Posts Tagged ‘Black-and-white’

For the second time in 2 years I was booked by the rather talented Sian King who is attempting, like many others, to make her way in the fashion industry. A very talented young lady with high hopes, she certainly has the creative side for producing something new.

Like many other designers I have come across I sincerely hope she doesn’t just fade away. When you talk to these young designers it’s like many other industries including photography where big business is only interested in the established ‘Names’ for producing work. I recently had the metaphorical punch in the face when a major sports event promoter admitted my work was far superior to the contractor they were using. Sadly this photographer was booked through a London agency and amazingly comes from an alleged sports photography background. My daughter could capture better images but because they use London based businesses I can’t and won’t get a look in. I even called the London agency and guess what …….. Not being in London meant they couldn’t use me as most of their work is down there. Even though I have the van, the equipment, insurances and willingness to travel it remained a “Sorry”.

Incidentally a rock group, who I have links to, recently shot a video in Lincolnshire and had some promotion shots completed also. These were done by a company from Brighton!!!! Why? Because that’s who the record label use. I found out the cost charged and nearly feinted. I could have done it for half the price and taken a month off as it was so much.

Anyway I digress…..

The day was a continual parade of bespoke clothing which ranged from the practical and useful to the most extreme haute couture styling simply created to show off style, creativity and style of work.

Even with the careful planning of the shoot and agreeing what and how we would shoot each set of clothing I managed to rattle off just over 400 images.

Sian is returning on Wednesday to create a book of her images to show the world and hopefully a prospective employer or even better independent buyers.

Now for all the colour and pomp within her designs she loves the plain B&W image when it’s one of herself, so here she is.

Sian King


Took advantage of the non day at Uni to complete a shoot delayed from the summer. Another mature female wishing to have a moody shoot completed with a twist………she wanted cigars involved. The crux of this was she started clothed, wearing the trilby and having a smoke through to finishing the shoot only wearing the trilby whilst still having a smoke. My thoughts reverted to 1920’s styling with a trilby hat, mens shirt (black or white) and then the underwear of her choice. This would blend a retro style image with the modern style underwear. Use of the trilby to almost blank out her eyes or at least reduce them to virtual non existence would, in my opinion, draw the viewers eye to the cigar. As items of clothing were removed she would stand differently and alter poses whilst retaining the balance of shadows we created within the initial test images.

I set up for low key with some rim/highlight lighting behind her. The use of a reflector to ever so lightly lift the darks on the shirt sat opposite the key light. I then discussed the process, potential poses and snapped a few test images for my satisfaction and her approval on the lighting style. Immense fun, if a little smokey, but a first for me in shooting a smoking client. She was absolutely pleased as punch with a quick trawl through the RAW files on the laptop. After some further discussion and option deciding she plumped for all the images to be converted to B&W. Here’s an early image from the shoot which shows the basic style and before clothing started falling off.


Below is an early test image which used an alternate, black, shirt though we both preferred the grey scale and shadows with the white shirt. No cigar in use as this was during the lighting setup. Wearing black underwear meant, at times, there was just too much black within the image. This would have been better used in a high key setting but we didn’t have enough time. She has however rebooked to do a similar shoot in high key and also implement her ideas for posing on my new high back formal chair in the studio.


The images have already been noted and commented on as sublime yet controversial with the smoking. Whilst controversy was not my priority in creating the images I knew the smoking aspect may draw varied views. Being a photographer who is reasonably established with the stock family, wedding and child portrait I find times like this superb in showing an alternate side to my creativity and what I can produce. The incidental aspect that the connotations and denotations seen by others provokes discussion is what we strive for, as one comment placed me, being an alleged ‘artist’.

Had a very informative commissioned shoot this afternoon in the studio today being enlightened to the problems caused by Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. A lady who suffers from this wanted a simple black and white image featuring her and the tag line that sufferers have agreed on.

Sat talking with a cup of tea and she was showing me the way in which this condition allows her to manipulate her body. One of the moves is what can only be described as a reverse prayer position. This looks normal until you actually see the hand are the wrong way around. We tried it out, took the shot and she loved it. Didn’t want to do anymore as she just loved this image so we went with it, popped the tag line on for her and away went one very happy customer.

As the lady was wearing a long sleeved black top I decided to go high key which gave an excellent outline and highlighted her hands. Simple white lettering onto her lower back and the image was complete.

Technicals were 50mm, f/8, 1/125th & ISO 100. I used a single key light for her and a floor light to blow out the background.