The Sweeney

You may have seen my last post about the excellent Daniel Specta who was one of two male models booked for the final session of the Portfolio Booster II course? Well, here is the other model from that evening – Sweeney. Sweeney has enjoyed some success as a rock guitarist but is such a lovely, gentle and polite young man (God, I must really sound old). I saw his portfolio online and decided at that moment that I must find a reason to photograph him. It didn’t occur to me later but I do think Sweeney looks rather like early Human League era Phil Oakey. What do you reckon?Anyway, here are a few of my favourites from the many images produced that evening…

Daniel In The Photographer’s Den

As a nice little finale for the Portfolio Booster II course, I arranged two very different male models. One was Daniel Specta, a heavily tattooed young fella with a great look and wonderful taste in sunglasses. Like most of the group, I photographed Daniel using only the continuous modelling lights of the flash heads and then the ambient lighting that can be found in the corridor outside my studio. And that is where I took this shot. Daniel’s ace shades were just crying out to be messed with in post-production, so I did.

Robyn Stainrod

Just to prove that size doesn’t matter, I somehow managed to put on a dance-themed session as part of the “Portfolio Booster II” course. Planned when I was still in the previous, much larger, studio, it was touch and go whether I’d pull the plug and go for something “safe” and small-studio-friendly instead. But no, two highly energetic dancers and a full group of around 8 photographers all managed to cram into the li’l Alto Studio and still pull off some cracking images.

I previously pasted some images of the male half of the evening’s dancing partnership, Nathan Lafayette, and so this time it’s the turn of the equally talented Robyn Stainrod. Here she is, doing what she does best…

Nathan Sebastian Lafayette

When I was looking for models for a dance shoot a year or so ago, fellow photographer Richard Battye suggested I contact dancer Nathan Sebastian Lafayette. I did. He was brilliant.

So I booked him again last week for the fourth of five of the “Portfolio Booster II” workshops. I’d considered cancelling this shoot because we’re now working in a much smaller studio and the prospect of a dance shoot on paper backgrounds in a relatively low-ceilinged room didn’t seem terribly feasible. But I was wrong. Nathan and his colleague Robyn (more about Robyn in future posts) really made the space work. We were all rewarded with some cool images.

Tanya Atherton

The great thing about scheduling shoots and workshops for FOTO-CLUB is that I get to pick models that I’ve wanted to work with for ages and just needed the slightest excuse to make it happen. Such is the case with the scrumptious Tanya Atherton who will be putting the “special” into next week’s “Special Studio Evening“. Previous “specials” have included Ivory Flame, Stephanie Dubois, Amber Tutton, Salleh Sparrow and Natalia Fox so Tanya’s in good company. I’ll post an image or two from the shoot afterwards.TANYA


More New Blood

One of my favourite regular events is the “New Blood” studio evening. 3 (usually) models that haven’t been seen at our events before, although occasionally I’ll have worked with them on my own or client shoots.

On the plus side, this is a great chance to see how new (or new to my studio anyway) models perform for the camera and especially in a group-shoot environment. Over the years I’ve been putting this event on, I’ve found some great models who I’ve gone on to work with many times.

The downside is that sometimes when booking models that are “unproven”  based upon a portfolio on a modelling site, there’s the chance that they’ll let you down. Sadly, this happened the last time I staged this event – a model that I’d booked suddenly “went AWOL” and refused to answer her phone on the day, leaving me a model short. I noticed on social media the next day that she’d been on another shoot but hadn’t seen fit to let me know so that I could at least have tried to find a replacement.

Anyway, here’s a flyer for the next one which includes images of some of the excellent models who’ve appeared in previous events…

The Beat Goes Bang

Another “6 degrees of separation” chain of coincidences and connections. Sean Williams is an old friend of mine from the days when we played in a couple of bands together. He has modelled for a couple of workshops for me and also happens to be the cousin of Pete Williams of Dexys (who I’d met through the same bands) and so Pete kindly asked me to shoot some promo pictures for him a couple of years ago. Now Sean is playing with The Beat Goes Bang, a band consisting of members of original 2-Tone band, The Beat. Sean put my name forward to photograph this band too and so I was delighted to go along to their rehearsal in Birmingham last week to take some promo photos of them too.

I took along a couple of speedlites and took a lot more more images than I’d expected to, both inside and outside the studio. Here is one of the group shots from outside…

Making A Bond

Funny how one shoot can lead to another, very different shoot. When I was photographing the gorgeous Sasha recently, it occurred to me that she’d make an amazing “Bond Girl”… and so the basis of the “Bondesque” workshop was born.

Too much to run over a single evening, I’ve decided to run this over two evenings. There’ll be a “Bond” (played by the brilliant Mark Hoban), two Bond girls (one “good”, one “bad” and including Sasha), and a suitably evil villain.

I’m looking forward to this!