I always look forward to my seasonal shoots for brilliant local designer “She by Sophie“. And there’s no better way to forget that it’s a cold February day in Birmingham than spending much of it photographing the beautiful Alex Shanks in Sophie’s swimwear collection.
Although this shot was taken about a year and a half ago, I noticed that film-maker Nigel is still using a shot from this photo-shoot for his social media and promo material which is always a lovely thing to see. This is my personal favourite from the shoot and a portrait that I feel captured some of the warmth of this charming fella.
One look at me is enough to realise that I’m not a person who voluntarily spends much time in the gym. However, when a regular client (Fighting Fit City Gym) re-brands as Henrietta Street Gym and moves to a specially-designed new premises and needs photos, I’m there.
Owner Neil Perkins had been keeping me up to date with the re-fit of this former industrial building in Brum’s Jewellery Quarter but I was still hugely impressed when I finally set foot in the gym a week or so after it’s launch. Neil and his architects have cut no corners and have managed to retain the building’s “heritage” feel while making it an inspiring and comfortably modern place to train.
Retaining and re-using some of the building’s character features (like old machinery, exposed brickwork and parts from the goods lift) and augmenting those with well-sourced suitably period furniture (like old theatre/cinema seating and historic pugilist artwork) gives the gym the feeling of a film set.
Even the changing rooms and showers have been carefully planned and laid out with exposed pipework, reclaimed ceramic sinks but state-of-the-art shower fittings.
Even I, whose motto is “no pain…” (that’s it, just “no pain”) can feel a little inspired in a gym like this. Neil and his team have created what must be the most stylish boxing gym in the Midlands (at least!).
I’ve been working with the wondrous Sasha quite a bit of late, mainly shooting fashion for a clothing brand. Once the “white background” studio shots are in the can we grab a few more “natural” semi-editorial shots either inside the building (when the weather is iffy) or in the surrounding streets of Birmingham‘s Jewellery Quarter (when the weather is good). This little sample were shot using a mixture of daylight and a little splash of fill from my trusty (& cheap) Yong Nuo speedlites.
And finally, as the sun started to get lower in the sky, I chanced my arm with some contre-jour shots with the flash again popping some light into the shadows (mainly on Sasha’s face).