On a fine morning in mid-October, Richard and I went out to Parkham, near Deloraine to do an engagement session with Mel and Alex, who are getting married in December. Parkham is dairy country and I had never been there before and was not sure what to expect. This is actually good though as it means I can capture new images, I hate delivering to clients to same old-same old stuff we have all seen before.
I asked them to wear jeans and give us a bit of a rural fashion look for the shoot. Mel wanted it at an old dilapidated farmhouse, a location at which she had always to do a shoot. I was happy to oblige.
Sadly, when we arrived we found the cows had been in it and it was perhaps more dilapidated then we first had envisaged. However, we still managed to get some awesome images.
Every shoot I do, the bride always, and I mean always, tells me, I not very good at having my photo taken, or I look horrible in photos whilst the groom is usually there because his partner told him be there . Guess what, Mel said the same thing. I always note that these statements turn out to be dead set wrong. No-one with a bit of guidance and proper lighting takes a bad photo and in this case, Mel and Alex again proves this belief of mine. I must say, for someone who does not think she knows how to pose, Mel was a natural.
Recently we were commissioned to do some portrait work for two lovely young ladies, Ava and Violet. Being typical young girls, they like fairies, butterflies, dolls, and other sugar and spice-like stuff. So I collaborated with their mum and we whipped up some composites, which we then printed at a whopping 30 inches wide. They looked great framed.
The backgrounds for the composites I obtained from a great stock provider I follow on deviantART - FairieGoodMother. Her work is excellent and you can check it out here.
On 15 September this year, the Tasmanian natural physique titles where held in Launceston.
More than 120 competitors turned up for the event at Launceston’s Princess Theatre.
The event is managed by the International Natural Bodybuilding Association, and all the competitors must be drug free and are tested before hand to ensure that their physiques are the result of hard work and diet alone.
Skye Fitness Photoshoot
Skye came around to the studio the week before the shoot to get some shots of her at her peak. A few hours of work and one spray bottle of ‘fake sweat’ later we got some killer images. I really like the black and white image. By using a three light setup, 2 for the edges and one nearly straight down from above, we have managed to get a lot of definition to Skye’s physique. Not that she needed any help, she is very buffed and no Photoshop muscle was required, that’s for sure.
We won a club Gold Medal – Trierenberg Super Circuit, Austria 2013
In the last two decades, the Fédération Internationale de l’Art Photographique has conducted the Trierenberg Super Circuit in Austria. The circuit has attracted hundreds of thousands of pictures from nearly all countries around the world. It is by far the largest annual salon of photography on the globe. Of the thousands accepted only few are accepted for display and even less win gold or get published.
The Launceston Photographic Society Entry
The Launceston Photographic Society entered this year, and I submitted these four images which were all accepted and displayed in Salons in Innsbruck, and Linz amongst the world’s best images.
Out of thousands of clubs from across the world, with 20,000 images submitted, only 13 clubs won gold. We were one of them.
The circuit also publishes a coffee table book/catalogue of the very best of the winners, called Masterpieces from Around the Globe. I was honoured to see one of my winning images had been selected.
Belinda Fettke and Ross Coad, both extremely talented photographers were also featured in the catalogue. Well done guys.
My Four Submissions
Here are my four submissions and a shot from their catalogue. It is quite a mixture but shows my type of style quite well, I think. A classic wedding image I took last year, a child portrait, heavily inspired by Bill Gekas, a grungy self portrait of my bagpipes and another selfie, but this time a cartoon look with my features all heavily exaggerated in Photoshop (yes I don’t actually look quite that odd normally!)
Here I am trying to get onto Scott Kelby’s TV Show – The Grid
The Grid is a online live talk show hosted by the amazing Scott Kelby & Matt Kloskowski about photography, Photoshop & other industry-related topics. Every month they have a blind critique of photographers images. This month it is portraits.
Below are the five images I’M REALLY REALLY really hoping will make the cut for the show. They are all portraits Ive taken this last two years that Ive really liked.
These guys are the folks who first got me started in photography and taught me nearly all I know about Photoshop, so wish me luck, karma, feng shui, sacrifice a goat, or whatever is required by your local deity .
Conceptual Portrait – Kate, the Super-moon, a Mythical Creature and a Chinese Broadsword
Here is my latest conceptual portrait with model Kate Eastoe. I call them conceptual portraits because they are a style of portraiture that is different when compared to an image taken against a plain studio backdrop or around the town of Launceston or anywhere else in Tasmania actually. They are often a combination of photographs, – a photo-manipulation, which I find dramatic and that tells some kind of story. Don’t forget we can do these sort of portraits for you or your family. They make a different and cool gift.
