma then started to build on the makeup introducing more colours and I wanted to practice shooting with a shallow depth of field with my Canon 85mm f1.2 lens.
For the final look, Gemma introduced golds and vibrant purples as I went in close with my Sigma 150mm Macro Lens.
I have had the pleasure of working with Hair Stylist Tara Johnston since 2010 on many of my shoots but always in the studio environment. Tara is an award-winning freelance hairstylist and particularly known for Wedding Hair by Tara where she has been a finalist and Highly Recommended in the East of England Wedding Industry Awards.
On this shoot, Tara arranged the venue, the wedding dress and props and I booked our model, Tate and student Anna who was filming behind the scenes. Unfortunately, what we didn't expect was the amount of snow which would fall the night before the shoot. Anyone from the UK knows, as a country, we grind to a halt when it snows. Unfortunately, our makeup artist was stuck in gridlocked traffic for hours and the bouquet of flowers didn't make it either but we had our bride, wedding dress courtesy of Julie at Blush Bridal Leigh-on-Sea who went out of her way to deliver it to Tara.
Thanks to The Old Parish Rooms Hockley Road, Rayleigh for allowing us to shoot in their incredible venue.
I mixed ambient window light, Profoto B2 strobe lighting and lighting within the venue and was honestly really pleased with the results. This was made easier for me having Anna and Tara close by to help hold the lights in awkward positions as you can see on our BTS video.
For the final shot of the day we all couldn't resist popping outside the venue just as it started to snow, it was honestly so cold for Tara but as you can see, she did an amazing job then and throughout the day.
Here's the final video which was filmed by Anna and myself and edited by Jebby Media
I made a conscious decision not to test as much this year, sometimes you feel like all you do is work and it was time to try and address the balance. This is also influenced by my mood at the time in all honesty. Saying all that, for some time I had been chatting with model Lana Corina who was interested in shooting with me and as we were blessed with a beautiful warm April we decided to meet up in sunny Southend-On-Sea for a fitness and beach style shoot.
As you can see with the shot below I tested the Profoto B2 Freeze mode to capture the action.
Below: Fitness lifestyle
Below: Creating images for Lana's social media.
In June I had the pleasure of seeing my friend Rosey who had been living abroad for a few years. Rosey had also become a complete fitness junkie and has worked tirelessly to transform her look. Of course, we wanted to meet up and shoot again and so did MUA Gemma Howell who had a few ideas she wanted to test. Gemma was also looking to create some commercial images for her portfolio and kindly wanted to work with me again. We also thought it would be cool to have two models working together and I thought of Tate who was happy to be involved and the awesome Tara Johnston as Hairstylist.
Rosey was looking to update her portfolio and create new shots which her agency Sandra Reynolds could use.
Below: Commercial advertising image with Rosey and Tate wearing Fossil Watches
Below: I love this set of modelling portfolio images with Tate. Hair by Tara Johnston, Makeup by Gemma Howell.
Above: Of course, Gemma couldn't resist adding a splash of colour to Tate's makeup towards the end of the shoot on this absolutely glorious and extremely hot day. Quite a difference from our last shoot in the snow, this time our MUA had to keep sheltered from the sun it was so hot but that's just what Tate and Rosey love!
Since 2016, I have had the pleasure of helping St Luke's Hospice in Basildon with photography at fundraising events and helping with awareness. In July 2018 I was asked if I would like to set-up a creative workshop at the Day Hospice where they wanted to offer creative therapy to their patients.
I mentioned the shoot I had recently had with Rosey and knowing what a big heart she has, I was sure she would love to be involved. I gave a quick talk about my work and then a photography demonstration with Rosey followed by a hands-on opportunity for patients to use my or their own camera or phone where I offered tips and advice to help them improve but more importantly have fun.
I'm sure Rosey won't mind me saying what a humbling experience she found this to be which is why I'm so proud to help them in my little way.
Below: As well as using my Profoto B2 lights indoors we also popped outdoor and shoot in different lighting situations proving you don't need to have all the gear to get a nice shot.
Here's a link to a previous blog where I created an awareness campaign for St Luke's Hospice hops.
St Luke's Hospice Fairytale Blog https://www.philjones-photography.co.uk/blog/2016/8/charity-shop-photoshoot
To find out more about the Hospice please visit their Website
Also in July 2018, I had the absolute pleasure of meeting up with Sian Altman again who I was now able to call my friend. Sian had recently won a Daisy Dixon London Watch on Instagram and we jumped at the chance to catch up, have a fun day and grab a few shots which we would share with Daisy Dixon.
I may not always produce the most creative shots with Sian but I do however have the best days out with her filled with lots of laughter. I also like to think we get the shot too, including the image below where I wanted to visually reinforce the name, Daisy Dixon London!
Grace and I had been chatting about meeting for a shoot for some time but we both were keeping busy with other work. Without too much notice, we agreed to meet and shoot with the help of Makeup artist Gemma Howell who is a good friend of Grace's.
