found an interesting photographer - unfortunately not London based :( . Very nice website , very fine art fashion photography
“Memories of a Doll” - photo shoot
My “obsession” with dolls and toys has given me the idea of a photo shoot. So I have asked my friend to create this patched dress and design some gloves and tights to dress a model that would eventually look like a rag doll.
My model is a 15 year old acting student Angelina Jordan, lovely girl, very beautiful.
The make up artist Myrto
Initially I planed the photo shoot to be outside - in a nice garden which looked interesting. Unfortunately because on the day of the photo shoot it rained we had to move it inside and I had to locate the most interesting spot in the small apartment … which was tough as the space was very , very limited.
I used a blue filter on top of my lens - I really wanted to give the photos a cold feeling and mute the colours slightly. I am not sure how well it worked but I was rather pleased with the colours in the end.
The inspiration for this photo shoot was one of my favorite photographers Tim Walker. Here is some of the research.
Initially as I mentioned I was supposed to shoot outside, using a brick wall/walls.
Taking the photo shoot inside I had to rethink my angels and I choose to use just a softbox as the rooms were very small. So I chose to shoot in one corner and later I spotted an interesting wallpaper on the very narrow hall, which looked interesting.
A final contact sheet
PORTFOLIO & WEBSITE - UPDATE
Unfortunately, regarding the portfolio print, I have decided not to print any more photos at the moment.
The reason for this decision is simple : I don’t feel it is the time. I am not clear on what photos I want printed really. I have strong photos in my portfolio, but I believe they are not really coherent, they are pretty random and to me at the moment when looking at the photos from all my recent photo shoots I see a lot of learning and testing and it is good but not at the professional level I want to achieve. I want to take a bit more time with the printing as I don’t want to find myself in the situation of printing and spending money and not feeling like I can be passionate and sustain it when I present it.
I feel I am just now realising how I need to bring my photos to a professional level , after the work experience I did and all the research. I need my photos at a level that will get them published and also be worth to be presented in front of a potential employer.
It has been very frustrating looking through all my projects so far and not being able to come to a worthy edit to print. I think my work is good so far but I know that by the end of the course it is going to get much better. I believe that from the beginning of next year I will start thinking more seriously of printing.
I have decided that definitely the size of my prints will be A4 size and I will purchase an A4 leather portfolio (research told me that fashion photographers usually have leather portfolios). The photos will have no white boarders (but the medium format ones might have but they will be still A4). Also the black and white photos will one after the other separated in the portfolio from colour.
At the moment my portfolio has some prints but not at the professional level and not the best presentation (a box is clearly not what I want and all of the photos have different sizes in print , small differences). The photos are some of the good ones from my work but I do have more, but as I said don’t feel that they are the ones , just yet.
WEBSITE : I have bought a name a host . I am irinachira.com. But my website is in construction. I have purchased a theme that I thought it is simple and a bit more interesting.
I have looked at different websites.
What they all have in common is simplicity. The website for fashion photography and portraiture has to be quick to browse. The photos should be at big size. Scroll through the photos rather than click.
very simple with amazing photography !
Easy to navigate, big photos , very interactive website (click on the ! to find out the latest news about the photographer)
simple , pretty straight forward
Tim Walker - simple , scroll through the photos website . Photos speak for themselves
very basic , very nice , close to fine art fashion photography
My website at the moment actually a blog. But this is not for long. Overall it looks simple and looks nice. I do believe I have uploaded my strongest photos. I am considering not to have a street photography section on the website any more (as I will most probably not be that much involved into street photography).
At the moment I think a blog is not quite professional format to present yourself as a photographer.
I bought a web theme which at the moment I am working on. In the same time learning HTML script. I thought this theme is nice , simple and has something interesting . It is quite interactive . I am working on putting my content into the page.
Just the thumbnail on the fashion cathegory is my photo the rest are from the website theme . I would have to add in my own stuff.
“Jupither” is the theme’s name. I will make a logo for my own “Irina Chira photography”“
I have decided that will have 4 categories :
When you press on the Category it scrolls down the page where you can see the photos bigger and slide through the album.
I believe that it will look nice, clean and simple once I get my website up and running.
I think so far , over the past two years of studying photography , I have just learnt about photography in general , and what making photography is all about. With the PDM module and the work experience done we have start to realise what being a professional photographer means, and how our work in the field of photography is going to be. So far we had projects relating to different fields of photography : documentary, reportage, editorial, portrait, landscape.
Having decided on the area of photography I want to concentrate myself on : portraiture , fashion photography and maybe abstract.
By the end of this course - end of MAY 2013 I ideally should have :
- assisted more photographers and stayed in touch with the ones I assisted - Get more work experience , start soon sending again e-mails !
