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Commercial Photography London – Stewardess

Commercial Photography London – Stewardess.

Commercial photography London. Sexy stewardess, flight attendant with a silver suitcase.

This meant to be easy job. Simple advert picture. Sexy stewardess on the plain background, one, maximum two poses.

That was until my client showed up in the studio and casually mentioned that it would be a shame to waste such lovely, sunny day in the studio. We get around two or three of those in a year here in London, so I kinda understand where he was coming from.

Easier said than done. For general public it seems irrelevant but every photog would know that this requires completely different approach and most importantly different set of tools when it comes to lighting.

Needless to say that being prepared for a studio shoot I did not have any outdoor, portable lights. I looked around the studio, the only thing I could use was a decent size silver reflector and no assistant to hold it. I looked at my client, he was rather excited about the whole going out idea so I asked him: “Hey Mark, are you up for an adventure?” Hi enthusiastically nodded his head so I handed him the reflector and off we went.

I couldn’t exactly shoot a stewardess strolling in the park. We needed to find a background that will at least create an illusion that she actually belongs to the scene. Trespassing nearby constriction site with half finished glass buildings seemed like a brilliant idea.

So here we are me with my case full of camera gear, stewardess in full uniform, 5″ heels and a suitcase and Mark with his 4x6ft giant reflector blown around like a drunken sailor, sneaking through fences, concrete blocks and mud paddles. Pure joy to onlookers!
Anyway we’ve made it through. From now on it went pretty smooth. Our model Karolina was fantastic, Mark my client/assistant was bravely fighting the wind and as a result of this heroic team effort we came back with some great images.

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The sun was shining, the client was over the moon with both the images and the “experience” and although flipped upside down it was another fantastic day in the field.
I know, I could’ve said NO in the first place and stick to the original brief given by the client but I always try to under promise and over deliver. It keeps my clients happy and my business blooming.

P.S

Mark and myself had hard time deciding which of the two wide angle images should be used as large banner, billboard printed advert. So what do you think?

Commercial photography London. Sexy stewardess, flight attendant with a silver suitcase.

Commercial photography London. Sexy stewardess, flight attendant with a silver suitcase.


Miss USSR 2013 London UK Final

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final, London, Logan Hall.

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

I have been recently invited to photograph Miss USSR 2013 UK final. It took place in fashionable Logan Hall in central London. The event was truly fantastic! Beautiful girls, great entertainment and crazy after party! All in Eastern European fashion!
Here is a few photos to prove it.
Enjoy!

 

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall

Miss USSR 2013 UK Final London Logan Hall


Acting headshots London. Best tip you will ever get.

Acting headshots London

As some of you may already know quite a few of last ten years I have lived in “great country” of United States. While there is many things that are arguably better then here in UK there is also few that they actually do get right.

Today I’d like to talk about one in particular – acting headshots. So when I moved to London I just couldn’t get my head around the ancient concept of black and white headshots in vertical orientation. It seems like time has stopped here 100 years ago.

Hasn’t anyone noticed that nobody makes black and white movies any more?

So why on earth would you like your headshot to be B&W?

It disregards such critical and individual features like eyes colour, hair colour, skin complexion. Why as an actor would you like to look just like anybody else in a pile of headshot photos on casting directors desk?

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Now lets talk about the orientation of the image. The only way you as an actor will ever be seen is landscape – horizontal orientation. Think about it, TV screen, cinema, theatre. It is not coincidence, it’s just natural. That’s how we see the world, that’s what our brains are accustom to.

Have you noticed how weird it feels to watch a vertical video that every now and than one of your friends posts on facebook? So now let me ask you again why would you do it to one of the most important tools you have in hand, your casting photo?

The answer I often hear is “This is industry standard”. So I argue even further. What is the worst thing that can actually happen if you submit the Hollywood style headshot? All of the sudden you are one in a thousand instead one of a thousand.

