behind the scenes

I’ve Quit Photography To Become A Surgeon

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Everyone, I have an announcement! I’m proud to say that my hard work and rigorous study schedule have finally paid off, and I am now working through my placement as a Cardiac Electrophysiology Technician.

Although I wasn’t sure if I wanted to make the switch to medicine, I really do love helping people, and I think the challenges that this job will bring will make every week exciting and refreshing. Although I still really like photography, I think this is the right career move for me. Actually, my photographic background really proved helpful in the practical part of my assessment, as the role of a technician also involves medical photography (using different machines than your standard DSLR, of course.) So it hasn’t all been for nothing.

This is the team that I’ll be working the long shifts with…

Wait a minute….

What’s that Declan is holding….

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Lenses….??

Hold up….

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Haha fooled you all! I was actually working in a hospital alongside James Braund, shooting some scenarios and portraits. But I still got to kit out in scrubs (which are really comfy by the way!) I think the green hat suits me.

Had such a fun day with a great team. I can’t disclose details yet, but keep your eyes peeled for some fresh new photography at Homesglen. Final portrait is with James, sporting the latest in back support fashion. Will miss you when I’m in JP.

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New World Soul Fashion Shw

Photographing a fashion show is always an exciting time. Being backstage with the models and hair/makeup teams, feeling their excitement and nerves, you really get a buzz from being a part of it. In December, just as the weather started to warm up, I shot for Upper Volta’s latest fashion event, New World Soul. Having done their campaign photography, I was also given the honour of being the official photographer! That meant that I got to boss everyone around and elbow other photographers out of the way in the media pit (just joking!)

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The event was held at Clifton Street Market in Prahran, which is an amazing warehouse space. It was the same location that we shot the campaign shots in. Look at my photo gracing the homepage of their website! ^_^

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I arrived around 6pm, but the models and hair and makeup teams had already done a few hard hours. There were around 40 models, so to have everyone ready on time they had to start early. As soon as I entered the building I was stopped in my track, because my photos were printed HUGE on fabric, and were suspended from the mezzanine! One portrait was taller than me, and there were 8 of them! There was also a full lenght shot that would have easily been three metres high. I was thrilled, they looked brilliant! My shot was also on the little brochures for the afterparty- it looked great with the copy on it, and I was not-so-secretly chuffed.

I took a lot of backstage photos of everyone doing their thing- relaxing, getting their hair done, and eating the amazing food that was provided. A lot of the models recognised me from previous shoots, so it was nice to catch up and have a little chat. I even got to wear a KWAMEE t-shirt to feel like part of the crew.

Whilst there was still daylight, I tried to capture a raw portrait of each model. I didn’t quite get everyone because of all the commotion. I love the diversity of faces that Kwamee had chosen to walk the runway.

Finally it was nearing start time, and guests started to arrive. Champagne was served, lights were dimmed, and backstage we were hushed. It was really tricky to shoot the runway, because it was incredibly dark, there was no spotlight at the spot where the models were to stop, and it was totally backlit. Add a heavy smoke machine, and you’ve got a recipe for trouble. I prefer not to use flash in these types of events, because it can kill the mood and atmosphere of the shot. So I ended up using two cameras; one with a fast lens to capture the models as they were walking, and one with a slower lens, but with flash, to grab them as they posed on ‘the spot.’ I probably looked like a maniac switching between two cameras constantly, but luckily there was a table right next to me that I could rest one of them on when needed.

Needless to say, my arms were pretty buff afterwards.

At the end of the show, everyone cheered and I overheard lots of the audience complimenting the designs. Kwamee even made a little speech to thank everyone for coming. I know he’s a little shy so it was great to see the relief on his face when he felt that the event had gone well.

A few days later, my shots started appearing on the designer’s instagram page. There are many many shots, so please go and check some more out here.

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Why I’m Always Laying On The Floor

This month has turned out to be quite a busy one, but I’ve been lucky enough to get a few tests in to keep my motivation up. I really love testing out ideas and working creatively, so I think it’s important to keep pursuing personal projects and shooting for fun occasionally too! I often work with Marlene Olsson, who is an amazing hair and makeup artist, so when she suggested we do a shoot together, I jumped at the opportunity.

