Archive for category Professional Experience
Pro Exp Presentation
For my work experience journey I decided to do various different areas and tasks within Photography, instead of doing a placement with a Photographer. Therefore I took on many roles for this module, this meant being a mentor for the Photography years as well as a working Photographer for clients and even the University. The idea behind this is that when I start doing this as a real profession and as a full time job, I do not want to be homed in as someone only shoots certain things like only a wedding photographer or a band photographer as doing more than one will make me more diverse and adaptive.
The mentoring side is to see what it is like to be a teacher in Photography incase this is another avenue I could go down once graduated.
During this time of work experience I always knew I had a decent sense of technical ability of settings to use and how to adjust the lights to make the Photograph work well and crate right atmosphere. However I found that I had no real sense of practice to put these skills and abilities into use. Therefore when I chose the work to do for clients I first assessed how it was going to benefit me in the long run and how much it will test me. The best one to show this is the work I did for Annie Greenabelle and their catalogue as this both tested me with using lights in an inside and location based environment (non studio based) as well as testing my confidence with the skills I know and learnt throughout out photography by using my camera in Manual mode all the way throughout the shoot. As the client really liked my images produced from the shoots I did with them I redeem this as a success and my confidence in my knowledge has somewhat grown. Contact wise my path had not been altered too much since only one of the models I used had teamed up with another client and had possible mentioned my name to work with. To work with this team would help my cases since I now had created a repeat user and a repeated contact, which has brought more work my way.
Throughout the module I have been given insights to the life of a photographer by actually doing some of the work myself and not following other photographers. This gave me the benefit of seeing a project or shoot go through all stages, start to post production and being sent to the client. From this I have seen what its like as an actual career and as posed as an insight into my future life if I choose to take this career path. Having done this I feel that I can look forward to the life of a photographer, okay I have not had loads of work come direct to me, which is all part of photography, there will be some dry spells but in these dry spells I will try and do something similar to this module and produce my own trials and projects to further keep my ideas spinning in my head, test my self with newer and bigger shoots that push me to the limits in organisation as well as ability to juggle many settings and exposures. On the other hand I feel that all intention from my plans have been met, I managed to mentor and teach 6th formers new ways of working as well as new techniques such as producing negatives from digital prints, managing their sketchbooks and showing them new artists to learn about. Since this is another issue that went to plan mentoring and teaching is definitely on the cards for future reference in participating or looking at teaching course or experiences which could send me down a different career path altogether.
By doing this experience module it has made me realise that I really need to talk more towards any model that I am shooting, be in conversational of general chit chat to make the model feel at ease or to give them simple directions to improve the photographs outcome. For example during the photo shoot I did with Andrew Gordon, I was even quiet than normal and letting him get on with the poses himself and I would just stop and adjust the light with no real communication for him to pose to match the style of lighting. Therefore in my next steps I will try and gain more experience in trying to talk more to the client or to the model in how they want them to look and how I think they should pose to match the style and lighting, as well as advising the client of my decision to do so. This will benefit me in the future as it will give me a better connection between people and if I have a better knowledge, understanding and connection with models and clients then they will keep coming back to me for work increase my pay obviously and give me great support for testimonies and further business if these clients decide to spread the word about my work and I. I have also learnt so much in terms of new editing processes in both Photoshop and in Video editing.
Overall I think that my experience in working as a photographer and as a mentor has worked out well. At first I was thinking that I would be able to produce good quality images and meet the standards of any clients that I had produced. However every client I had worked with was really pleased with the images I had produced and in some cases even kept me on to work further with then and decide to pay me for my services. On the other hand getting paid the right amount for my services is another area that I need to improve on since I only got paid twice during my time and from talking to lecturers about this, proved even those amounts were not enough to make a viable business. Therefore I may organize future talks with lectures about working rates and how they charge their clients. Also the mentoring side of things went well, although it seems university students tended to listen to my advice more than the 6th formers that I worked with, maybe this is due to the experience of me going through the first year of university so they trust me or not. In the future I think I should invest in a form of diary to right down when things are due and what needs to be done for when since forgetting schedule and when things are meant to be done by, particularly items for Matt, were a little behind time. Also this may help to see what work I have and what can be done when.
