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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 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.


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.


Fashion Editorial. Fashion Photography London

Editorial shot

fashion editorial, fashion photography London, men's fashion, winter collection, moody, intense

Today I would like to share with you nice fashion photography editorial I have shot recently.

I have to be honest with you, although I have real passion for photography like in any other job some days are better then others. This particular day has been great from start to finish.

For this editorial we had planed mostly studio setups with an option of shooting one quick shot outdoors. However as I was driving to my studio the beautiful, golden, low winter sun has presented itself and I knew that we will definitely have to take advantage of this rare occurrence here in London on the middle of winter.

I have managed to gather really great team for this shoot. Our model Ash is full of character, charisma and generally cool and good looking chap. I can’t stress enough the importance of good hair and makeup artist (yes, even for guys)!

While ago I have started cooperating with Gosia Peruzynska, not only is she very professional and does some black magic to people’s faces but also brings to the shoot tones of humour and positive energy. I also had a great assistant, fellow photographer Pawel Spolnicki.

Quick side note to anyone that is just starting out and willing to take their photography to next level. You will NEVER make it as “one man band”! Behind any successful photo shoot stands the whole TEAM of people. Yes it is a challenge and yes it takes time but once you’ll find the right people and build those relations your work will improve dramatically. So if you wonder what step to take next, make team building your New Year’s resolution and see where you stand at the end of the year.

*

Back to our topic. As the weather was great and light beautiful we have shot a few outdoor setups. All with natural light and little help of a silver reflector. After couple of hours we have moved back to studio and finished it off with couple of moody photographs where Ash although cold and tired still gave me his 110%.

I’ll let you judge the results. Please leave your opinions in the comments below.

fashion editorial, fashion photography London, men's fashion, winter collection, moody, intense

fashion editorial, fashion photography London, men's fashion, winter collection, moody, intensefashion editorial, fashion photography London, men's fashion, winter collection, moody, intense

fashion editorial, fashion photography London, men's fashion, moody, intense, model portfolio

fashion editorial, fashion photography London, men's fashion, moody, intense, model portfolio

fashion editorial, fashion photography London, men's fashion, moody, intense

fashion editorial, fashion photography London, men's fashion, moody, intense


Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London

Last year I had a pleasure to attend the Miss USSR UK 2012/2013 Grand Final at Logan Hall in London. I vas invited by one of the girls as a guest. She has managed to arrange a press pass, allowing me to take some photos. So I did. Quite few actually (check out my post from this event right here: Miss USSR UK 2012-2013). My photos spread out quickly and started circulating between girls/contestants, guest performers, also reaching press and organisers themselves. I guess they liked it because this year they have offered me an honour to be the Official Photographer for this year’s contest. We have scheduled six castings in various London’s trendy night clubs, semi final and Grand Finale.

The first casting took place in Libertine. Although the trendy design of the club and great, atmospheric lighting made a very pleasing background for beautiful contestants my job was anything but easy. Our live photo shoot was scheduled as one of the main attractions for all the guests and audience. Not very often I have couple of hundred people watching me shoot. Needles too say that the girls felt even more pressure since it is not something they do every day and definitely not in front of so many people. Good, loud music and some freebies from the bar kept the spirits high! We have managed to get through!

Few samples below. No photoshop! (for obvious reasons).

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 exclusive London casting photos

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 exclusive London casting photos

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 exclusive London casting photos

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 exclusive London casting photos

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 exclusive London casting photos

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 exclusive London casting photos

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 exclusive London casting photos

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 exclusive London casting photos

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 exclusive London casting photos

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 exclusive London casting photos

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 exclusive London casting photos

Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 22.15.29


Homework before the shoot. Fashion photography London.

Homework before the shoot. Fashion photography London.

Fashion photography London. Beautiful romantic dress, stunning beach location at sunset.

Today I’d like to walk you through my preparations process before a fashion shoot.

I chose this particular one for couple of reasons. It had some extra factors that you normally wouldn’t consider and it makes rather cool story.

*

So let’s start from the beginning.

I stumbled upon this location while shooting different job near by. I liked it so I came back the next day for a closer look. I took some iPhone reference photos.

I love the geotagging function. It let’s me easily find where exactly this photo was taken.

You’d be amazed how many old photos of really cool locations I have but can no longer remember where they were taken.

photo 2

iPhone photo

Fast forward couple of months and I got an assignment to shoot this beautiful dress for one of my clients. The dress was made from very fine fabric. It felt weightless and somewhat romantic. So we decided to focus on those qualities. We wanted to produce picture that would feel like sort of modern fairytale.

We’ve agreed on the concept.

I have shown pictures of the location to my client and they were very enthusiastic about the whole thing. What they didn’t know that our “perfect location” for best part of the day is submerged good couple of meters below the River Thames surface. I’ve checked the tides time table for our shoot date an it looked like we’d be able to shoot for around two hours.

Next step was the lighting. Whenever I shoot outdoors, I always check the sun’s position and direction so I know what to expect and can plan accordingly.

There is great iPhone app for it called Sun Seeker

Sun Seeker app screenshot.

Sun Seeker app screenshot.

Turns out that although the beach will be available for two hours, the sun sets one our earlier leaving us only one hour to shoot. So there was no time for mistakes and experiments I had it planned all to last bit.

*

On the shoot day we have arrived on location about an hour earlier. Needless to say that when my client saw deep, filthy water instead romantic beach she started to panic! We have used the spare time for some finishing touches on hair and make up. Although it was rather dull and cloudy day within that hour beautiful golden, setting sun broke through creating most amazing light we could hope for.

London sunset reflection on Canary Wharf buildings.

Beautiful sunset light (straight from the camera)

The shoot went great. We had our image and were really happy with the result.

After the sun has set we have manage to take last couple of shots with beautiful and soft dusk light that I have later converted to black&white to complement the mood.

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So here it is, if it wasn’t for careful research and planning to the smallest detail this shoot could quickly turn to a total disaster. My advice, always do your homework.

Fashion Photography London, fashion shoot preparations.

Fashion photography London shoot BHS

BHS photo taken by my lovely assistant Jen.

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Fashion photography London. Romantic pattern dress on moody, nostalgic beach location.

Fashion photography London. Romantic pattern dress on moody, nostalgic beach location.