Another category in the 2011 Wellington Interclub was “cosmopolitan”. The word can have several meaning and I took the drink as my inspiration. I wanted a close up shot of a cocktail and rich lips.

Grace agreed to help me with this one and we managed to nail it fairly quickly, although she was a little disappointed when she discovered that I was getting her to drink straight cranberry juice with no alcohol.

While Grace’s lips and makeup were perfect it was not until I got the final print that I realised that her nails did not have any polish on them. By that stage it was too late to fix. The judge picked that fact up but rather than downgrading the image, thought it was a deliberate statement.

The image did very well coming second in its category.


Another category in the 2011 Wellington Interclub was “shadows”. I have always like images that have shown light coming through a window with venetian blinds. This instantly came to mind when I say the topic, and wanted to create effect of shadows on a body.

Now my wife actually hates venetians blinds so there are none in our house to use so I had to create a set in the studio. Using a bamboo curtain from the recyclers clamped onto two supports I then set a studio light on the other side.

Cath volunteered to be my model and we ended up getting a series of shots that I believed were stunning and exactly what I was after.

Unfortunately the selection committee was very conservative and the image never made it to the competition.

The Mirror Shoot

I really enjoy entering competitions on themes, because it lets me bring out the creative side in me. The 2011 Wellington Interclub had a topic called “Reflect”. I imagined that most people would take this as meaning a reflection and we would see the usual mountain reflected in a lake. I wanted to be a little different so decided to interpret the total as a reflection on the soul.

I wanted to create a shoot where a mirror showed what the true self was like rather than the show we put on. What better way to do than the difference between an angel and devil. I already has access to a set of white wings and bought some black ones.

Janelle agreed to be my model and came with several sets of white, black and red lingerie. We photographed the white sets first, then moved onto the other sets. She was a great subject and nailed all of the expressions that I was looking for.

Then in post I selected the best and composited them in photoshop.

I make a few mistakes with the setup which made the post production a lot harder than it should have been. If anyone is interested I have an article written about it.

The final image was well received by everyone who saw it but in the end it was not selected for the competition.

The True Nature

Weltec Makeup

This shoot was set up through a friend Iris. We were shooting an end of term competition for the makeup students (MUA) at Weltec. They had been given the theme of “the seven deadly sins”. We were required to take headshots, upper body and full body. The MUA’s were given staggered start times so that each had the same total time from the start to the end of their shoot. After the shoot we sent the finished images to Weltec and the students used them as part of a mood board.

In addition to doing the make up the student was expected to style the models wardrobe and direct the shoot. There was two photography stations set up. I was shooting against a white backdrop and Mike was shooting against black. In theory the models were to be shot against both. In practise it didn’t happen because a large number of the models were dressed in black and so I shot everyone Mike got breaks.

The day was long and challenging. Some of the student s had a very clear idea of what they wanted while others had no idea. Some of the models had experience and enthusiasm while others didn’t have either a clue or a care.

We started shooting at 11.00am and shot until 5.00pm. I was buggered but most of the images were worth the effort.

Wellington Studio Light Workshop

Following a session with the Wellington Photographic Meetup Group I foolishly agreed to organise a day in the studio where people could learn how to shoot under lights. I teed up a friend who had been doing studio photography and she organised model and make-up artists (MUA’s). We set a budget based on 10 people but set so that expenses were covered at 8. As it turned out 10 people did commit and so we modified the programme and included one model being body painted by the team from BodyFX.

It turned into a very full one day with 10 photographers, 4 MUA, 6 models ranging in age from 12 to 50. Fortunately we could set up two stations in the studio as well as using natural light at the front of the studio and in the stairwell.

Several people also disappeared with models across the road to the area behind the opera house.

I had envisaged that the bodypainted model would only want to be shot in the studio as all she was wearing was paint and a g-string. I didn’t count on her wanting shots outside. We ended up shooting in Te Aro park in front of the toilets and up a tree, much to the amusement of passing pedestrians.

Trevor & Lerun

I acted as second shooter for the wedding of Trevor & Lerun that was held at the old church in Makara. Trevor’s great great grandfather has helped build it so there was a family connection to a really lovely old building.

The day was very cold and with rain threatening we had to be quick. They wanted shots down at the beach but with the temperature less than 5 degrees that part of the shot was done in one take.

The day was not without other challenges as well. Lerun’s family were from China and spoke no English so trying to organise family shots was interesting to say the least.

It was also quite funny at the reception that when Trevor went to remove Lerun’s garter her family had not idea what was happening.

David & Shyanne

David & Shyanne are a couple that we know through Church so shooting their wedding was our gift to them. Although I had videoed a wedding and acted as second shooter on a number it was the first time that I was going to be the main photographer so there were a lot of nerves involved. The night before all gear was checked and double checked. On the day I was so paranoid about card failure that I swapped cards at the end of each part of the day

My wife Vicky agreed to act as my second shooter especially as we had agreed to cover the whole day.

We arranged a preshoot with the couple a week before the event and sort out locations around Trentham racecourse where we could shoot. We also scoped out an alternative location which ended up not being used.

On the day the weather was a little patchy and we discovered that one of our locations was out of bounds due to it being used for another wedding. There was also a third wedding happening at the same time and it was funny watching the other party have their photos taken. I then realised that I actually knew the other photographers.

The day went without a hitch really and it was great to share it with them.

A photographic journey

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