’60s Project
March 21, 2018 by GordonM in Blog, fashion, Portfolio 0 Comments

The ’60s is a fascinating era for initiating a change in fashion photography.  So to me that is a great reason to start a new photography project, trying to embrace many of the hallmark looks from the time. For me starting any project involves lots of research and my research mostly started in the autumn of last year.  A good start was looking at the icons of that time ….. David Bailey, Jean Shrimpton, Brian Duffy, Twiggy …… to just name a few.  Then of course there were the locations, more often than not around Carnaby Street in London, although of course David Bailey took Jean Shrimpton to Manhattan, New York to deliver a photoshoot that kicked Vogue magazine into a more modern publication that needed to echo the younger, more liberated, generation of the time.   If you are interested, you must see the film We’ll Take Manhattan that tells (whilst probably embellishing) this story.   If you haven’t time to watch the video then you can check out the photos from that trip in this Guardian article. So watching that Manhattan film and also looking at a number of youtube videos on documentaries about Twiggy, other photographers and fashion from […]

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Giving back
March 21, 2018 by GordonM in people, portrait 0 Comments

Reading this article on RangeFinderOnline about photographers giving back resonated with me a great deal as I’ve been wanting to do something along these lines for a long, long time but work and being busy always seemed to get in the way.  It’s probably unlikely that I’ll ever stop being busy doing the things I love, and often for the people I love, but now being at least semi-retired there are no excuses to make good or better use of my time. In my previous line of work in education and just generally in my life, it’s always been important to me to help, to guide, to give of my time to those who’d like to improve themselves or to help with their career aspirations.  So I was pleased to talk to some people at the NEC Photography Show yesterday about the possibilities and now looking forward to seeing what might come of some of the ideas I’ve been having. Are you or can you find the time to be giving back?

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Stretch and Challenge
February 18, 2018 by GordonM in Blog, Portfolio 0 Comments

I’m amazed at the number of photographers who do not stretch and challenge themselves or the model when they are shooting. Doing the same style time and time again may be in your comfort zone but really only makes for boring photos over time and certainly does not improve your skills. I’d had plenty of experience of photography having started when I was 17 shooting general topics such as landscapes and architecture, with a little street photography thrown in too, particularly around the city of York where I lived.  I went on to do weddings and more commercial work for clients but really hadn’t touched on working with models until probably about 20 years ago.  I look back on my photos at that time and think to myself, what the devil was I thinking.  Poses were wrong, ideas were lacking, lighting was rubbish and personally I thought my model photos were just generally pretty poor and certainly not to be proud of.  I gradually got a little better but it wasn’t until I met a wonderful young lady who I took on as my muse and, whilst she might not have recognised it at the time, she helped me with […]

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How was that photo lit?
January 27, 2018 by GordonM in lighting, portrait, Workshops 0 Comments

Rather than tell you how a photo was lit I’m going to give you some tips that I give photographers on my workshops so you can work it out for yourself, I’m a believer in the old philosophy Give a man a fish …. feed him for a day Teach a man how to fish … feed him for a lifetime 1. Look for highlights in the eyes … a. that will show you the direction and how high or low the light was in comparison to the model’s face. b. the number of highlights will tell you how many lights/reflectors were used from the front c. the shape of the highlight will usually tell you what type of light was used eg. square/rectangular – softbox, round – umbrella, octabox, bare reflector bowl or beauty dish 2. Which is the brighter side of the model … the light (or at least the brightest light) was coming from that direction 3. Where are the shadows …. eg. shadows on the left of the nose then light is coming from the right. eg. shadows under the nose, chin, boobs etc, then the light was coming from above. Shadows on the background or […]

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Something a little bit different
January 23, 2018 by GordonM in gear, people, portrait 0 Comments

Sometimes for the sake of creativity, perhaps even sanity, I have to do a different style of model photography.  Not that there’s anything wrong with what I was currently doing as far as I was concerned, but doing something different challenges you and causes you to research styles and techniques and therefore learn something new.  And this was how it was for this particular occasion. I haven’t shot glamour for a long time and when I did, it was a Page 3 style of glamour with both well-known and aspiring Page 3 and Lads Mags models.  I was never one for what I call a crass style of glamour photography, which although isn’t classed as porn, in my opinion it really doesn’t show off female models in the best light as I think it can sometimes look quite degrading.  But that as I say is my personal opinion.   However, it seems to be popular with amateur and some professional photographers and even aspiring models, but in reality when you look at the glamour marketplace, it’s a style that I consider to be really old-fashioned. Nowadays, glamour is much more natural occurring rather than traditionally posed shots and for that reason […]

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No Makeup Project – Shoot with Saff
November 18, 2017 by GordonM in gear, people, portrait, project 0 Comments

It was a really bright sunny July day in Haverhill when Saffron Jaye Richardson and I got together for the next shoot in my no-makeup project.  I first met Saff when we both went out to Mallorca last year for a few days shooting fashion.  This was a very successful and enjoyable trip, we got along well and the photos were terrific.  Saff is a model who is always immaculately turned out, does her own makeup which is top-notch and when posing gives off an aura of elegance and sophistication. So to agree to this no-makeup shoot was a significant step for her and she admitted to being really nervous as it would be the first time on a photoshoot without makeup.  I reassured her that she had no need to worry, she looked terrific and what with her recent hair colour change to brunette, I could immediately see that the photos would turn out great.  If I could tame the light from the sunny day that is. The bright sun was giving lots of harsh shadow and with no makeup shoots you have always got to be careful with lighting so as to not show up any imperfections on […]

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