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you’ll read throughout this edition of Photomappers, I’ve taken a good few months off creating the magazine to focus solely on shooting. Sometimes forcing a break on ourselves recharges the batteries nd can create a whole new skillset. In focusing on just portraits, I’ve really started to learn that shooting people is more about psychology, rather than craft. In general, I’m an introvert, but by pushing my comfort zone, I’ve afforded myself some very valuable lessons. One great piece of advice I can share is this; if something scares you then do it. Growth begins at the edge of the comfort zone.









Interviews with models

Professionalism 101












’m back! I took some time off to focus on just portraits. A whole six months! Portraits aren’t something I ever really wanted to shoot, but a new challenge was needed. As it turns out, I love shooting portraits! So much so, it’s becoming my thing. What have I learned? Wide angle lenses make for awesome portrait lenses! Obviously depending on how they’re used,


but the crazy angles make for awesome shots! Huge, heavy 2.8 lenses aren’t necessary (at least for my style). When travelling around, heavy lenses are a burden! Have you tried walking around all day with a tonne of camera equipment hanging around your body? It’s not cool! You don’t even need to use 2.8 for separation! Get in close to the subject and that’ll help separate the subject






from the background. A longer focal length will also accentuate the separation. People aren’t that scary! The idea of shooting people is initially terrifying! Especially when you’re an introvert and shooting a perfect stranger.. But when you suck it up and just deal with it, you really grow as a person. Portraits are so easy to over think! Many times I’ve put myself in a crappy situation where I’ve became overwhelmed before a shoot. In a way I’m happy for it to have happened though, it’s put me in a place where going back to basics is easy. The main thing to remember is the focus of the shoot. For example, if you’re shooting a portrait session, you’re


capturing the essence of the person. Try not to get caught up on poses, clothing etc. Instead, you should put effort into pulling the personality out of the subject. Lighting and posing are definitely big factors in shooting people, but capturing the connection is what makes or breaks a shot in my opinion. I found that taking the time out to learn a new skill has made me grow exponentially as a photographer and as a person. These kinds of personal projects are recommended to keep the passion alive and to give yourselves the opportunity to learn a new skill-set.


BR For the pose, I had the model tilt her head upwards slightly to illuminate the under eyes and chin shadows. Legs were posed to lead the eye through the frame, whilst still looking comfortable. Arms were also posed to create a feeling of comfort too. The wrists have a nice and natural bend to them keeping the femininity. In complete contrast,the angles of the model’s body parts create lots of triangles. Purposefully placed to create a dynamic energy

T fe so of an fa ey m Stairs are a brilliant location. They’re so versatile! In this instance, the sun was out and super intense! It was like 24 degrees Celsius! Having the model sit on the stairs lowers the camera angle and gets rid of all the distracting background getting hit by the sun. The location was literally a building site so proper placement of the model was so important!



IMAGE REAKDOWN Here’s a shot from a recent London shoot I done. I thought this would be a brilliant example image breakdown of what goes through my head when shooting. This was shot in bright, harsh daylight, with a wide angle lens. You’ve probably heard that you should never shoot in harsh sunlight, or shoot portraits with a wide lens.. But I say bring

The placement of the model near the wall has a ew of benefits. The first being it gives the model omething to lean on. Secondly, the colour eats some f the light creating the shadow on the model’s face nd arm. Shadows add a little drama and shape to the ace. The wall also acts as leading lines to guide the ye to the model. Lastly, the wall helps to frame the model too.

it on! Two quick remedies to over come these issues are; turning the model so their back is against the sun. This will block the harsh light from hitting the face. Also, look at placing the model in actual shade too! Overcoming the wide angle lens thing can be done by

placing the model relatively central in the frame. You can see in my shot how the legs and feet are a little distorted, but the rest of her is proportioned.



So we’ve gone through what was done to get the shot. What would I have done differently if I had the chance to reshoot it? There’s a few little things, firstly, I’d have the model bend forward at the waist a little more. This would bring her face closer to the camera, adding a little more focus on that area. We may lose a tiny bit of light on her right shoulder, but that’s be fine with me. Secondly, I’d try this shot with flash or a silver reflector to add more drama to the shot. I doubt that would have made the shot better, but I’d have had another version to play with. Having said that I do like the natural light one. Thirdly, I’d probably create a little space between the model’s right arm and her waist. She was tiny, and you can see she’s tiny, but that little gap

would have shown her shape just that little better. Asides from that, a wider shot would have given more space to crop in a work with in an editorial sense. (I didn’t have that in mind when shooting). I find reviewing images after the fact to be the best way to learn. Knowing what you’ve done wrong in a previous shoot, you can learn from your mistakes and hopefully not make them again! In my case, the biggest take away from the whole shoot was getting the model to lean towards the camera, especially when shooting with a wide angle lens. This little lean adds engagement between the viewer and model, and makes the face more of the focus of the shot.

