Height: 6ft 1in
Waist: 31 in
Chest: 37 in
One of the first things I notice is when someone has great hair, and Levi definitely has that. I met him through a friend of mine that I was working with in Orlando, Florida. While I was back in the UK, Levi was doing a show with her overseas. Since graduating Masters Performing Arts College, Levi has focused on dance, working with world-renowned choreographer Paul Roberts and performing at the Brit Awards with Kanye West. He starred in Jack Garratt’s Chemical music video, and has been featured in multiple pantomimes and even the occasional flash mob.
Regent’s Park is a wonderfully versatile area, and a goal of Levi’s was to get several different looks that he can use for different kinds of castings. The late autumn colours really lent themselves to this idea and Levi had brought with quite an extensive wardrobe to play around with! Often the simplest ideas can make the best shots – particular favourites for both of us were the black and white bench shots you can see in the gallery below.
Waist: 32 in
Chest: 38 in
Callum is no stranger to the camera and has an extensive modelling portfolio behind him. He is also a talented performer and trained at The Urdang Academy in London. With his striking looks and versatality, Callum has already picked up a social media following, particularly via Instagram and Tumblr. He is currently represented by Grantham Hazeldine and W Athletic.
Before the shoot happened, I had been talking to him about shooting but never able to commit to a date that suited us both. On this occasion, I was shooting with Sam Reynolds for my 2015 calendar and the idea came up to shoot them both together, and also separately for the calendar. Several days before I had been introduced to a beautiful lakeside area in Surrey and noted that it would make a beautiful shoot location. Although the day was not warm, fortunately it was sunny and we were able to get a number of great shots that you can see below.
I got talking to Reece a while ago through Twitter, as we share a similar love for all things musical. Reece is a musical theatre student, currently studying at Laine Theatre Arts in Epsom, Surrey. I’ve always been a fan of the old-time shows, and we decided to shoot in that style, full on shirt and tie, waistcoat, slacks and brogues. The images are quite different to my usual style, as I wanted to pay a small homage to photographs of the 1920s and 1930s. To achieve the effect I raised the exposure and contrast of the image, but then darkened the blacks in the image. I adjusted the skin tones slightly, and then added a black and white overlay of the same image. To get the black and white effect without actually being either black and white or sepia toned, I simply faded the black and white layer by about 40% to give this great old style look.
Reece has a great outgoing and fun personality, and was a lot of fun to work with. I look forward to seeing him in the West End one day!
Justin is an actor, singer and dancer from Surrey. He trained at the D&B School of Performing Arts in Kent and has since had a wide variety of credits to his name. Currently Justin is part of the London cast of Wicked, understudying the lead role of Fiyero and covering a variety of other roles. Prior to Wicked, Justin has appeared in musicals such as Evita, Peter Pan and Dirty Dancing, and has also done voice over work for the final three Harry Potter movies.
I met up with Justin near the Apollo Victoria Theatre about three hours prior to the matinee performance, where a group of young fans were already eagerly awaiting the cast’s arrival. We headed over to a covered mall close to Victoria station that has an outdoor upstairs level and got a variety of shots. Adding to his talents, Justin told me he is also a keen gymnast/tumbler, so we decided to get a few airborne shots at the same time. This was very well received by several tourists who stopped briefly to watch.
Whenever I shoot on location, I like to explore the area a little bit, and the real find of the day was a small side street with terraced housing. Because it looked so different from the rest of the area, it almost had a film studio-like feel to it. When editing, I took the different scenes into account, and these ones are a little more vibrant in tone. Enjoy the images and Q&A below!
10 Questions with Justin…
Life in Living Color: If you could relive one time in your life, what would it be and why?
Justin Thomas: Either my family holidays skiing or to Barbados, or my recent holiday with my girlfriend, Lauren.
LiLC: What got you interested in performing?
JT: My sister was auditioning for a local production of Oliver! and didn’t want to go alone. I went with her and got the part of Oliver, and now I’ve been performing ever since.
LiLC: What got you interested in modelling?
JT: I enjoy taking care of my body and appearance so it’s something that comes relatively easy to me. Also the money isn’t bad either!
LiLC: What’s the last movie you saw that really made you think?
JT: I watched the Purge 2, and it’s scary to think that the laws in the movie could one day be enforced. Hopefully not though.
LiLC: Tell us something most people don’t know about you.
JT: I’m half Dutch.
LiLC: What’s your first thought when you wake up?
JT: Either Lauren… soppy I know… or FOOD!!
LiLC: If you could spend a day with anyone in the world, who would it be, where would you go and what would you do?
JT: Lauren, my girlfriend. We would go on the most amazing luxury holiday somewhere hot. Or Bruno Mars, and just spend the day with him jamming and playing on a rooftop terrace in LA. Or… Arnold Schwarzenegger and go to the gym.
LiLC: What was your most embarrassing moment?
JT: I don’t know… there’s been way too many!
LiLC: What tattoos do you have or would like to get?
JT: I don’t have any. I would like to get one at some point but I don’t know what I want and I’d have to be 100% sure.
LiLC: If time froze for everyone except you for one hour, what would you do?
JT: I’d either go to all my favourite shops and get some nice clothes, or rob a bank!
