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Model of the Week – Shaun Jeffries

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Shaun Jeffries

IMG_0206-webNationality: British
City: London
Height: 6’3
Shoe: 11
Hair: Dark Brown
Eyes: Brown

I met Shaun through mutual friends and a previous model. The shoot was originally planned to be a summery themed shoot featuring three guys, however after two of them failed to arrive, Shaun and I decided to go ahead and shoot anyway. We headed over to Regents Park in Central London. I’ve used the area before, but this time we aimed for the gardens rather than the main sports area of the park. It was also a great location to shoot the video too, when we could get away from tourist chatter long enough to film!

Shaun is signed with Zone Models, a high-end commercial and fashion boutique agency based in London. They cater for a wide variety of ages and looks, and Shaun was eager to get some fresh images for his book. My original plan was to edit almost all the images in black and white, however when I returned home and looked through the images, the colours of the park and outfits Shaun chose for the shoot really called out to be edited in colour. I went with a slightly washed out look with the images as I wanted to give them an almost vintage feel and made a conscious effort to keep the green tones a little lighter, and deepen the brown tones to make brown the more prominent colour in the set.

A lot of my images have deliberate strong definition, but with Shaun’s set I decided to keep the original definition of the images, which I think worked very well!

Make sure to view Shaun’s gallery below the video.

 

Shaun’s Gallery

 

Tuesday’s Top Ten: 10 Awkward Shoot Moments!

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One of the best things about being a photographer is that no two days are ever the same, and you never know what’s going to happen! Here’s ten of my favourites, but you’ll have to message me to get the full story…

 

1. When the old ladies thought Chris was naked in the woods.

2. When the Japanese tourists physically pushed me out the way to take a family photo with the Sixties Girl Group.

3. When I almost fell in the Thames, but kept the camera above my head.

4. When I didn’t know Paul was a porn star.

5. When George brought his chicken to the shoot.

6. When the fashion students decided to borrow Dan in the middle of our shoot for their own project.

7. When the tourist took a photo of me photographing Demeanour Models, and I took a photo of her right back.

8. When one model was accidentally displaying too much and we had to shoot the set over again.

9. When a man was taking photos Sam on his iPhone from across the river.

10. When the duo I was shooting invited their friend along, and then didn’t show up. (The friend was awesome though!)

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Model of the Week – Jordan Isaac

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Jordan Isaac


IMG_8776-webNationality
: British
City: London
Height: 6’0
Waist: 28
Shoe: 9
Hair: Dark Brown
Eyes: Brown

Jordan is a musical theatre student and model from London. He started modelling recently and we got talking after he showed me some great photographs he shot with Camden Image. He’s currently going into the third and final year at The Urdang Academy, a well-known and respected performing arts school in Islington. I was surprised to learn that Jordan has only had a couple of previous shoots, as he was easy and natural with the camera and arrived extremely well-prepared for the shoot. As a creative person, I enjoy collaboration and incorporating ideas, and Jordan had brought along a few extra items with him. The blue jacket is an item that he surprised me with, and it looks great in the images. In fact, his preparedness prompted yesterday’s Top Ten Tips.

I had been researching London, and heard about a “secret” garden nearby Tower Bridge, one of London’s busiest tourist attractions. It took us a while to find it – thank you Google maps! – and I was unsure if it was an open venue or not, as there wasn’t much information. It was a challenge to find, and we came across it eventually almost by accident. The gardens were fairly large, but hidden from view by high stone walls, but once inside it was a beautiful mix of stone arches and greenery. It really wouldn’t have gone amiss in a live action Jungle Book movie, as the vines and shrubs were allowed to grow freely around the arches. We only saw a few people during this part of the shoot, and I hope it’s one of those places that stays a secret!

The second part of the shoot was done in a quiet street opposite an interesting little cafe just a couple of blocks over. Again, within spitting distance of thousands of people, but wonderfully quiet and peaceful – that is until just after 5pm, when the street got fairly busy with people heading home from work! Jordan threw himself into every aspect of the shoot, and as a result I now have some of my favourite images to date. Have a look at the photographs at the bottom of the page, and let me know what you think!