1) Thanos – Kasbah Media team
2) Maisie & Jane – Annie Greenabelle Fashion Company
3) Sarah Thomas – Kandy Cupcakes (location owner for a fashion shoot)
4) Catherine Makin – Coventry Fashion Student
5) Fiona Linaker – Coventry Fashion Student
6) Anne – Fashion Lecturer
7) Andrew Gordon – Model
8) Georgina Stokes – Model
9) Francesca Hancox – Photography student
10) Mrs Woodcraft – Teacher, Caludon Castle
11) Jo Gane – Teacher, Caludon Castle, Photographer.
These contacts will all be useful in the if I need to run a project and need a few models or need someone to clothe them. Also if my career changes and I need advice or some more work experience on teaching and mentoring then I can call open my contacts from the time of assisting at Caludon Castle School.
As part of working for the University Matt asked Pete and I to create a video that highlighted the best bits of 3 shortlisted First years who had their videos on the front of the Photography departments blog, which is also ran by Matt.
Getting the original videos proved shorter to get in some cases than first thought since we started to plan the task and the students slowly came in one by one to do various pieces and so Pete and I asked them to log in so we could take their videos. However one issue we had is that Genea’s video piece was created using different software to the others and so her exported file was in a lower quality than the others, giving a reduced quality over all. After an hour or two of Pete (he has more knowledge than me at video and audio editing) trying to get different formats and qualities to work on the video, he could not get a better version of the file to work on the final presentation. In the end we had to leave it and carry on the editing.
From doing this piece I learnt a great deal of video editing skills from Pete alone, more than I learnt in the first year. I learnt such things as ‘Blading’ a piece of footage. This means to remove certain sections of the video without causing too much damage and you can drag the ends of the remain clips to put back what was taken out. I also learnt certain audio tips like how to make a certain area of audio piece fade off into silence using the pen tool. I probably learnt more than I can even remember. Therefore in a way I am glad that Pete took a step back from time to time and let me edit some of the video whilst he worked on other things but still remained there to help and to hear the extracts, as it meant that I could learn more about Final Cut Pro and what different items of the software do.
As a team, we worked fairly well, we both agreed on the pieces to put in the video and then the pieces which needed removing. However I feel that the time we spent on creating this video could be dramatically reduced into one day instead of spread out amongst various weeks. Some areas we waited for Geneas video files and to see what could be done to the files to improve the quality. This is something to learn for next time. Better planning and time management is needed.
Here is some evidence of the video editing process.
This day consisted of editing down over 400 images to 356 and then editing down the best ones from them. This time round I only sent the best ones of the garments and a selection of the re shoot location images. These garment images proved tricky to edit as the white balance for the room the garments were set was all over the place. Some came out warmer and some came out colder, so it was a challenge to get the right temperature and colour for the garments. Also cropping the images and straightening them become a slight issue, being that there were two different lines to follow in some images, one being the window frame edge and the other line on the the brick work.
To improve I think that the garments could some what be slightly warmer but, once i do that the bricks go to an off white colour and not meeting the brief of the client to have a white back drop. To overcome this issue next time though I could take a colour chart so that I can use a droplet feature in Lightroom 3 to match the colours of the garment and also a better white balancing tool to get the right temperature.
Therefore below are the images in which I shot and edited:
Working for the same people we were invited back to do a further location shoot in Loughborough. However this time Fran’s boyfriend could not get the day off so we were left to get the train in. Again looking at the train line website we found that to travel from Coventry station we had to be there for the 9:06am heading for Nuneaton then switch trains to get to Leicester where we had to get another connecting train to Loughborough Station. This made is arrive at around 10:45, which suited the meeting time of 11:00am.
This time however we knew that we were going to shooting inside and so both agreed that lights will be needed for this occasion and since I can get a bus from my house to the train station we agreed that I would take them.
