freshface

Shadow Play @ Testing Grounds

Melbourne’s winter light is one of my favourite things to experiment with when it comes to model test shoots. Having such short days, and having the sun at such a low position in the sky really allows you to play with light and shadow. There is also a kind of haze that falls upon the city, giving everything a glow that is hard to put into words. You also don’t have to wait as long for the golden hour.

The downside is, its heckin’ cold!

It’s been a while since I tested with a female model, so I was excited to shoot with Annabelle Curtain from GTR. I absolutely went to town on the styling, sourcing lots of shiny things, pinks, skirts, and metallics- things that just aren’t in the menswear ranges this season. I wanted to shoot at Testing Grounds in Southbank, because I walk past it on an almost daily basis, but had never stepped foot inside. I love the textures of the concrete in there, as well as the pink and mint colour palette. I knew there were also lots of interesting areas and different pockets of texture to work with.

It had rained the day before, so the ground was still wet. This also added some reflection to a few shots, which I really loved. I was so excited to shoot a few jackets that I got from Nana Judy- nothing is better in a photo shoot than an overdose of sequins. Nothing.

I think the garments went really well with the location, as I had a rough colour palette in mind when I was sourcing everything. Annabelle was great to work with too. She took direction well, and didn’t complain about the winter cold at all, despite having the beginnings of a cold. What a trooper.

Thanks for a fun shoot Belle! x

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Tokyo Film Scans

The feeling of picking up your developed film is so exciting, and has a certain air of nostalgia to it as well. I was really excited to pick up two rolls that I had shot in Tokyo last year, because I couldn’t remember what was on them.

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These frames are all from test shoots with models from Folio Management in Tokyo’s Minato ward. They were taken on 35mm film that I rolled myself back in highschool, but had not yet shot. Hence the little imperfections like dust, scratches, and leaks. I actually love these features and think they give extra character to the frames. Because the film was so old, I had no idea if it had been exposed, or if it would even look any good. These shots were digitally scanned, but no retouching or adjustments have been made. Not even exposure or contrast adjustments. They are completely raw.

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I find that there is something really ‘real’ about film photos. I tend to look at them for longer, rather than skim over them quickly as I might with digital photos. There seems to be a part of the subject’s soul in these frames, as if they are really looking at me. This might sound weird, but that’s how I feel. I think film also has a timeless sort of look to it.

When I was in Hokkaido earlier this year, I went one step further and purchased a disposable camera from the convenience store there. I’ve been shooting single frames on it, but still haven’t finished it. So I’m really interested in what is on that camera. The suspense is all part of the excitement. I also like the way that having such an “ammeter” camera removes a certain barrier when shooting. Nobody seems to notice or care if I put the $10 disposable to my eye, whereas they may change their behaviour or shy away if I raise my DSLR. Observing the difference in psychology is interesting.

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Dodging Puddles

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So much testing lately! But it keeps me on my toes so that’s a good thing. A few agencies have been keeping me busy with model portfolio updates, and I really enjoy working with different talent. I also love getting out on location to shoot- it gets me away from the studio and the computer for a while. Those who know me will also know that I hate looking at screens (yup, I’m in the wrong industry, I know!), but unfortunately there is so much back end and admin work when you freelance, that spending a long time in front of my computer is inevitable. So as I was saying, I embrace the opportunity to work with a model on location, especially if the natural light it working in my favour. Whilst I love my flash, sometimes I just want to streamline the process and not have to worry about positioning the light or deciding how I want to blend it with the ambient. It’s faster just to spin myself or my subject around, or find a great patch of golden sunlight to work with.

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For this reason, I have been getting back to using natural light when doing test shoots on location. Aside from being quicker, I also allows me to work solo and not have to worry about an assistant or bringing a huge pile of gear. It also keeps me reactive, as I have to find the best light around, no matter what the weather is doing.

Shooting with Chloe, recently signed with GTR, provided a lighting challenge for me. We had planned to shoot on a Sunday, as Chloe is still studying, but the weather wasn’t looking the driest.. Huge clouds hung in the sky, and it would occasionally pour with rain. Still, I met Chloe and her mum at the meeting spot and hoped that the rain would hold off.