Jordan’s Gallery

 

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Top Ten Ways To Make A Photographer Love You

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IMG_6206-webI work with a lot of new people, and really enjoy it. I’ve been asked on more than one occasion if I prefer working with new models or experienced ones, and my reply is always the same – I don’t necessarily have a preference. There’s definitely pros to each: an experienced model will be used to being in front of the camera, and understand exactly how he’ll come across in the images. A new model you can often capture something raw and different.

There are a few tips that most experienced models already know and guaranteed to earn big brownie points from your photographer. None of the below tips are aimed at any particular experience, they’re just simple small things that can be overlooked – or small things that you can do to exceed expectations. Here’s my top ten tips!

1. Bring the correct items

Your photographer will usually discuss with you before the shoot what they’d like you to bring and what’s being supplied, and don’t be shy to ask and suggest. After you’ve agreed, make sure you do indeed bring those items with you as they can’t always be picked up at the time, and missing a wardrobe item is probably not going to score you a free one if you said you were going to bring it. Bonus points: always carry a plain white t-shirt and jeans as they’re pretty versatile.

2. Iron your clothes

A little thing that sounds fairly obvious, but is occasionally overlooked: perhaps the shirt looked fine out the dryer or not that bad when you picked it up. It’s always smart to find a couple of moments to run an iron over it anyway. Creases can be more evident in a photograph, and it saves lots of time during editing.

3. Push your comfort zone, but don’t be afraid to say no

During the shoot, different ideas may come up. If it’s not harmful and doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable try pushing that comfort zone. Try different facial expressions and body angles. On the same note, don’t be afraid to say no to situations or ideas you don’t feel comfortable in.

4. Be honest

Be honest with your photographer. Prior to the shoot if you don’t understand something or aren’t comfortable with an idea, say so. An example would be not to say you’re comfortable doing a shirtless shoot and you’re really not sure about it. Often the photographer will need a specific look for his portfolio, or a strong idea in mind. Agreeing to an idea then arriving and changing your mind is unlikely to have you invited for another shoot or referred to others (Unless there are other factors making you uncomfortable, in which case make apologies and leave). Maybe the photographer will elect to go with someone else if you decline the idea, but he will remember your honesty and may have you in mind when another project arises.

5. Trim your nailsModernGods_Deyan-web

Something else that sounds really obvious, but comes down to attention to detail. Trimming nails on photoshop can sometimes be quite a detailed task – so make sure those finger and toenails are kept in check!

6. Check with the photographer before applying makeup or hair gel

You know how it is, the day of the shoot arrives and suddenly Vesuvius erupts all over you! Don’t worry about this at all, your photographer should easily be able to rectify spots. By all means bring a small tube of base/foundation along with you. This is especially true if you like to use makeup to enhance facial contours or body shapes for a shoot – always check first. Hair too, unless a particular style has been decided in advance, bring the hair gel/spray with you and try some different looks.

7. Be prepared and exceed expectations

Keep a few small things ready in case of a last minute shoot. This will make you look awesome in the eyes of a photographer. Usually details of what to bring should be discussed before a shoot, or the photographer will have the items to hand already – but it’s great to be extra prepared. Try preparing a small bag with some hairspray, some sunglasses, jewellery if you wear it and any other small props that you think could come in handy.

8. Be aware of your pockets

This is something the photographer will remind you of, and will think you’re uber professional if he doesn’t have – remove bulky items from your pockets such as your wallet or phone.

9. Shave

This is one of the best tips I can give you – if you’re expected to be clean-shaven for the shoot, be clean-shaven. If you’re not sure, ask, and if it’s left to your discretion choose either stubble or none. Remember details can be a lot more obvious on a static image so make to remember shave the morning of the shoot even if you think it’s passable. One of the benefits of this is that you’re likely to get photos faster as the editing time might be reduced.

