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Model of the Week – Cain Jennings

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Cain Jennings

IMG_5516-webNationality: British
City: London
Height: 6ft
Waist: 28in
Shoe: 7
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Blue

I’ve wanted to work with Cain for ages, so I was very happy when we finally set a date to shoot. Cain is originally from near Birmingham, and ended up living in London accidentally. He came down for a few days for various projects and kind of ended up staying. A quarter Irish, as you can tell by the curls, Cain really is a free spirit who likes to express himself creatively through art and imagery. We share a love of photography, although largely through different mediums. He collects different cameras, mostly older film cameras and takes some truly beautiful candid shots. It’s very easy to get complacent in the digital age as you can have as many retakes as you want – but with film you have your 24 or 36 shots and that’s it. He’s also no stranger to digital work too, so visit his Instagram to check out his creativity.

Shootwise, we decided to go with the flow and see what we ended up, and I went to visit him somewhere along the Northern line in London. After exploring the local area, we ended up near a large park that had some brightly coloured fitness equipment and a walled garden. Cain’s very expressive and has a wonderful face to work with and I got some up close headshots that would make a great animated gif if strung together! For the editing, I wanted to keep most of the colour tones soft and gentle – and found that black and white worked exceptionally well with a slight haze.

 

14 Questions with Cain…

IMG_5453-webLife in Living Color: If you could relive one time in your life, which would it be and why?
Cain Jennings: School. Looking back, it was so badass!

LiLC: What three things do you absolutely have to do every day?
CJ: Brush my teeth, listen to music and have a compulsory ten minute dance in the shower.

LiLC: What got you interested in modelling?
CJ: I guess going through blogs and websites in my teenage years I saw images of models and shoots and thought it was amazing how a set, makeup or filter can create something so separate to what the human eye usually sees..

LiLC: Who are your inspirations?
CJ: It’s so cliché and cringey, but my mother. She’s not only a rock for me and my family, but she’s somehow managed to be a rock for herself no matter what.

LiLC: What was the last website you looked at?
CJ: YouTube: watching how to remove watermelon seeds “the easy way!”

LiLC: Tell us something most people don’t know about you.
CJ: I used to play the trumpet.

IMG_5624-webLiLC: What countries have you visited, and which was your favourite?
CJ: So far I’ve mostly travelled around Europe, apart from the volunteer work I did in Ghana, Africa. That was most definitely my favourite, I can’t even begin to write down how much it changed me as a person.

LiLC: What was your most embarrassing moment?
CJ: I think any time I sing or dance is an embarrassing moment so let’s just say that!

LiLC: Tell us about your first date.
CJ: It was at Starbucks. I must have been so awkward and quiet, I’m surprised I even got asked on a second date!

LiLC: Who was your first crush, and who is your current crush?
CJ: My first crush was Princess Kida from Disney’s Atlantis. She was so cool! My most recent one? He’ll probably read this, so… no!

LiLC: What tattoos or piercings do you have?
CJ: I used to have about 4/5 in my ear, but now I go for one simple hoop in my left ear. I’ve also got two tattoos, one on each ankle.

LiLC: If time froze for one hour for everyone except you, what would you do?
CJ: Eat as much food as I want at an All-You-Can-Eat buffet and not feel judged.

LiLC: What songs are on your “Most Played” list?
CJ: Two Weeks - FKA Twigs, Sunshowers - MIA, Teardrops - Lovestation, Tropical Chancer - La Roux and Teen Spirit - SZA.

LiLC: What’s your first thought upon waking up?
CJ: ‘Shit, the time!’

Check out the gallery below, and if you have any more questions for Cain, then e-mail models@lifeinlivingcolor.com with “Cain Jennings” as the subject header.

Instagram: @alefromsummerclub

Tuesday’s Top Ten: Perfect Selfies – Guys

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While researching the subject of selfies, I noticed that there’s a plethora of selfie-taking guides out there – however almost all are geared towards the girls, and most don’t even feature real selfies! I gave a selection of my followers and models one of the top ten rules, and asked them to see what they could come up with. There’s many tips and tricks to taking a great picture, but follow these and you won’t go far wrong. If you’re reading this and notice you’re guilty of one or more of the errors – you’re welcome!

1. Avoid using the flash!

Instagram: @alefromsummerclub

Instagram: @alefromsummerclub

Using a phone’s built in flash can ruin a great photo in a number of ways. As well as washing out bright areas, it will cast dark shadows over various areas of the face. If you’re prone to oily skin or have a natural shine, you can place a bet that the flash will only serve to enhance it – so try not to use it! It will also reflect in any shiny surface also in the shot, especially windows and mirrors. If you really have to use a flash, try diffusing it with a piece of almost transparent plastic.

