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Pregnancy Shoot London Extravaganza

Have you ever searched for pregnancy pictures? And what did you find? Yes I know, they’re all the same… So what if you not into pink hearts, teddy bears, flowers, angels, ribbons and all this cheesy glitter?

What if you are confident, successful, modern young woman that when pregnant feels just as beautiful and sexy as ever?

One such lady has contacted me recently in quest for cool, sexy pregnancy shoot that would make her look and feel like million dollars not a warm marshmallow.

As I mainly shoot fashion I felt right at home planning the shoot that would include Agent Provocateur lingerie, Jimmy Choo heels and Louis Vuitton accessories. So here our pregnancy shoot begins. For a warm up we’ve shot almost classic image on the chair, highlighting the figure. Seeing the results took my model’s confidence to the whole new level! Not that she was lacking it in the first place 😉

All this resulted in the next three images that some may find controversial but no one will deny them being beautiful and sexy!

Next we decided to take some pregnancy pictures that she would be able to show her parents and less open minded friends (photo in the pink jacket). You know how some women just blossom when pregnant?

The radiant glow of the skin, beautiful and shiny hair, fuller bust, the good energy that just surrounds her… I really wanted to capture and immortalise that unusual beauty. The last picture just sums it all up!

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Last minute addendum.

Shortly after publishing this article I received this comment:

The experience was incredible! As en ex-model I have been involved in many, many shoots but working with you comes on top of my list. You have brought out the very best of me! Your knowledge, personality and confidence behind the lens put me at such ease and comfort that I could not even imagine given the circumstances. You made me look and feel beautiful and the results just blew me away! Thank You.

 

As a photographer – I’m satisfied.

 

Pregnancy pictures London. Beautiful pregnant woman on a chair

 

Pregnancy shoot London. Beautiful and sexy pregnant woman. Photo by Jarek Duk.

 

Pregnancy pictures London. Beautiful and sexy pregnant woman. Photo by Jarek Duk.

 

Pregnancy shoot London. Beautiful and sexy pregnant woman. Photo by Jarek Duk.

 

Pregnancy pictures London. Beautiful and sexy pregnant woman. Photo by Jarek Duk.

 

Pregnancy pictures London. Beautiful and sexy pregnant woman. Photo by Jarek Duk.


Fashion Photographer London – World of Neons

A Day of Hard Work of London Fashion Photographer

Fashion photography London, photo by fashion photographer London Jarek Duk. World of Neons.

Hi Guys,

Few weeks ago I had a great pleasure to shoot for Dark Pink London fashion brand.

It is a rather young brand but over past couple of years they have really taken London by storm. As the company grows and matures their advertising guidelines get more ambitious and conveniently there is a decent budget to support it.

So for this year’s “AW 2014 Look Book” we have decided it was a time to take it to the next level.

We wanted something really cool and unique. Enormous amount of time was invested in scouting for that “perfect location” but it was really worth it. We have found this warehouse full of neon lights, vintage signs, and stage props.

An absolute dream world for a fashion photographer in London, where every possible spot has been used and abused for years!

Below iPhone snapshot of the location.

photo

Since the cost of location alone was £1200/day plus a model, make up artist, stylist, assistant etc. I had to really make sure that final result looks like $Million Dollars!$

No pressure, right?!?

Day before the shoot I have spent good few hours on selecting and packing the right gear for the job. I like to be over prepared, as some would say, but I find that this process lets me keep the “What if?” stress level at minimum so on the day of the shoot I can entirely focus on the creative process rather than technical difficulties.

The fashion shoot went really smooth, entire team has worked really hard but we also had great fun along the way. My client was extremely happy and felt that the money spent was a great investment. So much so that we are already planing the next shoot!
Below short behind the scenes video from the shoot and few of final images.
Enjoy!

Fashion photography London, photo by fashion photographer London Jarek Duk. World of Neons.

Fashion photography London, photo by fashion photographer London Jarek Duk. World of Neons.

Fashion photography London, photo by fashion photographer London Jarek Duk. World of Neons.

Fashion photography London, photo by fashion photographer London Jarek Duk. World of Neons.