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As you can probably see from the shots, the rain did subside, and the clouds acted as a huge softbox, which actually worked in our favour. I was really impressed with how Chloe moved, especially being so young. She didn’t need any warming up and just got straight into it. She seemed really aware of her body and the shapes she could make, and took direction well too.

I styled the shoot myself (something I have recently started doing, and that I am loving!) and I loved the colour palette of the garments I had chosen. I think they suited Chloe well too. The tough bit was not keeping everything, as some of the pieces were super cute (I’m looking at you blue and white shorts…)

When we were shooting our last shot, a friendly walker stopped to comment that “the model had arrived” (referring to himself.) I played along, asking him to get in the shot and pose, which he completely didn’t expect. I think he loved it though. Haha.

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Thanks Chloe for a fabulous shoot, looking forward to working with you again soon!

Chloe is represented by GTR.

 

Fresh Face: Sam Kieseker

 

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I always love working with new faces, especially when there isn’t an elaborate concept behind the shoot. I find that this really allows me to develop the expressions of the talent, and get them feeling more comfortable in front of the camera. Because there is no background or context, the model’s ability to emote and have something going on in their eyes is really important.

A few weeks ago, I had Sam come in to the studio for some new folio images. He had recently been signed with GTR, and was even off to Hong Kong the following week. Sam was a little nervous at first, but really enthusiastic and willing to try anything I threw at him. He took direction well, which I think is particularly important for new faces.

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As the shoot developed, Sam became more comfortable in front of the camera and relaxed a lot. This meant that I was able to capture a range of emotions, both light and serious, which added extra diversity to his book.

A quick venture outside the studio ended the shoot- I never tire of the textures and shades of the walls nearby the studio, but I think I’m going to have to come up with some new locations soon so that my folio doesn’t look too repetitive!

Thanks Sam for coming down to the studio, and best of luck in HK!

Sam is represented by Greg Tyshing.

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The Boy Next Door

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I have been shooting a lot of tests lately, which has been brilliant for the soul! February has been off to a crazy crazy start, filled with corporates, retouching, teaching and events, so its been really nice to be able to shoot loosely and fluidly as well.

On Tuesday I worked with Thomas, who has newly been signed with Scene Model Management. This was his first studio shoot, and I was really impressed with how good he was! Having only ‘officially’ become a model a few days before, Tom was a little unsure at first, but he quickly warmed up and was nailing ‘the look’ in no time.

The beauty of working with fresh faces is that they don’t have a lot (if any) of images in their books yet, so there is a lot of creative freedom. I initially thought that Tom would look great with quite strong, structured images- bold posing, intense expressions, and well cut garments. This is the mood board that I made for the shoot…

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We got started with studio lights, with a white shirt and some dark pants. It was when Tom put on the jacket that he started to stand more comfortably, and I noticed that he seemed to move better when he was feeling more comfortable. The next look, we went for overalls with no shirt underneath.

And bang!

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Instant comfort zone.

From there, the shoot changed direction totally from the mood board. Because it was a test, it was totally fine for it to evolve and move fluidly, and I felt that the look and feel that we developed really worked for Thomas.

We also went outside, to my favourite ‘wasteland’ looking location. Unfortunately this place is going to be built up soon, so I’m trying to do as many tests there as I can whilst I can still get in. I love the metal structure and the random plants growing everywhere.

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This is one of my favourite from the shoot, but I was torn between the left and the right image. Which one do you prefer?

Thomas was fabulous to work with, and a great guy too. He took on direction well, and I think he is going to be a big name in the industry soon!

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

Test With Jess Singh

I love testing, and sometimes I spontaneously get a team together just to make pretty pictures. This was impromptu shoot with the lovely Jess Singh, who I met in the Botanical Gardens. I love my studio, but sometimes it’s nice to get outside and make use of natural light and nature.

Have a look at what we created in only a couple of hours.

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Thanks Jess for your company and a lovely afternoon. And also for being patient when I was trying to shoot with my arm in a cast!

If you need portfolio shots, or just want to create images together- feel free to get in touch!!