Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Another year coming to a close…

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

Well it hardly seems possible that 2015 has almost finished. It has been a momentous year for the studio, welcoming so many new clients alongside my loyal clientele.

It is getting old to keep apologising for lack of updates to the blog, but I’ll do so once more…as always down to pressure of work. I’ve upgraded much of the photography kit to cope with the increase demands for location photoshoots, and have re-introduced moviemaking (one of my major passions over many years).

I am grateful to all the wonderful models, burlesque artists, actors and members of the public whom I have been so fortunate to have worked with over the past twelve months.  As with last year, I’ve put together galleries of some of these lovely people – my apologies if you don’t see yourself here – drop me a note and I will be delighted to rectify the omission.







Milkcow Vintage calendar for 2012 is now available

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011



If you love fifties, hot-rods, rockabilly or tattoos…or any combination of these, then you are sure to love Milkcow Vintage magazine.  They have just brought out their 2012 calendar.  In their own words it is a collection of the best Pin Up photographs that accentuate the glamour, beauty and radiance of the 1940s and 1950s captured on film by the best of todays photographers.


I am delighted and honoured that Milkcow selected my image of the gorgeous Ilse Harlotte to grace the cover.

Inside, along with Ilse,  you can enjoy other shoots of mine:   Solene Percher at fifties diner Bobby Joe’s in Southend,  Fae Raven on location with a custom car, and Julietta La Doll and Lily Tiger,  whom I photographed in Berlin.

Head over to Milkcow to order your copy today!

Pictures for my website…

Friday, October 21st, 2011

You’ve decided to make the jump from selling products to friends and relatives to selling online. You have negotiated the minefield of finding a web host and someone to build your site.

Lets assume you are going to sell dresses. Unlike a bricks-&-mortar store, prospective customers cannot feel the fabric, or try on your dresses. Obviously an accurate description for each item is essential. However I would argue that the most important aspect of the site will be your images (would you buy a dress online just from a description, however detailed?)

Your options are to shoot the images yourself, or get a photo enthusiast friend to help out. Or you can involve a professional photographer – such as me!  There are benefits and drawbacks to each option…so I’ve laid out some of the key issues to help you make an informed choice.


Once you have decided to move forward with your site you will need the pictures as soon as possible.

Not only should you shoot an overall view, but take time to ensure you have detail shots covering the important features. If you shoot the images yourself make sure you have somewhere to shoot where the background won’t take the viewers focus from the main item. Do you have suitable models? Studios such as mine have dedicated backdrops and registers of models.

Presentation is important too – don’t lose sight of the main subject – the dress and not the model! A creased dress, or a models arm obscuring key detailing on the dress will not help sales! It is common to find a pose that shows off a dress gives rise to an unwanted bulge or wrinkle elsewhere – a pro photographer will be very observant of such issues and will correct them in post-production.

Colour accuracy, contrast, vibrancy…
How precisely is your colour rendition set on your camera and computer? Ensure each image has accurate colouring requires specialist hardware and software so that no inadvertent colour casts will affect the final image. One of my good friends showing me their website , on a public computer a while back – every image had a reddish. He was puzzled as the images looked fine on his own computer. I brought up his site on my studio computer and the same cast was still very evident. His personal monitor had not been calibrated, and was showing images more blue than neutral so he was colour correcting so images looked fine on his machine. Unfortunately they then looked wrong on the rest of the world’s screens!

This is where a pro photographer will really help you – it is relatively easy for anyone to take a clear sharp image. A pro will deliver the same colour, sharpness and vibrancy for a number of items, over more than one shoot.

I’ve seen sites where the photographer has over-exposed images by mistake …then attempted to rescue the results in post-production. unfortunately flat contrast and imprecise colours is not the way to guarantee higher sales!

Taking images yourself will be you cheapest approach – until you factor in that top quality images may significantly increase sales. (would you rather buy from a site that has a DIY feel to it, or one that looks professional?).

Once you factor in the benefits that professional images bring to your site the outlay is surprisingly modest – for example, it can cost as little as £20 an hour for shooting at Retro Photostudio, and competed images at only £4.50 each (reducing for quantity retouching). These are just to give a guide – should you have a specific job in mind do get in touch so I can quote you the most cost effective way to tackle it.

Glamour of the Gods – Hollywood Portraits

Monday, October 17th, 2011

The National Portrait Gallery in London has a fascinating exhibition, showcasing the work of the Hollywood publicity stills photographers from the twenties to the sixties, the golden age of the silver screen.

I was immediately struck by the quality of the images, which were of course impeccable, but also by some of the technical aspects – the images all share a silky smoothness of tone, with no brilliant whites nor jet blacks…and many of the images were a little soft focus. This was evidently intended, for these images were shot on 10″ x12″ negatives. The reason for the size of negative was to facilitate manual retouching in a pre-Photoshop era.

