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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 Although it is slightly outdated I still think it’s an interesting story worth sharing.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.


Celebrity portrait London – Mark Heyes

Celebrity portrait London – Mark Heyes

Celebrity portrait London - Mark Heyes. ITV presenter, author, fashion guru.

Few days ago I had a pleasure to photograph ITV’s presenter, author, fashion guru and face of several clothing lines Mark Heyes. As you would expect from any celebrity it took us ages, several cancelations, adjustments etc to work out when he could possibly find an hour for this session. We have managed to squeeze it in between New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week. Uffff.

The brief was quite simple we needed couple of different headshots of different moods and expressions and if time allows some three quarters promo shots that could be used online and in printed publications.

I work with actors and presenters quite often but it always amazes me that those people that spend half of their life in front of the camera get really stiff and very self conscious when it comes to still photography.

Mark is really cool guy so he did not mind me bossing him around a bit and motivating to maximum effort in this short time we had. I had everything set up and ready for the headshots so we have managed to get them done in no time and could move on to wider promo shots.

Those took little longer since we had couple of different sets and lighting setups to go through. We have actually run over scheduled time by 10 minutes or so but Mark, pleased with results, really got into it at the end and did not mind that at all.

Probably the least happy person was his driver that would call us every two minutes panicking that he is not going to make it in time for recording in ITV’s studios. I didn’t have any angry phone calls from ITV so I guess they made it.

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That’s it for today. As usual feel free to post comments and ask questions.
Will talk to you soon…

Celebrity portrait London - Mark Heyes. ITV presenter, author, fashion guru.

 

Celebrity portrait London - Mark Heyes. ITV presenter, author, fashion guru.

 

Celebrity portrait London - Mark Heyes. ITV presenter, author, fashion guru.

 

Celebrity portrait London - Mark Heyes. ITV presenter, author, fashion guru.

 

Celebrity portrait London - Mark Heyes. ITV presenter, author, fashion guru.

 

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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


Actor’s Headshots Done The Right Way

 

Today I would like to talk to you about headshots and in general photo sessions for performing arts talents. Aspiring actor’s headshots are in high demand. In London the prices vary from £50 to about £300 (I’m sure you could even get one free. Hey, these days everyone is a photographer!) So is it worth paying the premium?

Well, if you serious about your career the answer is Yes. Inexperienced photographer will seat you down, shout “Now look your best!!!” and fire thousand frames in 30mins praying that one of them will come alright.

Than it goes to photoshop (pirate version) where one click, “good for all” effect is applied. If you lucky you get it on disc if not you get it by email. Sounds about right? Drop me a comment if I’ve missed something.

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So how should it be done? I guess there is no one right answer but I can tell you how I do it.

My sessions last around 3 hours. You may be surprised but only part of it is actual photo shoot. We start with that famous “seat down and look your best” series, which will be no doubt the worst few shots from the entire session, but there is good reason for doing it.

Now we can discuss what went wrong. We analyze the photos, then go in front of the mirror and look how we could improve things just a touch. We try different angles and expressions. We work on your facial muscles memory so you can strike “the look” instantly in any situation, be it a red carpet or your aunties 60th birthday. It’s a skill that takes practice but can be mastered. Have your ever noticed that big Hollywood stars barely ever get caught “off guard”?

They not super humans, they simply know how to look good in front of the camera. Somebody has taught them.

So on the end of the day you not only end up with the best images you have ever had but also with knowledge and experience that you will be able to use and further develop throughout your long and successful career.

 

Below a few pictures from my last session with young and very talented actress Nicola.

Those images were taken before she knew how pretty she really was. (I hope she won’t kill me for it)

 

 

AND THOSE WERE TAKEN AFTER OUR COACHING SESSION

 

 

 

 


Cold and windy. Model’s portfolio shoot.

A few days ago I photographed rather cool lifestyle model Janu. For those of you from UK I don’t need to explain how nasty English weather at this time of the year could be… and so it was. 70-90 km/h wind has forced me to change my game plan drastically.

My only assistant on set was Maggie, our make up artist (she’s about size 0 😉 so making her hold onto even small size softbox would only make things worse cause not only would I have to worry about my equipment but also about health and safety of my lovely assistant. So instead we have settled for three Canon 580 EX II Speedlights triggered by Pocket Wizards Flex TT5 and Mini TT1, mounted on TriFlash bracket and my old trusty Manfrotto monopod.

That way Maggie had only one piece of equipment to worry about and it was rather light and wind resistant.

So we were ready to go! Since the freezing rain was coming off and on we had to move fast. We started off in the building right opposite our studio were we found this old and dirty loading bay.

As ugly as it was, it was full of texture and had moody feel to it (see first three shots). Next we headed for the street. I know the area pretty well so we took advantage of a few tried and tested locations. Janu was brave enough to take his thick jacket off and pose for a couple of shots only in T-shirt, showing off his awesome tattoos. We were cold, the batteries were dying so it was time to go back to the studio. A few cookies and hot cup of tea put us back on our feet and we were ready for set of head-shots, which came out great.

So here it is, another lesson learned! Even though it seemed like we fighting against all the odds (believe you me, I was so close to call the whole thing off) we did not give up and came back with shots far better then I could possibly wish for. My model has suffered (just a touch 😉 ) but Janu’s model’s portfolio went right through the roof!

Great outcome from miserable day!

 

Special thanks to my assistant Maggie, that was so bravely fighting the elements.

 

Spread the word, share on facebook, tweeter etc. and stay tuned for the future posts!

 

Jarek