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Always on the floor…

Marlene had recently done some hair styling classes to improve on her already huge knowledge of hair, and had some ideas she wanted to test out. We put together a rough mood board, and got Erin from GTR in as our model. But our stylist unfortunately had to cancel at the last minute, leaving us with no garments.

Luckily, I was ready to improvise.

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I have a few go-to garments that I keep in my wardrobe for such occasions. Lots of kimono and flowey pieces, which can be adapted to many different shoots. I had also been to the Japanese festival the day before, where I picked up a few other vintage kimono. So I wasn’t worried.

Going in with no real plan was kind of good, as it forced me to be creative with my set, garments, and lighting. I usually gravitate towards darker, shadowy lighting that is moody and has a high level of contrast, so I wanted to create something entirely different with this shoot. I wanted to keep it light and high-key, and very soft.

Hair and makeup took about 3 hours, so I had time to build my set slowly. I wanted to work with texture, so I draped and hung various fabrics and paper form around the studio. It’s amazing what you can create out of nothing.

Above: final makeup checks, and me posing for a lighting test. (haha!)

For garments, we improvised as well. Without giving away too much information, I want to say that my favourite outfit of the day was a vintage kimono worn inside out, teamed with a bed sheet that was used as a maxi skirt. Like I said, improvisation.

Not having a set plan ended up being a great thing, as the shoot developed and changed organically, and we got some amazing results. Also we got to use the smoke machine, which is always a bonus in my books!

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A behind the scenes shot of Erin doing her thing. Courtesy of Marlene’s instagram.

 

So, this begs the question- why am I always on the floor?

I’m always trying to look at things from different perspectives and try to capture my subjects with different angles. I often find that a low angle can be more dynamic. But some subjects don’t photograph well from below. On this occasion though, I ended up laying at Erin’s feet and looking right up at her. Often not a very flattering angle, this just worked. But you’re going to have to wait to see the results :) I’ll give you a hint: there is a David Bowie reference.

Also a huge thanks to Josephine for coming along to hang out and assist. I hope you learned a lot!

TEAM
Photog: 
Steph Doran
HMUA: Marlene Olsson
Model: Erin @ GTR Global
Assistant: Josephine Tut

“Call Time” Published in HUF Mag

It’s the best feeling when you wake up to an email that says your work has been accepted into a magazine. This week I was lucky enough to be published in HUF Magazine. I’d been trying to get this editorial published for a while, so I’m glad that I am finally allowed to share the images.

The concept behind this shoot was ‘Behind The Scenes,’ or what happens in between the shots of a fashion shoot. I had a lot of fun building up the sets using equipment and props that we naturally had in the studio.

Photographer: Steph Doran
Hair, Makeup and Styling: Jyoti Chandra
Model: Siahn Beach @ Chadwick

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The cover shot with copy on it..

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Snap Snap Braid

Behind the scenes of a test with Lara de Koster. This amazing hair was done by the ever-talented Marlene Olsson. What did we do with this look? You’ll have to wait and see :)

S xx

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Shooting With Lorin

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Last week I had the pleasure of capturing some new head shots for model/actress Lorin Kauffeld. The aim was to capture some portraits that actually looked like Lorin, so that when she went into castings, she resembled her head shot. Makeup, lighting, and even lens choice can greatly affect how a person is depicted in a photograph, so we paid special attention to detail to make sure that the shots were flattering, but still true to life. Luckily, Lorin is a gorgeous girl (both in terms of looks and personality), so that outcome wasn’t too difficult to achieve.

We tried a few different looks, to give variety, and to offer a range of appearances. I kept my lighting very simple, and not too shadowy, so as to show the features of the face well. I think that the final shots look great, so hopefully they result in some auditions and gigs for Loren. She’s going to be super famous some day soon, so keep your eyes peeled.

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Need a new headshot?

Whether its for your comp card, model book, or just LinkedIn, don’t be afraid to get in touch. I love receiving emails from blog readers :)

S xx

Look Here Please

Here is a little portrait series I’m working on. Just shooting really quick portraits of models after a shoot, wearing their own clothes. These images were photographed after a shoot for Upper Volta, and I only took 3-4 frames of each subject, as they were heading off set.

What do you think?

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