Archive for the ‘photography’ Category

Photoshoot for a fashion catalogue

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Behind the Scenes – photographing the Spring / Summer 2015 Hell Bunny Catalogue

Shooting a fashion collection for a catalogue sounds glamorous and a lot of fun. I’d be lying if I said it was not fun…but it involves plenty of hard work too. Here’s a little slideshow to show you some of what goes on behind the scenes.

Behind the Scenes – creating the Hell Bunny catalogue from Terry Mendoza on Vimeo.

Read on to learn more about the entire process i.e what was involved in the photography for the latest catalogue.


Six months ahead the Hell Bunny design team plan ‘poster’ themes- the editorial images which appear on catalogue covers. These are often shot on location. The team researches online and creates moodboards so everyone appreciates the feel they are looking for. This also ties in ideas for props, hair styling and makeup.

Four months out they start the model selection – generally selecting one or more new models to keep the catalogue looking fresh.  I browse my model database of those I’ve worked with and forward suggestions, often putting out a casting call too, shortlisting promising candidates for the company audition.

Once the poster themes have been chosen I start sourcing props – the studio already has a wide selection of retro props, but invariably I’ll scour boot sales, maybe cadging props from friends and family too.  For this particular shoot I hired a couple of candelabras from a secondhand shop.

Next the logistics of ensuring the plan comes together – props/models/makeup artists and hair stylists will all be available on the required dates.

Checklists of props and equipment are prepared. Working away from base it is vital that nothing gets forgotten.   I plan on the assumption that if anything can go wrong it probably will!  So spares of everything  are carried – camera, tethering lead, laptop, lighting units, stands, hard drive, battery charger and so on.

The Hell Bunny outdoor poster shots were taken on a bright September day in South East Essex – some at Westcliff Cliffs, some by Southend Pier and the rest around beach huts in Thorpe Bay. A further rainy December day was spent shooting the  interior ‘church’ shots in a Grade II listed building in the Essex countryside – complete with its own private chapel.

It took five further days to shoot the catalogue shots in the studio.  Shoot days are not for the faint-hearted…some of the team rising at 4am to get to the studio for 8:30. It takes between 90 minutes to two hours for hair and makeup, so with multiple models, both Natasha and Bella have a busy start to their day! It is common for shoots to finish around 6:30 in the evening too.  Once back home around 8:30pm, and the first task is to create an insurance backup of images – never trust a single hard drive! 4500 shots were taken over the week, with the Nikon camera tethered to Lightroom.  With that many images, a very organized workflow is vital.  As each outfit is photographed it drops into its own named file directory, with the designers simultaneously making their image selections.   By the end of the week 850 images have been selected, so the work on ‘cleaning up’ images can start.

Preparing images in Lightroom and Photoshop

– the technical bit!

I use a colour-calibrated monitor at the studio to check images.   Images are shot  in RAW format, and the first Lightroom step is to apply the presets I’ve created, one for each of the three lenses I use. Next I refine Colour Balance, White point & Black Point for each image. Special attention is given to dark fabrics – detail must remain clear whilst not affecting the other tones in the image.   All the images are now exported as Photoshop files using Lightroom.

I now run a batch process I’ve created, which prepares files for individual attention – adding correction layers to each file before saving /closing the file.

Files are now individually opened and checked full size, so flaws can be cloned out or otherwise corrected.  When the entire batch has been cleaned in this way they are all double-checked in Lightroom before being cropped as necessary for uniform size in frame.

Next the entire directory of edited images are output in full resolution to a print directory, and once more as a version optimized for use online. If this sounds time-consuming, indeed it is – I’ve even left out a few steps to avoid boring you!

Anyway, around ten days after the conclusion of the shoot the entire batch of 850 images is uploaded so the webmaster can get busy uploading images to the site. The designer of the new season’s lookbook now has all the materials he needs to assemble the new season’s catalogue…and it is time to start scheduling the next season’s shoot!

