Thursday, 31 December 2009

"Intern loose with a compact"

From Andrea's blog:

Some images I took behind the scenes, edited by her.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009


Staying at my Dad's for the holidays, leaving poor old Kevin alone in the flat to carry on his stint at Debenhams! Recent high points in his career have been suggesting alcohol as a present from a Muslim couple to their teenage daughter. Go on Kev!

I don't think that the fammo is totally loving me going to bed at 5am and waking at like 2pm (I stay up watching their telly in the absence of one in the flat back home), so I stayed up for 2 whole days trying to get myself to be tired at 12 like a normal person, and it didn't work and I was no more tired than before. Something is definitley uppp... it is nice being around family though, and the nice food cooked, proper fire etc. Although fires are a bit of a hassle, and coal is expensive man. For what it is.

So anyway, I thought while I am here cut off in the land of Leigh on Sea, I would get some work done.

The new project is really far away from the commercial fashion stuff. It's basically a study of my adoption notes and turning them into scenes from this alterior person's life, like as if nothing had changed and I had stayed there and retained the name "Sally Murray" (my original birth name).

I will detail it more as the project goes on, with the different aspects chosen for the shots. I'm shooting on large format using a horseman (crazy ass hard to set up camera, need to photograph it in action!) and Ilford 6x4, I have 25 shots but I'm aiming for ten finals so it shouldn't be a problem. I'm intending on making a presentation to go along with it to show my tutors... feeling a bit weird about it... since it will have so much personal stuff in, but now's the time I guess.

The thing will be called Tracing Memories - ironically "tracing" is the term for searching for biological parents. Will be a nice upbeat set I reckons!

Oh, and the final result will be a mock up book, so yeah, will be posting bits of this as and when it happens. So far I've planned out my process, booked a houseboat shoot (will explain later and 5th Jan) and dissected the adoption notes for things to use in my imagery, such as biological parents love of music...

PS I have been added to the Vice network of blogs... 'citin!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Model Mayhem

Managed to find time to update my profile...

Have been working on sets of photos to show the continuity in my shoots, also single photos were taking up my photo quota!

There's a couple of images that I have finally got together, such as Abbie and Immaculata's sets. Proud of my photoshop skills right now...

Chelsie Hood

I'm uploading these bit by bit, which I understand is pretty annoying, but it's the only way of doing it that leaves me relatively sane... uploading pictures as and when I like them/resize them...

The effects we used here were totally collaborative and I love the end result! We were a goood team.

Styling & design: Chelsie Hood
Assistant: Grace Brennan
Make up: Alice Benbow

Friday, 11 December 2009

Mish Mash Clash

Was originally intended to be a really clean British magazine style. We then changed it to a more romantic edgy look and so changed the colours...

Styling - Hannah Robinson

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Grace's Shoot

It just occurred to me that I never covered it on here, been so busy, here's an image from it. More to follow.

Kevin wants to make it in the BIIIIG city.

I currently have a Kevin in my room swishing about on my computer chair and shouting random crap. We're both eating Ben and Jerrys that we drove to Asda specially for. I've had 2 hours sleep. My room is covered in washing, shoes, books and I have an unmade bed.

It is deadline day. DUN DUN DUN.

Three projects were due in at 12pm this afternoon. For once in my life, I actually finished to a good standard (I hope) prior to the deadline and didn't feel an impending sense of doom when handing it in. I did finish about 4 hours before the deadline though, it has to be said... If it carries on like this, I could be finished up to a DAY before the deadline by the time it gets to dissertation. I'd be happy with that.

Other bits and pieces:

I've started using twitter...

I miss Budapest like crazy. (Will have to blog this in detail soon!)

I took time out of my busy schedule (...*cough*...) to assist Andrea Carter Bowman on Saturday. The shoot was styled by Rebecca Corbin Murray and was in a word, awesome! The whole team were so lovely and the shoot itself was amazing, I will never get over the fear of a model in those crazy Alexander McQueen shoe boots, swaying like a tree in the wind. I never even thought I'd see them in real life... but there they were! Love it!

Watching somebodies professional shoot process was so good, it gave me a ton of ideas and more insight into the real fashion industry. I've worked with a couple of photographers before but I really did get so much more out of this one, the way it came together and everybody's input etc! I did the backstage shots so I'll be pointing to them on Andrea's blog when they appear. We were at Direct Studios and as the shot shows, I was tied to my sketchbook in between outfit changes.

I had the opportunity to assist on an editorial with Luke Newman on Friday but sadly had to turn it down because of Uni work commitments i.e. the pinhole camera I made didn't want to work, and if it doesn't want to work then I fail the project.... ho hum. That'll teach me to bury my head in the sand when it all goes wrong.

