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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!

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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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Model of the Week – Callum Hine

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Callum Hine

IMG_3157-webNationality: British
City: Ash, Surrey
Height: 5ft7in
Chest: 38in
Waist: 30in
Shoe: 8
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Green

Callum is a trainee hair stylist from the town of Ash, a few miles away from Guildford, Surrey. He’s very local and I arranged to do a test shoot with him. He’s got a great look, and photographs wonderfully. In the future, Callum would like model professionally so was excited at the chance of shooting. Naturally he had several questions, as he had been approached before about modelling but wanted to make sure offers were legitimate. Previously he had been approached by model advisory UK Models and assumed they were an agency, as many people do. UK Models is one of those services that take great pains to look like an agency to attract young people – unfortunately they are little more than a hugely overpriced photo studio with very insistent salespeople. I encouraged Callum to try some of the many accredited legitimate agencies in London.

The shoot was a local one and the aim was to shoot a range of styles for the images so that Callum has a good start to his own portfolio. He mentioned that he’d like a woodland feel for the shoot, so we went for that and it worked quite well. I’m so fortunate when it comes to location, with some great interesting backdrops nearby. While editing, I made a conscious effort to focus on Callum’s face and expression as he’s capable of quite a versatile range of looks.

For the 20 questions below, it was to ask the questions in person. I find it interesting to do it at that, as there’s quite a few “on-the-spot” questions – and you will often get spur of the moment answers that you may not get if there’s a while to think about them! Read on…

 

20 Questions with Callum…

IMG_3339-webLife in Living Color: What do you do to prepare for a shoot?
CH: I make sure my hair is done and my clothes are ready.

LiLC: If you could relive one time in your life, which would it be and why?
CH: It would be school and I’d work harder. I didn’t do badly, but still I can always work harder.

LiLC: What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
CH: In a skating competition I tried to do a 180 off a ramp and didn’t work. The risk didn’t pay off that day!

LiLC: What three things do you absolutely have to do every day?
CH: My hair, check my phone and I need to go out somewhere. Doesn’t always matter where, I just have to go out.

LiLC: What got you interested in modelling?
CH: I like the fashion side of it, and would like to make it a career.

LiLC: What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened to you?
CH: I went for a bike ride in the woods with some friends at 11.30 at night. I came off my bike and was under it. The rest of the group were ahead and didn’t realise.

LiLC: What’s the last book or movie that really made you think?
CH: I’m not really a book person to be fair. I don’t know what films… nothing that did that. The last films I watched were Insidious and The Conjuring!

LiLC: Who are your inspirations?
CH: So many, I was actually talking about this the other day. Eminem. How he started at the bottom with nothing. And Justin Bieber… his flipping first car was a Lamborghini! Arnold Schwarzenegger too.

LiLC: What was the last website you looked at?
CH: The Sik Silk clothing website.

LiLC: Tell us something most people don’t know about you.
CH: I don’t have a clue, I’m pretty open.

IMG_3277-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?
CH: It would have to be Tyler The Creator or ASAP Rocky. We’d go skateboarding and have a laugh… they’re just a bunch of weirdos who can rap. And ASAP Rocky knows everyone!

LiLC: What countries have you visited, and which was your favourite?
CH: Malta, Italy, America and Ireland. Favourite was America.

LiLC: What was your most embarrassing moment?
CH: Slipping down the steps in front of everyone. Yesterday at work, I fell out the door backwards, but luckily nobody saw. I fall over a lot.

LiLC: Tell us about your first date.
CH: I haven’t been on a date.

LiLC: Who was your first crush, and who is your current crush?
CH: My current is Cara DeLevingne – she literally is the perfect woman. My first was… I don’t remember, but imagine meeting Cara DeLevingne though!

LiLC: What are your favourite websites?
CH: Sik Silk, Youtune and Supreme clothing.

LiLC: If you had three wishes, what would they be?
CH: More wishes! Haha… joking. As much money as I wanted. Good health for all my family and for my friends. And stop all the wars that are going on now.

LiLC: If time froze for one hour for everyone except you, what would you do?
CH: I would literally pull as many pranks as I could. I’d switch everyone’s positions so they were speaking to other people! Imagine unfreezing and being like I wasn’t talking to you…

LiLC: What songs are on your “Most Played” list?
CH: Lots of ASAP Rocky, Odd Future and Eminem.

