Category Archives: Fashion

Trash the Dress in the pool

The evening that I had shot the milk water set I saw a Facebook post from Megan wanting a photographer to do a trash a dress shoot with her. She had got married on January 24 and wanted to use the flowers from the wedding before they were thrown away. I thought the small pool would be perfect and so we arranged to meet after work on Tuesday 3 February at her new place in Miramar.

It wasn’t too difficult to find the place but immediately I saw two issues with the location. The major one was that the whole section was on a slope so placing the pool would be difficult. The second was that the house was on the shadow side of the afternoon sun which meant that we would lose the light fairly quickly.

We found the least amount of slope and filled up the pool the best that we could. In reality this was no where near its capacity. When the water reached the top of the side at the lower end, it had only just managed to cover the bottom at the other.angledPool

This limited how we could shoot and therefore there were very few full length shots taken. Rather they were close ups in the deeper part of the water.

As it turned out the light was an issue in that there was too much and so there was quite a difference between full sun and shade. This meant more positioning to try to mitigate the issue.

We ended up with a series of images that both of use like although I would have liked more full length shot down images but the slope really prevented those.MeganTTD-10 MeganTTD-8 MeganTTD-7 MeganTTD-3

Chaotic Sunday

Generally speaking when I go to a shoot I have a pretty good idea what I am going to be dealing with. Last Sunday turned out to be the complete opposite to norm.

I have been asked by a model to help out by shooting her in some clothes that had been designed. She arranged the “studio” and I arranged to meet her there. When I arrived there was no sign of her and the studio turned out to be room in a hall. Shortly after the designated time the designers, who turned out to be four third year Massey university fashion students, showed up. As part of their degree they had to design a collection of clothes in the style of a well known designer. In this case it was Andrea Moore.

They had been told that the room we had booked had white walls and wooden floors. The room we were shown into had green walls and a maroon carpet. I had been told that we were shooting in a studio so had left my backdrops at home.

Eventually we managed to secure a better location at the same time as the model showed up.

They had sent the model some mood board images to pass onto me which she had not. Fortunately they had examples on their phones for me to see.

They had a range of outfits and wanted to have simple “look book” images, then some to use as campaign images and then to go outside and shoot more campaign images in the city.

As they wanted bright images for the look book I chose  a simple two light arrangement as shown in the diagram below.


The soft box to camera right is the main light for the subject. The second soft box is there to light up the background. Both lights were set to f7.1.

The idea in a look look is to maintain consistency in the set so that the clothes are the focus. To help with this the camera was sat on a tripod and the model did not move much relative to it.

Example of a Look Book image
Example of a Look Book image

Once we had a good series of images we then moved on the campaign images that were allowed to be a lot more lively. The girls had brought in a number of props and I say the possibility of a fun shot using them.

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We then moved outside. My daughter was assisting me and she noticed that the pattern on the hood of one of the outfit lined up rather neatly with Emily’s face so we took the following image.


Not to far away from the building was a park bench that I thought suited the theme. Toi-Poneke-13We then moved down to Caro Drive to shoot around a pedestrian crossing. I decided to use a little selective colour with this image to make it pop.

Break out of the gray
Break out of the gray

I ended up shooting 360 images in the 3 hour session. These were put up in a gallery for the girls to decide which images they wanted to edit further. They chose around 40 which were delivered to them.

A chaotic start but a good session non the less. To Jess, Amelia, Rosie and Miriam all the best.

Return to Palmer Head – Victorian Inspiration

Ever since I did the shoot with Megan at Palmer Head I had wanted to return there and try out some different concepts. Kristara and I had planned to shoot at the start of the year but somehow never managed to lock in a date when either our schedules or the weather could align properly. With time on my hands we managed to arrange a shoot for a Friday afternoon.

I wanted to go with two quite different looks. The first I wanted to utilise a homemade outfit that looks very Victorian. I thought that this contrasted nicely with the fact that Kristara has piercings and dreadlocks. Kristara added a set of goggles for a steampunk sort of look.

The initial test at full power

I planned on shooting inside of the gun emplacement and to add an extra dimension brought an old style lamp in which I has placed a speed light covered in an orange gell. The first shot the speed light was set to quite a high power and while it produced the desired effect it was real too bright. So the flash was wound back a little and the following image was produced.

Light solely from the flash in the lamp

While the  shot worked there was too much falloff in the light and so I positioned a second flash in a bounce umbrella to my right and then played with the positioning and angle of it until it only provided a level of fill and did not over power the colours I was looking for.

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We did run into a major issue with the light in the lamp in that something kept creating a circuit that caused it to fire randomly. I suspect that it was something to do with the metal of the lamp. I managed to get enough good shots but it was frustrating.

For the final shot we moved into the main chamber of the complex that would have housed the actuals guns and I shot Kristara looking out. This is actually a composite of two images with one being exposed for her and the other for the outside, as there was two much difference in the light levels to handle in a single exposure.


Group Shoot

While most of my photography is done with a bare minimum of help I find that from time to time it is great to join up with other people and do a group shoot. These enable you to work with a large number of models as well to see other photographers in action.

At the end of February I joined a shoot organised by make up artist Grace Krishnan, photographers Kevin Nj and Sharyn Reeve, and models Grace, Jasmine and Stacey.

Grace did most of the arrangements for the day which was no mean feat as she was holidaying in Australia at the time and only arrived back in the country last on the night before. She was then up by 7.00am to start makeup on the models. On top of that she loaned the girls their outfits.

We had chosen Kaitoke Regional Park for the shoot. We knew that the models would be ready around noon so we needed a location that offered us shade. The contrast between ball gowns and forest also appealed.

The day went without too much hitches. We started in the forest area and then moved to the river bank. The models then got changed and while Sharyn shot Grace in the river I worked with the other two.

A group of school boys added some entertainment at one point as well. Below is a selection of images from the day.

Jasmine in one of my favourite shots of the day
Jasmine in one of my favourite shots of the day

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Stacey and jasmine in a change of style
Stacey and jasmine in a change of style

Fashion on a Saturday Morning

Every two years the church we go to runs an all day event for women called “Body & Soul”. It contains a number of elective sessions, entertainment and inspirational speakers. I was asked to document to day for them.

This year it contained an additional item with a fashion parade by Upper Hutt designer Rasha Taylor, with a showing of day, ball and wedding dresses.

Now the main issue with  photographing a run way show is generally light. In some shows there is too much and at others not enough. Fortunately with the show I knew in advance what I was dealing with and being the official photographer was able to bring in some of my own.

I initially thought about a speedlight but discounted it as it gives a very harsh light and the spread is very uneven. In the end I set up a strobe and umbrella on a boom arm. This enabled me to light up the last 2 metres of the catwalk with a reasonable consistent soft light head to tow at around f8.

In order the ensure a proper angle on the girls I brought in a small step ladder and shot from the top. I have been really pleased with the images shot.

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