BLOG

Beards and Ink – Portrait Photography Personal Project

Portrait photography by Jarek Duk. Beards and tattoos. Full of character, sophisticated portrait.

Beards and Ink – Portrait Photography Personal Project

Those of you that follow my daily struggles know that I mostly shoot fashion and advertising jobs. Those are usually high energy projects involving big teams, fast pace, noisy environment, loud music and large dose of adrenaline. And I absolutely love all of the above but sometimes you just need a break. No I don’t mean brake from photography. My life circulates around photography 24/7. When I don’t work I watch tutorials, interviews, behind the scenes, stare at other people’s work, experiment with new gear I even take pictures at romantic dates (huge credit to my fiancee for putting up with all of this 😉 ) So what I really mean is break in the pattern. Sometimes you just need to do something different to refuel your creativity. And so I did…

One day I packed my car full of gear and drove 3 hours from London to small, beautiful seaside town Bournemouth where life is slow, people happy and the air is fresh. Prior my trip I have made couple of phone calls and arranged a portrait photography session at the local barber shop. The place is amazing! It’s an ultimate man cave. Under the pretext of getting haircut you just get to hang out with your local buddies, the awesome guys that run the shop, hear a joke that would be absolutely inappropriate anywhere else and if you lucky enough you may even get a shot of bourbon from under the counter 😉 In short the place has some serious character. Kindly sitting in for me I had two barbers and two “regulars”. As they say a picture is worth thousand words I will just let you sink in to my story guided by images below. What a different day that was…

Portrait photography by Jarek Duk. Beards and tattoos. Full of character, sophisticated portrait.

Portrait photography by Jarek Duk. Beards and tattoos. Full of character, sophisticated portrait.

Portrait photography by Jarek Duk. Beards and tattoos. Full of character, sophisticated portrait.

Portrait photography by Jarek Duk. Beards and tattoos. Full of character, sophisticated portrait.

Portrait photography by Jarek Duk. Full of character, sophisticated portrait of a barber with beard.

Portrait photography by Jarek Duk. Beards and tattoos. Full of character, sophisticated portrait.

Portrait photography by Jarek Duk. Beards and tattoos. Full of character, sophisticated portrait.

Old school barber tools.

Portrait photography by Jarek Duk. Beards and tattoos. Full of character, sophisticated portrait.

Portrait photography by Jarek Duk. Beards and tattoos. Full of character, sophisticated portrait.


Fashion Photography London – How to stand out.

Generally in fashion world there are two groups of people, those who set the trends and those who follow them.

It’s pretty much the same in fashion photography.

Fashion photographers are presented with two choices. You can copy the “big names” and if done right this will definitely keep you in the game or you can experiment, take a risk and reach higher.

We all know the importance of lighting in fashion photography. In most cases this is the very ingredient that sorts out the men from the boys. So I set myself a challenge to experiment with it.

Most of fashion photography is done with natural light or strobes, I wanted to do something different. The lights of my choice for this shoot were fluorescent Interfit Super Cool-Lite 9 MkII.

Equipped with both reflectors and softboxes this handsome units allowed me just the right amount of control over the light intensity and quality. If you would like to know more about those lights, check our full review right here. I no longer want to bore you with technicalities so will let the results speak for themselves.

P.S.
Since fashion shoot is never single handed effort, please let me give credit where is due:

Designer: Anoosh Naghibi
Model: Samantha (Base Management London)
Hair & Make Up: Leticia Ruiz Caballero

 

Professional fashion photography London. Design by Anoosh Naghibi. Edgy and unique photo by fashion photographer Jarek Duk.

 

Fashion photography London. Intriguing, unique and stylish photo by fashion photographer Jarek Duk.

 

Fashion photography London. Dramatic and moody image by fashion photographer Jarek Duk.

 

High fashion photography London. Design by Anoosh Naghibi, photo by fashion photographer Jarek Duk.


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!

*

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.


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.