Could that possibly be a bad thing? Has your acting career been extremely successful? No? Maybe is time to try something new… before everyone else will start doing it.

 

Acting headshots London

Acting headshots London

Acting headshots London

Acting headshots London

Acting headshots London

Acting headshots London


Modelling Portfolio – Expert Advice

Modelling portfolio London

Expert Advice – How to get it done – A Perfect Modelling Portfolio in London

Over the past few years I had a pleasure to work with some of the top London’s agencies and modelling schools.

I am also being regularly invited to various seminars and modelling courses where I try to help those beautiful and ambitious young people to get on the right path to successful modelling career.

I guess I have become kinda known for it so I receive a lot of questions in that matter but one particular question comes over and over again: “How do I build my professional, modelling portfolio?

So lets start with the definition.

Modelling portfolio or model portfolio (also simply called “book”) is a book that should present the model and showcase model’s work.

It is collection of high quality photographic prints (no smaller than 8×10 inches and no larger than A3 size) presented in elegant sleeve or case (London Graphic Centre carry good selection of decent and inexpensive portfolio books).

It should contain somewhere between 10 and 24 images but remember, always put QUALITY OVER QUANTITY! Five great photos will get far better response than twenty average ones.

So what kind of shots do you need? The answer is all kinds. You should include at least one headshot, one “polaroid” (unretouched, full length picture in bikini or basic underwear on a clean background), couple of studio shots, couple of indoor location images, couple of outdoor location images and your best commercial work.

The most common mistake that beginners make is filling up your book with images from one photo shoot. Even if you plan to start your portfolio with only one session, make sure each image looks different (different outfit, hair, make up, different photographic style, location etc.).

No one will hire a model that has only done one photo shoot so you need to create an impression that you were building it for some time.

Modelling portfolio London

Modelling portfolio London

Now, if you reading this article you probably just starting out and don’t have anything to show, right?

There are two ways to build your portfolio from scratch.

First: You can ask your friend to take couple of pictures for you then sign up to one of the websites that bring together models, photographers, make up artists and other people from within the industry (Model Mayhem and Star Now are both good place to start, at least here in London). Once you get your profile up and running you look for photographers that would be willing to cooperate with you on TFP basis. TFP stands for Time For Prints, which is slightly archaic because most likely you will only receive images on CD rather than prints. Anyway you both invest your time for mutual benefit, you learn how to pose and your photographer learns… well, photography, but there is no money involved. Following this long and winding path you sure saving money but risk wasting countless hours with unskilful, unexperienced photographers resulting in images that will rarely be on acceptable level to be included in your portfolio.

Second: The other way can kick start your career and get you paid jobs within weeks rather then years. It will require some investment but hey, that’s how the world works. If you wanted to be successful musician, doctor or lawyer you wouldn’t expect to get there without an investment. Same applies to modelling. Basically you need to hire someone that has knowledge and experience to help you achieve your goals – professional photographer. I feel obligated to give you a warning here! These days every guy that owns a camera and likes to look at pretty girls calls himself “professional photographer” and that’s definitely not what I had in mind! I mean working full time commercial, fashion or portrait photographer. So please take great care when choosing one. Check his work, website and credentials or you will end up wasting your money on images that will be too low quality to be accepted by any serious modelling agency. However if you hire good photographer not only you will have fantastic images that you will be able to submit to agencies but you also acquire tones of skills and knowledge like posing techniques, styling advice, casting contacts etc.

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I hope I have answered most of your questions and cleared some of your doubts. If there is anything else please do not hesitate to ask me in the comments below.

All of the images in this post are of non professional models and were taken during portfolio building sessions.

More on this topic in my article Model Portfolio – How not to get scammed

Modelling portfolio London

Modelling portfolio London

Modelling portfolio London

Modelling portfolio London

Modelling portfolio London

Model portfolio London, modelling portfolio London, portfolio book

Model portfolio London, modelling portfolio London, portfolio book

Modelling portfolio London


Perfect Shoot. Fashion Photographer in London

My job as fashion photographer in London is not as easy and glamourous as most of you may think.