What would you do differently? Get in touch and let me know! Send an email to, or visit my Instagram page at @thammondphotography



Here is the straight out of camera shot. Looks a little different doesn’t it! That’s mainly down to the colour grading. If you flick through the before and after shots, you’ll see there is a decent amount of tidying up too. Distracting elements such as the hole in the metal structure beside the model’s head have been removed, blemishes on the skin, gum on the wall and some general stuff on the stairs. Colour grading was done with a curve in Photoshop, a colour tone adjustment layer, and a selective colour layer with cyan added to the blacks.

Original shot - sooc

Angles create dynamic poses.

The Gist

Don’t obstruct the face. Turn the hands to not see fists. Eliminate background distractions.






















AN INT E R WI VIE TH W ... DERANGED.PIXIE ...on modelling, mental health and self belief







Hey! Introduce yourself and tell us a little about you.

Heya, My name is Ivy, I’m an 18 year old Alternative model from London. I’m very interested with spirituality, sacred geometry, music and art. Writing is my favourite way of expressing myself and my inner feelings and struggles. As well as being a model I am a struggling artist. I study art and I hope one day I’ll be able to become an artist, writer as well as a model. My biggest hope is to be able to inspire people and help those who struggle with all the issues {that} society, mental health etc. bring us.

What’s your particular style of modelling? My particular style is Street Fashion, Lingerie and Glamour. My favourite to shoot however is Street fashion and fantasy.

What do you think is your biggest success to date?

I don’t really think I’ve had a ‘big success’ lately, I think it’s yet to come, or at least I hope so!

How do you get into ‘the zone when on set?

On set I find it quite easy to get into the zone as I’m very easy going, however a bit of my favourite head banging music does help. I’m in my zone if I trust and get on well with the tog.

Does it bother you that models will work for free on projects that companies make money from because they want the exposure? I have no problem with models working for free for big companies. In this industry exposure is necessary and a model has to do what they have to do to reach their goal.

Have you ever re-done your makeup after the MUA did it?

I’ve never worked with an MUA, I know my face best and I’ve had many years experimenting with what looks right on me and what makes me comfortable.

What initially got you into modeling?

I initially got into modelling because I’d been dealing with various mental health problems. I was previously in Bad relationships and had my confidence taken away from me and I started modelling to boost that up. Then I realised that the reason I carried on modelling was because I am not perfect and I am very much flawed. I don’t look flawless like other models do and I want to show people that you don’t have to be preened and perfect all of the time. Integrity is important to me and I want to model while also showing my followers that I have bad days, that I don’t always look like I do in my photos, and that I am very much a flawed person. I’m sick of seeing models with no substance other than their pretty faces and I hope to be different and show girls out there that they don’t have to be the people they see on social media


Sometimes I hate how I’m edited, sometimes I hate the shots that get picked for editing. I’m very picky and ready to criticise myself and if there is one thing wrong with my facial expression or posture in a photo I hate it and sometimes I don’t like the way I get edited as I look at myself in the photo and then look at myself in the mirror and the comparison really highlights my flaws.

Do you speak up if you’re not happy about your look?

I find it difficult to speak up. I’m a people pleaser and it’s a problem for me, as I take it out on myself afterwards.



In a world of selfies and Instagram models, what constitutes as a ‘model’ in your opinion? I.e. having photo shoots with photographers, being published, having paid published work

In my opinion a model means someone who has done a photo shoot, Obviously if you’re published or work for pay you could consider modelling as your profession however, anyone that has worked with a photographer is a model. Model can mean any number of things these days. On the internet a model could mean webcam model, online model, model etc. You really can’t define it and it’s up to the individual to call themselves what they want to. I still feel weird calling myself a model though.

Have you ever been put off modelling be photographer trying to push boundaries or levels, or unprofessional behaviour in the past?

I’ve been tempted to give up modelling numerous times. Most photographers I’ve worked with have been professional and great but a growing number have pushed my levels and boundaries and as I mentioned before, I struggle to say no. It has made me feel really bad about myself and also made me feel like I should quit because I obviously can’t handle those situations and they have a big affect on me and can often make me feel like being objectified and pushed into obedience is my only purpose in life.

Do you have any advice for other models?

My advice for other models is: Know what you want, know your levels before you do anything. Be certain of what you want to do and how you want to do it. Learn how to stand up for yourself. Never let anyone push you. Never compare yourself to other models you see, we all get photo-shopped. Believe in yourself and your ability to achieve what you set your mind to. If you need a break, take one! The world doesn’t pause for anyone but modelling can. And finally, don’t take it too seriously, while you should put time and effort into it, it’s very easy to become consumed by it so remember the things that matter to you other than modelling.

Who’s your inspiration?

My inspirations are Dani divine (goth queen) Rebecca crow, Shelly d’inferno and Molly Soda

Finally, where can readers find you? You can {also} find me on:

Believe in yourself and your ability to achieve what you set your mind to Photo credits: Mike Stone Instagram @stonem64




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N V A ER T . . N . I TH I W


SUICIDE GIRL HOPEFUL AND ALL ROUND CREATIVE PERSON Hey! Introduce yourself and tell us a little about you. My name is Tina Marie. I am currently based out of the lovely Minneapolis. My life orbits around passion. Passion for art, writing, music. I mainly model and do work as a freelance makeup artist. Specializing mostly in special effects makeup. I also direct shoots and create storyboards for many artistic concepts as well. To simplify, I create. I create anything that fuels my soul that day and hopefully inspires others as well.



