Winter Girls – Portrait Photography in the Snow

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I came back home for winter holidays and my lovely cousins came to visit. A couple of days after christmas it began to snow so of course we had to use this opportunity and take a few winter portraits messing around in the snow. We didn’t plan anything in advance & didn’t have much time, so while I see room for improvement I’m quite happy with the way these pictures turned out despite (or because?) the spontaneity. What do you think? Do you have a favourite?
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In the Studio – with a Merman

So a few weeks ago I had an amazing opportunity to do a shoot in a studio with two fantastic makeup artists and two models. I was pretty excited about this as I don’t often get the opportunity to shoot in a studio so was eager to practice. I was a bit afraid that I’ll mess it up big time, but I think the photos turned out quite well. The model here was Graeme Guthrie, this was his first time modelling but he was a natural. The makeup artist was Kimberley Fairley (the makeup fairy :D) and she was going for a natural look which she achieved perfectly. So all in all it was a great collaboration.

So have a look, let me know what you think and tune in next week for the second part of the shoot.

The Geisha Warrior

Model : Megan Cowan
MUA : Cassie Todd
by Reverine Photography

This shoot is another example of a last minute shoot which turned into something absolutely amazing.  Cassie mentioned she’s got a vintage chinese dress and I said it would be amazing if we had a sword as well. Cassie said she can try and get that too – and she did. The word epic doesn’t even cover it. It was my dream to do something like this and it just came together perfectly.

I wasn’t really trying to portray a typical geisha, so don’t yell at me for not making her look “authentic” she’s more like an imaginary character. A sword-wielding heroine who’s not afraid to kick your ass and chop you up.

Bratislava Fashion Weekend

So I just sobered up from the madness that was Bratislava Fashion Weekend, which is the closest Slovakia has to fashion week. I only got the email about my press pass last minute so I missed the first day’s shows but I spent the rest of the weekend in and around the Fashion tent, either in the photo-pit or wandering about taking photos of stylish individuals. There would usually be about four shows per day, mainly by Slovak designers but there was a few shows by famous brands like s.Oliver, aftershock London and Nike. But first I’ll present photos from saturday featuring slovak designers which pleasantly surprised me with their talent.

This is a collection by Michaela Luptakova, full of edgy urban looks.

Petra Poorova presented her Coco Chanel inspired collection featuring feminine silhouettes and bows.

Holubec is certainly not a man to go for safe looks. His collection was absolutely stunning with its edgy clothes, materials and mild nudity. Needless to say, me and the audience loved it.

Jana Gavalcova stunned everyone with her amazingly abstract swimwear.

Miklosko Fashion Design. Miklosko didn’t fail to charm with his elegant details and intricate designs.

Hope you enjoyed this selection of photos, there’s more from every designer on my Facebook page so make sure to check it out. 🙂

 

 

Clockwork Orange

So I’m finally posting the edited shots from my shoot with Samantha & Harrison, if you haven seen them make sure to check out the behind the scenes photos I posted in my previous blogpost which turned out to be one of my most popular, probably because the models show off their mad ninja fighting skills. I decided on the title – Clockwork Orange, purely based on the photo above because Harrison’s slightly creepy smile reminds me so much of my favourite droog Alex. So check out the rest of the series, it’s pure horrorshow!


Photoshop Beauty, the Media and the Real Women

Our society definitely has an unhealthy obsession with beauty and sexuality – especially when it comes to women. Where else is this reflected better than the Media which constantly pursues us with images and advertisements featuring women (usually young and scantly clad) as objects of desire.

Often Photoshop is singled out as the main perpetrator – messing with the reality and making us all have unrealistic expectations. That might be true in some cases.

But most of us know that all women in magazines are photoshopped to some extent and refuse to be deceived. Actually top models are usually photoshopped less than you’d think as they are required to have the perfect figure and flawless skin, which makes it very easy to get a great image. But it’s not only photoshop. The main ingredients are amazing makeup, styling and lighting which can transform even an ordinary looking girl into something extraordinary. All these things combined are what makes the images in the media, whether editorial fashion spread or an ad campaign pop.