Boris – producing Hollywood Glamour in Twenties Whitechapel

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

Ronnie Lawrence, a friend of mine, recently asked if I could restore a Boris photograph of his mother-in-law Ada Margolis on her wedding day.  The faded sepia image is reproduced below.

Original wedding photo of Ronnie Lawrence' mother - hand coloured, but faded!

Original wedding photo of Ronnie Lawrence’ mother – hand coloured, but faded!

In the twenties  the East End of London was a poor,  predominantly Jewish area.  This was where Boris Bennett, an immigrant from Poland, set himself up as a wedding photographer. He established his studio in Whitechapel in the twenties, and soon carved a niche for himself by his creative mastery of Hollywood lighting and set creation using art deco props.  Over his career he took over 150 thousand photographs, and many still have pride of place on mantle shelves around the country.

The restoration process

It was an interesting exercise to restore the image. I first scanned it in high resolution, then took it into Photoshop and used the white point dropper in Levels to set the white point. I tried the same for the black point using the black dropper, but the result was way to blocked out, so shifted the black point slider in Levels along to butt against the histogram where tones were just appearing. The next step was to clone out the spots and discolourations on the print. The print has obviously been painstakingly hand coloured, so I added several colour overlay layers, masking and adjusting to bring back skin tones, dress colouring and colour to the flowers.    It was important to remain faithful to the original retouching, rather than create a ‘modern’ look to the photograph.

Both the grain and time had not been kind to the face, so I smoothed the cheeks and forehead subtly, then ‘sculpted the face using a 50% grey layer in overlay mode to give definition to the facial features, using a fine brush at low opacity on the grey – white to lighten, and black to darken.

There was a hint of catchlight still visible in the eyes, so I created a blank layer and on high magnification enhanced the catchlights, to bring life to the face.

The final step was to add a curves layer, selecting Auto to bring back some ‘pop’ to the image, fading this layer until it looked natural.

The restored wedding photo - the 'hand colouring' feel still retained

The restored wedding photo

You can find more of Boris’ work, in an interesting Daily Telegraph article Wartime Wedding Glamour in the East End.   There is now also a lavishly illustrated book “Vintage Glamour in London’s East End” , by Frank Harris and Michael Greisman

Shooting in New York State

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012
I am a people photographer, but take me out of my regular environment and I’m happy as Larry shooting everything and anything, whether it moves or not.

Shooting into the light

I have been spending a few days in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York before heading to the warmer climes of Florida.  The weather here is chilly but bright and we are travelling in a valley beside Cayuga Lake.    The sun is visible weakly behind the thick mist coming off the lake. It is ideal to be able to shoot directly into the sun to create some really atmospheric effects.
Foggy day at Cayuga Lake

Foggy day at Cayuga Lake

I love the receding planes of lesser contrast as the mist obscures the detail of the trees.  Shooting in this way turns a relatively nondescript scene into a hauntingly beautiful landscape, where you expect a werewolf to be lurking just out of frame!
I always shoot in RAW as it allows later experimentation on alternative colour balance decisions. In this instance, because you would be more likely to spot that lurking werewolf after dusk, I pulled the balance towards the blue end of the spectrum.

Shooting nothing!

During these trips I spend a lot of time shooting textures and scenes that I can later integrate with studio model shots – you are bound to see the above scene cropping up in my work sooner or later. It is always a source of amusement that on our vacations whilst my wife is busy shooting scenery I am shooting the sides of rusting dumpsters and grungy cracked walls! Other photographers hurry to my side to ensure they are not missing a photo opportunity, only to leave with a puzzled look when they find I am apparently shooting nothing!

Photographing into the light

Long shadows - Finger Lakes

Long shadows - Finger Lakes

The next morning presented a further chance to shoot into the light. When the sun is near the horizon, not only does the light take on a warmer orange hue, but the strength of the light is less, keeping the flare when shooting into the sun more manageable.
As I didn’t get out as early as I had intended,  there were elongated shadows which help make the image more dramatic, but the sun was also a little higher and stronger than I really wanted. I solved this by moving myself to frame the image with either branches or trunk blocking some of the sun’s rays.