What initially got you into modeling? Honestly, modeling was never my main goal. Growing up, my mother was a model. She of course projected me in that career path. It truly wasn’t for me, I felt I simply could not fit in that mold. So I walked away from modeling around the age of 19. Fast forward a few years. My love for artistic and unique makeup designs started catching the eyes of photographers. With growing popularity for my technique, old photographers of mine began to reach out to me. It started as ne, just helping out old friends in the studio as a hobby, then started back in the studio as a paid makeup artist. Now some of my visions can get a bit far out there to the more shallow thinkers of society. So, I began working some shoots as a makeup artist and the model. Since some of my concepts, well, models did not take interest in them. They were “too much, too controversial” as some would say. It wasn’t until shortly after that, that my modeling shifted to that of an alternative model and progressed to Suicide Girls. I loved the way they embraced the uniqueness of each and every woman. This is where I fit. I’m currently a SG Hopeful and my goal is to become fully signed with them eventually. It is a tedious process, but the SG community has been absolutely fabulous. Pg.


What’s your particular style of modelling? As I mentioned previously, I suppose we can categorize me as an alternative model. My love for shock value surely got me there. As a diehard Rob Zombie fan, creatively and artistically. I tend to lean towards gore. Yet I like my work to also portray a message. For example, not too long ago, I did an entire set centered around the hypocrisy that can be found in radical religions. Namely, Catholicism.The set starts with a bitter woman, judging the people around her as if she herself were God. The shoot progresses to her returning to her sanctuary and performing satanic acts. Such as carving a pentagram into her forehead. This set was created and directed by me and brought to life by Twisted Light Photography. Titled, “The Demons Amongst us”. Urging viewers to think, do we really know the company we keep? Are we not all sinners? Aside from the special effects makeup and gore. As an SG Hopeful, I do alot of pinup and nude modeling. Some days it bores me. The sets you see on there can become so redundant. So I always try to come up with, at least, some sort of artistic progression to the shoot. I hope to one day, shake their snowglobe a bit, mess with the standard. But honestly, there’s really no category I’d be against in the modeling world. If it can speak to me or my viewers, I’m in. It is always one of my first questions when a photographer approaches me for bookings. What are we doing, and why, and how can I mesh my creativity into this piece as well.

Who’s your inspiration? It truly depends upon what aspect of my multifaceted life we are speaking of. As a special effects makeup artist, hands down, Rob Zombie is my man. As a model, again it depends upon which category I’m zoned in for at the time. I’m me. It is all I have to offer. I dont try to emulate or put a certain mask on. I simply flow creatively through my soul and do as my heart desires. So if I really had to pick an inspiration, I would have to say it would be my mother. I am everything she raised me to be. Unique in every form. Now if you’re wondering what inspires alot of my creative collaborations I come up with, I’d have to say music and writing. Music fuels my writing, writing fuels my modeling collaborations. The emotions I feel in that moment, can snowball into an entire photoshoot series.

How do you get into ‘the zone when on set? Music. Music is everything. I select certain playlists of mine that reflects the mood I’m trying to portray. If I’m going for dark, I’m throwing on all sorts of Marilyn Manson, A Perfect Circle, etc. Sultry or sexy vibes, I got The Weeknd blaring through the studio. I’m extremely influenced by music. Also, being a makeup artist, my eye shadow pallet, shade of lipstick, etc. Will directly reflect my mood or vibe I’m trying to get into. W





What do you think is your biggest success to date? Taking what I loved doing as a hobby, and making it into a full time career. My mother always told me, find what you love, what you are passionate about and learn how to profit from it. This year has been truly blessed for me. I have been booked out in not only modeling and MUA work, but my cake business has took off as well. This year is the first year I actually had to hire an assistant! It’s truly amazing and I’m so grateful for all the love and support I’ve received along the way. Especially the ones who doubted me and continue to turn their back on me. You pushed me further than you’ll ever know. As they say, if you ain’t being hated on, you ain’t doing a damn thing. I did this all freelance with some guidance and if course the amazing support from the Suicide Girls community. I have no real desire to “make it big,” as they say. I’m just waking up every morning and doing what I love. And that is all the success I need.

Do you always like how you’re edited? I try to keep an open mind about it, as there are many different forms of artistic expression and art is extremely subjective. I would never want to discourage an artist from doing what they love. I suppose the only time I’ve been really put off, is the couple times I’ve been overly edited. I had one photographer largen my breasts, widen my curves. To the point where I could hardly tell it was me. I politely told them, if that’s the model figure they wanted, then that is the model they should have sought out. I try to keep my look as natural as possible. I’m a real woman. There’s enough girls in this world trying to fit into impossible standards set by the fashion industry. I embrace my curves and natural beauty, and I’d love all women to do the same. We are all uniquely beautiful in our own way. Why should we edit ourselves into a mold? I have never gotten brash with a photographer in this regard. I just simply won’t work with them in the future. Some people just don’t mesh or see eye to eye and that’s perfectly ok.