- Website up and running and updated regularly (at the moment I am working on it - learning a bit HTML as well) - irinachira.com will be just for editorial fashion, commercial (look books, beauty etc) , portraiture and maybe fine art/ abstract photography
- Have the printed portfolio with mainly portraits and fashion (editorials a must).
- Have stronger networks / connections would be the most important - connect with fashion designers and stylists , also with models , hair and makeup stylists and ideally with set designers as well. Through the help of Photoassist, LinkedIn,Model Mayhem, Star Now, stay more connected on this websites. These website offer great opportunities for networking and offering projects.
- have business cards printed
- have some photography accessories bought like filters and maybe a softbox for the flash. But next year I want to invest into a lighting kit . Also get my hands on a professional / full frame Nikon camera and play with it (maybe a D800). Get to know software like Capture One and LightRoom.
- Start working with professional models - contact model agencies maybe to get to test their models. Also dance photography is a field of photography which I am very interested in so I already have one dance photo shoot with a professional dancer lined up so looking for more dancers or dance shows to photograph would be ideal
- Start submitting photos to magazines - get at least one photo published in a magazine (can be online version of the magazine)
- From January 2013 turn the WordPress blog as a website for events, family photography, film stills. I am toying with the idea of advertising myself on some sites to do events; mainly parties and shows (not sure I can do big concerts) and family / kids. I have already done some events (London Chat show , charity shows and parties for Infiniti Promotions) and one family photo shoot (which was paid and quite successful) . I also did film stills couple of times.
After I finish the foundation course a full time job IS A MUST (here my work permit situation should be resolved as I have worked more than 1 year in UK and I should be able to get a full time work permit and obtain my blue card) as I do know that more money means investing in equipment and more equipment means possibility of business . Ideally would be, after finishing the foundation course, find a job in the photography industry : in a studio maybe, assisting jobs, media maybe . But I am willing to work in the accounting/ management field (my current field of work, boring but pays) for a while in order to get more money to buy equipment and to advertise/ promote myself as portrait, fashion and family photographer. Getting the chance to move into a bigger house/apartment/studio will allow me to have a bit of space for a tiny studio (mainly for doing portraits and maybe even product photography).
Freelance it is the way to go after getting more professional equipment (lighting kit, a professional camera etc) - maybe within a year after finishing the foundation course and getting more money (from any full time job really) I could start doing work like : advertising campaigns, look books,editorials, portfolios, portraits, family photography. This would be ideal.
In 2 years time there is the strong possibility to open a photography studio and office in my hometown in Romania. I have a space there which is waiting to be renovated and is ideal for a photo studio and office. I wish to work a bit in my country as well if possible but not to move back home. It would be great to start building some connections there as well and get a few projects there as well.
Eventually I would love to travel more around , and get the opportunity to have photo shoots in interesting locations - I do enjoy travel photography. I adapt really easy to different environments and I like traveling a lot. So maybe in 3 - 4 years time when hopefully I have more money, I can organize a year travelling around the world. I don’t even mind doing it alone. I travel alone a lot so I am fine with it, and I don’t have family plans or settling in a specific town in my agenda.
Another thing that interests me and I am thinking of concentrating later on, is getting into film photography. I have studied film and TV directing . Couple of occasions I got the chance to do still on some small film projects which I enjoyed a lot. I could get in touch with DOPs and get some experience around them. Also maybe in 2 - 3 years time doing a short course / workshop about film photography. I will definitely start looking after photography jobs on the film set soon.
Work Experience - Final Evaluation
Due to the work done on the Professional Development Module, I have improved a great deal my communication skills: writing (e-mails/ cover letters , personal statements, blog, website, CVs) and speaking (following up with a phone call after sending e-mails and formulating in a professional way your desire to assist and learn and also meeting new people from the photography industry). It was very difficult to pick up the phone and actually talk to the photographers, but once you make the first phone call then it becomes easier and you start feeling more confident when speaking to people that you don’t know. You have to be very specific in your e-mails and phone calls in what you want to achieve through your work experience and also let know what it is you can offer, be honest about your skills but in the same time show confidence.
Assisting was very important , even just observing professionals working it is very valuable. I will be concentrating in evaluating my work experience assisting photographers on photo shoots and not that much on helping Natalie at the Free Range show, although it was a very good experience, I feel I have learnt more being an assistant on the photo shoots.
Technically I learnt a bit more about lighting from each photo shoot that I assisted. Dan and Chris used a few tungsten/cinema lights (with barn doors) for the look book part of the photo shoot (their photo shoot was divided into editorial and look book).These lights were very interesting and gave a creative touch to the final photos. Dan told me that he would shoot with tungsten lights when he shoots in black and white.
Here is the setup and some of the published photos. I think the photos came out very interesting , I am not sure if I would have done anything different, as the photo shoot, I believe went as they planned.
3 lights setup : 1 for the background, 1 on the side and one frontal.
