Workaholic

Katie Stainer Jewellery

Tasha 1#

 

I really enjoy collaborating with talented individuals; designers, makeup artists, models. I love to see how others look at the world, and to be inspired by them, and hopefully, I inspire them in turn, and if I see evidence of that, it’s just the best feeling.

This particular shoot was focused around the jewellery and accessories of the amazingly talented Katie Stainer, whose portfolio and online shop can be found here. I’ve always adored origami, though my skills in that area are limited to cranes and boxes, and the occasional fox, so you can imagine my envy to see Katie’s beautifully folded, waterproof jewellery, all made from vintage books and decorative paper. After far too long admiring her collection, we turned our attention to the task at hand.

Tasha 2#

Katie is a very down-to-earth character, the sort of person who nonchalantly folds a book into a headpiece as a spontaneous photograph idea that one of us threw out there, chatting about her favourite novels and TV shows as she did so. Therefore, she wanted equally down-to-earth images, free of over-edited, perfected models who had been pinched in, smoothed out, polished and slicked to perfection. Therefore, we chose to work with Tasha, a girl who is naturally stunning in her own right.

Tasha 3#

 

Our studio was makeshift, but wonderful, consisting of draped fabric pinned to the wall, alongside a wall of glass that allowed plenty of natural sunlight. While lately I have found that I spend more and more time in a studio space, I always try to find a space with large windows such as this one; I will always prefer the use of natural sunlight over makeshift lighting any day, and even when I do find myself turning to Profoto or Lasolite or Bowens for a helping hand, I try my best to recreate sunlight as closely as possible… unless I’m going for something completely dramatic, of course, such as during this shoot.

To top off the shoot, Katie was kind enough to give both myself and our team a necklace each from her collection, which I took as a sign that she was definitely happy with how our shoot turned out in the end.

Tasha 5#

Tasha 6#

Tasha 7#

 

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Wuthering Heights

Quote of Inspiration

Model: Ieva

MUA/Hair: Emily

Styling: Emma Styles
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As much as I love travelling, I really adore the local beauty of the Peak District, especially at this time of year, when the heather is blossoming in a beautiful sea of purple, as far as the eye can see. The smell is wonderful, the view is wonderful, the bees are a nuisance if you’re as nervous around them as I, but it’s worth the worry.

Recently, I was fortunate enough to put together an editorial shoot for Prototype Magazine, with a self-chosen theme of Wuthering Heights; a favourite book of mine, which I had recently re-read. Prototype is a small, independently run magazine, and so I thought it best to work with a small, intimate team to match the overall feel of the publication. I myself acted as stylist, with the lovely Emily working as both our makeup artist and hair stylist. Our model was the gorgeous Ieva. It was a wonderful day of exploring Hathersage, in the Hope Valley, and the surrounding countryside, laughing, picking flowers, very nearly falling off cliffs in my case… it was worth it. The shoot ended in almost getting stranded in the middle of no where, and an hour sitting in the rain, but again, it was a great day.

My location was only somewhat inaccurate for a Wuthering Heights themed shoot; while Hathersage’s heather fields are not the moors surrounding the Bronte’s home village of Haworth, Hathersage village was visited by Charlotte Bronte, and is thought to have inspired her when creating and choosing locations for Jane Eyre, so really, I simply borrowed a location from one Bronte sister novel for another. Bonus fact… it’s also the alleged burial place of Little John – as in, Robin Hood and Little John. His gravestone (which is actually marked, ‘Little John’, lies in the local churchyard, and you can decide for yourself whether or not the legend is true).

You can see the final images in October’s issue of Prototype Magazine, available here.

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Paige

Paige 1#

Wollaton Hall is a beautiful stately home in Nottinghamshire, a short drive from my university apartment. It’s open to the public, but is fairly unheard of, and so even at this time of year, when the flowers in the garden’s greenhouse are blooming and the air smells like oranges, it’s still relatively quiet, making it a perfect location for a photo shoot. I wanted to create a shoot that revolved around the English rose stereotype to match the picturesque setting. Luckily, the staff were more than happy for us to use their grounds for our photo shoot.

It was Emma, our make up artist’s idea to add the pop of blue eyeliner to modernise Paige’s otherwise very ‘English rose’ look; rosy cheeks, pale, clear complexion, glossy hair. I chose a white dress to give an ‘angelic’ feel to her look, and we together decided to keep the black straps visible to add some edge.

