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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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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No makeup project with Georgia Annable
March 31, 2017 by GordonM in people, portrait, project 0 Comments

It was a nice sunny day, although a little chilly, when I turned up for a shoot with actress and model Georgia Annable after she had been in touch and wanted to be part of my no-makeup project.  I have worked with Georgia before on her family’s farm smallholding and there were some nice buildings that would give us cover if it were to rain, or as was the case on this day, to provide some cover overhead to block out the strong and contrasty light from the sun. Good lighting plays an important part in this project as too much contrasty light, from the side particularly, will show up any flaws on the skin.  Georgia had great skin but as I’ve said to all the models in this project, I’m not out to embarrass any of them and that I would always strive to get nice lighting that complements the natural beauty we are trying to achieve.    With this in mind and armed with a Fuji X-T2 with 56mm f1.2 attached set to a wide aperture in aperture priority, I positioned Georgia just under the canopy of a small lean-to used for storing a tractor and some straw […]

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No makeup project with Saskia Vese
March 30, 2017 by GordonM in people, portrait, project 0 Comments

I initially thought that I might struggle to find women to do this no-makeup project with me, it is after all making themselves quite vulnerable to appear bare-faced in front of a camera.  But I have been pleasantly surprised that many (over 20 women) really have wanted to get involved.  I haven’t had the time or resource to travel to some of them but I certainly have been able to get nearly 10 women working with me. One of them was Saskia Vese, a singer with a great country-style voice, who contacted me and would love to shoot.  She was just an hour away by car, had her own house that she was willing to shoot from and that it was a lovely old Wesleyan Chapel with some unique features and plenty of natural light.  Coincidentally she said she had been wanting the chance to shoot with me since probably about 10 years ago when she first came across my photographer profile on one of the modelling sites.   So it looked as though we were all good to go. Leaving my studio with just an X-T2 with two lenses, the 56mm f1.2 and the 35mm f2, and just a […]

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No makeup project – second shoot
February 27, 2017 by GordonM in people, portrait, project 0 Comments

Time to continue with my photo project which is taking photos of female models and other women with no makeup.  I was really pleased with how the first shoot came out with the lovely Paige Dakin and the other day I was looking forward to round 2, this time with a very experienced model Simone Stokes.  Simone has done lots of creative work before but never had the chance before to strip it right back to no makeup on a model shoot.   So she was keen to do this as well as myself. So whilst I explained a little on my first blog post about why I was doing this project, I thought I might expand with more reasons why this project feels important to me.  I don’t know if you can remember the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty some time ago, well I recalled the aim of that and in my mind I thought that as photographers we should also have a responsibility to be more inclusive and encourage equality and diversity in the fashion/modelling world.   This sits nicely alongside current trends for fashion houses and magazines encouraging curves in fashion models nowadays and we should not be […]

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Natural no-makeup portraits
February 4, 2017 by GordonM in people, portrait, project 1 Comment

I’ve just started a new photo project which is taking photos of female models and other women with no makeup.  It’s probably a bit of a shock for most women to be in front of the camera without makeup but I was hopeful of some willing volunteers.  My thought was to remove that outer layer of a mask that perhaps makes a woman ready for the world, but probably also changes who their individual persona is in some form.  So my hope was that to go natural and bare would reveal something more about the real woman behind the mask. My first model was Paige and she agreed to do this as the first shoot of the day before we applied makeup for the other photo sets to follow.  I had a particular style in mind for this set and with a black blouse and a black wall as background, my hope was that the face would stand out in the photo.   As well as the natural light coming front on from a small window (top catchlight in the eyes), I also bounced some of the light across a white polystyrene board onto the face (seen as the second catchlight bottom […]

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