The Emerald Isle – weekend break

Sunday, October 28th, 2012
One of the many coves west of Tramore

One of the many coves west of Tramore

My wife and I needed a relaxing weekend getaway – the newly expanded London-Southend airport is a mere 10 minutes from home, so we decided on a quick hop to Waterford in Ireland, one of the recently introduced destinations. Unfortunately the taxi to the airport decided we should take the scenic route, taking us in a wide arc away from the airport before heading back; maybe his ticking meter was a factor!

London-Southend airport is very impressive; it is clean, friendly and efficient…and without the bustle and crowds of the major airports.   It was just a short flight and we were at Waterford airport collecting our hire car.  Our base for the weekend was a delightful B & B, Glenorney, where we were made very much ‘part of the family’ by Marie. Not only was it cosy and clean, but check the image at the end of the blog post to see sunrise from our bedroom window.

Ireland is famed for its scenery, so for the first couple of days we toured from deserted cove to deserted cove, exploring the Copper Coast, where copper mining used to take place. The landscape is rugged and beautiful, with craggy cliffs and wide sweeping bays, well worth a visit.

Tankardstown, a 19th Century copper mine in Bunmahon

Tankardstown, a 19th Century copper mine in Bunmahon

Tankardstown - working up a thirst!

Tankardstown - working up a thirst!

Just as I got out of the car to shoot the old Tankardstown copper mine on the brow of the hill, these guys rounded the bend.

A great place to chill out –   a warm welcome!

The weather was blustery and skies overcast (this is October after all!), but wherever we drove we were greeted by warm welcoming smiles and great hospitality.  When we strolled around the towns and villages, people would stop their cars to let us cross the road…a rather different experience to that encountered in say London!

 Crystal clear

Mention Waterford and everyone immediately associates the name with fine lead-crystal.  The highlight of our trip was our tour of the Waterford Crystal workshops – it was fascinating to watch the many years of skills in glass blowing, carving and decorating being demonstrated by these master craftsmen.


Waterford lead crystal - superb craftsmanship

Waterford lead crystal - superb craftsmanship

The factory is well designed, offering tourists a close view of each aspect of the process and our guide Sean, a former cutter at the factory, was a mine of fascinating information.

Checking the glass in the furnace

Checking the glass in the furnace

Out of the furnace, the glass is prepared for blowing

Out of the furnace, the glass is prepared for blowing

Blowing the bubble, which will become a bowl

Blowing the bubble, which will become a bowl

A wooden template, and a lot of skill, ensure the blowing will be symmetrical

A wooden template, and a lot of skill, ensure the blowing will be symmetrical

Using inked guidelines the cutter works to produce the precise design

Using inked guidelines the cutter works to produce the precise design

No room for the slightest error here

No room for the slightest error here

It takes thirty years to develop the skill to create such intricate art

It takes thirty years to develop the skill to create such intricate art

The etching work above takes a week to complete one single piece – this man is both artist and master craftsman – drawing the design by hand first.

Some of the etching tools - I just love 'pattern pictures'

Some of the etching tools - I just love 'pattern pictures'!

Finished work - this one is on a vase

Finished work - this one is on a vase

Horn gramophone - only eight inches high.  Amazing!

Horn gramophone - only eight inches high. Amazing!

Sunrise, as seen from our room in Tramore

Sunrise, as seen from our room in Tramore

So, if you are looking for an inexpensive relaxing weekend break amidst stunning scenery and welcoming people, I would heartily recommend Waterford!

Studio update

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Bye bye blue screen!

