Chameleon Style shoot 14.2

I had a planned photoshoot with the brand Chameleon Style to promote their spring/summer collection. This was my first commissioned and paid for photoshoot I had done and I was very nervous going into it. The shoot itself from start to finish to around of about 3 and a half hours and the editing has added in about 4 hours all together.

The shoot itself went very well. They had very specific needs regarding the size of the images and the format, as well as they wanted the photos to be cropped from the neck down as they wanted the photos to focus on the clothes, rather than the model. The photos also had to be square, which was the biggest challenge of the shoot, as I wasn’t too sure how much space I’d have to add around the model in order to crop it in to square, and so I took the photos with quite a bit of dead space around in order to crop them back in. In the editing, I’ve realized I could have zoomed in a lot more, which would be very beneficial for me for next time, as now I have a better gauge of the space in the studio and the format of the camera.

This shoot was a very good experience and has given me a lot of understanding on a completely commercial type fashion shoot, and has also given more photos to show a range in my photographs, as I have previous fashion photos done with the fashion students that are more on the art/fashion photography, while still being commercial, however, this shoot was all commercial.

I had suggested to Deana and Sam to do another shoot as we used a white background in the photos, and I felt it didn’t work as well with the white clothes that were shot, but I gave them the option to see which works for them, as another consideration needs to be how uniform the website this is going on needs to be.

After the shoot, I had to make some amendments to some of the images. This experience was a great learning experience as it taught me to solidify the payment and what is included in it before the shoot itself to avoid any confusion when sending over the invoice. As this was my very first paid job it appeared I wasn’t clear enough when setting the price range and that created issues after it.

 

 

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Headshots for Rachel

Rachel is a friend who has in the past competed in beauty competitions, most recently Miss Wales 2017.

Rachel has asked me to create some headshots for her which I had agreed to do so. The shoot went well, despite the fact that Rachel is my friend the atmosphere in the studio was very professional and organised.

I had experimented with different styles of lighting during this shoot, from bright and clean lighting to more severe lighting conditions to create more dramatic photos.

Rachel had a clear idea to what she wants to have in the images, and once we’ve done those it gave me the opportunity to try different poses, lighting styles and shots, to make sure I have a wide spectrum of images to work with.

During this time in university I want to create a wide range of images to put in my portfolio, all related to my final goal of becoming a fashion and editorial photographer, and so projects like this are exactly what could help me in the future.

Beatons

Before the Christmas break Fiona and I have visited Beatons in order to photograph their cafe and food in order for them to have promotional photographs for them to use.

This shoot I felt hasn’t gone as well as the one I had done with the international office despite the fact that we had more freedom and less direction with this one. They have chosen a verity of food and drinks they have wanted us to photograph however as the cafe wasn’t as empty as it was during the first shoot I had done with them, we didn’t have as much choice with the positioning of the shots. In the first shoot I had done in Beatons as the cafe was empty at the time we had gone, we had the option of moving around the tables and our model, in order to have the best lighting and backdrop for our image, in this shoot we were more confined to one place, which was at the entrance of the shop which also meant we would have people walking past during the shots.

Despite this I feel that Fiona and I have produced some great photographs for Beatons and ones they can use in the future.

Interim exhibition

On the 14th of December the photography students had an interim exhibition of the work we are currently working on for our final exhibition in May. My project this year started with wanting to work on fashion photography, however at the start of the year due to various personal reasons I had become disconnect to the concept.

I then started working on another project, a more fine art based project that represented the feelings I was experiencing at the time.  It was more of a self help experience for me, it allowed me to release all the negative feelings I had at the time, and brought me out  of the difficulties I was experiencing.

The project was very dark, the photos I took were strange and uncanny, to express how lonely and sad I was feeling.

While working on this project I was doing projects with the fashion students which helped bring back the spark to work on fashion again and it gave me ideas on how to integrate fashion and the work of the fashion students in this project, which is still a work in progress and what I will be spending the next couple of terms working on.