More on Fashion Photographer London


Miss USSR UK 2015 Cover Shoot

Miss USSR UK 2015 Cover Shoot

Hi guys,
Not much reading today but instead rather cool behind the scenes video from my recent shoot. I’ve shot a promotional photo that will be used on posters, flyers and all official materials for Miss USSR UK 2015 season. As a model I had last year’s contest winner beautiful and overall amazing person Oxana Slyahtitch.
Having this opportunity I would also like to thank the whole team involved:

Swetlana Chikhireva – Hair & Make-up

Natasha Bo – Production Manager

Christos Mitsios – Filming & Editing

 

 

And here is the finished image:

Miss USSR UK 2015 cover photo featuring Oxana Slyahtitch, photo by Jarek Duk


How to sell clothes online – e-commerce fashion photography guide.

E-commerce fashion photography London, ASOS style garment photo, look book. Photo by Jarek Duk

E-commerce fashion photography guidelines and practical advice.

We are lucky to live in times when selling clothes, fashion, shoes, accessories, you name it, is easier than ever.

You no longer need big pile of cash for rent in prime location, elegant interior, fancy furniture, attractive sale representative etc.

Instead of all those things you only need one – your website.

Sounds easy but since now all your efforts, hard work, investment and simply success or failure depend on this one thing, you better get it right. Long gone are the times when you had to spend thousands of pounds for custom built e-commerce website.

There are countless template based services that for small monthly fee will have your very own, beautiful website up and running in no time. However there is still one thing of the highest importance of all – the images.

No amount of words, descriptions, marketing and advertising will sell your clothes if the image your potential customers are looking at just before they commit is unattractive.

E-commerce fashion photography, as we call it in the industry, contributes to a large part of my business and I am happy to share here some essential and practical information. So how do you attract the potential buyer, knowing that an average time people stay on one website counts in seconds?

Here is how:

1. Your images have to be clear and simple so the garment is the only thing that stands out.
2. No destructing backgrounds.
3. Image has to be well lit.
4. Attractive model always helps (there are few options, that I’ll discuss later).
5. Do not use wide angle lenses. They introduce distortion and make people/clothes look unproportional.
6. Pay attention to your camera colour balance so you won’t get complaints and returns because colour of the garment on your website does not quite reflect the actual colour of the product.

Very often when I am receiving calls from my clients the first question is:

“Do you do pictures like the ones on ASOS?”

For those of you that are not aware, here in UK ASOS has become in last few years one of the largest online fashion retailers on the market. Of course they must be doing something right!

As you can see on their website all their images adhere to the rules above. There is also consistency in it, which is quite important for your brand image. So the answer is “Yes we do images like the ones on ASOS”. As a matter of fact many brands selling on ASOS Marketplace are my clients and using my images.

Although the images are rather basic there is still few choices you have to make when it comes to e-commerce fashion photography. It may seem not extremely important at first but will have an impact on your presence, costs and turnaround time. Also remember what we said above, all images across your website have to be consistent so whatever choices you’ll make on your first photo shoot will stay with you for long, long time.

Wonder what I’m talking about?

First is a choice of background colour. That will largely depend on the colour pallet of your website but also the look and feel of your website design. Standard options are white (or nearly white, will explain that in a second) or various shades of grey.

Other colours are rarely used because of their attention distracting nature. So the most common choice is “nearly white” background.

Let me explain. Without going deep into technicalities it is very hard to take a picture that straight out of the camera will have pure white background. So simply speaking if you insist on pure white background it needs to be done in post production which is going to take some TLC (Time, Labour and Cash) and quite frankly those are two things that no one has in excess.

Pretty much all of my clients stress out the importance of short turnaround time. When you receive the shipment of your garments you want them photographed and displayed on your website ASAP.

Every day of delay is a lost business. For the above reasons the smarter option for e-commerce fashion photography is “nearly white” background that can be achieved in camera so it is both quicker and cheaper since it does not require extensive post production.
Darker backgrounds are more suitable for brands and designs that have more character. I personally see it as slightly more elegant option and less e-bay like.

There is few samples below so I’ll leave it to your taste.

All images in this article are exactly as delivered to the client. There is clearly visible difference in the level of retouching depending on client’s requirements (just one more thing to consider).