The Moon Stirs the Phoenix
I call this image ‘The Moon Stirs the Phoenix’
The Fenghuang (ie the Chinese Phoenix) is a mythological bird of East Asia that reigns over all other birds. The phoenix came to symbolize the Empress when paired with a dragon as a dragon represented the Emperor. The phoenix represented power sent from the heavens to the Empress. If a phoenix was used to decorate something it symbolized that loyalty and honesty were with the owner.
A few years ago in China I bought this Chinese broadsword with the phoenix engraved on the blade for good luck. I haven’t done much with it, but did a photo-shoot with Kate a while back and we decided to use the sword as a prop for the shoot. The magic glow coming of the phoenix was put in post I’m afraid. I was aiming for an illustrative, almost CGI look, which is a bit of a signature style of mine, as is the colour blue. I love blue.
All up, I’m pretty happy how it turned out. If you want any tips on how it’s put together, send me an e-mail. I have no secrets.
Last month the very beautiful and talented model, Kate came around to collaborate on a series of images we both wanted to do. We were aiming on a set of images inspired by the movie Sucker Punch, a terrible movie, but one with great imagery. The images were a cross between glamour, steampunk photography, with a hint of True Blood and Indiana Jones thrown in. Lots of sword,goggles, lace and wigs were involved plus hundreds of hours of compositing to get the tones and look I wanted.
Kate is a great model, very professional, friendly and talented. You can check out more of her work on Model Mayhem at this link.
Here is just some of the awards she has won and promotional work she had done.
Ralph ASMY heats and finals (FEB 08),
Winner of Miss Tassie Nats (09).
Promo/grid girl for DSG@Home around Australia (V8s – 2009)
Promotions (on and off premise) for Ruski Chill-VOK Beverages (2009-ongoing)
Promotions for Monster Energy (2010-ongoing)
Promotion for Lexus Golf Sponsorship (March 2010)
TV advertisement/photoshoot for FUJI Cameras international.
Ring girl for Richardson’s Harley Davidson Amateur Fights and Bikes Day (2010)
Varied Promotional work for Richardson’s Harley Davidson (2010 – ongoing)
Hostess/ambassador for Nant distillery at Whisky Live – Sydney (Aug 2010)
Hostess at Nant Distillery (monthly ongoing)
Promotional work around Australia for National Foods (2009 – ongoing)
Photoshoot for Nant Estate and Distillery (Nov 2010)
Winner – Miss Hawaiian Tropic Tasmania – Jan 2011
Winner – Miss Powercruise Tasmania – Jan 2011
Promotional work on and off premise – Vok Beverages (2010 – ongoing)
I always shoot the details and product shots in the wedding I photograph, but Im with Anne on this one when she says
‘Wedding publications exist to feed the industry: the florists and the lighting designers and the calligraphers and the caterers and the photographers and the thousands upon thousands of couples who will spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on their weddings. Magazines and blogs publish pictures of couples in lavish surroundings with immaculate decor, and vendors who can provide similar glitz and glam pay big bucks for full-page ads and featured banners. Many women (in particular) spends YEARS scouring these staples of wedding wisdom for the perfect dress, the perfect bouquet, the perfect cake… when they finally meet the perfect partner they’ll be ready….
But you know why I REALLY do what I do?
To photograph your parents, who will hold hands and cry on the first row of the chapel. To photograph your sister dancing with that boy she will marry in three years. To photograph those kids who will grow up so, so quickly. To photograph your grandfather, who will pass away next spring. To photograph your first kiss as a married couple, your best friend busting out her signature dance moves, the flower girl asleep under a table, and maybe even your ex looking pretty wistful as he hugs you a little too long in the receiving line.’
The best wedding is often the one that is simple and about the couple, friends and family sharing the moment. It is not about the cake, the size of the guest list, or the quality of the degustation at the reception.
Ive photographed quite a few wedding receptions, but never seen one a sweet and cool as this Danish one. It may be my Danish heritage, but the Danes know how to do style. If anyone in Launceston or even Tassie can pull this off, I will photograph your wedding for 15% off just so I can see it!
Let me set the scene for this wedding. The day before there were record temperatures across the state, no one found it easy to sleep, folk in town were grumpy and bushfires rage uncontrolled across the state. The wedding day is the same, 32 degrees of harsh Aussie sun and lots of smoke about. Sounds like a recipe for disaster. Well if you thought that, you’d be dead wrong.
Amanda and Anthony wedding was a lovely romantic affair. Whilst it was hot, no-one seem to ever get flustered. It seemed to me that Anthony and Amanda didn’t really even seem to notice the heat, only each other. Though I did note Anthony was a terrible white colour at the church until he saw his lovely bride, then all the nerves seemed to go.
The wedding was at the Church of the Apostles a lovely old church built in 1886, followed by some photography in the local park and tyre repair centre of all places. From there we headed into town to take advantage of Launceston’s grand old building and art deco.
Here is a cross section of a few images from the day.