Winning entry for British Hair Awards
Hair by Erika Salvaggio
London-Based Fashion, Beauty and Advertising Photographer Hugh O'Malley
Winning entry for British Hair Awards
Hair by Erika Salvaggioleave a comment
Makeup Keti Nikolova
For the September ’12 issue of BA’s Inflight Magazine
Acting Art Director: Sarah Browne
Makeup Mutsumi Shibihara
Makeup Louise McCarthy
I think these work best you when you see them as a series.leave a comment
Images from a recent client shoot. New Jewellery Designer Miranda McCarthy. Pieces for sale via Paul Smith. Main website for London Birdleave a comment
simple test with Agnes @ Premierleave a comment
I shot this test before the New Year but only got around to retouching it in early January.leave a comment
I shot for the latest cycle of Britain’s Next Top Model earlier this year. The show is hosted by Elle MacPherson this season.
I shot a very simple beauty shoot for Revlon at their headquarters – Revlon House – in Camden. At this point the competition was down to 6 girls: Alisha, Amelia, Charlotte, Joy, Olivia and Tiffany.
Shooting for TV is always a bit surreal and somewhat detached from the normal shoots that I conduct. When i normally shoot beauty, I spend some time talking to the model beforehand to build rapport and trust and ensure them I have their best interests at heart. We work as a team with hair and makeup and we play music to create an atmosphere, chat and there is no-one extra on set who doesn’t need to be there.
When you’re shooting for TV, you have 10 minutes with a model you have had zero contact with and who for the most part have never done a beauty shoot before in their life. The girls have very little time to interpret the brief, there is no music playing and there is a team of about 20-25 people, assistants, tv crew, the people from Revlon watching you and the model as you work in near silence. It feels a bit unreal and it must be worse for the girls.
So under these conditions I don’t expect miracles from the girls but when someone shines through it is a breath of fresh air. Amilia was definitely the girl who gave it the most on the day and it was a joy to work with her. Some of the other girls tried hard but I didn’t feel that oomph from them. I feel that Joy was definitely the most beautiful of the group and with experience I think she could have a great career as a model.
All in all it was a very enjoyable experience and the people at Revlon were a joy to work with. And if you go to the BNTM site today, my image of Joy (above) is photograph of the week.leave a comment
Makeup by Lauren Baker
I had an article about my work appear in Photography Monthly this month (June issue). This is the article pretty much as it appeared in the magazine:
LOCATION: The model shots were shot in my studio in Hackney in London and the background components were shot in a car wrecking yard in North London
CAMERA AND LENS: The car parts were shot on film. The settings for an iso 200 speed film were 1/60 at F5.6. The best images were then scanned to high res digital. The studio shots were taken on my Nikon D3x with a 105mm lens and a 50mm lens at a speed of 1/125 and F8.0 at iso 100. The tighter head shots with the 105mm and the wider body shot with the 50mm
LIGHTING: The car parts were shot using natural light and on film. The studio shots were shot with a beauty dish on a 500w head almost directly above the model looking down and another couple of lights (500w flash heads with barn doors) used as rim lights to pull her out of the dark background. With her head tilted back she got a good amount of light on her eyes but with her head in a normal position you can see we got these very deliberate dark shadows under the eyes which add to the air of mystique.
CREATIVE PROCESS: This project was very much collaboration between me and the hair stylist – Andrew Thomas-Corbett. We met a couple of times before the shoot to discuss the concept and inspiration. He was very much inspired by Aleister Crowley’s Thoth book of the Tarot and I have always had a fascination with the Occult so I was very familiar with them. The drawings on them are very beautiful. We also liked HR Geiger’s artwork (the artist who did most of the art direction for the Alien movies). We also looked at Tibetan Mandalas and a few other sources. We wanted to have an industrial feel, a sort of robotic feel but still maintain something of the organic and we wanted them to be sensual and seductive. We explained the concept clearly to the Model so she would be able to interpret our brief with as much information as possible. Our makeup was done by Angela Deviatova.
POST PRODUCTION: For the background I took parts of one of the crashed car images and mirrored it 4 ways. Thus creating a symmetrical mandala effect. The model and the hair required some basic skin cleaning and cleaning up of frizzy bits but Magda (a lovely Polish girl from Leni’s Model Management) had great skin to start with so this didn’t require much work except that it had to be done in triplicate. I normally do final skin work with a dodge and burn on a 50% gray fill layer with blend mode set to ‘Soft Light’. Then I brush with a white or black brush on a low opacity.
The next part is where it got a bit creative and required lots of masks to reveal and hide certain parts of each figure. The patterns on the skin were done with a combination of layers with a multiply blend mode and masks revealing the underlying patterns. To burn in the edges and other areas I didn’t want the viewer to be distracted by, I used a channel mixer layer set to ‘Black and White with Red Filter’, set the blending mode to ‘Multiply’, invert the mask and brush back in the areas you want with a white brush on the opacity you require. A bit complex but it gives you a great degree of control.