Does it bother you that models will work for free on projects that companies make money from because they want the exposure? Honestly, from a vague standpoint. If I were to generalize it as a whole, no. Everyone can do whatever the please with their career. I’m just over here trying to live my best life. Yet, there is one side of that, that effects paid models such as myself. It has been a rare occurrence for me, as I have many other talents within the studio aside from modeling, but it certainly cuts our market. I completely understand wanting to get your name out there. Yet, think, once you do, those companies will be looking for the next new girl who is willing to do the job for free. Instagram models, hobby models, it makes the market much more competitive and the profit drops. I dont blame the companies whatsoever. If it were my business, you bet I would pluck a free model from IG before doing a casting call of career models. A penny saved is a penny earned. In there, is where I have broadened my work in the studio. Marketing myself as a model, MUA, and creative director/storyboard creator. So no, it doesn’t really bother me. I have established myself in a way that opens many doors for me. I do my Pg.


own thing and support anyone else who does the same. I’m not here to become some famed super model. Im here cultivating a passion. I have always said, the key to a happy fulfilled life, is to find your hobbies. Find what you are good at, what you love doing, and learn to make a profit from it. I’m in this for the art. I too have done some collaborations with my main photographers, free of charge. Sometimes, we just want to create and flow and see what we come up with.

Have you ever re-done your makeup after the MUA did it? Well, as an MUA. I have mostly done all my own makeup and hair. On the few occasions that a company has been called upon to do that part of the studio work, I have not had one complaint. I am a very vocal woman. I like our creativity and ideas to mesh and translate as such. It also helps that I’m extremely open to trying new things. I love seeing anothers artistic mind come alive. You know, I can think of a couple times where I felt maybe the makeup was done a bit heavy. These were in the earlier days of my modeling career. I rolled with it, and the photos turned out absolutely stunning. What you see in the mirror translates quite differently through the lenses of a camera. So I keep an open mind about it.

Do you speak up if you’re not happy about your look? Most certainly. Again, I try to do it in the most respectful way possible so as not to discourage the artful eye of another. In this industry, you are not always going to see eye to eye on things. I want my photos to not only represent the stylings of the photographer I work with, but also represent me. I want to produce images together that we can both be equally proud of. Therefore, constructive criticism is a must. Once I had a photographer send me 800 images from out shoot, EIGHT HUNDRED! In those images, I found maybe twelve that I liked. Twelve that showed our level of artistic creativity and talent. Now, he was a amateur photographer. I went into this shoot keeping that in mind. As I was going over our images I offered sound advice on how he could progress and direct a shoot. There were so many images either out of focus, or I appeared posed out awkwardly. Showing there was obviously some miscommunication on both ends. You could tell he was new to this. The photographer was completely silent during the shoot. I recall even asking him a few times, is this working? Should I repose this?As a model, I highly recommend pausing at least once during a shoot to review what has been captured thus far. Some angles just dont work for certain models and this is something that needs to be worked on, on both sides of the lense. In this particular case, the main problem was the photographers lack of knowledge. Primarily regarding lighting. Many images were oddly shadowed, too dark, or too bright. In the end he didn’t even edit my photos. All edits were done by me and I simply just never worked with that photographer again. It was definitely a learning experience.

Photo credits: Danny Baker Vortex photography W







Have you ever been put off modelling be photographer trying to push boundaries or levels, or unprofessional behaviour in the past? Sadly, I hear horror stories of these things. I’ve seen models quit due to the actions of some photographers. I have been quite fortunate, or more so, smart with my dealings. Any photographer that contacts me with bookings, I thoroughly look into. Including their previous work and any reviews they may have from other models. Now, this has not stopped me from working with some photographers. There was one in particular I was actually mildly nervous to meet with. A few models made him out to be a character from a Stephen King novel. One model said she had suffered emotional trauma, and PTSD from this individual. Well, there was a grey area, and I am by no means trying to “victim shame” so to speak. This particular photographer, if you look at his work, shoots nude and boudoir photography. My question to the model was, if you were so morally against nude modeling, what made you decide to work with this photographer of all people? Secondly, did you Express that, that you did not want to undress during this shoot? Her answer was no. She said she was too scared to say no, thus the progression of the shoot went from casual boudoir to eventually fully nude. On those terms, I decided to meet with this photographer and chat before booking a shoot. I will tell you, yes, he had his rude moments, yes there was most definitely a strong arrogance present. Yet, he was one of the most intellectual people I’ve ever had a conversation with. Although, one thing was very off putting, his ego. Constantly talking down other models, other photographers. Like he invented photography and was the be all, end all in the craft. There is so much of that in this industry. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had to shutdown a conversation, simply because I did not want to hear it. That is the only thing that turns me off if models or photographers. Luckily, there are so many fabulous people in this industry. So this is but a minor annoyance that I encounter on the rare occasion. I like my life, my career simple and drama free.