In one cabinet a retouched negative was on show, showing the deft paint strokes needed to ‘gild the lily’.

Some techniques are timeless – the use of ‘harder’ light sources with correspondingly harder shadows when shooting male stars for example. I also noticed that in a few instances the photographer had used a high main light with the men – so the brow cast a deep shadow in the eye socket, emphasising menace and mystery.

Amongst the wondrous photos, in the main collected via original negatives, by John Kobal, were a few telling ‘behind the scenes’ images. Four or more cinema lights were being used to light the subject, who was surrounded by a team of make-up artist, hair stylist, photographer, assistant – all dwarfed by the enormous large format bellows camera on its pedestal. The main advantage of using continuous light sources is that the final result of lighting placement can be accurately predicted – the downside would have been the enormous heat they generate!

For a photographer It really useful studying images such as these, working out the placement of the lights. I can’t wait to get back in the studio to recreate some of these lighting set-ups!

This exhibition is nearing the end of its run, but if you do get the chance, you will find it is well worth a visit.

What to buy for Christmas?

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Christmas is just around the corner and once again it is time to rack your brains – what to get for the special someone in your life? Why not get a gift voucher for a retro photo shoot?

Unique Christmas Gift of a retro photoshoot

Rayna Terror prepares for Christmas

Each and every shoot is a memorable experience, great fun, and a lovely boost to the ego – and the best part is that you will keep your memory of the day with gorgeous photographs.

You do not need to dress like Rayna Terror above! When creating your own special scenarios, wear whatever you feel comfortable with  –  the results will always be strictly for your eyes only (unless you choose to post them on your Facebook page of course!)

So ladies – surprise your man with some truly special pictures for his eyes only!  Or book in for a couples shoot as a special wedding anniversary present – our work is always tasteful and stylish. The studio is one of the preferred photographers of the prestigious Retro Lovely Magazine and you can see our work on the covers of a number of magazines each month

Studio shoot gift vouchers start at £50, and are available in increments of £50.   For only £150 you get a studio shoot, with full direction, a password protected gallery of 150 -200 shots, so you can choose your five best images to have ‘airbrush retouched’ in the studio’s unique style; these are supplied as high resolution files, as well as web versions suitable for emailing or posting online if you wish.

Photo studio shoot gift vouchers make wonderful gifts for birthdays and hen parties too.

Jessica Bella – sixties girl

Friday, September 30th, 2011

I have had the pleasure of working with Jessica Bella a few times…even though she has to trek from Portsmouth each time!  As she travels that distance we do try to fit in a number of different styles within the same shoot.

Her last visit was primarily to shoot the gorgeous vintage-inspired hats by Rose Patricia Millinery.  I would urge you to visit the site – the hats are spectacularly beautiful, and all the models fell in love with them.  To give you a flavour I have posted below the ‘school photograph’ we finished off with, which graces the banner of the site…

vintage inspired hats by Rose Patricia Millinery

Rose Patricia Millinery - vintage inspired hats

The models are, back row from left, Jean Rae, Jessica Bella, Miss Lilli La Scala and, in front, Rayna Terror

Anyway, after the hat shoot finished, we had a short break, regrouped whilst Jessica changed make-up from forties to sixties, then prepared to shoot a slew of sixties-inspired images.  I’d been in contact with Candy Says, an amazing online store (that also happens to be very local to the studio) – Dawn very kindly collaborated by loaning a selection of sixties outfits for the shoot.

Of course Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton were high on our list for our tribute images.  Last month Vintage Life used one of our monochrome images of Jessica ‘flying’ …as in one, two , three – jump! click!  This month, the October edition, Jessica is both the Vintage Life cover girl and features inside the magazine too.

Retro Photostudio shot of Jessica Bella on Vintage Life

Retro Photostudio shot of Jessica Bella


Vintage Vogue – Sunday October 2nd 2011

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

It is that exciting time again – Vintage Vogue in Brentwood, Essex is fast approaching!

As previously I will have a mobile studio on site…so you can get your hair retro-styled, slip into your new purchase and have the moment immortalised by Retro Photostudio! You then have the choice of instant prints, using a state-of-the-art dye-sublimation printer, or you can ask for the file to be given my unique ‘airbrush cheesecake’ finish.  The latter takes up to an hour for an image in post-processing, so the finished result will be sent to you after the event.

Vintage Vogue is the premier such event in Essex…much imitated but never equalled. Each time we attend we end up leaving with more than we came with! The vintage outfits and accessories are so beautiful – most certainly worth a trip to Brentwood!

Pop along to see us…

Brentwood School Sports Centre
Middleton Hall Lane
Essex CM15 8E


Vintage Vogue - Brentwood


Monday, September 19th, 2011

Well folks…a novel experience…my very first blog post!

I hope to be sharing a little of the ‘behind the scenes’ of what is going on at the studio, sneak peeks from shoots and any special promotions.