It makes you stop and look at the girl on the billboard, want to do her or want to be her – things you can easily do by buying the item she is advertising – either for yourself, or your girlfriend. Simple psychology.

And it works. If it didn’t they wouldn’t do it. Remember the famous Dove beauty campaign (kickstarted by the Evolution video above) which used “real women” (as if models were imaginary) to advertise their products.  It got wide media coverage but it wasn’t much of a help with sales, there was also some controversy about them looking for “flawless” non-models for their new real-women commercial. Later on Dove dropped it for a more conventional approach. So much for advertising revolution.

But let’s go back to those flawless girls on billboards and magazine covers. Another fallacy is to think that photoshop and all the evils connected with it is a modern invention. No way. Even in the age of black and white film people were experimenting in darkroom with techniques to create the most pleasing photograph. Just google it, there’s way too many examples to list. Hell, even illustration was often inspired by photographs and then completely re-imagined in order to improve upon it. I never knew that pin-up drawings were often based on photographs so this just blew me away. There’s one picture below but make sure to check out the rest.

The magic of illustration. Also another reason why the duck face doesn’t work on real women

Now everyone is probably thinking  – come on! Everyone knows that illustrations are not real.  Of course they are not. But neither are the overly airbrushed babes you see everywhere. It’s a style, just like pin-up.

A lot of people are still thinking whether photoshopping the hell out of people is moral or immoral. I don’t know. Being a photographer myself I don’t think that I’m the right person to judge.  The level of retouch and airbrushing nowadays is quite excessive. At the same time I don’t think we could stop it and not using it wouldn’t help. A popular opinion states that the TV adds kilos and I think that camera lens adds wrinkles. Or at least makes it more noticeable, as you don’t usually notice these things when talking to people. Mostly you’re looking into their eyes, thinking of what they’re saying and preparing your answer (or escape route). However if there is only a photograph in front of you – all these little flaws suddenly jump at you.

I know that effect well, sometimes I’d go back from a shoot only to realise that the model has her mouth opened on every single photograph, or she is frowning or there is a bra strap showing (nearly every single time!) but you rarely notice these things on the spot. I mean as a photographer you need to notice these little things and not to rely on fixing it in post, but at the same time you can’t catch everything. So from this side photoshop is actually very useful as small details like hair sticking out can be really distracting and destroy the whole photograph.

I think that photoshop should be used like salt and pepper, just a little bit for the right flavour – if there’s too much of it it can destroy the meal. I personally don’t use it that much, only for minor adjustments and skin retouching, but I feel like it’s wrong to use it to enhance a body like slim someone down, change the shape of someones nose or whatever. If you don’t like the way the model looks you should’ve picked another. Trying to make your Ugly Betty into a fantasy babe doesn’t make you a great photographer/retoucher – it only makes you look like a jerk. I believe that the model should recognise herself on the final photograph and not be ashamed to show it to her friends because she looks completely different on the image. So that’s my take.

Photoshop could be compared to a weapon – not inherently bad by itself, it all depends who uses it and how. And sometimes I think that like guns it should not be readily available for everyone. 😀

And I thought Justin can’t get more scary…

Hope you liked this article, this is such a big topic that I’m considering doing a short series of blog posts. Your comments/ideas will be appreciated.

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Nicole – the New Miss Scotland

A few days ago I heard wonderful news that Nicole, one of the models I know became Miss Scotland 2012! I had a shoot with her a few months ago but because I am notoriously bad about posting photos up you haven’t seen them yet. So what better time to post them than now?

This is Nicole. She came over to my flat to for the shoot, along with her mum who proved more than useful with handling the reflector. Nicole was very nice and excited about her modelling career and very driven, she knew exactly what she wanted out of the shoot, which only made it easier for me. Anyways here are some photos from our shoot:

Rawrrr

And the last one is my favourite shot from the whole day. Those eyes. Isn’t she haunting? Definitely a deserved victory. Congratulations Nicole!