In other news, I bought a Christmas tree from Asda for my halls room to feel a bit more festive. I put the lights on it today, it looks ace, even if I do say so myself.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Graham Lott

is a photographer I just discovered...

Thanks to the amazing Calikartel website!

The quality and clarity of these images are stunning, something I want to work towards in the future! (Obviously waaaay off for me...)

Sometimes I wish that fashion images came along with details of how the image was shot (format, lighting etc.) just so i could try it out and not just sit here perplexed, wondering how someone creates something that perfect... I suppose that's half the fun of studying photography, experimenting so much that you can instantly tell the different tools and techniques used from looking at the image. I envy those people that can! I think I am getting better already though, which is good!

I recently spent a shoot (which I will detail soon) trying to completely eradicate shadow from the white colorama, and it took me a good while before getting it even half right. The physical process of getting the right image was so much harder than the technical information I had gained on setting it all up, the tiniest angle and changing the Broncolour by like 0.5 can affect it a lot more than I imagined!

Doing these shoots is a massive learning curve, especially when someone styling it asks me for something I genuinely don't know how to achieve, so I have to see what i can get hold of to do it, how it could be done and then just "wing it". I've learnt so much in the past few weeks!

However; it should be noted that this is all just personal work and nothing towards my degree (!!!) so i am panicking slightly at spending so much time on side projects. In Uni I've been using pinhole, large format and making panoramas and i'll detail that all soon too. Citin!

Monday, 16 November 2009

Too many posts

too many many posts, I have a lecture in 6 and a half hours, very bad times.

There is always time to ramble on here though. I'm behind on my blogs but I can't do a full recount of a shoot or a show noooow so I will drivel on about some other stuff I want to get off my chest, so to speak...

I have a project coming up that's due in around January, and my self chosen subject is my adoption. Not sure how I feel about this one at the moment, but think it will be interesting to document here all the same! Hmm...

I ate a salmon fillet today, and I always feel really sick after eating salmon but I never ever learn... I don't think it helped that I had it with prosciutto pasta and stuffed it with pesto and garlic cream cheese... BLERGH! Still feel gross now! About 8 hours on!

I never usually sleep, I probably get 4 - 5 hours on a weeknight, but the past two nights of this weekend I have slept for 12 hours. I'm wondering if it's due to this new heavenly duvet, and whether I will indeed get up for this lecture. It's on Hilla Becher and something else, but I never knew that the Bechers used large format and that's why the lines are all vertical. I never thought about distortion on different formats before, but you learn something new every day!

Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to learn something or other, probably that I am not made to get up in the mornings. I really have to hand back in this Metz flash at uni tomorrow, because I think if I hand one more thing in late they will stop me completely! I think I've been in every day getting something or other recently, ranging from flashes to large format cameras, lightmeters, 5 x 4 neg sleeves, broncolour kits, light clamps and god only knows what else! I think the best time was the fibre optic lighting kit though, never even seen one before!

What to borrow to take to Budapest??

I have been watching way too much of:

America's Next Top Model

I saw my first episode Thursday (my flatmate put it on while I was working in the kitchen) and I am HOOKED! Why have I never watched it before?! It is amazing, I love all the shoots and Tyra is hilarious. Sadly enough, we actually pick up some pretty good tips from it. Like smizing! I myself will never be able to smize, but I want my future models to do it!

& Skins

I love this show but my flatmate had never seen it, so we watched two series in 3 days, hardly moving from the same spot, and having random episodes of ANTM in between. Then we tried to watch the third series and switched it off halfway through second episode... total crap. The first ones though, have sorted my new mantra for life.... "fuck it." I'm going to do everything I can, starting with getting an ebay account (the crappest thing on my list)... this is a necessity because I now can't even be arsed to walk to town to rummage in second hand shops. Why bother when I can hand pick them online?

To be honest I don't see me ever leaving the flat again. What a strange weekend this has been.

My first "proper" shoot of this Uni year

All photography and editing by myself... although Blane's choice of editing, he loves crop and grain just a bit(!)


Models: Amie Maynard and James McKeever
Stylist: Blane Chapman
Stylist's Assistant: Kylie Tye
Assistants: Daniel Holliday & Nicole Macfarlane

A few major flattering photos of us "on set" too:

It was a really fun shoot, the models are a couple and so there was a great chemistry between them and no awkwardness. We changed locations a couple of times which broke it up a bit and it was hilarious moving all the stuff to the other house in view of all the cranky junkies!! Everything ran smoothly minus a light burning out and thus stopping the electricity in the whole basement, and a couple of trips during the running scenes! But all in all, very successful, even though the drinking started waay before the shoot, haha! 8 have to be selected out of these lot... not sure which will be chosen.