2. Face the light source

Instagram: @jxy.uk

Instagram: @jxy.uk

Know where the light is coming from, and use it. The light should never be behind you, as it cast your face into shadow and brighten up everything else. If it’s daylight and your light is coming from a window, face towards the window, don’t have it behind you. Similarly, if the light source is artificial, don’t stand in front of it as you’ll just become a silhouette. Embrace the light, face towards it and your face will thank you. Experiment with different angles, and notice the difference the shadows make. If taking your photo outside, avoid directly facing the sun – not only for the obvious reason, but to avoid that terrible squint.

3. Don’t pull THAT face. You know the one!

Facebook: markchillywilliams554

Facebook: markchillywilliams554

Duck faces are only attractive on ducks – to other ducks. And I’m pretty sure if a duck pulled a duck face he wouldn’t be attractive to another duck either. If you’re joking around on purpose, like Marky here, go for it. If you’re serious, don’t… just don’t. I’ve seen people do this as they believe it will draw attention to the cheekbones and lips, or will make them come across as intense and sexy – but it actually looks like you’re trying really hard to wait for the bathroom. Especially when that stare comes into play. Another “THAT face” is the mouth-cover. There’s any number of reasons someone might be covering their mouth – dry lips, a bothersome spot, braces – nothing to actually worry about. In fact, covering the mouth actually draws more attention to it! A natural, easy-going smile or look is always the way to go – your friends will appreciate it, and your followers will love it – see #8 for more info.

4. Notice the background… your friends do!

Instagram: @mrzampieri

Instagram: @mrzampieri

This is the letdown of many a great selfie – and something so many people don’t even think about! While concentrating on your own natural ruggedness and good looks, after the 67th photo taken, do you really have time to look around you? Make sure you do, and include an interesting, or at least clean background in your selfie! When I offered this selfie suggestion to people helping out, nobody wanted to do it and all suddenly became acutely aware of their surroundings. Rafael came the closest with a pretty clean kitchen – but we’ve all seen the sort of selfies I’m talking about. As you know, it’s a reflection of you, so if you have mouldy bathroom tiles, underwear on the floor or an abundance of dirty crockery in view, people will judge you. They may not say it. But they’ll judge. Incorrectly, right?

5. Know your best angle

Instagram: @_samshields

Instagram: @_samshields

Part of a great selfie is knowing your angles – and surprisingly where a lot of people fail when taking their own photograph. Due to spending so much time trying to focus on one feature, the rest of the face is forgotten about. Guys should avoid taking photos from above, unless deliberately aiming for a feminine look. While it’s true that taking the photo from above does make eyes look larger, it also takes away from the masculine features. A good male portrait should be taken from just below eye level, in order to show off the jawline, and will also serve the purpose of making you look taller too.

6. Editing and Filters

Instagram: @tonymellis
Instagram: @tonymellis

 A great rule to remember when editing your own picture: less is more. Social media and photo apps turned everyone into a professional fauxtographer overnight. When using any photo editing software it’s so easy to overdo it without even noticing, and when you do realise, it’s usually too late to repair. Face enhancing apps should be used sparing, with a slight brush over any major blemishes and a subtle sharpen across the eyes. Even Barbie would be shocked at the effects these apps can produce. The selected filter should also enhance your features and not wash them out. Oh, and one more tip to bear in mind – step AWAY from the HDR effect…

7. Colour makes a difference

Instagram: @cbennettxo

Instagram: @cbennettxo

This is one of my favourite tips when taking headshots – and it works well in person too, not just in a photograph. The idea is simple – have your clothing match your eyes. Colours can either compliment each other or have an opposite effect. This doesn’t mean if you have brown eyes you should dress in brown for the rest of your life – this could be very boring! Blues and greys compliment blue eyes, earthy tones such as dark red and deep oranges will enhance brown eyes, and if you have green or hazel eyes – definitely work with greens in your colour palette. Try it, and notice the difference. If you’re not sure, you can never go wrong with white!

8. Express yourself!

Instagram: @freddy_owen_roscamp

Instagram: @freddy_owen_roscamp

We all know that one person on Instagram – the one that posts the exact same pose again and again. Sometimes it’s in their house, sometimes it’s at work, sometimes it’s even outdoors – but always the same look. In fact I was following one of these people, and he’d posted a picture of him and a friend and I could have sworn he’d photoshopped himself in from a previous photo. And I’m sure it’s just coincidence, but more often that not the same-selfie taker and the duck-face selfie or mouth-coverer taker are one and the same! Take a look at Freddy’s photos here, the four on the left are actually different photos, believe it or not. Which feed would you rather look at every day? ‘Nuff said.

