So, I'm very nearly at the end of my Decade in Review where I have been looking back at my work over the last 10 years. All that is left after this blog is looking at the work I've created during 2020, which surprisingly enough, I have had some amazing shots but before then, let me share my favourite images and shoots from 2019.
It had been 6 months since I had seen Sian Altman, you may remember our shoot in London in July 2018, I was keen for us to meet up again have a good old catch up and shoot in my home studio. For a lot of creatives, whether you are a photographer or an actor, January can be pretty quiet so it's a great time to test and start the year off on the right foot. I was very fortunate to have been kept very busy from December to March working for my commercial clients but managed to schedule this shoot in between projects.
Makeup artist gemma Howell was also excited to work with me again and wanted to create a selection of commercial images for her portfolio, so that was our brief.
Below: I loved this image so much and wanted to keep my beauty portfolio fresh, so I decided to hand the retouching over to Jenny (link at the end) who did an incredible job creating this hi-end beauty image.
Above: Gemma Howell Makeup artist in my home studio.
As you can see with the makeup, it's always best to start off natural and build on the makeup from there.
Above: Behind the scenes with Sian in the studio. MHere I am mixing a Bowens studio light with a softbox and grid as a rim light, with a Profoto Softbox as my key light or main light, and a Umbella with a diffuser as a fill light.
Below: Gemma applying smokey eyes to Sian.
Above: A little bit of colour coordination with Sian and her Daisy Dixon London Watch. Just look at those blue eyes!
I have always struggled to get the right balance of work and time to relax. It isn't always easy when you do what you love and for many years I've missed out on holidays and going away. But over the last couple of years, I'm pleased to say I have got back into motorcycling which is something I've always loved and certainly missed. I am very blessed to have an awesome friend, Elyske who also loves motorcycles and also enjoys my company.
Over the winter I am pleased to say I had the opportunity to work with Hideout Leather, who manufacture protective motorcycling clothing. I had just finished shooting their entire range of clothing for a new website.
You may remember in February 2019 we had an early heatwave in the UK, and I certainly made the most of it. Although Elyske and I had been riding throughout the winter, we were extremely pleased to welcome this very unusual early heatwave and spent a day riding together covering a couple of hundred miles through Essex and Suffolk. But before the day was up, we decided to make our way to Southend so I could try and capture some motorcycle lifestyle images of Elyske which Hideout could use on their website and social media. Fortunately for me and Hideout, Elyske had commissioned Hideout Leather to tailor a two-piece leather suit, which is what they are best known for.
Above: If you're a biker in the South of England, then you will certainly recognise this location in north Essex. Finchingfield is a well know biker hangout and is a beautiful village not too far from Hideout's shop.
Over the winter months, I decided it was time for me to finally getaway in 2019 and had planned a solo trip to the Scottish Highlands on my motorcycle. In April 2019 off I went, and what an incredible trip it was. In fact, I've just created a new YouTube channel and uploaded a video of my adventures which will explain a little more of my background and events leading up to my trip.
Although it was a break, I, of course, took my camera making it a bit of a busman's holiday, but I was having fun and shooting what I loved. Please make sure you check out my video and don't forget to leave a comment!
Below: A selection of selfies, using my Manfrotto Tripod and Canon 5D Mark IV camera
Above: Stunning scenery at Bealach na Ba, the Pass of the Cattle.
If you are a regular follower of my blogs, you may have seen I like to attend Brands Hatch at least once a year to photograph the British Superbikes, yet again, I'm doing what I love, relaxing and playing with my camera, as I find it very difficult to sit around and do nothing, I find this just makes me grumpy if I'm honest.
In June 2019 I was again able to attend the British Superbikes, but this time thanks to Hideout Leather, I was given the opportunity to hang out with some of the riders they sponsor and take a friend to enjoy the racing too. Of course, I took my biking buddy Elyske, and although the weather was wasn't as dry as we would have liked, we still had an awesome time. I'm so grateful to have been given the opportunity to take images in the Pitlane for the team as well as on the Starting Grid on race day!
Below: Stock 600 rider Louis Valleley on the starting grid on race day.
Above: Matt Wigley and Sorry Mate Wigley Racing also sponsored by Hideout Leather
Below: My amazing friend Elyske enjoy the action at Brands Hatch British Superbikes 2019.
Below: Scott Redding #45 who went on to win the British Superbike Championship that year on his first attempt.
Above: Peter Hickman, Smiths Racing.
Additional Related Reading How to improve your sports photography
I consider myself extremely blessed to have some amazing friends in my life, non more so than Elyske who has gone out of her way to help me with my motorcycle lifestyle photography. Believe it or not, Elyske was not too keen to be in the limelight and although she was happy to hide behind her bike when I'm taking shots, she didn't feel she was model material. Of course, I beg to differ and one very windy day in August 2019 we spent a day shooting together for the fun of it.
I did my best to give some coaching to Elyske about camera angles, shapes and finding your light, not that she really needed my help that's for sure! What you see here is typically the type of images I would create for a new or experienced model looking to update their portfolio.
A selection of commercial, fitness, fashion, lifestyle and headshots are typically what a model agency would like to see in any model's portfolio,
Although the windy conditions could sometimes cause a problem, it's best to adapt and just roll with it, and at the end of the day we had amazing light and I'm so proud of Lyskie and the images we both created.
There's nothing like organising a last-minute photoshoot and in September I was lucky enough to meet up with the lovely Imogen Leaver again, this time in London for a fitness style shoot. We were also keen to meet and chat about the possibility of planning other shoots for the near future. You are going to have to watch this space to see what comes of that!
We had a relatively quick shoot but had an awesome time non the less. Below is just a very small selection of some of my favourite shots we created. I already had a few ideas I wanted to try out which Imogen loved the sound of and was happy to shoot. I love shoots like this when I suggest an idea and the model gets on with it needing no art direction, teamwork they call it!
For my last test shoot of the year, it has to be with Grace Gray again doesn't it?!
Grace had been asked to shoot some clothing images for Collectit Clothing but she was also learning to ride a motorcycle and we had had a couple of ride outs together as friends. Just a week or so before this shoot I had taken delivery of my new bike and was excited to show Grace and the two of us could go for a ride, me on my Triumph Speed Triple and Grace on her Honda!
Below: We were very fortunate to have amazing weather and light at the beginning of November, not that it wasn't cold but Grace just gets on with it as the true professional she is. You would find me wrapped up and wearing my Beanie!
Below is another example of how well Grace and I work together. Grace had literally just got changed ready to ride when I suggested we have a very quick shoot, 7 minutes actually according to my image data, of Grace with my bike, which I could then use on my social media and include in my motorcycle lifestyle portfolio.
If you follow my blogs then you would have seen that in 2020 another awesome collaboration came out of this too. Here's a link if you missed it.
HideoutL Leather Instagram
Imogen Leaver Instagram
Grace Gray Instagram
Retoucher Jenny Instagram
Other Blogs of interest
A Decade in Review - Part One