I’ve enjoyed one too many Billy Gates bluescreen experiences recently. The issue that tipped the balance was finding my PC Windows had ‘updated’ overnight and from that point refused to boot up. So I’ve taken the plunge and am now a newbie Mac user.  I spent a fair few hours in the Apple store, before making my decision.  The very knowledgeable guy even loaded up Photoshop, then stood aside so I could see how it compared for speed. Well, having grown up on Windows, and never having experienced a Magic Trackpad, all I could do, was to make Photoshop speedily vanish with a flourish…pretty magical to me! It felt like the first time I’d been in front of a computer…a little embarrassing really.  I did not have a clue about making Photoshop do anything…and I’ve been using the program since version 3!

However now, after a week I am falling in love with it, although have had a few hairy moments working out the implications of using spreadsheets over the network, and  getting my head around aliases that forget where they are pointing!

A large RAID is on order so soon I should for the first time have access to my entire library, without having to rely on a pile of hard drives!

Shooting along…

The studio has been hopping lately.

In no particular order, here’s some of the output…

Aisling Grace, on Tattoo Revolution magazine

Aisling Grace, on Tattoo Revolution magazine

Congratulations to Aisling, who shot this for Tattoo Revolution Magazine shortly before leaving for Australia.

I enjoyed a very productive shoot with Portia Victoria, a multi-talented young lady, shooting some amazing outfits by the UK latex couture company Westward Bound.  This was one from a set for a cover of an online lifestyle magazine from Thailand.

Portia - Westward Bound

Portia - Westward Bound


Below Portia models an extravagant outfit from London based Kaori’s Latex Dreams

Portia in Kaori Latex

Portia in Kaori Latex

Sticking with the latex theme (bad choice of words?), Torture Garden have published images from my recent shoot with Marnie Scarlet who will be performing at their forthcoming Fetish Boat Party:

Torture Garden Fetish party

sailor Marnie Scarlet performs at the Torture Garden Fetish party


And now for something completely different…

Just about as far away from the previous photography, it is lovely to see the beautiful Acid Doll gracing the cover of the new Vintage Life.  This was taken during the Brighton shoot at the Pelirocco Hotel.

Acid Doll on Vintage Life

Acid Doll on Vintage Life


For some while Laura from Hot Rockin Belle has championed outfits for those who are above stick-thin!  So I was delighted to help her prove that rockabilly dresses actually do look better on girls with curves.  We shot some catalogue shots and some editorial shots…the latter will remain ‘under wraps’ until publication.  Anyway, if you have curves, now you know where to visit to find a treasure trove of fun fashions that really flatter.

Hot Rockin Belles

Hot Rockin Belles

These three Hot Rockin Belles above are (L to R)  Sarahanne Hall, Lea Blakey Miller and Amanda Coban.

Finishing the round-up of images from a few recent shoots we have model Chipfox, modelling an outfit by Rubber Monkey – and this is by no means a random choice of image, for this talented model is also the driving force behind Retro Beauty…and she was the make-up artist and hair stylist for our trio above.

Chipfox in Rubber Monkey latex

Chipfox in Rubber Monkey latex


Photoshoots and more…

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Lately there seem to be less hours in the day and less days in the week!  I keep trying to find time to update this blog, but shooting and retouching leaves me less and less time.  Anyway, burning the midnight oil here to give a brief overview. The next posting, which will follow very soon, will be an all-picture one!

Kristina Labahn

Kristina Labahn - see below

An interesting case

First,  an embarrassing confession.

It soon becomes apparent,when working with models, that they always turn up with a large case  in inverse proportion to their size…a petite model will always arrive lugging a huge beast of a trunk behind them.  The other thing that is evident is that whereas,  without makeup, one would probably pass a model without a second glance,  once made up she will have all heads swinging round!

Anyway, as is my custom, I offer to collect models from the local station to ferry them to the studio.  Last week, I waited at the barrier.  A large case appeared, along with a diminutive model. She struggled up to the barrier with her case, and realised it was not going to go through easily.  I was standing the other side of the barrier and managed to catch the eye of the attendant in the ticket booth; I gestured about the luggage issue taking place.  He nodded,  pressed his button and opened the large side gate which she made her way through.