E-commerce fashion photography London, ASOS style garment photo, look book

E-commerce fashion photography London, ASOS style garment photo, look book , catalogue. Photo by Jarek Duk

E-commerce fashion photography London, ASOS style garment photo, look book , catalogue

The second important choice you’ll have to make is a model.

There are generally three options here:

1. Hiring a beautiful, attractive model which no doubt is by far the most appealing to your potential buyers but also the most expensive.
2. So called “headless” shots (for a lack of a better name). Where no model’s face/head appears on the picture. Of course it is not visually as pleasing as the one above but lets you save some money. You don’t need top class models which is cheaper already but you also save money on hair and makeup stylist that in this case is no longer required. Headless shots typically work better with men’s e-commerce fashion photography.
3. You can photograph your clothes on a mannequin or laid flat. This sure requires minimal investment compared to the other two but also gives you minimal chance for success so we won’t be exploring it any further. Yes, ASOS in their photography guidelines does not recommend it either.

So as you can see e-commerce fashion photography is simple but at the same time more complex than it initially seems. Get it right and you may become next ASOS, get it wrong and you’ll end up with a warehouse full of last season’s garments.

If shooting few hundred outfits for 10 hours straight does not excite you enough 😉 check couple of my other fashion photography articles that touch on slightly more exciting and adventurous side of it. And one more on men’s fashion. Enjoy!

E-commerce fashion photography London, ASOS style garment photo, look book

E-commerce fashion photography London, ASOS style garment photo, look book , catalogue

E-commerce fashion photography London, ASOS style garment photo, look book , catalogue

E-commerce fashion photography London, ASOS style garment photo, look book , catalogue

E-commerce fashion photography London, ASOS style garment photo, look book , catalogue

As always if you have any questions regarding e-commerce fashion photography please leave a comment below and I’ll try to answer them in a timely manner.


B*Witched The Big Reunion photo shoot

B*Witched The Big Reunion photo shoot

On a side note – I have written this post good few months ago but due to exclusive rights agreement had to keep it secret until now. Although it is slightly outdated I still think it’s an interesting story worth sharing.

Do you remember the 90’s girls band B*Witched (‘C’est La Vie‘, ‘Rollercoaster’, ‘Blame it on the Weatherman‘)? They have recently got back together for ITV2 series “The Big Reunion”. Following the show’s major success came the Reunion Tour and talks about a new album.
And here my part begins… One afternoon I received a phone call from Lindsay Armaou. After a break of over 10 years the girls didn’t really have much photographic material to promote the tour, new single and all other activities that started flowing in.

Of course I was very excited to become part of this project. We had very limited time so we started planning right away. Girls have decided that since they are no longer teenagers the photos need to be different too, little more classy, elegant and sophisticated. We were shooting in October. It was freezing cold, windy and raining so we had to cut the location shots to absolute minimum.

B*Witched Big Reunion photo shoot. Edele Lynch, Lindsay Armaou, Sinéad O'Carroll, Keavy Lynch. Music photography London. Celebrity portrait.

We started off with the shot above that had to be executed in literally 5 minutes before the girls turn all blue and frozen.

As we were shooting it, rain came over. My assistant handed the girls our lighting umbrella to use as a cover and since it still had the light attached to it I have quickly fired couple of shots just for fun.

Turned out that girls liked it so much that they decided to use it to promote their Christmas Party Tour.

All I had to do was turn rain into snow!!! After couple of hours, through the miracle of Photoshop I came up with the picture below.

B*Witched Big Reunion photo shoot. Edele Lynch, Keavy Lynch, Lindsay Armaou, Sinéad O'Carroll. Music photography London.

Cold and wet we got back to studio. First on agenda was a classic band shot on a white seamless that I have decided to spice up with some fancy lighting. Because of that I had to shoot each girl separately and put it all together in post.

B*Witched Big Reunion photo shoot. Sinéad O'Carroll, Edele Lynch, Keavy Lynch, Lindsay Armaou. Music photography London.

Next up were the individual headshots. Beautiful women, fancy hair and makeup, nice light, easy job 😉

B*Witched Big Reunion photo shoot. Sinéad O'Carroll, celebrity portrait, singer headshot.

