This year I had the pleasure of photographing the great 'Grooming Room' event in London for the 2nd time (2015 Gallery in Work/Commissioned) . There were a lot of great British brands there this year and was attended by some great VIP's - Heres a few images below showcasing the event in all it's glory:
Last week I did some reportage style shots for a marketing campaign, as well as some staff headshots for a really great business I work for on occasions. I would have to say I very much enjoy doing corporate headshots. I guess It's because it's one of those rare occassions that I get to have a chat with a variety of different people from all different walks of life one after the other. whilst attempting to make them feel comfortable in front of my lens, which can be very initimidating. I tend to understand and often see how nerve-racking getting your photos taken for anything can be, whether its a standard passport picture or whatever.
I usually show my subjects the different outcomes, which they are usually pleased with and collaborate on the final decision of the best expression (not too cheesy ofcourse and not too serious) tends to work really well. I often will guide the subject to the a good decision so it feels like a joint collaboration and not just a boring old shoot-and-go atmosphere which I have experienced myself in the past.
"It's not like simply taking a selfie now is it?"
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Last week I shot my very first traditional Asian wedding. I was recommended to the groom by a mutual friend, who told him I would be able to deliver the results required for his special day, although I had not shot one of these special occasions before!
What you need to remember is that, with traditional cultural weddings, there are different structures compared to the traditional English wedding, which I am normally used to. You are rarely able to ask questions on the day as it can get very manic. Fortunately for me, I had knowledge prior to attending. Oh I forgot to mention the fact that I was booked in at very short notice for this.
The groom generously arranged a driver to come over and collect me from my home and I was then taken to the grooms house, where we took various family portraits and reportage style shots of traditional activities i.e. the groom being fed by family members (pictured above) to start off with. I carried on snapping away from the first location through to the venue using my favourite style of capturing moments (reportage) you could hardly tell I was there! Of course there were posed pictures in between with friends, family and other key figures.
All in all, it was a great day with great people, great food and a really joyous occasion, which I will surely be doing again in the near future!
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Sometimes I go through old photographs in my archive, as I keep them all of course! and stumbled across this picture below, which is one of my favourite portraits to date. I shot this a little while back with a one light setup - kept it nice and simple.
Rather than just throw some colours over it or just adjust them for that matter, I wanted to use various techniques I've picked up over the years to really make the final image as clean and cinematic as possible. As you can see, the image still has that realism to it and not overly retouched, as I just cleaned up the skin using various retouching techniques. However its very important that whilst doing this, you do not blur the skin to make it appear smooth and keep all the pores intact. As obvious as it sounds, believe me when I say that I see far too many photographers who blur the skin, oppose to use the proper techniques that are out there to achieve this. I also tend not to remove certain features of a person i.e. moles, scars etc as they can be the most distinctive things about that particular person (unless it is what they want of course).
Also, I must add that I have tried various different plugins that are out there in the past, but however found that they were blurring the skin rather than smoothening out the skins transitions. One of the better plugins for skin which I have the chance to try is a plugin for photoshop called 'Portraiture' by Imagenomic. It gave me really great results, however, I reverted back to the traditional manual techniques of retouching, as it gave me more control and a better final result, in my opinion.
Believe me when I say that retouching is not a quick job and can sometimes take me anywhere from 1-6 hours depending on the image of course and also what is required. I don't tend to retouch my images and will only retouch an image if that is what the client wants or if its commercial work I am doing.
Now that I have told you this, I guarantee it will be noticed now and some of you may even be pressed right up the against the screen to verify if the pores are still there.....and guess what...they are ;)
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I have been working with Inkling Communications for quite some time now. They are a great team of really creative people. When I was asked by the team there to come into the offices and do some staff headshot's I couldn't resist. Being based in Holborn studios, Inkling already had a great all white meeting room, which apparently used to be a natural light studio. All I had to do on the day is take my camera gear (Nikon D7100) a flash and a Gary Fong Lightsphere (my weapon of choice) to get rid of unwanted shadows.
Sticking to a natural look, which in my opinion most headshot are, no photoshop was required for the final images and just some minor adjustments using CaptureOne instead.
UPDATE: Oh I almost forgot to mention, all photos were shot in RAW format. The reason I like to shoot in RAW instead of JPEG is that with RAW it's sort of like working with a blank canvas, whereas when you are shooting in JPEG format the camera makes the decisions i.e. how much contrast, sharpness is applied & colour temperature etc. With the powerful RAW format, you are able to apply all of these adjustments in post production to your liking and feel more confident about overall consistency with your images.
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I have been meaning to start a blog for some time now and I can truly say its finally here!
I will be sharing my philosophy behind some of the photos I have taken and also talking a little bit about the technical aspects and how I got to the final images!
I little while back, I received a call from a good friend of mine who is a videographer. He asked me whether or not I would be able to help out a friend of his who was looking to launch a new EP. Me being a huge music lover as well as photographer I leaped at the chance! Various different ideas were running through my head as to how I would make it work.
I met with MC Kwam and we discussed some ideas. I soon learnt that Kwam's passion was ofcourse music, but also he was a Tennis coach. With that said, I automatically thought of doing a Lifestyle shoot with Kwam for his new EP, which incorporated his other passion too.
I was so excited about the opportunity to help out Kwam for the launch of his new EP, although he was working with a minimal budget. What you must understand about being an Events focussed photographer is that occasions like these brings out the best in us. We as photographers are able to dictate things such as timings in the day, lighting, poses etc. Choices you are not gifted with as an Event photographer, where you have to be very re-active and constantly on the lookout for that perfect picture opportunity!
On location the gear I took with me was my trusted Nikon D810, some flash guns (2-3 I think), a multiple flash head mounted onto a light stand with a shoot through umbrella, as I wanted to achieve really soft lighting in order to make Kwam pop out in the images.
I was quite pleased with the outcome. In regards to the post production, there wasn't much that needed to be done as I had got it right in camera, carefully balancing the natural light with the additional lighting I took. However, the images were taken into photoshop where I slightly adjusted the colour tones in the shadows/mid tones & highlights to achieve the final polished commercial look for his EP.
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