10. Be patient

This can be a frustrating part of modelling – not knowing when the images will arrive. Photographers will usually give a timescale, but remember there’s a whole lot more to do than just download the photograph onto a computer and hit send. One of my favourite images is one of those “What people think I do/What I actually do” memes that depict photographer handing over a polaroid for a ton of money on one side, and then being in front of a bank of computer screens at 3am on the other. If you’re paying for a shoot, you have a right to expect the photographs in a relatively quick timescale, but if it’s a TFP shoot it may take a little longer. If you haven’t heard within a few weeks of when the images are supposed to be ready, you have every right to follow up, but try and avoid insisting to see them immediately you arrive home. If you’re being paid for a shoot, don’t assume that you will receive copies of the images or even see them at all. Always check if you’re not sure on your compensation.

 

I hope you enjoyed reading through this list, and that it was helpful! Feel free to send me your tips or comments.

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Model of the Week – Steve Cale

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Steve Cale

IMG_9737-webNationality: British
City: Camberley
Height: 6’2
Waist: 32
Shoe: 9
Hair: Dark Brown
Eyes: Blue

Steve is a talented film student from Surrey and will be starting university this September. We met through Twitter a while ago, and I suggested he should give modelling a go. At the time he wasn’t sure about it, but I guess time let the idea sink in, and the subject came up again recently. He mentioned he’d be interested in doing something with a woodland feel so we headed over to nearby Ash Vale to see what we could come up with. Steve has a great natural smile, and being a film student already had a bit of knowledge about what to do for the camera.

We shot hundreds of great images, and it was really difficult to narrow them down to the 10 you see here. As always, I like to shoot a variety of looks so that the model has something for their book. We made good use of Steve’s outfit choices – a heather-coloured patterned tee, a great turquoise tee and of course the Life in Living Color t-shirt. Steve mentioned to me previously that he liked the shirts, and one of the provisos of the shoot was that he got to wear one for it! And he definitely wore it well.

Just as I did last week, the Q&A this week was done on camera, but this time during the shoot. Take a look at the video, and feel free to subscribe to the channel! The Model of the Week will do a Q&A in this way where available, and I’ll also be inviting some of my previous and future models to interview with me!


Steve’s Gallery

 

 

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Tuesday’s Top Ten – Ten Quotes to Live By

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As a child, my grandma used to have a saying or a quote for almost any situation. As I’ve grown up we’ve often enjoyed swapping these small quotes or sayings. This week I’ve compiled a list of different quotes to live by. Some are song lyrics, some are from books and some are attributed to various people through interviews or other channels. Here’s my list, and why they’re important to me.

 

Q-JM

This quote is from the writer of Peter Pan – one of my all-time favourite children’s stories. It says to me that whatever you do, you need to enjoy it – after all you’re going to spend most of your life doing it!

 

Q-OkinEnd

I first heard a variation of this quote in the movie “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”. It’s a great positive attitude to have, but I feel it also says to the reader, if things are not alright – go out and make them alright because you still have time.

 

Q-WD

Anybody who knows me well would know that no list like this would be complete without a Disney quote. You’ll never do anything if you don’t believe you can or dare to do it. Maybe it doesn’t always work out, even more reason to repeat the process.

 

Q-Know

Oscar Hammerstein II wrote these lyrics for the stage musical The King And I. This line is sung by the King of Siam who is struggling to admit that he doesn’t know everything. It rings perfectly true as many an argument comes from wrong information. Too often these arguments stem from a fear of embarrassment, and it’s often best to agree to disagree in these situations, as correcting them may have an adverse effect.

 

Q-RomeIs

A quote here that any person who loves to travel can relate to. I was torn between two quotes here, this one and “Every journey leads you back home.” Both are true, and while they appear to contradict each other at face value, really they compliment each other. The words are telling us to go and explore new locations and immerse ourselves in new experiences.