My last “Top Ten Models I’d Love To Work With” post proved very popular – and I definitely struggled with the list, simply because there were far too many! Here are ten more guys that I would love the opportunity to work with… so if you’re one of them and happen to read this… firstname.lastname@example.org! As before, no particular order to the list.
1. Ben Jacobsen
Ben is currently a designer in London, and has modelled for several high profile publications and photographers.
2. Didier Cohen
Didier is an American model/DJ and also a successful Australian media personality, appearing in Celebrity Apprentice and as a judge for Australia’s Next Top Model.
3. George Shelley
21 year old George is a singer and currently in the band Union J, after appearing on the X Factor.
4. Igor Kolomiyets
Igor, from Ukraine, has had a varied modelling career, and has worked with some of the top photographers. He is with ONE Management, NYC.
5. Bryant Wood
I’ve recently been talking to Bryant about a possible shoot in the not-too-distant future. He’s an American self-represented model, who’s travelled the world for various shoots.
6/7. Jack & Finn Harries
Jack and Finn are British twins who took the YouTube world by storm, and are two of the most subscribed YouTubers. They own their own company, and recently travelled to India on the Rickshaw Run.
8. Garrett Clayton
Garrett Clayton is well known for his role in the campy Disney TV movie, Teen Beach. He’s currently working on the sequel.
9. David Bertozzi
David Bertozzi is a model represented by NEXT Canada. He’s popular for a lot of “outside-the-box” work.
10. Brandon Cole Bailey
Brandon is a model from Florida, now working out of New York. He is represented by several agencies worldwide, and is known for his well defined, flawless, photographic style where you can customise your own hoodie.
Hair: Dark 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!
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!
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!
Hair: Light Brown
Edmund is a talented actor/dancer/singer living in London, currently represented by Robert Kelly Associates. He made his West End debut in Billy Elliot the musical, in the ensemble and covering Older Billy and recently completed his run in the show. I met Edmund at this year’s West End Eurovision, where I was photographing the show and asked if he’d be interesting in shooting – I’m glad the answer was a positive one as you’ll see from the photos.
While London is a great city to shoot in, it can be a challenge sometimes as it’s never quiet in the city! We shot close to Canary Wharf on a Sunday as it’s not often visited by regular tourists, and most business people would be home for the weekend. The weather was perfect and the area nice and quiet just as I thought.
Because of the weather, I wanted to make good use of the blue skies and the glass of the surrounding office buildings, so several of the images were shot from below, looking up towards the skyline. To show off Edmund’s artistic side, we got several great shapes and used his knowledge of dance to achieve this.
10 Random Questions with Edmund…
I had Edmund answer 10 random questions from a list, here are his answers!
Life in Living Color: What sports do you enjoy playing or watching?
Edmund Shaw: I enjoy watching the MotoGP and love to ride my motorbike. Football obviously!
LiLC: What’s three things would you like to do before you’re 70?
ES: Learn to fly a small plane, travel around the world on my motorbike and build a tree house.
LiLC: What’s your dream role?
ES: Bob Gaudio in Jersey Boys.
LiLC: What three questions would you never say “no” to?
ES: 1 – Would you like to see how fast you can ride this bike? 2 – Would you have sex with Susan Boyle? 3 – Who wants a break?
LiLC: What was the last movie or book that really made you think?
ES: Between Extremes really put things into perspective.
LiLC: Do you have any warm-up routines?
ES: A couple, they’re not very exciting though.
LiLC: What’s the last website you looked at?
LiLC: What’s been your greatest achievement?
ES: Getting onto the West End.
LiLC: What one item do you always have to have with you?
ES: Keep it simple – my Oyster card holder!
LiLC: Who are your greatest inspirations?
ES: Everyone who I’m surrounded by. “If you want to be great, surround yourself with great people.”
Check out the gallery below, and if you have any more questions for Edmund, then e-mail email@example.com with “Edmund Shaw” as the subject header.
Tonight I’ll be heading up to the Dominion Theatre to photograph West End Eurovision – one of theatreland’s biggest charity events. I thought it was only fitting to feature an image from last year’s event. It is put together by the wonderful team at the Make A Difference Trust, and you can read about their important work on their website at www.madtrust.org.uk.
The image I’ve chosen to feature is of the talented cast of the short lived Spice Girls musical, Viva Forever!
My Throwback Thursday image is from my “Beautiful City” project that I was working on a little over a year ago. Beautiful City was a project that was to focus on people living and working in the city, and each separate shoot would revolve around that model’s interests and location. Since then, I’ve tried to apply a similar approach to a lot of my shoots with people – I find that once you give somebody something familiar to work with, it shows through in the image and comes across as more natural.
This image features actor/dancer/singer Layton Williams. You may recognize Layton from the BBC shows Bad Education and Beautiful People. He also portrayed Billy Elliot in the hit musical of the same name. Currently he’s touring the country in New Adventures Lord of the Flies. As well as performing, Layton is also into fashion and customised clothing which is where the idea here came from.
We shot on London’s Millenium Bridge, which crosses the Thames neatly from St. Paul’s Cathedral to the Tate Gallery, and were fortunate enough to hit it just at the quiet time before rush hour really began!