I gave her a welcoming smile, said hello and proffered my hand, offering to carry her bag.  At this point it fleetingly crossed my mind that I had asked her to come with most of her make-up done, and irritatingly, she had evidently ignored this recommendation.  She seemed to return my welcome with a curious little half smile,  all but ignored my hand, then bustled straight past me, and on towards the exit.  And at that point, who should be coming around the corner towards the ticket barrier,  pulling a large case, but a stunning model, fully made-up – my model!     Oops!

I spent the remainder of the shoot wondering what on earth the first lady had made of the strange guy, who apparently hanging around station exits trying to pick up young girls…or at least their luggage!

People have said…

I am not very pro-active when it comes to promoting the studio, believing that the images should speak for themselves.  However a very good friend of mine, now sadly deceased, lived by the mantra ‘if you don’t blow your own trumpet, who else will!’

So although I will let you be the judge of my work, I can tell you that I do plenty of shoots with those who have never been in a studio before.  Sometimes the shoot is purchased as a gift by friends or family, sometimes it is the model herself who simply wishes to achieve some images to be able to show her children and grandchildren well into the future.

What sort of shoots?  Well, that is entirely the decision of each client.  I have shot anything to cheesecake pin-up, to art-nude…and even pregnant ladies wishing to be immortalised a la Demi Moore.    Images can be as demure or risque as you wish.  Being able to call on the services of professional make-up artists and hair stylists is so important for such shoots – it really makes a huge difference.  The make-up artist/hair stylist discusses what you want from the images and will create a style to help you achieve your dream images.

If you read the blog you will already know I often shoot for performers.  I am also called on to shoot for model portfolios,  so rather than blow my own trumpet I will conclude with a couple of unsolicited testimonials that have come along in the past couple of weeks:

“An absolutely huge thank you for today! It was a huge pleasure meeting you and I had a whale of a time. I certainly enjoyed working and conversing with you a great deal and would be thrilled to have you shoot me again in the near future.

I have looked through the images and an absolutely thrilled beyond words. You have done me a real justice, I am floored by how many I simply adore. I can’t thank you enough. “Kristelle O’Chocolat

“My shoot with Retrophotostudios was incredible. Terry is very easy to work with, and made me feel very comfortable. He gives outstanding direction, and knows exactly how to achieve superb images. I am so impressed with every image I have seen so far. Highly recommended. Cannot wait to shoot again.”Kristina Labahn

Mad March – photo shoots at Retro Photostudio

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

There have been so many shoots going on this month that I have been somewhat remiss in keeping the blog updated!  So this entry is going to be a brief overview of just some of what has been happening at the studio (as time permits I will blog separately about some of the other interesting shoots this month).

I’ve sponsored the Burlesque Idol competition for some years. The winner from each heat enjoys a free shoot at the studio. Burlesque Idol is the brainchild of House of Burlesque, and when looking to find a link for this blog happened across Tempest Rose’s HOB blog, which quite made me blush…so thank you kindly!This month it was the turn of the delightful Peggy de Lune. It is always great working with trained actors – providing a variety of facial expressions is second nature (to them…not me!), and Peggy was no exception. She has such an infectious sense of humour it was difficult to get serious shots with all the laughter going on! Anyway, she is a huge fan of Betty Grable, so we recreated the iconic image. Expect to see more results from this shoot in forthcoming Vintage Life magazines.


Peggy de Lune

Peggy de Lune channelling Betty Grable

Speaking of Vintage Life, the new issue has headshot of Miss Lula Mae from last year’s studio shoot, and a spring-cleaning shot of Miss Envy Greene– see below. If you are into the vintage lifestyle take yourself off to WHSmith and grab a copy!