However finalising proceedings the night before with Fran an issue arose in the form Fran not feeling well already and therefore might not be able to make the shoot. This kind if worried me as I feel better travelling to unknown places with other people so getting lost does not feel so bad as well as thinking that out the two of us Fran is the more talkative and one who is good at posing people where as I am more technical with the lighting and settings. Also I tried booking a Nikon D700 and 70-200mm for this session and both were booked out, therefore I had to settle for a Canon 5D Mark II. This is not such a great problem for me as I am getting use to both system of cameras over my time at University, however i do prefer the look in portraits when using the 70-200mm at the 200mm end as it gives more Bokeh (blurring of the background) to the image and really makes the person stand out. This is not as affective with the Canons 24-105mm lens at 105mm. Also the Nikon lenses can go to f/2.8, unlike the Canon’s f/4, meaning that the Nikon is more adaptive in natural low light conditions.
To be prepared however I took pictures of the train times with my phone to make sure I knew what times they left Loughborough and the other various stations.
Gettin the trains to the station proved easier than first thought, so that did not get me worried or stressed, plus they all ran on time for once…
Since Fran was down ill, we ended up being a Photographer down in the end so there was a lot more to get through with only two photographers on scene. The day overall went quite well with the only issue of time again and it was a long day indeed. I did not get home till about 21:00. Another issue that I came across was the battery in the light meter went so the rest of the day I had to guess the exposures, which to be honest worked quite well.
This time it seemed that the new team to start with was Christine and I with two new models, Georgina and the shop owners Daughter, Lilly. These models were great to work with and I even gave more direction to Lilly than I usually would to models, to meet what the client wanted to see in the image. For example in the pictures where Lilly is reading the magazine on the counter, the client did not want to see the zip or some of the detail on the shoulder as these were later removed and did not yet have the updated garment. Despite this I think that there could of been more communication between Christine and I on how the set up from the team looked as well as the props used in each image. In some situations we did move items around and I did say a couple of times that the shot would not work because of the fixed items in the background. As well as this I could of done more to give better directions and spot things first time round rather than showing the client and realising or seeing it on the way home.
The day after was spent reducing over 500 images down to the 436 to be sent over and editing the ones they wanted to use once they had sent the list over. Whilst waiting for the Greenabelle team input I started to rate the ones I liked and felt were the better ones. The owner of the shop also requested a few images of her Daughter, Lilly to be sent over so she could put them up in the shop so I then started going about editing these images ready to be sent over to the team for them to pass them over since I did not have the owners contact details. Even if the owner wanted my work on her wall then the previous day has been redeemed as a success to me.
Below are the images that the Annie Greenabelle team wanted to use and some of the ones sent over for the shop owner to see.
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 http://www.rednyc.com/website/splash/flash.htm 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.
This all started with a forwarded e-mail from our tutor which started at Annie Greenabelle Clothing Company. The job in hand was to create some images for their new Spring/Summer collection line and place them in a catalogue. On first glance I read that the photo shoot would be on location in Loughborough. Travel has always put me off for some reason, no idea why, it just always has. However over all I am glad I took this opportunity.
The company is still relatively new and wanted to help out further University Students since their own designer recently graduated from Coventry University. Since my idea for this Professional Experience was to try many different things to make me more diverse and the travel was paid for, I decided to man up and go for it. Plus I heard that fellow Photographer Francesca Hancox was shooting this challenge before me and so I wondered if I could go help assist. Emails were then sent back and forth to confirm times and dates.
Time: as close to 9:30 we could get via train to Loughborough Station to be then transported to the location.
Location: Loughborough Station then onto a house with vast grounds.
A sample was sent over email of how they wanted the images to look, this included indoor and outdoor locations as well as a mention of a Cafe type location. Therefore me and Fran met up couple day prior to our departure to discuss the equipment we will need to take. Since we figured there were going to be various locations we took a range of items to help us cope in either situations.
- 750w Bowens x 2
- Beauty Dish
- D700 for me
- 70-200mm lens for the Nikon
- 5D Mark II for Fran
- spare memory card
- Spare Battery
- my dads gold/white reflector.
