Category Archives: Rugglez’ Blog
I started to get in to model photography about 2 years ago now, and I have looked through many model’s portfolios to see who I would like to work with. I have never managed to put a “Top 10″ together as people keep being added to or taken away from my lists as my tastes change or as my experience and fussiness has developed. However, I saw one particular model’s profile very soon after joining the various modelling sites, and she has been the only person that I have dreamt of shooting, basically since day one. No matter how my work has evolved or improved, Ulorin Vex has always been inspirational to me, and her work is of such a high standard that it continues to inspire me.
So after much procrastination, I finally bit the bullet and booked Ulorin for a shoot. Unfortunately the shoot was at the far end of Cornwall – about a 4 hour drive away – but these things must be done! To say I was nervous before the shoot would be an extreme understatement. I have seen many images of Ulorin and know how high the quality of her work is. I had given Ulorin a brief of what I wanted to do, the sort of poses I wanted and the feel of the images. I also had an idea of where we were going to shoot (some studio and then moving out to the farm buildings) and the type of emotion I was looking to portray. Ulorin had responded with suggestions for outfit and make up that would suit what I wanted to get.
The day finally arrives. I am bricking myself and a nervous wreck at the prospect of shooting someone in this league, and along comes Ulorin – cool as a cucumber, very relaxed and completely on the ball! What a contrast lol. We go through the plan again and she adds some input on what will and won’t work. Ulorin goes to get ready and do her make up whilst I fumble around with the lights, trying desperately to get things right before she appears. Throughout the whole shoot, she was so full of energy and ideas, and luckily she was very patient as I kept making schoolboy errors. I did manage to relax some of the time, but I always had in my mind that I needed to get this shoot right! As long as I get one image from each set, I would be happy, but my lighting was terrible and it was killing what there was of my confidence. My plan for going outside failed completely. The image I had in my head of what I wanted just would not materialise, and I was finding it impossible to work out how to make it happen. So the majority of the work ended up being in the studio. Not such a bad thing, but not as adventurous as I would have liked.
Well, I managed my goal – I got a decent shot from each set! You would not believe how relieved and happy I was to get this. It was an amazing experience working with Ulorin, and better than I had hoped for. The worst thing about the day was the guy operating the lights and the camera, but I was nervous so that’s my excuse! I have so much to learn, but shooting with Ulorin has given me back my confidence and helped me to remember that I can get there, I just need to work with the right people and practice, practice, practice. Ulorin is currently in sunny Tuscany and then going back to LA, but she will be back in the UK in a few months, so I am going to book her again and hopefully get my shit together in the meantime lighting wise. I am going to use my images of her as a benchmark and make sure that each time I shoot with her, there is a marked improvement in the quality of my work.
The second group shoot at Severn Valley Railway – There have been some great things come out of my joining the Net-Model forums. The local meetings (not necessarily Net-Model specific, but many people are on that site) and meeting FastEddie. Ed is a very friendly, energetic, kind guy and very selfless when it comes to sharing his knowledge of photography – if he can help you solve a problem, he is more than happy to do so.
He has arranged several group shoots, which has taken a hell of a lot of organisation getting a bunch of dis-organised photographers and models to turn up at the same place and at the same time, but luckily he still comes back for more.
This group shoot was the 2nd time I visited Severn Valley Railway in Kidderminster – both times organised by FastEddie. The first time I had been there was only a couple of months after I had begun to seriously get in to my photography. I was very new to photographing models and very nervous doing so. I also had a very basic Olympus camera with the twin kit lenses which I had bundled in to my hiking rucksack, along with a couple of spare batteries and memory cards.
I had a much more productive day this time, helped in part by a massive upgrade to my camera kit. I had ditched the Olympus kit a few months back, and bought a Canon 50D, a few Sigma EX DG lenses (I LOVE these lenses!!!) and some YongNuo speedlights and triggers. I had a couple of dozen model shoots under my belt by this time too, so my nerves at initially talking to the models were pretty much gone. I also had a better idea of what I wanted to shoot and how I wanted to do it. I must admit though, I did say throughout the day to Scotty and Ed GB whilst I was looking at the back of my camera, that I honestly thought that my results were worse this time than the previous visit. It was a slight downer for my confidence on the day thinking I was getting worse at this photography lark rather than better, but I was very pleasantly surprised when I got home and looked at the images on my computer to realise they were leagues better than my first attempt – phew!!!