Monday, 2 November 2009

My Bad...

I haven't posted in a long time!

What's new?!

I've moved to Rochester in Kent. Consequently finishing at the exhibition. Started my degree, and to be honest am finding it very difficult. It's so different to being in London everyday, surrounded by real stuff and having to be professional and try and deal with the real world!

I'm all for having deadlines and briefs, it's the closest an education system is going to get to the real world isn't it, it's just that I am really not into the things we are getting to do.

For instance... the first project was called "First Sight", using black and white 35mm to document a new experience. I chose two ideas from my shortlist, ("the young folks" and "leaving London") of which I only printed from one set. My images were received well, even complimented, so I don't understand what it is that's made me so against the whole project?!

Another was "Brief Encounters", which was shooting on the street using medium format. I worked with a lovely girl called Amanda and we decided to scout Mothers as our subject matter. The last project was Internal Landscapes, I decided to shoot a miniature set depicting a drive in movie, as my original idea of railway model deer hadn't worked out (I couldn't find them within the space of a week!).

I think the dead set briefs are making me steer away, I mean my main interest is Fashion, of course this doesn't mean I can't try my hand at everything else, I think when people are saying "you HAVE to use this format" and "you HAVE to come up with this certain idea" it just takes it all away for me. Still I gave it my best shot, ended up liking each of the results, but still for me they won't touch on the happiness I get out of a good image of a pretty girl that I've shot.
Shallow, maybe!

Our next briefs are: to make a pinhole camera out of something interesting and shoot landscape, large format interiors, and a digital composite landscape. So basically, I am completely uninterested and have decided that as well as completing these, I'm going to start doing my own work on the sideline. This started with my friend Blane asking me to shoot his Fashion Promotion second year project, which I agreed to do, and now I have quite a few fashion shoots to be getting on with. Very pleased with this! Meeting with the stylists, trying to figure out their needs and equipment we should use is just so much closer to what I thought (and still think) i should be doing. I love collaborating, sure I can work on my own but everyone coming together to create something is just somehow so much better at the moment for me!

Blane's shoot is tomorrow and we are shooting "Vice magazine style". We had a bit of a brainstorm a few weeks ago and decided to shoot digital for the quick turnaround (his hand in is soon) and use a Bronica SQB for some black and white square shots, hoping to make them look as grimy and grainy as possible. The digitals will be edited in the same way, colour though, probably saturated a bit, lomograph style. Using one continuous light with reflector, a simple movable set up in the basement so we can capture the moments rather than have everything dead set. It has to look real and relaxed and casual, obviously at the same time has to be captured well and look great as editorial. I'm dead nervous, not sure why, I think it's the biggest shoot to date with two models, stylist, stylists assistant, myself and one or two assistants for me! Will post details tomorrow and behind the scenes.

Also have an ongoing project about Tracing Memory, I've decided to focus on my adoption and the material things I've got relating to it; whether or not they create memories or are proof of a memory or lost moment in time. I'm thinking this could either go really well and I'll feel at peace with it all and myself or I'll have a nervous breakdown and never shoot another thing! [/dramatic].

Leave you with some images from First Sight...

Also really need to send of CDs of 60s indoor shoot, another for the to do list!

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Up late & editing

Some edits I've been working on for Immaculata and Nudge Records while ill at home, I don't think I can look at the computer anymore! Michael Macintyre beckons....

Friday, 21 August 2009

POUT at Movida

OK; I last blogged 6 days ago and it felt like yesterday....

I had visitors at work: this is a very exciting ocassion, one that I spent far too long mentioning to everyone in passing, how very cool I am! Bearing in mind I haven't seen these friends in months, it was very exciting. That and the hundreds of models arriving for a Nivea casting, escorting these gorgeous women through to the studio was fun but very embarassing for my face, particularly as not many had a scrap of make up on!

Back to the main story... we perused the Rankin Live exhibition (okay, Blane and Lucy did while I got changed in the toilet... classay) after a bit of cafe 1001 with Matt and Elliot, and then decided to eat some Sushi and Sandwiches.

Oxford street called for Topshop where I fell in l o v e with these shoes (blue), and I can't have them because I earn n a d a. Totally depressing.

On to LG Pout at Movida ("La Vida?") which I will be adding pictures of as soon as I get them. As well as being a Fashion networking event run by the lovely Miggy, it was also a release of the new LG crystal phone. It has a range of weird and wonderful features, I liked the originality of a perspex feature that also had touch capability. I just couldn't figure it out! At first I didn't get on with it (I've never been one for touch screen) but after a few tries it seemed fine. Definitely a fashion forward handset, which like my previous baby the Motorola Luxury Razr 2, has it's own special bluetooth headset (available separately). Cocktails and general merriment led to me and Luce feeling a bit squiffy, and having to leave for a train back to Rochester. Which we missed. But nevertheless we all did a bit of networking with people from D1 models and Channel 4 filmers etc... missed out on Hip Hop karaoke which sucks, and has to be done soon.