Lula Mae

Miss Lula Mae


Miss Envy Greene

Miss Envy Greene


On location for a clothing photoshoot

Early this month I enjoyed a shoot for ASOS Marketplace for Collectif at Camden market, featuring SINderella Rockafella.

SINderella Rockafella

SINderella Rockafella

This model visited the studio a few days later and we shot some interesting latex designs – the style below comes from Hellcat Latex.

Sinderella Rockefella

Sinderella Rockefella in Hellcat Latex

Time for bed…in latex!

More recently models Juliette October and Anthony Brooking came to the studio for another latex shoot, this time featuring the new nightwear range from the talented people at Catalyst Latex. Their site is well worth a visit.

Juliette October & Anthony Brooking

Juliette October & Anthony Brooking in Catalyst latex


Juliette October - sleepwear by Catalyst Latex

Juliette October – sleepwear by Catalyst Latex

There have been a slew of other shoots, both for tattoo magazine covers and for clothing companies but I am keeping all those images under wraps until publication!

On the bookstands…

Sunday, March 4th, 2012

A new month and it is encouraging to see so many publications on the magazine racks  are now featuring photography from Retro Photostudio! As you will see, it is a really diverse cosmopolitan selection.

Acid Doll is on the cover of Milkcow Magazine from our Manhattan shoot.  She is modelling vintage lingerie from Sleek ‘n Chic.  Inside the magazine you can enjoy a two page spread from the same shoot, this time featuring some great latex outfits from Westward Bound.

Milkcow cover featuring Acid Doll

Milkcow cover featuring Acid Doll

Acid Doll also features in Vintage Life magazine, shot recently in Brighton:

Acid Doll in Vintage Life

Acid Doll in Vintage Life

This versatile young lady is also in the new edition of Secret Magazine  (not pictured) – a beautifully produced black and white fetish magazine from Belgium.

The current edition of Vintage Life also has a Retro shot of my good friend Jaquie Gladden which we took several years ago, as well as Jessica Bella, whom I wish every success now she has returned to the USA.  Dawn at Candy Says kindly lent me this beautiful sixties outfit and several more specifically for this shoot.

Jessica Bella modelling Sixties

Jessica Bella modelling Sixties


I’ve only just discovered that a recent edition of Pin-up Perfection showcased a shot from the very first shoot I had with Ruby Fortune:

Ruby Fortune - pin-up on the telephone

Ruby Fortune - pin-up on the telephone


Finally, Australian hot-rod magazine Cruzin centrefold is devoted to Rayna Terror and Fae Raven:

Rayna Terror and Fae Raven - Cruzin'

Rayna Terror and Fae Raven - Cruzin'


If you are a magazine publisher and would like to feature Retro Photostudio photography do get in touch.

Burlesque bonanza at Retro Photostudio

Saturday, February 18th, 2012
Recently the studio was given over to a day of burlesque shoots. In the morning I had the pleasure to welcome Miss Phoenix back to the studio…her third shoot with me in the past twelve months. We were shooting publicity shots for her flyers.
Miss Phoenix - burlesque artist

Miss Phoenix relaxes with two of her biggest fans

As her shoot drew to a close, the troupe from House of Burlesque arrived.  For the past three years I have sponsored House of Burlesque’s popular Burlesque Idol competition, which goes from strength to strength showcasing and promoting new talent.  I have previously shot with two of the trio who arrived,  Miss Betsy Rose and Jolie Papillon, but it was good to finally meet HoB’s director Tempest Rose.


The brief was to shoot publicity for their Shipwrecked show.  Tempest was excited to see the plethora of nautical props available at the studio. Although we did not need to use all of them the studio has two genuine ship’s wheels,a vintage life preserver, ship’s barrel, telescopes, captain & sailor hats, mooring ropes, anchor…well, you get the idea!
The primary publicity shot used their own prop cases – and you can see the finished result below.
Shipwrecked - House of Burlesque

Shipwrecked - House of Burlesque

Vintage, retro & rockabilly at the Pelirocco

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Last Friday we loaded the car down with retro props, camera and lighting gear and set out for Brighton.  Our destination – Hotel Pelirocco…the goal to get shots of the various strikingly different themed rooms, then to do a shoot with a number of talented models.

