Automotive Photography – AutoPro Motorsport

Kevin at AutoPro Motorsports contacted us wanting some unique automotive photography images to support their spot at the 2012 Top Gear Live show being held at the Birmingham NEC. The images were to be used in promotional material including some prizes and handouts at the show. The show-piece of their stand at Top Gear was to be a BMW M3 with a custom vinyl wrap in a newly available colour so the main image was to be centred around this car. For the main image (to be used in posters etc) we came up with concept of combining a light-painted shot of the car with a portrait shot of a girl leaning against the car. We agreed that in keeping with APM’s brand the look of the finished shot would be high quality and high luxury and so the set-up and model had to fit that brief.

In preparation I visited APM a week before the actual shoot to take some test images of the car (at that point only half finished!) in the location we would be using (APM’s workshop) to make sure it would all come together when the car was complete and the model was on location. I did a rough edit mock up and this is what we came up with:

Automotive Photography test shot of lightpainted BMW M3

The test shoot went well and I was happy that everything could be done as planned and within the required timescales to make sure everything was complete in time for the top gear live show. Once the concept and location were sorted we set about sourcing the models. In the end we went for 2 models so that the client had multiple options for the final design (either of the girls individually or both the girls together); Hannah Payne  and Lianne Pendergast.

On the night of the shoot (to keep ambient light to a minimum) we waited until the fading sun had dropped sufficiently and we set up the car in position and blanked off the walls behind with some large black material to make it easier to process and so there would be less to remove from the background in post.

I then the camera up on a tripod and took multiple exposures of the car while lighting it with a hand held LED video light. To add some separation from the background I also used a red gelled light behind the car (to simulate brake lights) fired into smoke from a smoke machine on the shots towards the rear of the car.

Once I was happy that I had gotten all the images I needed for the car we brought in the models and I set up a large single softbox (with a Bowens Gemini 500w strobe) to light them. We shot both models separately and together and in a couple of outfits to keep our options open as to which worked best in the final shot (I wouldn’t necessarily always do this but it is difficult for a client to visualise a composited conceptual shot like this I thought it would be better to play it safe).

Once I had all the shots I needed for the main concept I took some detail shots of the car and some portrait shots of the models.

We were really pleased with the final set of images as was the client and they got some great feedback at the Top Gear Live show and online. Here is the final shot that was chosen as the main image by the client.

Automotive Photography Commercial image of lightpainted BMW M3

Here some of the additional images that were shot on the day, some of which have gone on to be used in promotional material.

If you are interested in commissioning some creative commercial photography or general automotive photography please get in touch using our contact page.

Advertising Photography – Pretty in Punk

After working with Jodie Rosanna (stylist) on the Jeramiah Ferrari band photography shoot, I was chuffed that she approached me to take some images for her new look book and advertising shots for her clothing line ‘Pretty in Punk‘. I was even more chuffed when she told me that she had sourced the models and that I would be shooting with the gorgeous Natalie Phillips. Jodie’s friend, Peter was also lending a hand by being the male model for the shoot (his first). I’m usually fairly heavily involved in organising fashion photography shoots so it was a new experience for me to have all that taken care of and Jodie did a great job.

We shot the images in the basement of ‘The Avenue‘ in Leigh.  The basement was huge and provided some great backdrops for the shots which really complimented Pretty in Punk’s brand and Jodie’s brand themes. We had a lot of images to get through on the day but the team did great. I used a fairly portable lighting setup so that we could move about the location pretty freely and quickly to make use of the time available.

Here are some of the finished shots from the session:

More images can be seen over at Pretty in Punk, and if you like any of the clothing be sure to check out their market place page.

If you are looking for someone to provide fashion photography or advertising photography please use the contact page to get in touch.

Organising your own Fashion Shoot

In addition to providing commercial photography throughout Cheshire and the UK, I also like to keep my proverbial creative axe sharp by shooting personal projects when my schedule allows me to. Towards the end of last year I felt like I had been doing way too much work for other people and needed a creative photography boost. I had a good think about what I wanted to do and where I could do it and came up with an idea to do a unique fashion shoot, with some unique models, with unique styling in a unique location.

To start the project off I worked on securing the location and then took it from there. After some initial online research I settled on the fantastic Peckforton Castle Hotel (which I had visited a number of years ago when myself and my now wife were looking for possible wedding venues). After securing a deal with the hotel I went to work on assembling a team for the fashion shoot.

The concept that emerged from my planning was one of juxtaposition. The obvious thing to do once securing a medieval style castle would have been to go for some kind of historical or romantic theme so I purposely went against that and went for building some unique looks that you wouldn’t normally associate with such a location but with styling and images that wouldn’t clash too much as to not build a balanced look to the finished photography.

Using social networking I secured some from Emi Jewellery and KhuKhuz Fashion.  This helped me form the concept a little more in my mind and so I went through my contacts book looking for suitable models and MUAs that would be a good fit for this personal photography project.

Originally I put together a team of five (2 x MUA and 3 x Models) but as is often the case (unfortunately) with unpaid projects (all taking part were doing so in return for images) one of the MUAs and one model didn’t make it on the day. As a side note, if you are working on a TF (Time For) project I highly recommend you either book more people than you need or make sure you have a plan B (and sometimes plan C just to be sure).

Other than the no shows, the day of the shoot went really well, we got loads of looks and made the most of all of the individual locations throughout the hotel. We set out a plan whereby we would have 3 sets of shots with each model, starting with fairly simple looks and building it up to a more stylised look through the shoot. I worked with each model in turn so that while I was shooting one, the other was in make up and this worked really well and made the most of our time. As we were moving around the location fairly fluidly I wanted to keep things lightweight so I used a couple of speedlights with various simple modifiers and gels. This allowed me to be creative and change the look and feel of the shots but not spend too much time setting up each shot or carting stuff around.

The team worked great together and we ended up with loads of great images that everyone was able to put to use in their portfolios, look books and websites. A big thanks to all involved!

Photographer – Johnathan Clover
Make Up Artist – Samantha Gardner
Models – Jess Wilcock & Marianna Szomolay
Accessories – Emi Jewellery
Fashion Designer – Beryl Phala (Khu Khuz)