 

Q-NotCircus

I saw this quote for the first time on a social media site, and had a little bit of a laugh with a friend about how true it is. I’ve since found it almost becoming a mantra when I feel myself being dragged into a situation that really shouldn’t involve me. I find that different people enjoy different levels of drama in their lives and while working overseas I’d often find myself being dragged into it. Since seeing this for the first time, it really struck me – what’s the point? What does it accomplish? The same circus. Just more monkeys.

 

Q-Laugh

This quote is by one of my favourite authors, Michael Crichton – responsible for books including Jurassic Park, Prey and Timeline. What I like about his writing is it challenges you to think. What I take from this particular quote is that you can’t always help things that happen, so rather than concentrate on the “what ifs”, concentrate on enjoying what you have.

 

Q-Become

From 2004-2012 I spent most of my time working overseas in the leisure industry. I saw this quote on the Facebook page of one my closest friends and we can both really relate to it. We worked with people from over sixty different nations of all different ages. I feel that the extra work put in to understand each others thought processes, culture and language barriers have in fact forged friendships stronger than any I’ve experienced at home beyond middle school age.

 

Q-NoneBusiness

People are opinionated. It’s fact. I’m opinionated. My friends are opinionated. It’s how much of that opinion that you share that’s important. Reading this you’ve probably informed your own opinions on the quotes, and that’s a good thing. The great thing about opinions though, is that opinions are exactly what they are. It doesn’t necessarily make that thought right or wrong.

 

Q-Dolly

When I first heard this quote, I immediately had one of those “That’s me!” moments. As a creative person, I love when small ideas build on each other to become a big idea. I also love to brainstorm ideas and bounce ideas off other creative people. There’s no “no” in coming up with ideas – only “how can we make it work?”.  In fact, I’m looking forward to being able to show off some new ideas with you soon!

 

 

 

Week Roundup

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Last week’s Model of the Week was very well received, and as I mentioned last week I’ve already completed the photoshoots for the rest of the month. Lots of this week has been spent on getting some of the editing done and getting those interviews out there.

Last week I also started a new YouTube account with model interviews, and I’ve a few people offer to help me out with interviews for it. Performing arts student Tony Collins took some time out a few nights ago to Skype me and do a mock interview. I loved his answers, and the interview is below.

On Friday I went up to the Ambassadors Theatre in London to photograph Stomp for the West End Bares 2015 calendar. I can’t wait to be able to share the images with you, but I’m under strict instruction to keep them well under wraps until September! Big thanks to Omari Carter and Hugo Cortes for baring all and getting naked for the camera!

 

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Model of the Week – Brandon Norris

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Brandon Norris

IMG_6462-webNationality: British
City: Camberley
Height: 6’2
Chest: 38
Waist: 32
Shoe: 10
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Blue and Brown

I actually spotted Brandon while I was out shopping but didn’t have time to stop and talk, so planned to pop back at a later date to have a chat. It turned out that Liam Richer, a previous Model of the Week, not only knew who Brandon was, but it turned out that they were good friends. Every town seems to have that one person who knows everyone – and locally that person is definitely Liam!

We organized the shoot for a few days later, and they both came along which was a great dynamic. I did a few duo shots with them, but as they are quite different in looks concentrated mostly on single person images. The shoot took place near the lakes in Frimley, close to where I grew up. It’s not far from where I currently live at all, but had been several years since I was there – so I was surprised to find the lakes are now for private fishing use only so we were unable to use them for the images – however we did really well with the area we did work in.

Brandon has a really natural and strong model look about it, and I imagine he’ll do pretty well in the future if he signs up with an agent. He came well prepared with some quite different outfits that we worked with. I especially like the cool geek look we went for at the end of the shoot, and some of the images we captured near the water.

In conversations with both models and viewers of my work, the subject of videos has often come up – and the suggestion of filming during shoots has come up. I’ve never gone for it as I would find it distracting, and also potentially off-putting for new models, so I’ve been struggling with a way to incorporate video in my work. While skipping through videos on YouTube recently, I noticed many of the Vloggers out there use a similar style which would work very well with my Questions and Answers section that I usually include here.

