Workaholic

Rhea Clements

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Earlier this spring, I was asked by the extremely talented Rhea Clements to photograph her latest collection of knitted jewellery and accessories for her website. I have been fortunate to work Rhea multiple times in the past, and we have collaborated often; sometimes she is willing to provide me with items for a personal project of mine, and sometimes I step in, as I did in this instance, to help to photograph a new collection.

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Somewhere along the line, what began as a simple catalogue shoot developed something of a vintage, Mad Men-esque quality, which I now adore. It just goes to show how easily influenced we all are by the things around us. Though I would not describe Rhea’s work as vintage in style or reminscent of Mad Men, it works, regardless. Slightly muted colours finish the look, and I can only hope that Rhea is pleased with the results. She certainly claims to be, and that’s good enough for me._MG_0434

Our lighting was a simple set up so as not to distract from the items in anyway, providing a literal blank canvas from which Rhea’s bold colour pallets and the bright wardrobe could shine out. Our model was the wonderful Oona Elizabeth, while hair and makeup were both provided by Razwana Kausar.

I can’t wait until the next opportunity for Rhea and I to experiment and be creative with our collaborations.

_MG_0445 _MG_0512Model: Oona Elizabeth

MUA/Hair: Razwana Kausar

Styling: Emma Styles

Jewellery/Accessories: Rhea Clements

Studio: Pixel Pals Studio, Derby

The full collection can be viewed and purchased here.

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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#

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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#

Jess Erica 4#

Jess Erica 5#

 

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Oddly Enough: Studio

People often think that the only people who ever get nervous before their first photo shoot is either the model or the photographer. No one seems to give any thought to how a new makeup artist, hair stylist, wardrobe stylist or designer might be feeling before their first photo shoot. I was recently approached by University of Derby fashion student, Erica Godfrey, of Oddly Enough designs, to photograph her final collection.

Erica admitted that she had never had a photo shoot for any of her work, and that she – as were a few of our models – was a little nervous. This was out of her comfort zone. We decided that we should hold three photo shoots – a studio test with a short video as a ‘casting’ for our models, as Erica wanted to see who would be best in front of the camera for the look she wanted, a lookbook, and the grand, main photo shoot at Wollaton Hall, the images of the latter being the one that would be prominently displayed during her final exhibition.

I don’t like that we live in a world that seems to expect everyone to be an expert at whatever is thrown their way. A lack of confidence does not equal to a lack of skill, an introvert is no worse than an extrovert, and I think that, while I enjoy learning new skills as much as the next person, its important not to spread our abilities too thinly across too wide an area. I’ve always believed that nerves equal to passion. We would not feel nervous about something that we did not care about, and so nerves are just another powerful emotion that can be channeled into something wonderful, such as our creativity. After all, powerful emotions, be them negative or positive, are always the best stimulant for the imagination.

This shoot in particular consisted of a great team of people – anyone who felt a little nervous or unsure as to the process of a photo shoot, was welcomed with open arms and made to feel ‘at home’. Everything was organised meticulously, and we came away with a clear vision for the main shoot and lookbook in mind.

The video produced by Ben Bransbury-Hare can be seen here.

(Update* my other two photo shoots with Oddly Enough can be seen here and here.)

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Models: Jessie Jing & Jessica Bailey

Video: Ben Bransbury-Hare

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