After not being in Rochester for a few months, going back was strange, but also felt like I had never left! Endless cups of tea, more Sushi, crisps and sofas were just what I needed after getting up at 7am and endless working... I was so pleased to see Lucy and everyone again, will be great to move back but I'm dreading her leaving, won't be the same! And not being as close to London.

I did not realise that my business card networking type things were ridiculously huge, they're only A5, actually smaller! Is this huge? Hmmmm.....

In other news, Spotify finally decided to work (hence me being up now, it's amazing!), I still have major edits to do for the girls and Nudge Records, and yet the pile of work never decreases. Also have to find someone to work for my Dad tomorrow after Rankin Live!!!

Myself and Lucy Emma Harris have decided to team up for some shoots as a stylist and photographer duo. More on this to follow. Also need to blog in detail my day in the studio Weds, Mark Cowpers' exhibition and bits and pieces of the Rankin retrospective.


Sunday, 16 August 2009

Most tiring week ever...

I've been working like crazy, going to Rankin every day and then also doing a couple of shoots. No time for blogging and such, not even on my Blackberry on the train, but I've been trying to fit it in! Here's a couple of unedited previews anyway...

Thursday night I had a shoot with a girl called Abbie Day, using a MUA called Clare Bradshaw and it was a great success! We were going for a 60s look, taking full advantage of Abbie's lovely red hair and fringe, with a white straight up and down dress. The make up look was kinda grey eyes with black along the socket and BIG false eyelashes (of course!)

We started with a studio set up (including creased to buggery pop up interfit background) and then progressed to some casual daylight shots on the balcony, then using the lighting outside to give it an ethereal edge. I'm not sure if I liked these ones as much as the others, but the proof will be in the editing. The studio ones are out of this world though, I'm so happy, we achieved our goal of gaining some great beauty shots! I'm so pleased they're both close, it means I can set up some casual last minute stuff if I get a great idea.

Friday after work I had a shoot with Immaculata, an agency signed model from Kingston. The shoot was intended to be sort of Brick Lane Indie chick and I think it went veryyy well! We managed to leave our stuff upstairs at Rankin Live and then she got changed in Cafe 1001. Just randomly went around the area finding good locations, I love doing this! I decided to ask a record shop called Nudge on Hanbury street if we could do a couple of shots in there and it was fine, the only stipulation being that the guy wants the photos! So that's cool! We were under a bit of a time and memory card limit (oh dear!!!) but other than that it was fab, and both of us were happy!

I now just need to get ahead on editing these and other shoots around work, which is hard travelling to Southend to avoid National Rail's train strike too! BUT it's over, so hopefully I'll be able to get a lot more done. Woohoo. This is quite possibly the saddest thing I'll ever say, but I've gotten used to the c2c trains and stations. They're soooo much better, especially when you are the type of person that falls asleep on trains. They announce and have a lit sign on the train with the current station! None of that round these parts I'm afraid.


Also, I've become obsessed with this song....

Monday, 10 August 2009

a sample

Thought I'd best upload something, it's a bit of a crap photography blog!

Two posts in about 20 minutes. Go me!


This is going to sound ridiculous...

Just set up my blog... not quite sure about all this! I can't even keep up with Twitter. But apparently I have to set up a blog to "network" so here goes...

No work today, I felt ill (in a previously thought swine flu infested house, however we now know this isn't the case...) and was on the verge of a mental breakdown, I feel... I encountered a horrible train station man, amongst other things...

(Work is being a lowly intern at Rankin Live on Brick Lane.. I love it! Crazy hours though...)

Something photo related? I have 3 shoots planned next week, very excited although I'm not getting the time to plan owt for them. One is studio (as close to studio as a home lighting kit can get) and two are location in London. I'm thinking some sort of indie trendy Brick Lane vibe... VERRRYY original eh? One of the London girls wants high fashion black and white so that's cool, I'm confident in my abilities in that area. Kind of.

This was not such a good idea, rather than publicising my talent, I'm merely showing everyone my self disbelief! Ah well, hopefully the results will show for themselves over the next 3 years... :|

My site - - should be going up soon, when me and the lovely Az at can both find time to sort all the little bits out! I have been editing at odd hours when I get a spare moment, so much more to do though. Didn't realise how complicated it is!

Why is it you have to do so many things at once to be able to get somewhere, or be "discovered"?

I want a lucky break!