ONLINE USED MAGAZINE
Also Dan and Chris showed me a bit of Capture software but unfortunately did not have enough time to go into real detail. Dan and Chris were using a Cannon (unfortunately I did not pay enough attention at what the exact model was - as far as I remember it was the D5 , and also did not make a note of the lens …)
Annick used only natural light and a white reflector. But the most important think I learnt from Annick is to use the location creatively , choosing interesting backgrounds and different angles (looking at different spots within the location). Annick was using a Cannon and two different lenses: a 50 mm one and a wider one , she switched between them during the photo shoot. Also Annick used a very interesting and fun ring light to illuminate the face of the model, in the interior shoots. (I have uploaded some of the photos from the photo shoot on my previous post regarding work experience).
The photos will be published in Fault magazine after the 15th October. I am pretty excited to see the final photos.
Jan Masny - had a very well thought and complex lighting setup for his advertising campaign for the nail varnish . He used an 100mm lens as he wanted his photos quite tight framed (it was a portrait he was shooting so it made sense).
Here is the lighting setup and the final photos - which were retouched by a professional retoucher. My only observation about the photo shoot was that the model’s nails were quite short and the varnished painted on them (which was the product advertised) was not exactly coming out in the shoot …. I did not fully understand why they did not put nails on the model and varnish (but then I realised that it might be that the varnish will have a different effect on artificial nails, but then you could always ask the model to not cut the nails a few days before … )
Jan used 100 mm lens on a Cannon camera and a Rotalux softbox - Elinchrom
It was very nice to get to work with a Quantum flash the second time I assisted Jan . I thought the Quantum flash was a very good idea for an outside photo shoot, helping to light the face of the model. Jan used a hand painted filter, a gel and a crystal in front of the lens .Was interesting to see those elements / accessories used creatively .
Here are the final photos from the fashion editorial, which I think look amazing, lovely lighting achieved by Jan. In case of this particular photo shoot I would have tried to get a bit more out of the model as I think she did not do an amazing job ( I did get the impression that Jan was not that impressed with her either).
Eddie had a very elaborate lighting setup and uses very expensive equipment . Unfortunately I was a bit intimidated by Eddie and his team so I did not take any snap shoots and not many details. I guess at this point I can already say that my weakness is not taking more technical information and not being more interested about how the photographer creates the photos. He was using Capture one to visualise after each shoot the photo. I noticed here how important sharpness and focus are (He was very particular about this aspect).
Observing the ‘business side’ of the photographers I worked with I was pretty impressed and humbled by the super professional people I meet.
Dan and Chris are a brilliant team. Dan is the photographer and Chris is the videographer. They work together very well, co-ordinating themselves. The photo shoot I assisted was a fashion photo shoot meant to be published in Wonderland magazine online but in the end was published in Used magazine. I believe that this photo shoot came around because the stylist Francesca, who is a friend of the guys, was working for Wonderland Magazine. I haven’t dared to ask Dan why the photos and videos did not make it in Wonderland magazine in the end , but Used magazine it is a pretty interesting living style & fashion magazine too. Dan and Chris are bubbly , very respectful and very professional. They share the business and they have a studio/office together in Vyner Street (which sometimes they use as a gallery as well). Unfortunately I have not asked any in depth question regarding their business/ work nature, I did not get much information about how they get their projects.
Annick is plain lovely , amazing personality , calm , with plenty of diplomacy and works brilliantly with the model and stylist. She is very creative. She is a videographer as well as a photographer. I believe most of her businesses actually is directing videos for different music bands. She is very organised.
Jan is very much the business type but also very creative. I thought he communicated with the client very well. He was choosing together with the client the best photos on the day of the photo shoot and he was offering the client different alternatives / ideas during the discussions (for me the client seemed a bit difficult , and he managed it very well). Jan is very easy to talk to and very considerate to everyone. He is very enthusiastic and amazing directing and motivating the model.
All the photographers I worked showed me what professionalism means, so it was a great lesson.
I realised that I would eventually need a professional equipment, for me this looked like a major thing. It is kind of the essence of having a photography business.
Having a great team is extremely important in fashion photography : stylist, makeup & hair stylist, set designer. They can put up or down. Also working with an amazing PROFESSIONAL model and choosing an interesting location add very much to the quality of the final photo.
One of my strengths that I have noticed is adapting easy and being flexible on the photo shoot (meaning not being lost when changes occur during the photo shoot) , I would definitely say I am a fast learner and quick on getting task done. I am not afraid to help with the technical stuff like : setting up lights, carrying equipment , using a flash, I feel I can deal with any task I am given as long as it is well explained to me. I am pretty confident and I like to show initiative. I don’t like to sit around and do nothing so I always make sure I ask what I can help with when. My knowledge in using natural and artificial light has improved and I feel more competent. Also by noticing the way the photographers I assisted directed their models I learnt how to work with my models as well.
