Glam Rock [x] Pivot Point

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It’s getting close to the end of the year now, and I’ll admit I’ve been very slack with my blog posts. There has been a lot going on, and I’ve done numerous exciting shoots, and it’s not even winding down yet. Currently, I’m booked all the way up until Christmas, at which stage I’ll take one week off to visit my family in Tasmania, before coming back and facing a January that already has numerous appointments. Exciting times ahead!

In any case, a few weeks ago I shot some editorial-style images for the graduates of Pivot Point hair academy in the city. I shot their final collection last year as well, in the studio, but this year, we decided on a location shoot.

The students had to come up with a theme, organise models, outfits, and decide on a location. They decided on the theme of ‘Glam Rock,’ and wanted to shoot it in an alley way nearby to the school. I had gone in to meet the students a few weeks before the shoot, and discuss any ideas or concerns that they had. They seemed stressed about it then, but on the day they were all very focused, and once they began styling the model’s hair, they seemed to be doing ok. Of course my knowledge of hair styling is very limited (I can do a ponytail or a bun, and that is pretty much it), so anything they did looked impressive to me.

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The students had a timeline and schedule of who was shooting when, but they ran behind time (as I suspected.) But eventually the first person was ready, and so the shooting began. The lane way the students had chosen was quite good, because it had lots of different colours and textures, not too far apart. That meant the shots wouldn’t all look the same. I had two battery heads, with a softbox and a shallow dish, so I was able to move around quite easily. I decided to make the images a little punchy, to go with the ‘attitude’ of the models and their look. So I used the softbox as a key light, with the dish as a hair light from behind.

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I photographed each model for about 15 minutes. There were 7 students to get through, so we didn’t have that much time. But they only needed 2 shots each, and I work quickly when I have to.

It was really interesting to see how each student approached their shoot. Last year, everyone was in the studio together, and the students’ tutor was also there watching. They seemed a little timid and unsure then. But this year, the students had a bit more of an idea of what they wanted, and how they wanted their image to look, which was great. I’m not sure if this was because their ideas were clearer, or they weren’t being scrutinised under the watchful eyes of their tutor and peers.

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The shoot went pretty smoothly, aside from the times when trucks wanted to drive down the alley, and I had to move all the gear into a side street and squish up against the wall. Lots of people walked past all the time and thought that we were doing something really flashy and important. Some tourists even wanted to be in the shots.

There was one group shot to do at the end, which required a bit of shuffling around. I really had to think on my feet here, because everyone was down on location at that stage, and looking to me for direction. So I arranged the models in mini groups, and had them posing like a kind of tough girl motorcycle gang. Obviously the shot below does not convey the feel and mood of the series.

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Once we were done, the students all looked very very relieved. I went with them back up to the classroom where they had been doing their prep, and we were faced with a scattering of brushes, bobby pins, and hair spray cans. They began tidying their stations whilst I loaded the images onto my laptop. I didn’t bother shooting tethered because I was moving around a lot, and I didn’t want to have too many valuables down in that street without an assistant/ second pair of eyes.

Well done to all the students! The shots look great, and they are in the process of being submitted to a few magazines. Keep an eye out!

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Tea Party With Alexia Petsinis

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Wow, it was a long time ago that I shot this series, but I had such fun doing it that I thought it deserved a blog post! Alexia Petsinis is one of those amazing people whose talents you should be jealous of, but you just can’t be because she is just a lovely human being. I had worked with Alexia before, when she modelled some of her own clothing designs (gorgeous, by the way!) So when she asked me if I’d like to work with her again, I jumped at the chance.

The concept was a tea party, and Alexia had been asked by a child modelling agency if she would model alongside two of their young girls. We thought this would be a lot of fun, and make the shoot a whole lot more interesting. The two girls, Ella and Eden, were so cute, and were instantly captivated by the giant jars of lollies and colourful props that were set up in the studio.

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Everyone’s hair and makeup was done by Stephanie Broad, who is incredibly fast at creating perfect makeup. And I mean perfect- not an eyelash was out of place.

I knew that I would have to shoot fast, and keep moving quickly, because when working with kids, you don’t have a lot of time, and attention spans are easily broken. But I was so impressed with how both of the girls performed. They listened to instructions and co-operated, and had fun as well! I loved capturing their inquisitive moments as they tried to sneak lollies from the jars when their mums weren’t looking.

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The shoot went very quickly, both because we got through each set up fast, and because after a few hours Eden, the younger of the two girls, got a bit tired. She sure hung in there though! We had a few renditions of love songs from the soundtrack of the Disney movie “Frozen” to keep Ella entertained, which gave us the time to capture two more ‘looks.’ Both girls were awarded with very large babychinos at the end, which (ontop of the mountains of candy they had consumed) would ensure for a sugar crash later on.

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Alexia sent me some unique illustrations that she had done especially for this shoot, which I plan to work into the backgrounds of the photos. She is brilliant at drawing, and her illustrations are just gorgeous! I really love to add a graphic element into my photography when I get a chance, so it’s great to be able to work across two mediums again. And naturally, I’m bursting to share the results of this shoot!
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