- Light meter
As a team Fran and I worked quite well. We have worked together in the past and often share the same ideas so working together is never a disheartened moment.. Together we helped each out when reviewing images ont he back of the camera whilst the Christine was shooting. Also we took it in turns to photograph the models whilst one person held the reflector. However to improve we could of got involved more, especially me, with telling the models how to pose and what looks right through the cameras point of view as well as saying what worked and what plain did not since they had not done a proper location shoot like this before and I know I have not.
List of Contacts gained:
- Maisie (Designer for Annie) and the rest of the team
- Christine (If i am needed for second shooting)
The second day of this shoot consisted of me cutting down 447 shots into a more manageable number for the team to sort through since the idea from them was to send them the images and they could tell us which ones were more worthy. However I still went through the images and edited the ones I felt worked and included these in a folder along with the others. In the end I managed to get the number number down to 395 images which was then further cut down to 173 images to be viewed by them Via Dropbox. At first the suggestion was to send the images by disk, however my idea was to send the images via Dropbox as this is a inexpensive and faster way for the client to see the images. On the other hand i feel that here I should of just sent the best of the images and not just the whole lot as I am sure it is my duty as the photographer to say this is what works this is sharper than that, the composition in this frame is stronger than the ones you have chosen.
Here is a couple that i liked but did not fit in with the style needed, plus I felt it looked better in black and white which is not much good for showing things like clothing…
The first of the two images above actually received this comment on Flickr which made my night:
Really beautiful shot. You’ve brought out the model’s good looks with a lovely high key shot. This is so professional I thought it was from a magazine.’
Day 2 – The Shooting
One issue we had on this day was that due to the short notice I could not get off work that night and so I could not meet the deadline to sort, edit and send the final images to the clients. Therefore this was then handed over to Pete to fulfill. This proved good team work since I did the planning for the shoots and Pete did the edits. Also Pete helped me set up the lighting and help me getting the right balance of light as well as the right white balance. Generally I knew what lighting set up I needed, One light to light the room so this was pointed at the white ceiling to bounce over the room and light the front of the model. Also a second light that will balance the bounced light and light the back and sides of the model, this light was bounced off another white wall to create a more diffused and softer light since at low power the light was still too harsh. ALso this light will bounce and travel in offer directions rather than just at the model.
The models turned up on time and the only issue on the day was that Keith Holmes did not get back to me in time to tell me if the room was booked out in the morning. Therefore I took a chance and started setting up around 9:00am. However come 9:45 some people started to appear at the door of the room and a crowd started to form. I knew at this point that the room was booked out and so I had to pack up and move to the lecturer theatre that I should of done the test shots in. Also some issues occurred with some of the lighting kit and so I had switch lighting bags with the loan shop which knocked me back around 15- 20 minutes. The shop was open for certain hours on the day of the planning and the shoot so I could only check and change at certain times.
In the end it was not till about 10:30 – 10:45 that the shooting actually got underway. We shot different angle while constantly adjust the lighting and settings to match the scene that we wanted. We then packed up and went down stairs to shoot in some other rooms to get a different variation of location and desk for the client. As well as this we showed some of the images to Matt after a break and after he had come out of a meeting, who found some tiny errors in the pictures such as angle and posture. Therefore we then moved back upstairs to do some reshoots of Larissa whilst Pete went with Matt to shoot his scene. I agree that these images did come out better than the ones from the morning.
Overall I am quite pleased with how the images came out, although this could be down to the editing Pete did on them. As a team we worked quite well, Pete realised that this was my shoot so took a step back and allowed me to shoot how and what I wanted and only assisted with the lighting when needed. One thing I would like to to improve on however is the timing scale of this as I had to go ideally before 4:;30 but did not leave till around 4:30 – 4:40, this means that better planning and test shots need to be done on my part.
