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Project Portrait: Day 108

Next up we have the lovely Dina Rims, who very gladly came along to help me and the people at Social Concierge. Dina is an actress, model, musician, film-maker, the whole nine yards. I guess you could call her a bit of a Renaissance woman. Nina has one of those great faces that I wanted to try and sculpt with light to highlight her eyes and jawline. What I didn’t realise was that she had a lovely smile too so instead of the serious, moody shot that I was aiming for, this one forced its way to the front of the my editing queue.

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Project Portrait: Day 107

Next up we have Beau, a professional dancer from Australia whose work in the theatre has taken him all over the world. He was another lovely subject for Social Concierge – I wanted to try and capture some of his physicality by having him almost curled up in a ball perched on some old crates. I’m pretty pleased with the result.

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Project Portrait: Day 106

Next up we have Syirin – another model who kindly came along to help out with the photo shoot I did for Nana Wereko-Brobby. Again, this was a challenge to get to know Syirin in the little time we had. But what I did find out – she was from Malaysia, she runs a coffee shop off Broadway Market, she’s married – and the subject that seemed to interest us both was seeing old school friends and what school was like for both of us. I didn’t find school all that great, where as Syirin found school amazing – she was successful, popular and a straight-A student. That got me thinking about how school influences us long after we’ve left. For me school left me low in confidence and unsure about what I was supposed to do with my life. With Syirin, I imagine, it was the opposite. But afterwards things for me certainly changed – and the impression I got about Syirin, they changed too. Now I have no idea what happened from school to the point I took this photo, but I saw something when I looked at her through my lens when we spoke about school and afterwards, that lead me to choose this.

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My first composite

My first composite image! The photo you see is actually six photos – one under exposed, overexposed, one shot of the sign above, a different sky and two of the subject – all blended together. I’m super happy with the result. It only took me three hours 😉

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Project Portrait: Day 105

Today we have Sophie, another very lovely model that came and helped out with Nana Wereko-Brobby’s photoshoot. So for this photo I learned that Sophie – when not consulting for big companies like Network Rail, she actually takes part in beauty pageants – which I had no idea were still a thing. But they are, and she won Miss London last year. So for this photo I wanted to try and create something that you might see in one of these contests. The soft glows, the pastel colours and all that jazz. I am the first to admit my own prejudices and ignorance when it comes to what happens during these events. But Sophie reassures me everyone is actually pretty chilled out. This photo and the style is by no means a style I found easy to re-create – I prefer shadows and contrast for my pictures. The result is something you might find on a Britney Spears album cover from the mid ninetie

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Project Portrait: Day 104

Next up we have the lovely Simon, who was another model for my work with @dateconcierge . Simon is an actor, dancer and general all round performer. Which immediately reminded me of the actors of the 1950s and 60s who weren’t merely actors but all-round entertainers. As such, I thought about the press shots movie studios used to promote their stars. These black and white, high contrast images that make people almost look like statues. Something inhuman, something, well, star like. This is the shot I tried to achieve with Simon. Like a true pro this was only the third picture I took and so we were done in about 30 seconds.

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Project Portrait: Day 103

This one is just a bit bonkers. So after helping out @dateconcierge on her latest campaign I asked each of the models if I could borrow them for a few minutes. Having limited time, I couldn’t take the time to chat and get to know them. So I just thought I’d have a bit of fun. I’ve been watching a lot of Mad Men recently and there was this one shot with Peggy on the therapist’s couch that I wanted to re-create. While I didn’t have a therapist’s office as a set – and there were 12 people busy working in the room when this photo was taken – I wanted to try and create something more intimate, a bit more dreamlike. So I hooked up some pink gels to my strobes and bathed the lovely Alice in a pink glow that helped isolate her on this amazing black leather chaise longue. I then got hold of some water colours and painted over the image to create the cloudy, swirling patterns that you can’t really pick out, but they’re there. This was a ton of fun to do and I can’t wait to do some more experimenting as I learn more!