Fortunately we were based in the Bettie Page room which is only on the first floor – it proved easier to drag the bags of kit up the stairs rather than squeeze into the pint-sized lift!   Some of the rooms are perfect for shooting, although our room of choice had already been booked.  I won’t tell or show too much here as the images are slated for use in a couple of magazines.

Time would be tight, as new guests would be checking in mid-afternoon, but in the interim we were lucky to have been offered a window for shooting in an additional four rooms.  So as soon as each model was made-up and coiffed, it was a choice of outfits and off to one of the rooms.  After a day of climbing up and down four flights of narrow stairs, carrying lighting and cameras, my knees really started to let me know they were not happy!

 Brighton early…

It was bright and early on the Saturday when we welcomed Verity and Gemma from The Vanity Box who were to look after the hair and make-up.  Space was at a premium, so the girls set up in the bathroom area.  I have to say that this team created some amazing retro looks, working from the most cramped area you can imagine.

The Vanity Box, hair and make-up

Gemma attends to Acid doll (L) as Verity coiffes Miss Phoenix

 Dresses, lingerie and…

We were really lucky in our outfits as we had a wide selection for the girls to model: first there was a selection of vintage lingerie, corselettes, bras, girdles and vintage stockings from Sleek ‘n Chic.  You can view a couple of the outfits here.

Then we had rockabilly and retro dresses from Lady-K-Loves and Outerlimitz, and jewellery from Bow & Crossbones.

 The models…

By 8:30am Sam Huggins was undergoing her transformation as our first model.  This was Sam’s first vintage shoot, and I thought she did really well…although every time she caught sight of her reflection she could not believe it was really her!

Sam Huggins

Sam Huggins

From there on until 6:30pm was a blur of photography (maybe an inappropriate turn of phrase there!) as Miss Lula Mae arrived, followed by Acid Doll and Miss Phoenix.  I have shot with all three of these models before.

Acid Doll was over on a fleeting visit from Belgium, and has the pin-up style really sewn up.  She is a chameleon, always able to produce different looks and a consummate professional.  Lula Mae has a classical vintage look, and an amazing collection of vintage outfits…she could have stepped straight out of the pages of a fifties Vogue magazine!  Miss Phoenix is an up-and-coming burlesque artist with gorgeous red hair and great expressive eyes.

Miss Lula Mae in pensive mood

Miss Lula Mae in pensive mood, wearing one of her vintage dresses

Acid Doll, channelling Bettie Page, at the Pelirocco Hotel

Acid Doll, channelling Bettie Page, at the Pelirocco Hotel

Miss Phoenix modelling Bow & Crossbones jewellery

Miss Phoenix modelling Bow & Crossbones jewellery and Lady-K-Loves dress

The technical stuff

For those interested in the photography side, my goal was to rely as much as possible on natural light, supplemented by either diffused flash or reflectors, just to fill in shadows.  I’ve always tried to shoot at low ASA to minimize grain, and today, on my Nikon D700 I worked between 200ASA and 800ASA.  This created a few issues, the primary one being the wide apertures and slow shutter speeds.  Often I found myself shooting with aperture wide open, and sometimes with shutter speeds as low as ¼ second, not the best recipe for sharp images!  To minimise camera shake I used a monopod, but there were a percentage of images where slight movement of the model gave unwanted motion blur. In the future I will have greater confidence in the camera’s higher ASA speeds!

The results…

It took quite a while to check and sort the results, but I am delighted to say there are several hundred really good shots which you should soon be able to enjoy on the stockists’ websites, and in various magazines too.  A big thank you to all involved, including my wife Debbie who helped style and ironed all the outfits too!