For the interim exhibition I have decided on only using one image, as the best image of the ones I’ve taken during the photoshoots I’ve done, to represent the project, as I didn’t want to share too much at this stage, but just tease as what is to come.

I wanted to make a statement with my exhibition so I decided to print it at the largest size I could without compromising the quality of the print, which was A1. I wasn’t 100% happy with how the final exhibition turned out, as I felt the location I had chosen was too large, and it made my print, which was quite big, look small in the big space.

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This interim exhibition was for us to be able to experiment, both with our work, as well as the hanging options and preferences we have. I have many things I would like to improve on moving forward to the final exhibition, and the knowledge I know have based on this experience and I will implement them when creating the final exhibition in May.

Guest Lecture-Laura Robertson

Laura’s lecture was about writing artist statements. This lecture was right on time, as later on in the same week all photography students had to submit their artist statements for our interim exhibitions. I was struggling writing mine because it’s difficult talking about your own work, and it’s even more difficult talking about art without stating the obvious.

Laura showed us various different statements by artists and analysed them with us, which helped us understand the inner workings of writing a statement, and how to make a successful one.

She also gave us different approaches when writing a statement, the most interesting one for me was to write a manifesto. The idea for this was so we can let out everything we wanted to say about our work in an an restrained way. I was considering doing this however due to the time constraint I have decided to just focus on writing a standard statement.

I have used Laura’s advice regarding asking ourselves questions about the work to help us write it.

This was my final statement:

Yam Kovatch

Control

Digital A1 print in lustre.

“I’m not crazy, my reality is just different than yours”-Lewis Carol

Every person has their own reality, their own thoughts, wishes, struggles, and ways they perceive life.  We walk the earth in our own minds, searching for the likeminded, people who will understand, who would make us feel we are not alone, and that will be ok in the end.

My project was inspired by mental health and in particular anxiety. I have dealt with anxiety my whole life and it is something I have learnt to live with. It comes and goes in in waves, some are stronger than others.

When I have an especially anxious period of time life seems odd, everything continues as normal however things just don’t feel right. It is this sense of unreality, foreign, uncanny.

In my project I have chosen to explore the idea of the uncanny, to bring in the strange into the normal. Using objects like masks and photographing in eery environments I have attempted to create a narrative presented without words or facial expressions.

My work was inspired by photographers such as Hannah Starkey, Cindy Sherman, and Ralph Eugene Meatyard, who’s work explores ideas of manipulating the self in order to create different moods, atmospheres, and characters.

 

Fashion students shoot

Last week I had two days of shoots with the fashion design students. Originally I was meant to photograph the first years on one day, and second years on another day, however as most second years were not ready with their work, that shoot was moved to after the Christmas break, and so the second day of shooting was dedicated to one second year who was ready and a first year who was not available in the day before.

The shoot was overall very successful, most students either modelled for themselves or for others, however a few of them brought in models for the shoot.

One of the students, Lili, brought in a model. Lili was very enthusiastic about the shoot and had a very clear idea to what she wanted to have in her photos, this combined with the quality of her work, and the quality of the model made so that those images were the most successful images of the day. I had spoken to Lili about using her clothes in another project I have this year. As the photos went so well I wanted to use them in my website, however as the model was underaged I had to get the consent of her parent. I asked the model to have her mother email me to let me know if she agrees to have her daughter’s photos on my website, and once she did I uploaded the photos.

The shoot was a challenge because it was the first time I had a chance to work alongside designers, however this brought in different opportunities of experiments with the photos, having the creativity of another person who works in a different medium allowed for a great flow in the photographs and the day as a whole. In a way it removed some of the pressure I often feel when working with friends or other photographers to have all the ideas all the time, and opened up a wider range of collaboration.

I am extremely happy with the photos I ended up with, they would be very useful in my portfolio which at the moment is lacking in fashion photography, and will allow me to reach a wider range of opportunities after I graduate.

 

Callum Peters; Guest Lecture

Yesterday we had a talk from Callum Peters, a UX designer for the BBC and a university of Chester graduate.