In a world of selfies and Instagram models, what constitutes as a ‘model’ in your opinion? This is a tough one. I mean, in the most direct of definitions. A model would be an individual who models something. Clothing, jewelry, etc. In today’s world it seems to be much more broad of a spectrum. Especially in the art photography sense. You know, I’ve heard this phrase “Instagram models” thrown around a few times. I’m unsure of what that even means. Nor do I really care to be honest. Not my circus, not my monkeys. I suppose if I had to define a model, it would be an individual whom is paid for shoots. Even then, I feel mildly bismal saying that. There are so many talented young women out there aspiring to be a model doing TFP for portfolio work. I was there too. We all start there. I shed no judgement on others. Do your thing lovelies! If it makes you happy, do it and label it as you please. Makes no difference to me. And if you’re aspiring to make a career out of it, keep on doing it. We all gotta start somewhere. Snap that selfie, set that camera timer on and strike a pose for your insta! Who knows, this could really become your career one day. I never thought I would be here. After all, I just wanted to do cool makeup. W





Do you have any advice for other models? I advice new and younger models quite frequently. Its astounding how many just go into this blindly, and run out just as fast. It’s such a shame, because I have seen some marvelously talented creatures turn their back over one dark day. This career is very competitive, this career has some downs to it as well. I hear about so called enemies I have, women that I have never even met. You will have rumors, you will have people talking about you. This can be a very cut throat venture. Rule #1: you NEED a backbone and you need to keep it strong. Some photographers will try to persuade you into doing things you dont quite feel comfortable doing. Stand up for yourself and learn to say no. I’ve heard of so many models that have argued with a photographer to pull certain pictures down because they are ashamed of them. If you know you won’t be proud and able to back what you are doing. Dont do it. Its really that simple. Rule #2: stay far away from the gossip that swarms this industry. Another models career is none of your business. Keep your judgements your yourself. Sure, I have seen some things and thought, well, I would never do that. But, it’s not my life to dictate. Do you, keep hustling and be real. Which brings me to Rule #3: dont ever change into something you are not. You can only fake it to make it for so long before you are simply just fake. Your shoots should always reflect a little bit of you. Yes, progress. Yes, step out of your comfort zone and try new things. But never change yourself for an ever changing industry. I have been bombarded with botox requests, breast augmentation suggestions, lip injection offers. I see no shame in these things, but it is not for me. If that’s what a certain agency wants from me, then I am not the model they are looking for. Never give up, give in, or settle. Rule #4: this is a job. Treat it as such. These are not your friends, they are your colleagues. This is a business and you must be selective with whom you “employ.” Surely I have made some wonderful friends in the industry, but for the most part, i keep my life to myself. There are many sharks in this ocean, tread cautiously. I’ve learned this the hard way. Now, most importantly the ultimate rule. Be humble. Too much ego will kill your talent. Uplift others, and support others. The good karma will flow. I’ve opened many doors for myself by simply being a good human. What goes around comes around. I’ve been offered shoots that I’ve passed onto other models. Models I deemed more fitting for the concept. In turn, I’ve had models turn photographers my way. Be the best you, focus on you. Yet know, that your are not better than anyone else. You may be exceptional at what you do, but this industry is a revolving door. Attitude will only push you out.

Finally, where can readers find you? My work and modeling portfolio can be found on Instagram @Tina_mariew. Slowly but surely my patreon will be launched and I will broadcast that on my IG as well. I do most of my business inquires through Instagram or email. I do have a Facebook but that is mostly for personal use. Feel free to check out my work and show some love. And as always, I welcome constructive criticism as well!



Free exposure trinagle chart! Sayyy what..? Who doesn’t love a freebie?! Below is an exposure triangle chart for you guys to download and use! All you’ve got to do is click the link and take it to the printer!







BUILDING THE SHOT We are creators. We literally make a location look the way we want it! But how do we actually go about it?

There are so many different things that go into a shoot. We have hair and make up, wardrobe, location, lighting, emotion, colour.. Need I go on...? Whether these are done professionally or omitted, they’re still a consideration. Breaking a shoot down into easy steps is the best way to prevent becoming overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work required. By all means you can delegate the work out to the model or somebody else, but as the photographer, you’re still responsible for the end result. Here’s so easy steps on how to build the shot from conceptualizing all the way through shooting.



Idea It all starts with an idea. The feature shot on the previous page started with the idea of creating a dramatic portrait in an interesting location. I wanted to shoot a portrait with a little bit of a difference. Nothing boring. To make the idea feasible, I had visited this location numerous times and the fallen tree was present each time. I recheck the day before the shoot, and it was still there. I also had in mind a dramatic sky, so choosing a day where the likelihood of there being clouds was pretty important.

Previsualize Previsualize.. I’m sure you’ve heard that a million times. Everyone says that to get the shot you want previsualizing is the way to do it. I believe this is true to an extent, but if you have a specific vision in mind, it’s hard to deviate away from it.

Location As locations go, this is another area where over thinking can take hold. If you’re shooting people, then location isn’t as important a factor. Clearly the location needs to compliment the shoot. I mean there’s no sense in shooting a cowboy in front of a city bus.. The main things to take into consideration are accessibility, hazards, distractions, people (they could be constantly walking through), direction of light, and if the location will fit the brief. For the most part you’ll be shooting segments of the location, so keep this in mind. In my ‘Image breakdown’ section, I shot the model literally on a building site in London. We used a space around 5ft wide. The whole scene would have made for a very different shot!