LiLC: What’s your first thought upon waking up?
CH: I need to check my phone!

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

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10 Reasons an iPad Mini is a Photoshoot Essential

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IMG_3287-webFor several years I was a definite opposer of the iPad, giving reasons such as it being an enlarged iPhone, or not quite a netbook. While I’m still not a fan of the full-size iPad – when out computer shopping a couple of years ago I spotted a deal on an iPad mini that was too good to miss and finally acquiesced. I quickly realised what a valuable tool this could be and soon bought a second as a backup. Now it’s one of the items I won’t leave the house without when setting out on a shoot. Here are 10 of my favourite reasons that an iPad Mini is by far and away the best tool a photographer could have – camera equipment aside of course!

1. Travel Boredom
From an entertainment perspective, most people will agree the iPad surpasses many other forms. I travel quite a bit, so it’s great to be able to read, watch a TV show or play a game or two without having to worry about my phone’s battery life being depleted too quickly.

2. Internet
Whether I’m using wifi, 3G or 4G it’s a great extra resource in case my phone runs out of battery. It’s also useful if a member of the shoot team or your model needs to use the internet to look up some information. The size of the screen means it’s much easier for two or three people to use.

3. Photo Editing Apps
I know photographers will read this heading in horror, but wait and hear me out! Occasionally I’ve tried to share an idea or communicate how I want a final image to look or feel when I’ve had an on-the-spot idea. Using an advanced app such as Photoshop, I can put together a quick rough colour test to better show what I mean.

4. A Mirror
When you’re shooting indoors or in a studio, there’ll doubtless be a plethora of mirrors to choose from. When you’re out and about, it may be something you just don’t have or want to carry. A compact mirror is an item you can carry easily, but the model can only see one part of their face. Often I’ve noticed people using their phone camera to check out their hair or other appearance – the iPad camera does exactly the same thing, but much clearer and larger.

5. Contracts
Contracts are an important part of photography to protect yourself, your work and others. Often both parties will have had a chance to read through before a shoot, but sometimes for various reasons it may not have been – and a change may have to be made last minute. Certain iPad apps allow you to amend the contract, save templates and automatically put in dates and times – and even names and addresses from your contacts. Carrying an inexpensive stylus allows for a quick and easy digital signature.

6. Music
The iPad mini’s speakers are far superior to the iPhone’s. It’s great to be able to have music playing during a shoot – it adds ambience and makes people feel at ease. I know that my music taste isn’t for all… but with apps such as Spotify, I can let whoever I’m working with take control of the music choices.

7. Previewing Images
This is one of my favourites! For about £25 I purchased a card reader for the iPad. Sometimes you’ll want to show off what you’ve shot, or the person you’re working with will want to see. I can upload all or selected images from the shoot to look through. This goes well with Photo Editing apps for image previews! It’s no substitute for proper software, but it can still be useful.

8. Calendars and Scheduling
Like many of these, you can use your iPhone for this, but the iPad version of the calendar is much easier to use – and then sync it to all your Apple devices automatically so you’ll never have to miss a booking by being unsure of your dates.

9. Website
With the iPad, I’m able to log on to my website and see how my posts are doing, or even post articles on the go. I’ll sometimes use WordPress’s app or just log right into the website to make any additions or changes.

10. The Instagram Selfie
I love to have behind the scenes pictures and model selfies on my Instagram feed – and my followers love them too. Rather than hand over my phone that’s constantly going off, the iPad selfie is always a fun thing to do – sometimes it’ll make for a great photo!

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Mondays Revisited

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This week I decided to revisit my first shoot with Dan Harding. Dan’s a fantastic model, and works closely with Machine Fitness on all their promotion. On our shoot, we shot several different looks around London’s South Bank. We walked past this great photo mural near the National Theatre and decided to get a couple of shots there. I wish I knew who the photographers were to credit them, as all the portraits were great.

The observant ones among you will have noticed I decided to change this image to black and white, but it wasn’t as simple as hitting desaturate!  I decided to go with black and white to have Dan match in with the portraits, but his look is so much different that he still stands out.

To achieve the effects, I edited the image in raw format and desaturated the colours seperately. This allowed me to play with the different tones in the image. I sharpened the whole image and brought up the contrast to give the image harsh edges. I then lightened the shadows about 25%. There were still areas at the top of the photograph that were too dark, so I lightened those areas using the dodge tool, and also lightened Dan’s facial features slightly.

