Pro Exp: Andrew Gordon Model Mayhem Shoot

On the 14th of January 2011, model, Andrew Gordon, contacted me on the growing website, Model Mayhem. I signed up to Model Mayhem in my first year of University as an extra link to add to my website design course through the University. He contacted me saying:

‘ hi craig, i’m a pro model/actor from just down the road from you in nuneaton. i’m currently in the process of a massive re-vamp of my portfolio and was wondering if we could shoot together sometime very soon. i have ideas of my own but also want input and ideas from people such as yourself and if there are pictures you want for your portfolio then that would be great. hope we can sort something out. really like your work, 
andrew gordon ‘ 

Since I was on a work experience module I thought it would be a good opportunity to not refuse. I also got a similar message from another Model on the website but when it came down to wanting to meet to shoot, she did not reply. We messaged back and forth, and Andrew supplied some useful links to models whose work he liked. This is a website he gave me and told me to look at two particular names, Eric B and another called Fergal O’Connor.

Over a few more emails we decided on a Studio shoot here at the University. For this I emailed Keith Holmes and made sure that the Studio Was booked for me on the day we arranged. We arranged to meet outside the University building for 10:30am where I would arrive at around 9:00am to make sure that the cameras were all in order and to set up the studio. I had also arranged for Francesca Hancox to help assist me with the lighting and for any help on poses as she is more inclined that way that I am. This in tern makes a great partnership between Fran and I. I am the technical one and so I help Fran with any lighting that needs doing and any settings that needs adjusting, where she helps me to come up with ideas and poses. However since Fran was coming in from Solihull, she had to get various methods of transport to reach the Studio. This did not go well for either of us as any form of transport she took, it was running late or had just gone because the previous mode was late. Therefore she did not reach the Studio till around midday. I managed to set up the studio whilst Andrew was getting changed and managed to change the lights to suit on my own, explaining that I did have an assistant, just the transport was letting her down.

During the studio session Andrew explained to me that he browsed Model Mayhem for local Photographers and picked around 30 people, to which he then narrowed down to the best ten to message. This to me was a little bit of a confidence boost, that my images were seen by a random person and judging by them, they wanted to do a shoot with me.

The inside shooting went okay and since the sun was coming out and one of the images in the example portfolio matched the outside of the University I decided it would be a good idea to go out and shoot. This meant leaving the studio and taking the reflector I had brought with me outside. The sun from the reflector was pretty harsh and trying to get the exposure right was hard since the Light meter battery had fallen out and was misplaced. In the end I had to shoot manual and constantly check the back of my camera and adjust my exposures and apertures in Manual Mode.

Again I sent over the images from the shoots to see which ones he preferred and so which ones I could edit. Over all though I shot over 300 images and managed to get it down to around 270 images. So far I have not heard from Andrew about which Images he preferred and so I edited and marked the ones I thought were the best ones.

One issue I found with this shoot is that I feel silent when shooting, I gave no real direction and just exploited Andrew’s experience on how to pose being a Professional model for 12 years. In a way this is a bad thing as i should know what I want from this shoot and how I want him to look to match the lighting that I had set up. Therefore this is something that I will definitely need to improve on over the rest of the module and career if i am wanting to produce better images.

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