Setting up the shot. Setting up the shot is pretty much the same process regardless of where you’re shooting. We start out with the ambient or base exposure. If using flash or a reflector, these are introduced after getting the base exposure. With these set (in manual modes to prevent settings from changing) I’ll then find a composition I like. I don’t shoot using a tripod very often, so my composition does change slightly between shots for the most part. If there’s a composition you really like, I’d recommend locking it off on a tripod though.

Posing Posing. This is where it used to get a little scary for me. I’d be fine with lighting the scene, but directing a model... I personally focused on learning posing to make my life easier and not to rely on just the model. One really good tip I can give is to figure out a couple of go to poses and build from them. For example, a go to standing pose I have is weight on the model’s back foot, hand high on the hip, and work it from there. The pose partially depends on the model. We can put the second hand on the model’s other hip and stagger them asymmetrically. From there we can lift it to the shoulder, then neck, hair, other should, tricep, elbow, wrist, waist on the same side as the original had etc. As you can see from this example, we’ve started with an initial pose and worked clockwise around the body for a variety of different shots. We can get a different expression for each, have the model bend forward, turn away from the camera etc. One or two go to poses are brilliant places to start. Grab a few ‘safe’ shots and try some new stuff! I’ve given a little more time to posing because I personally think it’s the most intimidating aspect. If you get a rubbish exposure, Photoshop will probably fix it. The same is definitely not true with a wrong pose! Pg.



This technique is essential when using off camera flash and sometimes scares people away. But it needn’t be scary! You will need some manual settings for this to work consistently though! Our made up situation is outside on a dull overcast day.

‘Correct’ camera metering

STEP 1, put your camera into manual mode. (Scared already..?) STEP 2, choose and ISO. We’ll start with ISO 200 (super bright day) STEP 3, set an aperture of f5 (most lenses have f5) STEP 4, set your shutter speed to 1/125th STEP 5, take a shot. Review that shot. Does it look good? If it’s too bright, drop your ISO for now. If it’s too dark, raise the ISO.

Underexposed 1.3 stops

Changing the shutter speed will either make the shutter open for too long, giving you blurry shots, or make it too fast and possibly give you banding when using flash! (Banding is where the shutter curtain is visible in the shot when using flash) The limits to be 1/60th at the lower end of the scale and 1/200th at the upper end (unless you have a High Speed Sync capability)


Underexposed 1.7 stops Pg.


INRODUCING FLASH This is where we start to get super scary! (Although it shouldn’t be). We want a consistent exposure, so the flash is used in manual mode. The day was super bright so the base exposure was around 1/2000th shutter speed. This means the flash had to be changed to HSS mode. I dialed in 1/1 flash power and changed the perceived output level by moving the flash closer and further from the subject until perfect. Just to be clear, the flash power didn’t change, only the distance from flash to subject. TTL would have probably been OK in this situation, provided the exposure compensation is increased by around 1.7 stops. The beauty of using manual flash is that once the settings have been sorted, they won’t change. I personally think that learning how to use flash in a manual mode is one of the most beneficial things you can learn!

Using the base exposure to test light on the subject

Having the model get into a general pose and testing a 1/1 power output



To get into HSS (High Speed Sync) mode on Nikon, go to the custom menu settings in your camera, bracketing/ flash and then sync speed. Select a speed with auto fp. On my D700 it’s 1/320* Auto FP). The back of the speedlight will show FP when done correctly.

Rotating the light more directly at the more for the desired look


That’s the shooting done. My personal editing workflow is pretty simple. I start with RAW processing. This will involve lens correction, especially defringing, bringing up shadows slightly and adding a slight amount of contrast. If the highlights need recovering too, this is where I’ll do it. With my Nikon D700, I find that reducing saturating to -10 gives me a nice starting point with colour.

Photoshop. The very first step here is an initial clean up. My main focus here is to fix blemishes. With a clean image, I’ll dodge and burn with curves. After the curves layer, I colour grade. There are a million ways to do colour grade. My personal way is with a curves layer and slightly adjusting the colours here. I’ll throw a colour balance layer on top, and lastly a selective colour layer on top of that. I don’t use a set formula for grading, it’s more of a wing it and go with whatever looks good to me. On the rare occasion, I’ll add a solid colour layer with a soft light blend mode and a low opacity.


With colour grading complete, I’ll sharpen with the surface blur method There’s a walk through of this technique on the page opposite. (I have no idea why this works, but it does!). I’ll save the image, and return to the raw processor for minor adjustments (if needed) and export the image out. That’s it! A shoot from start to finish! This is a basic shoot too, sometimes there is so much more that goes into them. But as a base, this is a good platform to start from. BUILDING THE SHOT



Next I’ll export the shot into


After shooting one look, change up the lighting, outfit or location. (Or a combination of the 3). Always do the most ‘destructive’ idea last. Great examples of destructive ideas are; using water, powdered paint, tearing the outfit etc.