To finish off, I refocused the lightining in the image and sharpened Dan very subtly, just to draw the viewers eyes to him. Check out both versions below to see the differences!

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Alan Morrissey - I Can't Sing: The X Factor Musical

Week Roundup

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Alan Morrissey - I Can't Sing: The X Factor Musical

Alan Morrissey – I Can’t Sing: The X Factor Musical

My shoot with Jack Andrews was very well received this when he appeared on the Model of the Week feature last Wednesday. I’ve spent most of the week arranging new shoots and have some exciting things coming up. This week’s been pretty quiet shoot-wise, although I spent a great morning shooting with this week’s model – and started the editing – so you’ll be seeing the images as usual on Wednesday.

My Instagram Saturday Selfies series has been going well, but after almost 13 weeks and over 100 people being featured, it’s time to change it up a little. Each week I’ll be picking a theme for the selfies – and I’ll be picking some at random from the Explore page. My followers can still get involved with posting a selfie of that theme – I’ll be changing the hashtags up, and having followers help me with choosing the theme each week. If you have an idea for a theme, shoot me a message at info@lifeinlivingcolor.com.

On Friday I posted a free retouch session in the afternoon and quickly received a lot of requests and images ranging from iPhone selfies and headshots to wedding photos! It was fun to do, so I may repeat the offer at some point in the future if I have a quiet day.

I’m also going to be updating the website main pages over the course of the week – I started yesterday with the About page, and including lots more links to companies and individuals I’ve worked with or for in the past, so make sure to give their pages a visit! Next up will be a complete revamp of my services and packages, giving you a lot more flexibility when choosing a shoot with me.

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Saturday Selfies

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After 13 weeks – and over 100 different people featured – next week I’ll be changing up the Saturday Selfies! I’ll be choosing a random subject with the help of one of my followers and choosing the eight selfies from the Explore page that match that subject. Example subjects may include Mirror Selfies, Self Portrait Selfies, Best Friend Selfies etc. Don’t worry if you enjoy entering, as I’ll be announcing the subject on Fridays – so you have plenty of opportunity to get that selfie in on time!

Here’s this week’s Saturday Selfie submissions – go ahead and follow these great people on Instagram!

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Model of the Week – Jack Andrews

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Jack Andrews

IMG_2829-webNationality: British
City: Reading
Height: 5ft11
Chest: 37in
Waist: 32in
Shoe: 8
Hair: Dirty Blonde
Eyes: Blue

I started work recently on a project based around the name Jack, and put the name into Instagram’s user search out of curiosity. One of the first entries was Jack Andrews. At first glance I was pretty sure he was from the US, perhaps California, not that I’m stereotyping or anything! Upon messaging him, I was pleasantly surprised to find how local he was to me – only about half an hour away. He’d done a bit of modelling before so he readily agreed to arrange a shoot with me.

Jack turned out to be a very down to earth, very intelligent individual with, despite being in his early twenties, a lot of life experience. He’s currently working in Reading, and one day hopes to work with sea turtles in their natural habitats. He’s keen on travelling and experiencing new cultures. Jack’s up for new ideas, and we came up with quite a few along the way that we weren’t able to do at the time due to either not having the appropriate clothing or necessary equipment at the time – hopefully we will get to realize some of these ideas on the near future.

Our shoot took place on a small island near a park in Reading that Jack knew about. I’ve shot in Reading before, but not hugely familiar with the area – except for the location of Nandos and the (now closed) Disney Store! It was a great area that I hope to revisit sometime soon. Having modelled before, Jack was easy to work with and knew what would work well with the camera. Image wise, I knew I definitely wanted most of the photos in colour – both for the Model of the Week set and for the Jack Project. Naturally, a few of the images shouted out for the black and white treatment where colour just wouldn’t have the same effect.

I loved the responses to Jack’s 20 Questions – I hope you do too!

 

20 Questions with Jack…

IMG_3107-webLife in Living Color: What do you do to prepare for a shoot?
JA: It depends on the feel of the shoot and the desired shot, but before every shoot I recite my own personal mantra to help me ease into the zone.