Here are the final 6 that got put forward:
Below is the final selected image
Day 1 – Planning
On this day Matt took me into his office for a briefing which lasted from 9:00am till 9:40am. The task he briefed me on was to shoot two new pictures that would go into the new Prospectus as they felt that they needed some student work to be put in it rather than some stock images. Originally this task was meant for both Pete and I, however due to the short notice of the project Pete was unable to attend this day as he was away Photographing a wedding. This then meant that the planning was left for me to do and basically meaning that if the shooting day was to go then it would be down to me and my fault. This I did not like and so I firstly typed up the notes I made from the briefing with Matt and started to plan out what we needed, where we needed to go, possible locations and finding the right models.
Here are the notes I made about planning the shooting day:
- Media and Communications
- Journalism and Media
- roughly 5cm square final format.
- be able to work and be understood small
- throw out the background DOF wise
- some background in
Media and Communications
- include laptop or Ipad
- Over shoulder or side shot poss,
- Maybe feature news room or projection as well
Journalism and Media
- Interviewing someone outside
- shoot showing the interviewer holding equipment
- natural light as poss
Stuff that needs sorting
- Lecture theatres?
- peace gardens / priory place / next to the transport museum
- walling outside transport museum
- somewhere around Nandos garden opposite the church
- busy place
- Naturally not the same for both sections
- 3 people needed.
- 2/3 back ups?
- Two people for the journalism one
- casual dress
- Appear older so it does not look staged. Borrow Anthany/J.S?
- Should not wear black.
- Stuff in the shot:
- Ediroll, microphone, headphones
- To shoot with:
- light acc’s
- test shots
- Lecture theatre
- someone was in there when I thought there wasnt soo…
When using equipment in the shots
- need to see the screens
- when using the ediroll
- need to see screen
- need to see headphones
- need to see the actual recorder
- need to see the microphone
- DO NOT include the yellow MLS stickers
- final 10 or so shots to be put forward to be approved wed evening
- Final to be sent that same day/evening – Pete you prob have to do this and edits as i am at work 6-9.
- 8:30AM SHARP! – However I will have to go at 4:30
- Shoot the laptop scene in ETG lecture theatre in case there’s a shoot in there in the afternoon
- Shoot the interview scene in the afternoon
- Matt would like to see some of the images from one or what ever shoot from the morning session midday lunch
- He will be around but in meetings in ETG10 or our main lecture place
- Laptop scene:
- Fran 10-1
- Larissa 10-12
- Interview scene:
- Bijash 12-3
- maybe kevin from loan shop buttt thats a really big MAYBE, he said he would think about it, if he cant he will think of some alternatives…
- Tim at sometime in the afternoon
- Stacie from around 12ish onwards
The strobist laptop image (bonus shot apparently):
Camera balanced for daylight. SB-26 speedlight sitting on the keyboard (on 1/4 power with a CTB gel) aimed at the screen. Second SB-26, at 1/64 power (no gel) with a coroplast gridspot, at camera left painting the computer. Triggered by Pocket Wizard on the 1/4-power flash and built-in slave on the 1/64-powered flash.
Exposure was 1/250th at f/8 at 100 ASA.
Photo © David Hobby, 2007 All rights reserved.
Next I spent about an hour to walk around Coventry to find possible locations for the photo shoot of the the interview taking place. I chose locations that were busy to give a sense of environment and to give a non staged feel to it. I also chose quieter locations that had a more aesthetic appeal to them so that the client would have more choice to choose from.
I aimed to start test shooting in a lecture theatre to test getting the exposure for the laptop screen for the media and communications shoot. However when I went to the room there was a lecture taking place despite there being nothing scheduled on the card for that time on the door. It did not occur to me later that evening that there was a similar lecture theatre the floor above where I could of tested the images.
To make sure that there were no more lectures in the lecture theatre the next day (the day of the shoot) I emailed Keith Holmes to ask if there were any bookings even though, again there showed no bookings for the morning at least.
One thing I am disappointed in, and mainly with myself, is the fact that I did not get to do a test shoot even though there was probably a spare room on the floor above. Therefore I so far feel that I left the side down already and that shooting down would not go so well since this test was not done and precious shooting time would be eaten up with test shots.