These were all shot with natural lighting, the bright sunlight streaming through the windows, creating this beautiful soft lighting. It was perfect.

My other photo shoots at Wollaton Hall can be seen here and here.

Paige 1#

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Model: Paige

MUA: Emma Grant

Styling: Emma Styles

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Oddly Enough Lookbook

Jess Erica 1#

 

As I’ve mentioned before, I have recently been working with fashion student Erica Godfrey on her final collection. We have already had two photo shoots together, which can be seen here and here, and today, the third and final (though hopefully not too final) photo shoot took place.

We were lucky enough to find a great studio locally with large windows, which allowed plenty of natural lighting. Hanging fabric to create our own custom background, we focused on a very typical English, slightly Cath Kidston feel. Working with chameleon haired Jess, who was also one of the models of our test shoot, we spent the afternoon experimenting with draping, crafting, altering and layering a suitcase full of accessories to create just the right look.

The main purpose of this photo ‘series’ was of course for Erica’s final university project before her graduation, but I’m hoping that I have also helped her to get learn to ropes of photo shoots. I certainly seemed to have achieved in that sense. One month ago, Erica freely admitted to me that she had never worked on a photo shoot, or had any of her work photographed, but for a small home studio with her own camera for her online shop, as is the case with most independent designers. Now, however, she has experienced three very different fashion shoots, and I have watched her confidence grow with each as she has styled our models with an expert eye for detail. It’s been lovely working together.

Jess Erica 2#

Jess Erica 3#

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I spend twenty minutes in the ankle-deep snow, my feet covered with just a pair of tights, dressed in a summer skirt, tank top, and a very thin cardigan, hoping I don’t lose any of my precious toes to frost bite for the sake of a self portrait… I make the short, numb walk home, my tights sodden and unpleasant in the rubber boots, and after preparing a much-needed bowl of hot water to help thaw out my feet, I look through the images that I have just minutes earlier created. And what do I decide? That my favourite snap is this one – one of my test shots taken while I was still wearing boots and a cardigan… it’s typical, isn’t it?

Actually, that sentence is not entirely accurate; what i ought to say is that the cluster of images that were merged to create this final piece all happened to be test shots. I’ve posted a BTS editing post here. None of the ‘real deal’, boot-less images worked for me, and so instead, here we have it. I did for a while begin to slowly edit-out the wellington boots, cutting in legs from yet another image, thinking that if I had just risked the lost of several tootsies for the sake of a self portrait, at least you were going to see it. I gave in soon enough, however, and honestly, I’m happy with the final result.

This is a spot where I have shot many times now, being just a thirty-second walk from my apartment. It’s a quiet, peaceful old Victorian cemetery that no longer creeps me out – honestly – and inspires me. I’d never go there without a model, creative team, or in this case, a tripod, however. I’m not someone who can wander cemeteries simple for the solitude of it, nor would you ever find me perched atop a tomb with my ideas moleskine in hand, but when I’ve gathered a creative team and selected a model (even if that model is myself), I find a great source of inspirational energy, and everything always just comes together.

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Snowy Self Portrait

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Workaholic

Regal Fashion

Anita 1#

For this photo shoot, I collaborated with a great fashion stylist, Eliza May, who managed to persuade several designers to hand over their beautiful garments for our photo shoot, which took place at Elvaston Castle in Derbyshire. Our model travelled from Manchester to work with us, the gorgeous and talented Anita. It was a chaotic morning (in the best sense), full of creative souls dashing around, our model sitting patiently while our talented hair stylist and makeup artist worked their magic. Eliza did a great job of organising the delivery, collection and arrangement of several outfits, which were displayed prominently in my apartment while we prepped Anita’s first look. It’s always great to work with so many talented individuals on a single shoot.

The sun shined all day, despite the ominous forcast for rain, and so our backup plan went forgotten. All in all, it was a great day for a photo shoot.

Anita 2# Anita 3# Anita 4#Anita 5# Anita 6# Anita 7# Anita 8# Anita 9# Anita 10# Anita 11# Anita 12# Anita 13#Anita 14# Anita 15#Anita 16#  Anita 18#

Designers:

Jennifer Prendergast

Lucy E

Rhea Clements

Kee Boutique

MUA: Adele Coxon

Hair: Neil Farley

Stylist: Eliza May

Assistant: Joanne

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