LiLC: If you could relive one time in your life, which would it be and why?
JA: If I could relive one time, it would be February 2012 – I went to Botswana to visit my best friend and self-proclaimed soulmate. We had a wonderful time and I met so many new and awe-inspiring people. I had some great experiences to add to my personal progression and went on a journey of self-discovery.

LiLC: What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
JA: The biggest risk I’ve taken would be flying to Johannesburg by myself and travelling from there to Botswana alone.

LiLC: What three things do you absolutely have to do every day?
JA: Pee… haha, listen to music and make someone smile.

LiLC: What got you interested in modelling?
JA: The reason that sparked my interest was the idea that you can capture a moment in time and portray it in a way that makes the audience feel something. In my opinion, it is an art and art should always spark a reaction/emotion.

LiLC: What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened to you?
JA: On a family holiday we went for a Banana Boat experience. When we were propelled off its slippery surface, my brother pushed me under the water to use me as a float. The ocean was so deep I thought I was going to die.

LiLC: What’s the last book or movie that really made you think?
JA: I read the book The Monk Who Sold His Ferrarri by Robin S. Sharma and that really made my mechanical mind work overtime to process all the information that was presented to me. If you ever have the time, I recommend it as an eye-opening read of colossal proportions.

LiLC: Who are your inspirations?
JA: I have far too many to name, but here are three that spring to mind: James St. James, Oscar Wilde and Buddha.

LiLC: What was the last website you looked at?
JA: www.themindunleashed.com

LiLC: Tell us something most people don’t know about you.
JA: I have a fear of phone calls. I don’t let it get in the way of life though!

IMG_2859-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?
JA: I would spend a day with Oscar Wilde – I would like to find a serene opening in a secluded forest and write creative poems and let our imaginations run free.

LiLC: What countries have you visited, and which was your favourite?
JA: These are the countries I’ve visited in no particular order: Spain, several islands in Greece, South Africa, Botswana, England, Wales. I can’t say I have a favourite, they all have a deep connection to me and many different memories.

LiLC: What was your most embarrassing moment?
JA: When I was in primary school I was involved in the school choir. We would travel to London annually to perform and on this particular occasion we performed in the Royal Albert Hall singing Yellow Submarine by The Beatles. I started singing, and unbeknownst to me I was singing at the wrong time. Everyone stared and I can safely say I have never had so many eyes glued to me at the same time before!

LiLC: Tell us about your first date.
JA: My first date was in Starbucks. It went extraordinarily well, but as life changes we grew apart.

LiLC: Who was your first crush, and who is your current crush?
JA: My first crush was Orlando Bloom in Lord of the Rings. My most recent crush would be Ian Somerholder.

LiLC: What are your favourite websites?
JA: Stumbleupon, Tumblr, YouTube… and The Mind Unleashed. That’s four.

LiLC: If you had three wishes, what would they be?
JA: That money was no object, free healthcare for everyone and last but not least – happiness.

LiLC: If time froze for one hour for everyone except you, what would you do?
JA: Plant thousands of flower seeds anywhere and everywhere that the earth would take them.

LiLC: What songs are on your “Most Played” list?
JA: Hole - Malibu, Nirvana - Come To Me, Mr Probz - Waves, Pink Floyd - Time, the list goes on and on and on.

LiLC: What’s your first thought upon waking up?
JA: Today is going to be a great day!

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

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Mondays Revisited

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IMG_0883_webThis week I revisited my first ever shoot with Chris Baxter. I’ve worked with him several times now and each time we come up with more and more creative ideas. Hopefully we’ll be shooting again soon, and he’ll be making an appearance in the 2015 calendar.

This image was taken right at the end of the shoot actually in the car park before we left. There was a broken light fitting in the corner casting down some great light shapes, so we took the opportunity to get a few snaps. In this image I really wanted to enhance Chris’ arm and chest definition. I believe in showing off what’s there, rather than editing something over that doesn’t exist. I started by deepening the shadows and adjusting the blue tones of the image in order to give the photograph a cool tone and really show off the shapes the light was throwing out. This had the effect of washing Chris’ skin tones out, so I brought back these tones with a soft brush tool.

To define the body shapes, I used the burn tool, and the dodge tool to fix some of the shadows around his eyes. I also lightened the hair a little bit, and sharpened his main features to bring focus more to the face. When I looked back at the image, I noticed that attention was drawn to Chris’ chest (perhaps unsurprisingly) rather than to his face, so I subtly adjusted the lighting to fix this.

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