Callum’s talk focused on how he got to where he is now, from his work placement in second year to his current job at the BBC. Callum’s work placement in second year, from how he described it, seems to be an important moment in his career, it was when he had started realising where he is headed and what he wants to do, and where he was exposed to digital design.

When I first heard Callum speak of his work placement I felt a bit uneasy, as I did not really enjoy my work placement and that made me feel like I had missed out. I worked in a commercial photography company in Chester, and I felt like it wasn’t at all what I expected it to be. When choosing my placement I felt a bit pushed to it, with the worry of “if you don’t take this now, you will lose it”. I felt like had I had gone to a different company and a different placement I might have had a better experience and I always felt I was missing out due to it.

However Callum’s placement was not his biggest moment in the lecture, he then went on to tell us about how he got his first job out of university when he spoke to a guest lecturer who came to speak to his class in third year. After he got made redundant from that job he applied to the BBC where he still works to this day.

Callum’s lecture focused on taking risks, he was not shy about going far and getting a placement in London, or approaching a guest lecturer and ask about a job, or even applying to a big organisation like the BBC.

I feel that I am in a good place with networking, as I am a very open and approachable person, and I’m not shy about offering my photography services to anyone I come across, and have done so throughout the year. I don’t mind approaching people to have a chat and give my details in, event if nothing comes out of it in the end, you never know what could happen if you don’t try.

Ladies Lunch for Children Today

A couple of days ago Delphine Wilson, the head of department for fashion design, got in touch with me and asked me if I could work with her and her students on some projects in the upcoming weeks, one project was a fashion event that raises money for the Children Today charity, the other project is some studio shoots of the first and second year fashion students.

Today was the first event. It was in a room that I had previously shot a fashion show last year, however this time the set up of the room was different as this was meant to be more of a lunch rather than a catwalk show, and so I had to accommodate to the new environment which was slightly challenging due to the fact that in this shoot I had to photograph the models walking down from their side, rather than head on like I was able to in the previous shoot. Luckily, some of the models lingered as they turned away and so I did manage to get some good images from the front.

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I took advantage of the event for quite a bit of networking. I have made contacts with Emma from the Children Today charity and had offered my photography services to her for any other events she might have. We’ve exchanged emails so I could send her the images after the event, and when I had emailed her to let her know I have uploaded the images onto dropbox, I had also reminded her that I am free for photography and directed her to my website to see other work I have done. Emma replied and had asked me if I could remove some of the watermarks from my images in order for her to send my photos to the press (with credit given), which I had send back to her.

Other people I have gotten emails from today include a speaker in the event, a fashion brand that was exhibiting, one of the make up artists in the event, and some of the models. I have shared the images from the event with them and will be keeping the emails for future reference. I had also made contacts with some of the fashion design students for a potential collaboration for my project I am working on for the final degree show.

I have made contact to the fashion brand Chameleon Style who have given me their card after the show. They are a fashion brand who also organises privet fashion events. They seemed happy that I have made contact and have raised the option for me to photograph their new collection that will be arriving soon and have said that they will get in touch again when the collection will arrive.

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Due to the fact I had shared my images with so many different people who don’t know me personally I had decided to watermark my images as well as attach a message in the email sent with the dropbox link letting people know what my social media links are so they can tag me if they will be uploading any.

During the day we also had our department development day. Today’s task was to create a magazine in a day. As I was already going to the show, it was decided that my group will write about it. We had agreed that once the show is over I will edit some photos together and send them over to my group mates back on campus for them to put in the magazine.

As the schedule was a bit tight I had to rush to get photos together for them. They had also changed their mind from our original idea of choosing our favourite print from the show and working with that, and so when I asked which photo they want me to send and of which garment their response was to just send as much as I can. This in turn staggered my working speed as I had to weed through many images instead of just searching for one specific one.

