All is not lost!!!

It is inevitable for a photographer at one point to loose images due to a corrupt card or an accidental erase, i unfortunately had this same problem a couple of days ago after shooting pictures of my former teacher and her current students. As you could have guessed from my previous post i was not very happy about loosing 250 images after having traveled and returned home to edit the pictures. I frantically tried to recover any data i could from the card using every method i knew and after hours of failed attempts i had to admit defeat (Which i ABSOLUTELY hate doing!!!). I of-course i had to inform Louisa (my wonderful teacher) of the situation and try to find a time to re shoot.

I take pride in making sure the quality of my work is as high as it can be and telling a client we have to re-shoot is seriously infuriating as that is unacceptable. Thankfully a wonderful GENIUS of a photographer named Karla Gowlett practically SAVED the day, she suggested this wonderful little gem of a program, hidden in the vastness of the internet which not only recovered the images from the memory card but also pictures from a previous format. This is an absolute MUST have for photographers, especially those who shoot a canon 5D, as there is a very STUPID option to delete all your images, which has always frightened me but i will fear it NO MORE!!!! alas i am now 1 memory card down due to the corruption but at least i have all the images recovered so thank you again KARLA, to those of you who may be interested you should definitely check out her work she is a fantastic photographer (just google her full name and you will find her website) and she did my very first set of head shots when i was a student of the "Thespian way".

Now Just to quickly get back to why i was there at the shoot..... Louisa was one of three wonderful teachers at Sir George Monoux College who really inspired me and really opened up my eyes to the world of art. Before meeting Louisa i had.... erm.... well lets just say i had trouble keeping in tune when singing, but after some really helpful guidance and help from her i was feeling confident and singing in-front of people. I never thought myself to take up dance or physical theatre or even singing until i went to Mounoux and met Sandra, Leanne and Louisa but i am thankful that i did because it has helped to shape me in to the person i am today and will continue to do so i hope. When Louisa sent me a message asking me to take portraits of her and her students for a new Academy she is working on, i was thrilled and so i jumped at the chance. After meeting the students i was blown away with their musical skill as i find it so hard to play the piano, guitar and sax and these kids make it look so easy. I hope they really take their time there to learn as much as they can, because now i wish i was in their shoes to still have that safety net of being at school, but on the other hand i can sleep in late and dont have any course work...... HAHA!!!

The Lesbian Bath House

Yesterday i went to help out a friend of mine with a fashion shoot, i was mainly there to be the assistant and also to advise my friend shall he ask for it or need it. We went to Algate East where the "Studio" was and when we arrived at the time we were told which was 11.30 there was no one to be seen there so after a few phone calls we find out that the client said 11.30 because they didn't want anyone to be late and really wanted to start at 12.00 but annoyingly it was the client that arrived at 12.00, so we decide lets just get on with the day. We finally get in to the studio and..... well.... it was perhaps the WORST ever studio i had seen, it was a disgrace to hold the name STUDIO, there were dirty seamless papers all over the place, wires, props, old broken chairs, and well not a lot of space to work in and oh of course a giant window RIGHT NEXT TO the seamless paper without any way in which to block out the ambient light, and to make matters worse they had ONE trigger for the 5 elinchrome strobes they had which well REFUSED TO FIRE, so i was forced to use my own pocket wizards (which i love by the way) to sort out their idiotic decision to only have one cheap plastic trigger.

After all the technical problems were solved by me and ola we finally started shooting, and we managed to get some really great images for the client and were actually starting to enjoy ourselves. I then had to quickly figure out a way to get the triggers to work because i had to leave to go and take pictures for the poster of my friends new Edinburgh show "The Lesbian Bath House" and i would need all my lighting gear including the pocket wizards. After some technical wizardry and a LOT of luck i managed to get the elinchrom trigger to work. I thanked ola and all the other people involved in that project and quickly made my way to Central School of Speech & Drama where suzi was waiting for

We got in to an experimental lighting room which the students mainly use to work out what things would look like on a scale model before they finalise their designs, and i started to set up my lights, at this point i am a little nervous as i have never shot a large group of people before let alone a large group of gorgeous women, and i get very nervous around gorgeous women as i tend to turn in to a bumbling idiot. After having a talk with suizi and the directors Ben and Nigel i got a good idea of what they were looking for and was quite worried i might not be able to pull it off with just a 430 Exii and a reflective umbrella, but that was all i had so that was what i would have to use!!! The plan was to use the posters of 'THE L WORD" and "DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES" as an inspiration and go for something that is sexy, suggestive or seductive but not overly sexy that it looks pornographic.

The ladies all arrived and to my surprise it was actually the very first time they are all meeting each other, and only minutes later they would have to be half naked and all over each other, which made me realise just how brave actors are because we have a very low sense of inhibition and we make friends very easily in a room full of people we have never met. When we finished the ladies and the directors applauded me but i felt that truly it was them that deserved the applause because its not an easy thing to do and they took direction very well and were all very lovely to work with, i am sure their production will be a roaring success at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and wish all the cast and crew a very bright and successful future.

Being The Industrious Mouse

Today i had a shoot with three young but very talented guys, first up were Gianni & Alex from SuperhumanEnt who will be releasing an album shortly, and straight after them was none other than Samuel Furniss who is an up and coming comedian currently touring the comedy circuit. The location was set and it was in the back roads of Farringdon (not too far away from Tinsletown which have some AMAZING milkshakes, a little on the £££££ side though but still worth it as a once in a while treat). Today i was stepping out of my comfort zone of shooting in doors where i can control lighting as it allows me to start from black and then build lights as i go to get the right look that i want, but as we were shooting outside from 2pm till 6pm with the blazing sun above us i thought to myself I NEED TO GO BACK TO or maybe send a prayer to the GOD of lighting that is Joe McNally.

I think it is important to challenge yourself and i think you learn soooo much more when things don't go as you thought they would because it prepares you for a situation that you may encounter in the future and that experience will make you a better photographer and give you something to joke about with whom ever you are photographing (if your subject is alive and can understand you that is). I am a big believer in getting your client/subject comfortable with you from the get go, even before you take out your camera or drop a light stand. The person you are photographing has to feel secure with you and trust you to know what you are doing, and i think this will open up so much more options for you and it will even encourage your client/ subject to suggest some ideas to you.

I watch these Photographic Savants like Joe McNally, David Hobby, Zach Arias, Chase Jarvis, Isak Koval, Patric Demachelier.... the list goes on and i see a potential that i could achieve, if i work hard and always strive to learn more by pushing myself and teaching what i know then maybe one day i will be an inspiration to a young breed of photographers. Like any other photographer i have gear envy but i think the most important lesson i've learned is that TOP quality gear will open up more options for you but having it doesn't mean it will make your pictures better. What will make your pictures better is looking at other photographer's work and deconstructing them to figure out how that picture works and then recreate it but add something of yours (now i don't mean take someone's unique work and call it your own, if you like something then do it, but give credit when it is deserved) . Shoot more especially now in the digital age, because it doesn't cost you anything to process other than time and believe me if you do it right and organise it well enough then it is TWS (Time Well Spent).

(ow by the way i titled this the Industrious Mouse, mainly because i think these guys are gonna be Big in the coming years and i think the pictures i have of them will have great weight then)

Till Next Time