Most of the fashion shoots are sky high piles of challenges that I am expected to overcome. That’s why my clients are paying me money, right? They don’t want to hear that weather was bad, the light wasn’t perfect or that model came to the shoot straight from dentist.

However once in a while that perfect shoot when everything effortlessly falls into place just happens, and one of those shoots I want to write about today.

I was hired by girls from Manifattura Donna to shoot collection of evening and wedding dresses. We shot on beautiful location just around the corner from Royal Albert Hall. Weather was fantastic throughout the day (very unusual in London).

When booking a model I’m always looking for someone with a dance or drama background, because they always add that extra dimension when it comes to posing and expressions, and our model Kasia was everything that fashion photographer could wish for.

We have shot for six hours using number of lighting techniques that I will shortly describe under every image. It rarely happens that more than one image from a shoot ends up in my portfolio but this ones were just too hard to resist.

 

Fashion Photography London. Model on balcony.

Direct sunlight diffused by large scrim panel.

 

Fashion Photography London. Bridal fashion.

Ambient room light (large windows) mixed with strobe (Elinchrom Quadra + 180cm octa)

 

Fashion Photography London. Bridal fashion.

Daylight from the shadow side of the building through really dirty window.

 

Fashion Photography London. Bridal fashion.

Large (120cm x 200cm) reflector held by assistant.

 

Fashion Photography London. Lady in black mask.

Scrim + reflector

 

Classy Fashion Photography London

Scrim + reflector

 

Stylish Fashion Photography London

Scrim + reflector

 

Edgy Fashion Photography London

Direct setting sun light through open window.

 

Fashion Photography London. Classy elegant street fashion.

Cool light of dusk mixed with strobe (Elinchrom Quadra + 180cm octa).

 

Chic and Sophisticated Fashion Photography London

Cool light of dusk mixed with strobe (Elinchrom Quadra + 180cm octa).

 

That’s it for today. As usual please ask questions and leave comments.

See you soon,

Jarek


Chelsea Models Academy

Model's portfolio photo.

 

A few weeks ago I was invited by Chelsea Model Academy to take part in one of their famous workshops where young and aspiring models from UK, Germany, Portugal and as far as Japan come to learn everything they need to know about modelling to take their careers to the next level.

We had fantastic team of professionals: business coach, fashion stylist, hair & make up stylist, acting coach, choreographer and… me. My job was to teach those young boys and girls all aspects of photo modelling.

If you are a model and reading this right now and if there was only one thing that you would take away from this post, please remember that GOOD LOOKS AND TALENT WILL GET YOU NOWHERE IF NOT SUPPORTED BY HARD, HARD WORK. (Did I mention hard work?)

Now, this part is a tech talk for my fellow photographers and I’m sure that rest of you will find it pretty booooring.

So here is the story.

I have packed up quite heavy, just in case (yeap I do have tendency to over do it 😉 All I knew was that the workshop takes place in large dance studio. How pleasantly surprised I was when I walked in to this nice and spacious room where two walls were made entirely out of windows and the other two were floor to ceiling mirrors. I had plenty of beautiful, natural light.

Great you would say, just take your camera out and shoot away! Well there was a little problem… those young models were really excited seeing all my lighting gear being carried into the room, they expected flashing lights, beeping triggers, buzzing fans etc. and I knew that I couldn’t let them down.

I had my trusty Elinchrom Style Rx heads with me, that can be set to really low power and that’s exactly what I did. I set a couple of them in the way that they were barely contributing to the overall exposure in order to take full advantage of this beautiful ambient light. This setup resulted in very nice, high key images where gorgeous, soft, window light is complemented by “kiss” of flash.

 

That’s it for today. Look out for new posts as I have another great story to share with you.

 

Jarek