Grace had seen my Shibari rope images on Insta and after chatting and sharing concepts it was apparent we both had very similar ideas for an editorial and were both equally excited to shoot and combine beauty and rope.
I have to admit not only was it awesome to finally work with Grace, I absolutely love the shots we created, but of course, the shoot wouldn't have been possible without all of Gemma's hard work and creative input. It was also nice to get Gemma talking on video which you can see below.
Once we had all agreed on the final shots and had them professionally retouched, I reached out to Ellements Magazine who jumped at the opportunity of publishing the images which I'm extremely grateful for.
To find out more about the shoot please visit my Blog https://www.philjones-photography.co.uk/blog/2018/12/beauty-editorial
and check out our Behind the scenes video showing my four light setup and Gemma at work.
Many of you know I am a keen motorcyclist and try to attend the British Superbikes when possible. When visiting Brandshatch in June, I met Josie who was working with Bennetts helping with promotional work. Of course, we got chatting and it turned out that Josie doesn't live too far from me and was keen to update her portfolio.
Below is a small selection of the images we created on a rather action-packed day which included creating fitness, lifestyle, motorcycling and fashion images.
Below: Josie modelling on my then Suzuki GSX-S750. You can see more of my motorcycle photography HERE!
My good friend Grace Gray asked if I would photograph her friend Jessie who had travelled with Grace a few months earlier. Of course, I'm always happy to help Grace and I'm pleased I did as Jess was a joy to meet and work with.
Jess works as a Personal Trainer so she knows what she's doing when it comes to fitness and under Grace's supervision took to modelling in no time at all, the girl's a natural! I have to say that or she'll beat me up. Just joking, Jess!
Australian model Elizabeth was living in London for a while and loved my street photography. I seem to remember we both found it difficult to get a date in the diary as our work was keeping us busy, which you can't complain about but in August 2018 we met up in London.
On the way to the shoot, Elizabeth had received a call from her agent who had an urgent casting she wanted Elizabeth to attend. We quickly got to work shooting the headshots you see below before Elizabeth rushed off to her casting leaving me to hold the fort for an hour and wondering if it was something I had said and questioning if she would return.
Fortunately, she did and we cracked on where we left off and had an awesome shoot. There's nothing like a beautiful summer's day in London and as neither of us was in a rush we made our way to Horse Guards Parade to make the most of the sunset. Although we created a little video offering a super tip, here's another of my super tips, at the back of Horse Guards Parade you will find the best light at the end of the day, guaranteed! Remember where you heard it first! Haha!!
Below: Elizabeth couldn't resist asking for a tourist shot to send her family back home in Oz. As you can see the guard was working the camera too! What started out to be a sketchy start ended up being an awesome day with more fun memories and I'm looking forward to the day when we can meet again!
As you read earlier, I met Josie at Brands Hatch while she was working with Bennetts who are the sponsors of British Superbikes, but also working for them that season was Sian Lacey. To be honest, we didn't have the same conversation as I did with Josie, but obviously, my good looks left an impression, or more accurately, Sian was super impressed with images I had taken working with Josie that she also wanted to book a shoot. Unfortunately, being a speed freak, she managed to get a speeding ticket on her way to me!
For years Sian had worked on the Touring Car circuit helping with promotions but she had a keen interest in motorcycling.
Above: I couldn't help but notice Sian's Semicolon ; tattoo on the inside of her wrist which she told me was raising awareness to mental health. We had a fantastic chat about the subject which led to me producing this BLOG
After our initial studio shoot, we then ventured outdoors with my Suzuki for some bike promotional shots. The best was still to come, Sian had brought her one-piece leathers, crash helmet and protective gear. So as the sun started dipping off we went for a little ride and hoping to capture a handful of shots if we got the opportunity.
I remember receiving an email from model Imogen Leaver asking if I would be interested in testing with her, I know that name I thought, and it didn't take me too long I remembered watching Imogen on TV many years earlier in Britain's Next Top Model where she came third. At the time Imogen didn't live far from me and was indeed an Essex girl!
I jumped at the chance to work with her but we had a very small window of opportunity to make it happen before Imogen was going away. Three days later Imogen was in my home studio with MUA Gemma Howell for a beauty shoot as well as to discuss other projects which we could help each other with, I love it when opportunities like this happen!
It goes without saying that the last shot of the day was to get creative and let Gemma loose with makeup!
It wouldn't feel right if I went a whole year without photographing Grace Gray, fortunately for me, Grace and I were invited by Canon to a Private Viewing of an exhibition raising awareness to Mental Heath and the Photography Movement.
Before going in, we had our quickest shoot ever making the most of a nearby lit window display!
Domenique Fragale Instagram
Romy Bondy Instagram
Gemma Howell Instagram
Tara Johnston Instagram
Sian Altman Instagram
Grace Cairns Instagram
Imogen Leaver Instagram
Sorry, I have too many images to include links to everyone!