New Model Talent: Bilal (Bill)

I try very hard to maintain a list of great models that I can call upon for my various projects, workshops and clients’ shoots and once “tested” I will often give Fotofilia Club members and students the chance to photograph the best of them.

In this case, Bilal Rashid (or Bill, as he allowed us to call him) replied to a casting for another job but although he missed out on that one, I was sure I wanted to work with him eventually and so he was booked for the Fotofilia “New Blood” Studio Evening event earlier this week along with two female models.

In my opinion, Bilal is an outstanding male model – quietly confident with a great “presence” and an unusually good range of expression which makes photographing him a dream. Here are some of my own favourite shots…

Bilal by David Rann 2015

Bilal by David Rann 2015


Bilal by David Rann 2015

Bilal by David Rann 2015

I’ll post more in a couple of days but for the tech-minded, these were taken on my girlfriend’s Nikon DSLR (I was waiting for my new Nikon to be delivered but it arrived the following day) with a 50mm f1.8 lens and the lighting was simply the continuous modelling lights from my Bowens flash heads rather than using the flash itself.

Megan Bytes

I have a project in mind. One that will involve people of all shapes and sizes. But first I need to work out some lighting which will suit all of the subjects, male or female, young or old – so I put out a casting for a test shoot and my first response was from Nottingham model Megan Jaye.

Megan turned out to be quite a find and so I subsequently booked her for the forthcoming “New Blood” Studio Evening (27th April) at Fotofilia.

For the moment, you’ll have to hang on to see the test shots (I’m keeping them to myself until the project is well underway) but here are some other images of Megan from later on in the shoot. I think she has real star quality – I hope you agree.

Megan Jaye at Fotofilia

Megan Jaye at Fotofilia

Megan Jaye at Fotofilia

Megan Jaye at Fotofilia

Megan Jaye at Fotofilia

Megan Jaye at FotofiliaBook your place on next week’s course here

Maximum Harpist

An iconic image of The Who‘s Pete Townshend and his trademark “windmilling” guitar-playing style might seem like an odd starting point for promotional photographs of a harpist, now I come to think of it…

But Fran of “Poppy Harp” is no ordinary harpist (as you might have seen in previous posts). She’s the total antithesis of the traditional image of a classical harpist – you know, hair in a bun, twin-set, pearls, sensible shoes… She’s definitely on the rock and roll end of the harp-playing spectrum and I wanted to try a photograph which reflected that. So inspired by this classic mid-sixties promo poster for The Who…

…I came up with these…


Great fun. Many thanks to Fran for being such a great sport. See her website here

Return Of The Amazing Guy

It’s been a while since comic/magician Thom Peterson (known as “The Amaing Guy”) came into the studio for some promo images so I invited him back to pose for a Fotofilia group workshop with the title “Photographing Performers“. Yet again, he was great fun to work with and provided everyone with some excellent images. Here are a couple of my own…



Stretching In The City

A while back I photographed harpist/author/teacher/designer Fran Barsby for her ever-growing Poppy Harp brand. A couple of other shoots later and I’m out on the windy chilly streets of Digbeth, Birmingham, an area renowned for it’s amazing graffiti, to take some illustration images for Fran’s new book on stretching and warm-up routines for musicians. The location was Fran’s choice, wanting some urban grit and graffiti as an interesting counterpoint to her various stretching positions. Ably assisted by partner Elliott, they stretched while I shot (& shivered – it was freezing!). Here are a few images from the shoot…

Phew! I was exhausted just watching. But here’s Elliott’s shot of me barely breaking sweat…

To find out more about Fran and Poppy Harp, click here to be directed to her website.

The Great Daisy Instagram Mystery

I don’t use Instagram as much as I used to. Imagine my surprise then when a photo I posted over 3 years ago suddenly started getting LOTS more likes. At the time of writing it’s gone from 40 or so likes to about 230 in about a week plus lots of comments. The image was taken on my iphone in the studio of model Daisy Pooley-Tolkien. And this is how it looks…

Copyright David Rann

Copyright David Rann

I was, and am, very pleased with this little image. But I’m still trying to figure out why it’s suddenly and belatedly had this resurgence of interest. When I asked my Facebook “friends”, the concensus seems to be that it must have appeared in a blog or something which has referred lots of people back to my profile. To add to the mystery, other photos of Daisy on my profile have also attracted lots more likes but on nothing like the same scale. Here they are…

If you have any ideas as to why these images have suddenly become so popular, please let me know?

My Instagram account is @davidrann if you’d like to see more…