This week I decided to do away with the written Q&A, and transform it into a five minute video for you to enjoy! I plan to include these as much as possible for every Model of the Week for the new feature, and welcome your feedback! Enjoy the video below, and scroll down for the gallery of images.

Brandon’s Gallery

 

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Tuesdays Top Ten: Random Useful Things in my Camera Bag

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I tend to always over rather than underpack. When I worked on a cruise ship I always seemed to pack an endless supply of “just-in-case” items… and my camera bag is not much of an exception! In fact, I have to keep to a small bag, as if I carry a large one I WILL fill it. Just because I can! Here’s my top ten of random (but often) useful items I carry in my bag – besides the normal camera equipment of course!

 

1. Evian Water Spray

1001-Evian

I get a mixture of reactions to this one – ranging from “you paid how much for water in a can?”, “why not use a spray bottle?” to “that’s awesome” and “I need this!”. It’s great on hot days just for a mist, doesn’t leak (if you keep the cap on) – and if you’re going for a water or sweaty look in a photograph it’s a useful tool to have!

 

2. A Black Marble

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A what? I can already hear you saying. I actually learned this from a photographer on YouTube and it’s great! In cloudy light conditions where you’re not sure of the angle of the light, just hold up the marble and you’ll see the point of light – now you can angle your model so their eyes hit the same point!

 

3. Face Paint

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You never know when face paint might come in handy during a shoot! I never know when an idea will hit so it’s great to have around. The crayon-type are cheap, simple and easy to wash off.

 

4. Baby Wipes

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Just in case of number 3!

 

5. Card Reader

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I’ve mentioned this one in a previous post – it’s a fantastic idea to be able to look at images on a larger screen, and it fits right into my iPad so I don’t need to carry a laptop around.

 

6. Portable Charger

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I use my phone and iPad a lot, especially when I’m out all day, so the portable charger is one of my favourite things to carry. Ideally I still prefer to charge plugged into the wall, as it holds the charge better, but when on the move or no outlets are available, the portable charger works just fine. They come in a range of shapes and sizes, the one I use is slightly larger than my iPhone, but it will give me up to 8x charge.

 

7. Multi Cable

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When out and about I’ll usually find that I’m not the only one with battery life issues – so I’ll often carry around one of these multi cables so whoever I’m working with can also charge their device.

 

8. Pod

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Carrying a tripod around is annoying – and nine times out of ten I won’t need it. The pod is basically a weighted bean-bag that screws onto your camera and keeps it steady. It’s versatile so you can use it in a variety of places and comes in handy for video recording.

 

9. Baby Oil

1009-Oil

This is great to have with you when doing a fitness related shoot. A lot of experienced fitness models will carry whichever oil they prefer with them, but many models, especially newer ones, won’t really have thought of it – and baby oil is great for most skin types.

 

10. Golf Towel

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I was recently given a golf towel along with a bunch of cruise ship memorabilia and it’s come in pretty handy. Unless I’m doing a water based shoot it’s not always practical to carry around a full size towel, so these work great and when rolled up, take up hardly any room in the bag.



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ModelWeek

Week Roundup/Model of the Month

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ModelWeekFirst of all, congratulations to Lewis Thompson who voted as July’s Model of the Month by you! At the end of the year you can vote for Lewis to be Model of the Year along with George, Karl, Caelan, Ronnie, Jay and Tom.

Right now I’m hugely ahead of schedule, and have photographed every Model of the Week for all of August! Last week I spent quite a bit of time up in London – I got to see The Pajama Game at the Shaftesbury Theatre – a really cute musical about a pajama factory. I was sitting near an older lady from the USA, who felt the show needed her enhancements and sang and conducted throughout the entire thing! Before the show though, I had two fantastic photoshoots – first up was Justin who’s currently featured in the hit musical Wicked, and Anthony – a musical theatre student coming into his third and final year.

In other exciting news, I’ve been invited back by the Make A Difference Trust to shoot a page for the annual West End Bares calendar! Just waiting now to find out my show, but I’ll be sure to keep you all posted!

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