9. Get creative and have fun

Instagram: @itsciaranxo

Instagram: @itsciaranxo

I love to follow people on social media who post the unexpected. By unexpected I don’t mean shocking or controversial, I mean the people who aren’t afraid to have a bit of fun and take life with a pinch of salt. People who aren’t afraid to goof off alone or with others definitely come across as happier people – and one of the routes to happiness is to surround yourself with positive people. Get creative with your surroundings, or even use emoticons or drawing in your selfies! Surprise yourself and come up with something awesome.

10. Involve others!

Instagram: @ellisjjames

Instagram: @ellisjjames

People look at your photos because they’re interested in what you’re up to. And because you’re hot. But mainly because they have an interest. Nothing says life more than sharing it with others – so get involving your friends and family in your selfies – maybe even your pets! Never create a false social life through social media, because while people don’t have the heart to call you out on it, they can see it. Some people much prefer their own company, but if you’re a person who loves people, get them involved!

 

Thanks for checking out my top ten – I’d love you to hear from everyone reading this – so feel free to send me those amazing selfies you’ve taken using this guide and I might even post them on my Instagram! Oh, and one more thing… those social media buttons below? They all need to be pressed before leaving this page!

 

 

 

New Image

Mondays Revisited

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New Image

This photo of Paul was taken in April of last year in London and was part of a test shoot I did with him. I was browsing through the folder of images and saw a few great images taken at the tail end of the shoot – including this one. While I love the picture, I feel that the original feels a little flat and bland and could have been taken at any time. Looking at the photo I decided that I wanted it to be a waking up in the morning shot.

After some general retouching, I softened the image, and ran a soft transparent blur brush over the skin areas. I refocused the lighting to have a central point just behind Paul’s head, to enhance the fact that the light is coming in from the out-of-show window behind him. I used the unsharp mask command to sharpen up the details of the image and brought up the contrast by about 25%.

To achieve the morning light, I toned down the yellow tones of the image to bring down the idea that artificial lighting was used, and placed a layer of royal blue over the image which I then blended in at about 40%. Not only did this have the desired lighting effect, but it also enhanced the blue of Paul’s eyes and the shadows on the headboard.

To complete the image, I paid a little extra attention to Paul’s eyes, sharpening and brightening the midtones, and also added a subtle shine to his watch.

View the two images below!

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Week Roundup

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ChrisPosterFINAL-webBack to a busy week with quite a bit happening. I caught up again with the awesome Lewis Thompson as he was visiting London for another shoot. We went down the South Bank of the River Thames and did a suit shoot under the pier – as well as a few more casual images. I posted the first set on Facebook on Friday, so make sure to check them out.

I’ve been discussing with Chris Baxter for a while the idea of creating a poster of one of the photographs we took together, as he’s build quite a fanbase. The poster design is now finished, and pre-orders will be open soon with a few different postage options. I’m still finalizing prices with Chris, but the pre-order will be at a cheaper rate than main release. Contact me if you’re interested in getting one and would like it signed by Chris.

I caught up with my good friend Debbie this week and went with her to see the musical Tonight’s The Night. It was a jukebox musical based around the songs of Rod Stewart – of which I knew about two. There were some great perfomances by the leads and ensemble that held together the typically flimsy sort-of plot. Guy wants to be cool, gets cool, doesn’t want to be cool anymore was pretty much the synopsis!

I also photographed not only this week’s Model of the Week, but next week’s as well – two very different shoots that I’m pretty excited about. Over the last week this site has seen a huge increase in popularity with FIVE times the usual number of views! This has prompted me to get more creative with ideas, especially with an increase of talented models following me through social media. While I’ve only done a couple so far, my Tuesday Top Ten feature has been wildly successful, so hopefully it will remain so.

Finally, have a look at the top right of this page. First of all you’ll see two social media buttons – make sure to hit them and follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Second you’ll see a button in a black box marked Send Me A Message. Do it! Even if it’s just to say hi.

Pierced

Your Saturday Selfies: Pierced Selfies

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It’s #SaturdaySelfie time! Loads of you posted your best #PiercedSelfie on Instagram this week, and here’s just a few of the great submissions.

Big shoutout to:
@alefromsummerclub

@mrzampieri

@b3ngreenwood

@christoffferrr

@ronnienorris

@liamtommyb

@sammyjr1990

@michaelmather

@aaronlikesfire

@thomaswhite__

@harleyjseymour

@rickyxricky

 

Pierced

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Throwback Thursday – George Crowdy

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Today’s Throwback is a fairly recent one – only to the beginning of the year! I’ve worked with George several times, and this great black and white image is from our second shoot together. Leave a comment below and let me know what you think!