Surface blur Sharpening PHOTOSHOP technique In Photoshop, take your top layer (the one you want sharpened) and duplicate it. If you haven’t got a full image on top, then create a stamp visible layer by pressing: Ctrl + Alt + Shift and E (PC) then duplicate this. You should now have 2 of the same layers on top of your layer stack. Select them both by holding Ctrl and clicking on both layers. Now group them with Ctrl + G (or right click and group layers). Change the blend mode of the group to overlay. Open the group folder and select the top layer. Change this blend mode to vivid light. Invert the image with Ctrl + I (or right click and invert). The shot should look like nothing has changed. Find the filter menu at the top of the screen, and use the drop down menu to find blur. The menu will open sideways. Select surface blur. Change the sliders to radius 10, and threshold of 8 and click OK. You should now see your shot is oversharp. Close the folder and change the opacity to 50%. That’s my personal method of sharpening. Pg.


POSING General posing tips for models and photographers. Things to look out for and things to avaoid!




The straight on shot This is a brilliant example of using foreshortening intentionally. The shot on the right is a straight on shot. How boring is it in comparison? With my wide angle lens on, I got super close to the model and laid on my

back. I had the model turn her head the other way and took a few shots. Then I heard a crash! My light had fallen on the floor and broken the transceiver! Regardless, I absolutely love this shot and it was so worth it.

Posing can easily fill volumes of books! As with most things in photography, there aren’t any rules. There are however, some guidelines that can help sculpt peoples bodies, flatter them or just look comfortable. Being able to pose or model, or being able to pose yourself, will make your life ad photos a million times better! We’ll use some of my own photos are examples too. For this segment, will focus on a very common posing problem: foreshortening. I’ll jump in here and say that I foreshorten all the time, intentionally. I do this with a wide angle lens, which foreshortens, but exaggerates distance too.. So it kind of works. Foreshortening is essentially the optical illusion of making and object or person appear shorter than it actually is. Taking the depth out of an image and/or making body parts look smaller than they really are. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples;



In the example above, foreshortening is used to make the subjects hips appear smaller. The model was poses and asked to put her weight on her back foot. This naturally moves the hip further away from the camera, thus making this area appear smaller. To emphasise the size of hips, simply push hips towards camera. Whatever is closest to the camera appears biggest remember. With the feature photo, the idea was to get a really different angle. Putting the subject onto a height that allows them to be shot from beneath automatically lengthens the legs and makes these the emphasis of the shot. Knowing this ahead of time, I was able to ask the model to bring a very attention grabbing pair of shoes. Without these shoes, I don’t think the shot would have worked as well as it does. As the caption above shows, we did try a straight on shot too, but it was really under whelming in comparison. Using the foreshortening was definitely the way to go!



When used intentionally, foreshortening can really help draw attention to the subject matter. Crazy angles can emphasis shoes in a fashion situation, draw attention to curves in glamour, and everything in between! Add a long lens into the mix to compress things, and you can really sculpt a person’s body shape with very simple movements. I use foreshortening all the time. I absolutely love shooting at a slight lower camera angle and shooting up at the model. This form of foreshortening makes the model look endlessly long and slender. Having the model bend at the waist slightly towards the camera forces the stomach to disappear and brings the face closer to the camera too. I feel that this adds engagement between the model and the camera. Going a little too far with this technique can look awkward and unnatural, but with a little practice and some image reviewing, you’ll soon get a strong feel for which works for you.






Dealing with cancellations



The Gist

Cancellations happen. If you’re the one cancelling, give planty of notice. If you’ve been cancelled on, remain calm and composed. Remeber that people have reasons to cancel. Even if it’s because they’re anxious etc, try to understand. Even if you don’t understand, deal with it and move on. Don’t be an a**hole abut it.

One and done. This is my own personal way I deal with things on a TF basis. Basically, if somebody wastes my time, they won’t get a second chance to waste more for free. I’ll request a nonrefundable deposit upfront.

I’m writing this from a photographer’s perspective as this is my personal experience, but this applies to a model’s perspective too. Psychology plays a huge part in photography. As we’re dealing with people on a constant basis, we need to be known for our professionalism. Professionalism is a subject that doesn’t seem to garner much attention, or often gets overlooked. We’re going to address it! A segment on cancellations? And how to pre-empt people that cancel. Why? As photographers, we dedicate alot of time to each shoot, and booking a shoot clearly means we can’t do anything else in that time. So having people cancel on us, especially last minute, is very frustrating. Let’s look at a few reasons why people cancel, and the most common situations that cancel.



If you haven’t already, you’ll find that free/TF shoots will have the highest cancellation rates. Simply put, it’s because there is no investment on the person that has cancelled. If they’re paying, they’ve invested money into booking you. If they’re the ones that are being paid, there is every intention of getting that money. So you see, without any form of payment, there is no investment.

Amateur models.

It may sound harsh but alot of non professional models like the idea of modelling more than the actual act. Anxiety, lack of confidence and knowledge, etc are a couple of reasons they’ll often cancel. After speaking to a number of models, you’ll soon get a feel for the ones that are serious about shooting with you.