B*Witched Big Reunion photo shoot. Keavy Lynch, celebrity portrait, singer headshot.

B*Witched Big Reunion photo shoot. Lindsay Armaou, celebrity portrait, singer headshot.

B*Witched Big Reunion photo shoot. Edele Lynch, celebrity portrait, singer headshot.

 

Last was a group shot again but this time a little rougher, moodier, with more character.

B*Witched Big Reunion photo shoot. Keavy Lynch, Lindsay Armaou, Sinéad O'Carroll, Edele Lynch. Music photography London.

And here is just cool BTS shot. Girls with my assistant Pawel Spolnicki.

B*Witched Big Reunion photo shoot behind the scenes photo. Keavy Lynch, Lindsay Armaou.


Model Portfolio London – How not to get scammed.

Model portfolio London, modelling portfolio London, portfolio book

Model Portfolio London – How not to get scammed.

The Ultimate Guide For Aspiring Models

 

I have decided to write this article touched by increasing volume of rather sad phone calls and emails I receive from young boys and girls that dream of modelling career.

They all have one thing in common, they are victims of their own dreams and ruthless people that are prepared to shamelessly take advantage of a vulnerable, young person and run with their money. By now you are probably wondering what I’m on about? I am talking about so called “professional model portfolio” or modelling portfolio photo shoots.

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The story is always the same. One way or the other (they are really good at marketing) they get your attention and lure you in.

Along the way they convince you that you are absolutely gorgeous or insanely handsome and the only thing that stands between you and the cover of VOGUE is lack of “professional” portfolio.

You can not believe your luck when they tell you that today they have very special offer and the £2000 package goes for mere £750. What a bargain!

While wave of excitement washes over your body, you empty your account, squeeze something out of your parents, maybe even call your grandma. You are completely green in this field so nothing triggers your suspicion… until few days later you proudly present this marvel to a modelling agency. Unfortunately this time you deal with real professionals and after quick scan they reject your photos and tell you to come back when you’ll have something they call a portfolio.

You are shocked, speechless, wondering how this could happen?

You just became another person that have been scammed. I personally work with several modelling agencies so feel qualified to explain you why.

Reputable modelling agency would NEVER put on their website anything that is even slightly below their current standard. That would lower the agency’s perceived quality and damage their reputation.

If you are really drop dead gorgeous and the agency wants you very much, they may offer you a test shoot (more professional term for model portfolio building session) but this time with real professional from within the industry rather than some weekend warrior/happy snapper or your local high street studio that is guaranteed to deliver results matching their standards.

Then they deduct the cost of the shoot from your future earnings so it all happens painlessly, without further damage to your budget.

Only few of you will be that lucky though. Unfortunately most will have to prove their potential before they would be accepted.

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So what do you do next?

Have really good look at your agency’s website. See what quality of photography they display and find photographer that will deliver it.

Don’t panic, it’s not going to cost you arm and leg again. You may be surprised that often real commercial or fashion photographer will charge you less than your awesome, flashy local studio. The point is that our main source of income is commercial photography for commercial clients and we don’t feel the urge to scam naive, young people.

We are actually happy to help, give something back to the industry, not only take professional looking photographs but also teach you something along the way.

Give you advice on styling, latest trends on hair & makeup, shed some light on posing techniques, even give some homework so you can practice and progress on your own.

I often get to work on commercial projects with models that few years back have showed up at our door green and clueless as you are right now. But they’ve worked hard, they’ve persevered. Some of them failed… but some have succeeded and they say it was worth it.

Please share your thoughts and related experiences in the comments below.

More information on this topic in my other article Modelling Portfolio – Expert advice.

UPDATE:

Please note that I do not intend to comment on particular studio, agency or other individual cases as they are all different. My intention was to give you information and advice that is hard to find elsewhere and enables you to make conscious and rational decision before you send your hard earned money. I really hope it serves the purpose.

Yours truly

Model portfolio London, modelling portfolio London, portfolio book

 

Model portfolio London, modelling portfolio London, portfolio book

 

Model portfolio London, modelling portfolio London, portfolio book

 

Model portfolio London, modelling portfolio London, portfolio book