A massive thanks goes out to Scotty (check out Scotty’s awesome Blog), EdGB, FastEddie, Kirsty and Jackie for making this a really fun day out, answering all my constant questions on everything photography related and for just being a lovely group of people to hang out with. You all rock!
So here are a selection of images from the day. I hope you enjoy them. Please feel free to comment or leave feedback.
On my travels around Paris, I decided to have a wander down the Champs-Élysées and came across some street dancers busking outside the Charles de Gaulle Etoile Metro station at the top of the Champs. I think I spent longer taking pictures of these guys than any other subject in Paris!
I have no idea why these guys kept looking right down my camera lens, but I am so pleased that they did. I managed to get a few shots of them mid jump looking straight at me.
This is by far the funniest picture to me. The main busker guy who was talking to us stopped mid sentence and walked over to this bloke who had just been texting his mate the whole time they were dancing. The busker then asked what was so good on his phone that he was looking at that instead of watching them, to which he replied that his team had just scored a goal! He got the piss taken out of him ever so slightly!!!
So, on to the main images. I think for a small donation to the guys, I managed to get some really interesting shots. I would thank them all on here, but I forgot what their names were. I know there were 2 guys from Paris, 1 from Lyon and a South African guy who was the one in the hat. So, in no particular order…
The first batch.
And there’s more …. I was shooting for quite a while
This was in theory my second shoot with Artemis, although on our first shoot, she was really a Creative Director. Artemis had arranged a studio day with 2 models that I attended and she stayed around to help me out during the shoot. Her vision was so in tune with what I wanted that I knew I had to shoot with her myself.
This time in the studio, Artemis was modelling for me (as well as providing feedback on images as we went along) and I am amazed at what we came out with. I had tried on previous shoots to work with the aim of creating black and white images, but had always ended up editing them in colour. This time I was a lot stricter on myself and I am really glad I left the colour out (shooting black and white was actually Artemis’ idea ).
I hope you like what you see – feel free to leave comments either way. I will be editing more images from the shoot once I have caught up with my other work, so keep an eye out for more of the fantastic Artemis, and please pay a visit to Artemis’ Blog to keep up with hew work.
As always, please feel free to leave comments or feedback.
Some Useful Tips.
I thought I’d just share these updates that friends have sent me about my Facebook settings. You may already know these, but just in case….. Feel free to share these around or re-post.
Facebook Account Security Settings
FB has changed and failed to let us know about it. Take a look at your URL address (the top box on your screen.) If you see “http” instead of “https” you DO NOT have a secure session & can be HACKED. Go to Account – Account Settings – Account Security – click Change. Check box (secure browsing), click Save. FB has automatically set it on the non-secure setting! Do your friends a huge favor, copy & re-post.
Status Updates – Why are people missing from my feed?
The short version:
Facebook changed a setting to limit *who* you actually see in your news feed. To fix this scroll to the bottom of your “home” page (i.e. facebook.com if you are logged in) and on the lower right under the last post is “edit options”. Click on edit options and you will see “Show posts from:” at the top of the window that opens up. Choose “All of your friends and pages”.
The longer version.
The default setting under edit options is “Friends and pages you interact with most”. What this setting means is that you usually are only seeing pages posts and pages from people and pages that you have recently interacted with. When you think about it that makes for a small circle of knowledge/experience that you are exposed to. i.e. you only know what you already know. By changing the setting to “All of your friends and pages” you will then see posts from even your wallflower friends.
Part of the challenge though is that by re-posting this note (feel free to share this note or to copy and paste it to your news feed or notes) most of the people who will see it…are the people you normally interact with! But by crowd sourcing this solution (i.e. enough people repost versions of it) we can help to correct this annoying quirk.
Also take a look at my Facebook post here about Facebook hacks and how to (hopefully) try and avoid them :- http://www.rugglez.com/new-facebook-threat/