My weakness is not asking enough questions like : technical (type of camera , lights, lenses ) and business (how exactly the photographer is functioning as a professional photographer). I do believe that I am not asking enough questions and get the information which would be very precious to me but in the same time I believe that I would need to build a stronger relationship with the photographer in order for me to get more information and learn more, my weakness here would be needing more time to find the appropriate time I feel in order to ask more questions.
The feedback received after assisting this photographers were very positive, which is good , but in the same time it would have been great to know what THEY felt I needed to improve. Dan noted that I was social while remaining focused on the job - which was nice to know he felt that way as I believe that I sometimes can talk too much and be too enthusiastic and kind of hyperactive… I kind of think Jan would have said that too but didn’t , about my talkative nature, as I kind of got involved into a talk with his assistant during the photo shoot and Jan was not very impressed with that..
Annick confirmed to me that I was not scared to take initiative. Jan felt that I have technical knowledge about lighting equipment and that I am patient (which I might not entirely agree with … ).
I believe the all the feedback received was fair but as I mentioned before a bit too much on the positive side and not much on the improvement side. I had the feeling that all the photographers I worked it were pleased about my performance on their photo shoot and that they would be interested in keeping in touch with me.
The work experience was brilliant learning and networking experience. It clearly opened new opportunities and made me confident and competent. The work experience is not over yet as I am very keen on assisting more and connecting with more people from the industry.
work experience with Jan Masny - August 22nd
Fortunately Jan has decided to call me on another photo shoot and this time I got the chance to assist him a bit not only observe. It was a photo shoot that will eventually get submitted to a magazine. The stylist together with Jan will try to submit it to a fashion magazine depending on what the magazine need. (the stylist took the outfits form a PR agency , I did not get the name)
The styling I can say was not the greatest , the outfits were not current, from old collections. The model was a 16 year old girl , that I believe she is only starting with an agency, she did seem a rather shy.
The makeup and hair started at 1 pm. It was a brilliant , sunny day. Jan had decided on the location in Hampstead Heath Park , and he was looking for the amazing sunset light (which he was right , it was a brilliant light).
My role was to hold a Quantum flash unit (carrying also a battery) , directing the light on the model’s face. I had to learn to adjust the power of the Quantum as Jan needed it.
We were as scheduled by Jan at 3 pm in the park. There were several outfits , it was meant to have a 60s look (a bit of a hippie style) . As I have learnt so far for an editorial fashion photo shoot you need several outfits and different locations / spots to photograph. It is important to maintain the same style though, throughout the photo shoot.
Jan used different things in front of the lens as he was looking to give the photos an arty feel / a “noisy” , old look. He used a square filter hand painted by him, a piece of something that looked like a crystal that when used in front of the lens and sun it glittered and it gave an interesting light (he also used a messy piece of blueish gel)
It was interesting to learn how to use the light at its best time and how to be creative and use different things to emphasise even more the light.
Interview Russia - Part 2
AMAZING WORK :
More from the ballerina series…
Photographer: Andreas Sjodin
Stylist: Karen Kaiser
Hair: Rudi Lewis
Make-up: Maud Laceppe
I tried to give my CV a different look. I love the magazine covers , and I believe any wannabe fashion photographer dreams to have his/hers photos on the covers of the famous magazines.
So I have tried to give it a bit the look of a cover and keep the information to what it is the most relevant. The actual print looks very nice and professional.
Jan Masny photographer was impressed with it , he seemed to like it.
Amazing feedback for work experience/assisting over summer
Here are some of the e-mails I got from the photographers I assisted over summer. They were so kind as to write for me a few sentences. I was very pleased that I was not in the way and relieved to find that I was of some kind of help :).
From Annick Wolfers
Irina helped me a on a couple of editorial shoots and was an absolute pleasure to work with.
As well as being very efficient and enthusiastic she was also getting on well with the team, looking after everybody and is not scared of taking her own initiative.
FROM JAN MASNY
To Whom It May Concern
Irena was assisting on 2 photo shoots.
She is very reliable, hard working , clever and really helpful assistant.
She knows photographic equipment very well including Bowens , profoto, quantum and many others.
Also she was helping me with office work.
She is very fluent in all office applications, very patient and efficient.
I’m honestly hoping that i will she will assist me again soon.
After assisting Dan and Chris on their fantastic photo shoot I finally got the chance to see some of the final pictures and video. It was published in USED magazine , the online version of the magazine. It was very nice of the boys to mention me in the credits as their assistant (just scroll down on the page and you will see ;) )
Click on the link and you will see the nice , very edgy , somehow with a nostalgic feeling, black and white photos that were published. Jimmy Q from from Select Model Management Agency, as the model and styling/ fashion editor the lovely Francesca Prudente.
Amazing work by Smith&Read :)