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Model of the Week – Gerald Barreda

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Gerald Barreda

IMG_4584-webNationality: Phillipines/UK
City: Camberley, Surrey
Height: 5ft6in
Chest: 38in
Waist: 30in
Shoe: 9
Hair: Black/Dark Brown
Eyes: Dark Brown

Gerald is a fitness fan living in Surrey, and hopes one day to step into the world of fitness modelling. He’d like to follow in the footsteps of models such as Christian Guzman, one of the most popular fitness models in the US currently. Originally from the Phillipines, Gerald spends most of his time in the UK and travels back occasionally for vacations. It’s a country I’d love to visit sometime, mainly due to its beautiful beaches. He’s currently in college in Hampshire and works hard to play hard.

I received a message from Gerald through one of my social media accounts and upon seeing a few photos felt he would be a great fit to model. When people contact me I love when they send just simple unedited photos that really show off their personality. I stuck mainly to two editing styles – an Abercrombie-esque black and white look, and a vibrant but defined look for the others. We shot so many great images that it was pretty difficult for me to narrow the selection down – in fact there are a number of headshots I’d still love to find time to work on.

Enjoy the images and 20 Questions below – and feel free to leave a comment below, or share the post using one of the social media icons!

 

20 Questions with Gerald…

IMG_4223-webLife in Living Color: What do you do to prepare for a shoot?
Gerald Barreda: I had some chicken and asparagus – then had a quick pump just before the shoot.

LiLC: If you could relive one time in your life, which would it be and why?
GB: Probably when I was about 3 years old, and didn’t have a care in the world.

LiLC: What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
GB: I tried a front flip off the roof of a garage – and actually landed it!

LiLC: What three things do you absolutely have to do every day?
GB: Gym, eat ice cream and shower.

LiLC: What got you interested in modelling?
GB: I was inspired by Christian Guzman.

LiLC: What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened to you?
GB: When I was five, I was playing with some friends in the Phillipines and this figure dressed in white appeared from nowhere. I still remember it.

LiLC: What’s the last book or movie that really made you think?
GB: Wolf of Wall Street -  it really made me want to have his job.

LiLC: Who are your inspirations?
GB: Christian Guzman and Zyzz.

LiLC: What was the last website you looked at?
GB: YouTube.

LiLC: Tell us something most people don’t know about you.
GB: I’m an eighth Japanese on my mum’s side.

IMG_4174-webLiLC: If you could spend a day with anyone in the world, who would it be, where would you go and what would you do?
GB: Christian Guzman – we’d go to the gym and pump, brah.

LiLC: What countries have you visited, and which was your favourite?
GB: Phillipines, the USA and France. Phillipines is my favourite.

LiLC: What was your most embarrassing moment?
GB: I was talking to a girl outside a club, and puked everywhere.

LiLC: Tell us about your first date.
GB: That was awkward as hell.

LiLC: Who was your first crush, and who is your current crush?
GB: My first was a Phillipina girl called Kaziah, and my current is my girl Lucy.

LiLC: What are your favourite websites?
GB: AnimeSeason.com

LiLC: If you had three wishes, what would they be?
GB: Unlimited ice cream, unlimited money and three more wishes.

LiLC: If time froze for one hour for everyone except you, what would you do?
GB: Probably kiss as many girls as I could.

LiLC: What songs are on your “Most Played” list?
GB: Timeflies - Royals, False Pretense - Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

LiLC: What’s your first thought upon waking up?
GB: Food!

Check out the gallery below, and if you have any more questions for Gerald, then e-mail models@lifeinlivingcolor.com with “Gerald Barreda” as the subject header.

Top10numbered

Tuesday’s Top Ten: People I’d Love To Work With

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Welcome to the second installment of Tuesday’s Top Ten! Today I’d like to share with you my Top Ten People I’d Love To Work With. Now, please note they are not in any particular order, and if any of the great guys featured here happens to see this… please don’t hesitate to drop me a message!

Top10numbered

1. Francisco Lachowski
Francisco, sometimes known as Chico, has had a highly successful modelling career and recently became a father. He is highly sought out for advertising and gallery exhibitions. Born in Brazil, he launched his career after winning Brazil’s Supermodel of the Year contest.

2. Diego Barrueco
Diego is a highly popular model based in London. He is represented by agencies all over the world including the UK, USA, Spain and Italy. His Instagram account currently has almost 200,000 followers, and he runs an interactive Tumblr account.

