Thursday, 1 January 2015

2014: People

I've split my 2014 summary into two parts, you can find the landscapes part over here. This section is focused solely on people - mostly of the model variety. Whilst my photographing strangers has slowed down somewhat this year, I've still captured a few and met plenty of other lovely new faces. Instagram and Twitter have proved an endless mine of pretty faces yet to be photographed - to the extent that I now have quite a backlog to get through (there are worse problems to have!). I'm constantly amazed at the oddly positive responses I get from what I would class as being a weirdo - sending random girls messages asking if I can photograph them - but I suppose the beginnings of a decent portfolio now at least help me with that initial contact.

Photographing people is never something that I'm immediately comfortable with. Landscapes are there for me to relax and shoot reactively, according to the changing conditions and beauty before me - something that feels very natural to me. However, people provide me with something entirely different... a somewhat planned environment and the challenge to create something beautiful without looking overly posed. This often leads to hours upon hours of research going into even the most casual of shoots and endless nerves right up until I put the camera to my eye and start shooting. I continue to do it though because I always enjoy the results and it's a chance to do something different and out of my comfort zone. Surely a good thing?

Anyway, who wouldn't want to shoot these pretty faces...

I've ordered these by model, chronologically, so there are some crackers further down... I'll link to their pages wherever possible too so you know where to find them...

Bex Lendon
I've known about Bex for a long time - so it was a pleasure to finally meet and shoot her over at Hallam Mill with Ian Wallace. We had a good few hours so plenty of time to shoot a few different styles - both in the studio and out. You certainly notice the difference when working with experienced models - which I basically never do... a real treat to not have to focus too much on posing.

I found Abbie on Instagram - and who could resist asking someone as cool looking as her. Fortunately, she was instantly keen and we sorted it all out in no time! Although it was her first ever time in front of the camera, after about an hour she really relaxed and we got some beautiful, natural photos. She has since shot with Ian (from above) too and impressed me even more... someone I really need to get hold of again at some point in the not too distant future!

Yet another trusting Instagram girl, and yet again another first timer. We shot these in my flat with a basic studio setup... a couple of softboxes, a white wall and some flashes. Yet once again, she soon relaxed and took some cracking images. Just a shame she has since moved down south... 

Yep... Instagram yet again... another beautiful face which I just couldn't help but ask. We headed out above Sheffield to a lovely urban location I know to shoot with the setting sun. The breeze was quite chilly, and the local youth were not the classiest bunch - endlessly just watching and shouting - but Shirlie stuck with it and left me more than impressed. One of the friendliest people I've met all year... she just needs to learn her left from her right!

Karolina was a very well timed one. I contacted her on Instagram and found out she was coming over to Sheffield for a week - all the way from Poland - just a couple of weeks later. So some quick planning and a quick shoot in the darkest, dingiest of natural light in my flat gave us at least a few good ones.

Where do I start with Rachel? After noticing her in town, she was one of the rare strangers this year, and turns out to be one of the best/most interesting people I've met - never mind her face. Singer, songwriter, busker, illustrator and now occasional model (more to come soon!) - she's the most bubbly, frighteningly confident/crazy model I've had the pleasure of working with. She had basically never done it before but had absolutely no inhibitions when it came to making an arse of herself in front of the camera - more expressions and body shapes than I've seen in my life... the problem was just keeping up with her. 

Good old trusty Xenia - originally a stranger and shot multiple times over the last few years - one of the most naturally beautiful people I know. This time, we had access to her dance studio... which meant me lugging a whole load of lights and light stands 3 miles across town in a load of bags. You always know with her that you're going to get the shots you want - and yet again, she is not an actual model... just myself and a couple of others have ever had the pleasure of shooting her. It seems such a shame, but I don't mind not sharing.

So there we have it... a year of lovely ladies... and hopefully there'll be plenty more to come in 2015... even if it means fitting them in somewhere.

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