When I had sent the images I was told that the deadline had passed and so non of my images will be used and that they will just use some photos they shot on their phone when they came to see the show. I was quite disappointed that this had happened. I felt there was no communication in our group, I was not informed when the deadline was, I only found out after I had sent images in. I was also not involved in their decisions of what they wanted from the images. I also felt that due to the nature of the assignment and the time that the show had actually began it was not very plausible for me to get images in time for the magazine, as when I was told when the deadline was, it appeared that it was only minutes after the show had ended.

As I was working on this project regardless and for other people, I did not mind not having my images in the magazine, as I know they will be presented in other places.

Overall I had a very good networking experience today and I am hoping that this will lead to other projects in the future.

Next week I will have 2 days of photographing the first and second year fashion design student’s work in the studio.

International Office Project-Chester Day

Today we had the second shoot for the international office project. We had a bigger group of people to photograph today as well as different shots and locations to have during the day.

We started at the Chester Christmas market, we photographed some of the girls interacting with the stalls and the goods on them. This was rather challenging because we had to work quickly and with people walking past the camera or wanting to get to the stall.

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We later moved on to get some fish and chips and photograph the people eating it in front of the Eastgate clock, as well as having fun, taking food from each other and looking like they are friends having a good time, despite the fact that most of them only met for the first time that day.

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We later did some classic prospectus shots of the people looking at the camera and smiling, some of the shots included a University of Chester umbrella to include the branding of the university in the images.

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Today’s shoot was challenging. We had to deal with challenging and ever changing lighting conditions, people walking past when trying to take the images which meant that some shots that could have been very successful, but had to be cut due to the person walking past.

_MG_9327 Some other issues we had related to the models, while we were very grateful to have them all there, it was difficult to switch from the “friendly” vibe we were having in between the shoots to the more serious and professional feel that we were looking for, which made some of the models not as comfortable with the images, which in turn made so they were performing the actions we asked in a more obvious and “to camera” way rather than the natural way we were after.

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Despite these challenges we did manage to get some good images from today which will be transferred to out client Ela by Aleks. Based on how Ela feels about the images we might need to have another shoot after the Christmas break.

 

UPDATE:

After the Christmas break, the final images were selected and in addition to some existing images that already existed in the university’s stock the final banner was created:

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Chester Art’s Fair; Live Project

On the 17th of November I had worked with event’s management company Black Mango and photographed Chester Art’s Fair in the Chester racecourse.

The brief for the event was pretty clear, we need to photograph the people rather than the art, our client Emma made it clear that she hoped to have images of young people, people talking and laughing, and people drinking wine to express the classy atmosphere of the event.

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The event lasted for three days, a long weekend, however I was only available for the first day so I had tried to get as many images and a variety of different types of images as I can, to give Emma as many options as I can provide.

Technically photographing the event was difficult as the lighting in building. In order to tackle that I used a 50mm lens, both as it is a very good portraits, but also as it allowed me to have quite a fast shutter speed whilst still not compromising on the ISO. Despite this, as I was photographing some images came out as blurry or too dark, and whenever I had saw that one image came out not as good as expected I had deleted it straight away, something I didn’t use to do in the past however I wanted to help myself in the image editing and reduce the amount of unusable images to sift through in post production.

Some images were a bit dark however I liked the way that they came out, which was a different and more experimental approach to the standard event photography we are used to see where everything is very bright, and so I had kept some of the dark images and sent them over to Black Mango, to give them a bit of variety in case they wanted something different.

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The event itself was a very good learning experience for me, I had previously worked in events or shows however it had always felt very unprofessional and so I had felt uncomfortable photographing the people in the event, with or without their knowledge, however in this event we were all tagged as official photographers and a brief was set and so it gave me the confidence to photograph as much as I could, as this is what I was asked to do and why I was there.

Emma emailed us all after receiving our images saying that she was very happy with the images and would keep us on her records for future events. She also said she would be happy to provide us with references and recommendations, as well as would send people needing photography for events our way.

This event was a very good experience for me, it gave me experience, confidence, as well as good networking opportunities, and I am very happy with the photos I produced at the end of it.

My photographs on the Chester Art’s Fair website:

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