Comfort levels pay a huge factor in how well people perform in front of the camera. The same can be said with your correspondence with potential models. If you don’t come across as personable, trustworthy and approachable, people won’t feel comfortable with you. When it comes to communication, someone that is likely to cancel on you will have minimal contact with you after the initial conversation. Trying to set a date or time will be met with alot of diary checking and lack of replies. Expect to be sitting on messages that say something along the lines of “I’ll check and get back to you”. After a single friendly reminder, I personally don’t waste any more time on these people. Again, it may seem harsh but my time is better spent elsewhere.

“I forgot” (you’d be surprised at how common this is) “I have/had a family emergency” - this is acceptable, and it could possibly be true. For the most part though, I’ve found it isn’t. I’ve had a few models that have had a family emergency a few days before a shoot, so they know they wouldn’t be in the city. Not an excuse but getting ghosted. This one probably irritates me the most. Ghosting is literally ignoring a someone. Being ghosted as a photographer can mean you are on set, maybe with gear set up, and hearing nothing from the model. Whatever the excuse, if they haven’t contacted you before the fact, you can probably guarantee it’s a made up excuse. These are perfect instances to learn from and where my one and done mentality come into play.

THE HARD TRUTH The truth can be a tough pill to swallow. If nobody wants to work with you, even with TF shoots, you should ask yourself why! Figure out the issue and fix it! People talk, so if you’ve been disrespectful to a model or photographer in the past, it will get out!




BUILDING A KICK ASS INSTAGRAM BIO Often looked over, the first thing people will glaze over on your Instagram page is your bio. Making your bio clear and concise can give visitors all the information they need, without needing to spend time answering potential questions, like your location. Even if you never read bios, alot of people do! Real estate here is very small so you’ve really got to squeeze it in there! First and foremost is your name. I’ve put mine in such a way that it tells people what I am straight away. To save character count, I added my first name and surname initial.

Next is my location. There is a Norfolk in Canada too, so the addition of “UK” and the British flag clears up any confusion. I’ve added a little more description. You can have personal achievements of something here. Arguably the most important part, is adding something witty. This shows people a little slice of your personality. Mine is also another personal achievement. I ended the actual bio with an email address. It isn’t a link, as that’s reserved for my actual website. Finally, a clickable link. As stated above, I wanted my actual website as the clickable link.





The Jist

Perception is super importnant. You will be treated according to the way people see you. You can mould the way people see you with a number of things; appearance, communication and language being a few.

Perception is everything. Two things got me thinking about perception. The first being a friend who attended a wedding made some remarks about the photographer being rubbish. The second thing was I was listening to Jared Polin’s podcast (froknowsphoto) the other day and it was on not feeling good enough. The main reasons people don’t feel good enough is comparing themselves to others.. With the advent of social media, this problem is becoming more common these days,

mirrorless camera (Sony a7r) and a prime 35mm lens. Alot of people will perceive uncle Billy to have the better camera because it’s bigger and has a longer lens. As people with knowledge, we know this isn’t the case, but the perception will tend to be just that.

Still using the wedding example, the photographer is a complete pro, having shot 100+ weddings. They’re so competent, that with the ceremony, they can shoot 15 shots and observe from the side. They know they have the shot so In short, People will perceive your skill don’t need to take anymore of this scene levels, success etc very differently to how (rarely happens but it’s an example). it actually is in real life. Uncle Billy on the other hand will shoot 200 photos of the same 15 minute Let’s use a wedding as an example of period. perceptions. Uncle billy has a entry level camera (Nikon d5300 for example), To those people seeing this, who looks with a battery grip and a 70 - 300mm more like the pro? It’s the one who f4.5 - f5.6 lens. The photographer has a appears to do the constant work. Pg.


A piece of advice I can give is firstly, always be ready to catch the action. The more time the camera spends up to your eye, the more chance you have of capturing the shot. Don’t stand around looking like you’ve finished before it starts. Secondly, every time you raise your camera, the perception is that you’re ‘working’. Many times during a ceremony or shooting a gig, I’ll raise my camera to my eye and not even shoot. To everyone around it looks like I’m working. I may have only taken 2 photos while waiting, but lifting the camera 15 times LOOKS busier. Appearance is another aspect of perception. If you go into a car dealership looking all dishevelled and dirty, you’re clearly not going to be taken seriously, right? Whether you can afford the Aston Martin or not. The same goes the other way around; If you look like you can afford that £120,000 Aston Martin, whether you actually can or not, the perception will be that you can. How does this apply in the real world though? You can create a rapport with others by dressing similarly to them. People generally want to be friends with people they re similar to. The same thing goes with language. If you’re visiting a fashion brand, you’d have an easier time knowing some of the terminology and being able to engage in conversations. You can give off the appearance of being an expert by saying the right things!



In my opinion, the best way to form a great perception of yourself is to dress cleanly (for first impressions), exude confidence (this builds trust others will have in you, and use correct grammar and punctuation when posting online and dealing with written communication. These are pretty obvious things if I’m honest, but it shocks me at how many people either can’t be bothered with creating a great perception, or just outright don’t care! Don’t be that person!




Photomappers edition 5  

I took 6 months out from creating a photography magazine.. Here is what I've learned!

Photomappers edition 5  

I took 6 months out from creating a photography magazine.. Here is what I've learned!