3. Justin Barnhill
Justin is from North Carolina in the USA, and has done print work for many of the most famous and exclusive brands in the world. He was featured in HERO magazine alongside Colton Haynes and is represented by agencies worldwide.

4. Zac Efron
Although he had roles in several TV shows, it wasn’t until High School Musical that ZEfron appeared on the worldwide radar. He’s one of the few Disney Channel stars to have successfully made the leap from teen heartthrob to legitimate movie star. He’s shown his versatility through movies ranging from Hairspray to Bad Neighbors to The Paperboy. I have to say though, sitting through the latter movie was quite distressing!

5. Thaddeus Nelson
Thaddeus hails from Utah, just outside Salt Lake City. Before I got into portrait photography seriously, I had the pleasure of being work colleagues with him, although we never did have the chance to shoot. One day in the not too distant future, I will make that happen!

6. River Viiperi
River really began his modelling career at the age of 19, and comes from the party capital of Ibiza in Spain. He runs several very popular social media accounts and this year launched his own clothing brand. Sadly the shipping costs to the UK almost match the reasonable merchandise costs – but on my next trip stateside you’ll definitely be seeing some of his range featured in my work!

7. Colton Haynes
From Wichita, Kansas, Colton began modelling for A&F when he was just fifteen. He sprung to popularity appearing in the TV show Teen Wolf, and went on to play a major role in Arrow. After starring in several music videos, Colton released a few music tracks. This year he participated in A&F’s Search for a Star campaign.

8. Harry Goodwins
From London, Harry is represented by some of the world’s top agencies, and is currently in Models.com Top 50 list. He’s done many editorials and covers, and continues to appear in fashion shows worldwide.

9. Tom Daley
Since representing Great Britain in the 2008 Summer Olympics, diver Tom has been constantly in the nation’s public eye. He went on to win a bronze medal in London’s 2012 Summer Olympics and became the star of a reality celebrity diving show.

10. The Rosas Twins
This is where my Top Ten technically becomes a Top Eleven! The Rosas Twins are currently represented by RED New York and are from Barcelona, where they are extremely popular and have built a large fan base through social media. I’ve had the pleasure of discussing a future shoot with them, and while plans are currently on hold – watch this space!

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Mondays Revisited

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Trent and Luke are two of the nicest guys, and fun models to work with… they recently ran away to Yorkshire so I haven’t had a chance to catch up with them or shoot for a long time, so I decided to make one of their photos my “Monday Revisited” this week.

I tried a number of different things with the image, but kept going back to the same look – which happened to be very similar to the look I gave the original set. It shows that often things just work. As I usually do, I went from the original RAW image and worked on it from there. The original series was used in my 2014 calendar, so I was quite restricted on the dimensions of the image. The most drastic change I’ve made actually is to crop the image lengthways in order to really focus on their faces.

The black of the Life in Living Color shirts works amazingly well with the red, so I made sure the red tones of the rug were enhanced, and kept the darkness of the blacks. I added an extremely soft vignette, so much that it’s barely noticeable but it does help to draw the viewer to the middle of the image. Both Trent and Luke are truly blessed in the skin department, and I needed barely any retouch at all, just a little shading of some overly light areas which I achieved with the clone stamp tool.

Make sure to check out Trent and Luke’s YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/TrentAndLuke – they’re already at over 26,000 subscribers and I’m sure it won’t be long til 50,000!

 

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Week Roundup

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IMG_5029-webbI love to push myself creatively, so I’ve quite a bit of time this week learning some new editing techniques and experimenting with different styles. The images aren’t quite ready for public view yet though, so give me some time to perfect the techniques before unleashing them on you!

This past week has seen the bi-annual Farnborough International Airshow, which is one of the biggest and most high-profile air shows in the world. I live less than a mile from the airfield, which is in equal parts awesome and terrible. Since last Sunday, planes have been flying low over the houses for prolonged periods of time, so I haven’t had much peace and quiet! One morning I was woken by an almighty racket that turned out to be the Vulcan coming into land – that’s the one I learned looks like Mr Ray from Finding Nemo…

On Friday they had a special flight display for trade visitors, so I spent most of the afternoon in a nearby park with my friends Rob and Simon – Simon was the second Model of the Week this year, you can follow him on Instagram too @Cuppo90. I got some great shots as many of the planes came in to land, and a few of them are pictured below.

I also had a couple of great shoots too – one with a different Rob who I’ve known for a while, and another was this coming week’s Model of the Week – another local guy who was awesome to work with! Make sure to visit on Wednesday to check out his gallery. I have a lot of fitness fans, and I know the images will go down well!

 

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