Globe Poets Anthology

A project I worked on with Ebun Sanusi, a colleague at Year Here. These young poets are students at the Ark Globe Academy School in Elephant and Castle.

This is a selection of the images that will be published in the anthology later this year.

Portrait of Actor, Model, Dancer, and Singer, Edward

Edward wanted to aim for different roles now that his career and look have evolved. The shots we worked on together were made to give him the greatest versatility and range in what he could audition for. 

To accomplish this we shot in a variety of locations: by a big window in my studio to get naturally diffused light; on the roof of the studio, for great bright daylight; and against tiles provide a darker background for contrast.

His agents were pleased with the shots, and so were we! Not only that, but it was fun shooting with Edward. As a portrait photographer, interaction and good communication with your subject is key, and Edward and I hit it off!  Hopefully I'll get more clients as good as him.

Gear used:

  • Fuji XT1
  • 56mm Fujinon Lens
  • 60" diffuser for the roof shots

Tobi's Headshots

Tobi came to me wanting to get away from his previous look as a young actor and go for something more grown up. In the end we managed to get something that make him look like the roles he is aiming for.

These headshots were shot on the roof again, on a beautifully sunny day in January. I had a lovely assistant who held a big reflector in the path of the sun to light Tobi in a flattering way without the need for much equipment. It's a technique I'd seen Zach Arias use when being challenged by the harshness of midday sun. It involved removing the shell of the reflector and using the centre fabric as one big diffuser, not reflector. I'd love to try this technique but with a speed light behind it rather than the sun and see what happens.

Our Weekend in Oslo

I was fortunate to spend a weekend in Oslo recently and met a cold country but warm people. Though its reputation as an expensive destination holds true, I'm told that Norwegians don't act like tourists, looking to sample everything, but focus on cosy meals and drinks in their own homes. It can even be hard to find some typical Norwegian food because it's usually homemade, so restaurants focus on foreign food.

We stayed in an cool Airbnb flat and our host, when she returned from a trip, epitomised the idea that Norwegians love cosiness: he met us barefooted and in light pyjamas when the temperature outside was about 10 below freezing. She had her fire pit ablaze and friends around under blankets. In that respect, I think they certainly know how to live.

Our time in Oslo was spent walking from bakery to restaurant to bar through the snow and wind with an old friend from University, and I think it was time well spent.

Pip's Headshots

This is the headshot shoot of opera singer, actor, and dancer Pip, on my roof on a cold January afternoon. While the studio is being refurbished, the roof has become a great place to get even light and a suitable background. It also pairs back the shooting process to the barest minimum of equipment, which made her and those before her more comfortable and me less fussed with my gear.

To shoot this I used only my XT1 and a big reflector placed at an angle between myself and Pip. It was a bit of a challenge to hold the thing and shoot but it was worth it to get the even light bouncing back from the sky. At some stage I think it would be much easier to have a clamp of some sort but finding them is a challenge and when I have they've been expensive. I can't wait to move these shots into the studio and start using my umbrellas!

I think the headshots turned out well, but the wind did play havoc with her hair, which is hard to correct in Photoshop without it looking fake. The main thing is that she looks nice and confident in these shots, and I think towards the end we started getting some really nice shots. The ones that top this article are my favourites.

Lexi's Head Shots

There are few things nicer than being recommended by previous clients. That's how I met Lexi last weekend for a head shot shoot. Despite the light failing us, we persisted using only the sky and an oversized reflector to get the shots she needs to work as an actress. She braved the cold in T-Shirts all while keeping her composure, which I occasionally bolstered with warm tea. 

The shoot was successful. Her experience as a model was evident in her confidence in front of the camera, and the minimal kit made everything simple. These sorts of jobs are nice because they're one-on-one, so it's about the rapport between the photographer and the subject. Thankfully we had a good one! 

All I used for the shoot was a large silver reflector, about 70", and my XT-1 with the 56mm lens. I'm constantly surprised by what this tiny camera can turn out. The editing for these shots falls into two camps, hence the doubling up. I can't tell whether people want colour or monochrome for these, so I provide both. And both have their charm, for sure. But the classic brick wall remains!