Last month I shot an editorial for menswear magazine, PAUSE. I've been a big fan of PAUSE's cool, edgy, and youthful aesthetic for a long time so I was thrilled to be commissioned by them. PAUSE came to me with a really open brief, simply asking how I would interpret the big trend for SS16: stripes. I played around with a few concepts (the go-faster stripe was one idea, no joke) before finally settling on 'Earn your stripes' - exploring the idea of having to prove yourself. Within that concept, I thought it would be fun to play around with the clothes, maybe the more you have to prove yourself, the stripier the clothes get.
The first thing I do after I've brainstormed the initial concept and mood board is to put together a creative team. Daniela Suarez is a fantastic stylist as well as the fashion editor of Jungle Magazine. She's young and edgy so a perfect fit to style this shoot for PAUSE. Dani and I talked about how a sporty and tailored aesthetic would fit well within the concept.
For grooming I was delighted that MUA extraordinaire Gemma Tyler came on board. I've worked with Gem several times before and as well as being a fantastic MUA, she's also a very calming, reasoned voice on set. She has no problem calling bullshit and kept her cool when I once had a rather dramatic accident on set. But that's a story for another day. Gem thought a slicked back look for the model's hair would suit the clothes and concept and I agreed.
And what luxurious hair it was! Freddie Fame at Established was our model for the shoot. A fantastic model with a great look and a heart of gold. Freddie was an absolute delight to shoot and chat to off camera.
For the location I wanted to shoot somewhere graphic and linear as a backdrop, naturally occurring 'stripes' within the urban landscape. Taking a walk through Bermondsey Square one sunny Sunday, I thought it would really work as a location. From the electrical wires running overhead to the corrugated exterior of the buildings and the linear pattern in the pavements, it was perfect (and about 10 minutes from my apartment. I love me some proximity). After completing a risk assessment form and providing my public liability insurance the management of the square very kindly allowed me to shoot there.
We needed a base for the shoot though, somewhere to hang and steam the clothes, for the grooming, somewhere for the model to change, somewhere to keep warm etc. I'm not going to pretend I've gone through my career without doing all of those things behind cars on the street or the loos of Pret, but it's not ideal! Thankfully, the wonderful staff at the Bermondsey Square Hotel came to the rescue and provided us with one of their beautiful terrace suites overlooking the square (and with complimentary hot drinks all day!)
Next, I needed to think about how I was going to light the shoot. It was a beautiful, sunny day so I wanted to expose for the sky to capture its colour and fill in the model with light. I used my Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT to achieve this but crucially I needed to get the flash gun off the axis of the camera to get creative with the light. I hired a Plus III Pocket Wizard set from my good friends at The Flash Centre (the best place for equipment rentals in London) so my assistant Leanne could hold the flash off camera. I also hired a Canon 85mm f1.2 L lens (aka 'the God lens') so with that and my Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L MK II lens I was, at last, ready to get shooting!
I wanted to use this blog post to give more insight into the practical side of producing a shoot as well as the tools I use to create the shots. Being a photographer involves a lot more than just taking photos - which is what I'm going to write about next. If there are any topics in particular you'd like me to cover - holler at me in the comments below.
My sincere thanks to the management of Bermondsey Square, the Bermondsey Square Hotel, the Flash Centre, Established Models, PAUSE and my creative team, especially my assistant Leanne.