Finally when I’m happy, I’ll output the .jpeg and run a sharpen filter on it. I don’t like to have merged layers in my .psd file while I’m working. Non-destructive editing is the order of the day. The final series of images were exhibited in a Gallery in Bethnal Green just before Christmas 2009.
Much thanks due to Crash Taylor for the initial coverage on his site and for arranging the publication with Photography Monthly.
You can see a few more of the images from the series on this post and some more information about them too.leave a comment
Click the image for a larger version.
And here’s a composite of all the girls in one image
Isn’t it bizarre how composites of women always end up looking like Natalie Portman? It’s as if she’s the template of the ‘ideal’ woman.leave a comment
Makeup: Alex Gillott
A few things I’ve really like recently. Not sure if i am going to incorporate them into my work somehow but I’ve really felt enlivened (is that a word?) by them.
Alex Box’s makeup – this is a short video about her book that she created with Rankin. What’s fascinating for me is the way the process evolved from something fixed and static and deliberately controlled into an organic exploration.
I am Mercedes Benz. Yes I know, it’s a car ad but it’s still beautiful. Makes me think of Edward Hopper, David Lynch and Philip Lorca di Corcia. Loving the underexposure, intriguing… Shot by Josh Brolin, director of ‘No Country for Old Men’
And last but not least, a short video for Savanah Wyatt‘s accessories, thanks to Miggy for the heads up.leave a comment
A friend of mine recently had an exhibition. He’s a creative hair stylist goes by the name of Andrew Thomas Corbett and we collaborated recently to create a series of images. The show was on in the Resistance Gallery in Bethnal Green a few weeks ago but I’ve been too busy covering the Clothes Show in Birmingham for the last week to post about it.
A little about the show here.
The images we created are below.
Model Lleva @ Premier
oh the shameless self-promotion of it all….leave a comment
Close Up at the V&A Friday 26th September 2008
I’ve always been greatly inspired by Nick Thornton-Jones and Warren du Preez. Their approach is frequently to eschew the well-trodden commercial line and to play on the borders of art, fashion, technology and science. When I heard that they were giving a talk at the V&A about their work, I nearly wet myself with excitement and I made sure I got down there pretty early to get in line, not dreaming that I’d manage to get a chance to see them. I couldn’t believe my luck when I got to the front of the queue and was told that there were seats available.
The talk was on in the National Art Library and before the talk started we were invited by Warren and Nick to browse around various images from the archives. There were prints by Julia Margaret-Cameron, Man Ray, Moholy Nagy, Eadweard Muybridge and others. It was amazing to see these images from the archives up close and personal.
During the talk, Nick and Warren described their working methods while showing a slideshow of their work. They admitted they were a little nervous about talking about their work as they had never done so in such a context before. I felt especially privileged to be there when I heard this. They described their method as ‘trying to recreate in camera, what used to be done in the dark room’. And although there is often a lot of post production in some of their work – they mentioned ‘render farms’ processing their work for weeks – they aim to capture the bulk of what they do in camera. The work that they had lain out for us was all relevant to their practice too – solarisation was a favourite technique of Man Ray’s and the creation of pictograms was a favourite method of Lazlo Moholy-Nagy. Coincidentally there was a Hungarian sat beside me.
The slideshow was really mind blowing – what has mostly stuck in my mind was the work they did with Alexander McQueen. And I shit you not when I said the hairs stood up on the back of my neck. There was something chthonic, elemental, raw and occult-like about this series. They admitted themselves that the shoot had been something of a happening whereby they were in the grip of forces beyond themselves, of an energy that was more than the sum of the players in the shoot.
Ultimately I think it was very brave of them to reveal so much of their practice in public. There were a few moments where Warren interrupted Nick with phrases like ‘without revealing too much of our methods’ and would turn the talk in another direction. Nonetheless I was quite inspired. To see more of their work, have a look here: Warren Du Preez, Nick Thornton-Jones
and I’ve borrowed a few of their images from their UK Agent’s website Artist Representation/Management
I hope they don’t sue my ass for it.leave a comment
I bought this book on Amazon recently and found it really informative and inspiring:
Fashion and Advertising (World’s Top Photographers Workshops). There’s some beautiful images from photographers like Alexi Lubimorski, Warren Du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones, Solve Sundsbo, Richard Bush etc. It’s mostly fashion based but there’s some strong beauty and still life in there as well. The interviews with the photographers are invaluable and they’re not precious about sharing their information going as far as to reveal their lighting setups.
Also invaluable are the interviews with the photographers about their career, their relationships with clients and magazines, their methods and how each shoot developed from conceptual phase right through production, post and on to publication.
The book was published in 2007 and is available from the usual online retailers but i remember seeing it in the bookstore in the National Portrait Gallery when i went to see the Vanity Fair exhibition recently.leave a comment
Kit Heath are a Jewellery company i’ve been in negotiations with for a while about shooting a campaign for their advertising, online and point of sale images.
Stylist: Shelley Fanell
MUA: Machiko Yano
Hair: Peter Beckett
Asst.:Rebecca Van Ommen
Model: Regina @ Premier
The lighting took a little while to fine tune but once we had what we wanted we moved pretty efficiently. This was on the back of fashion week and I think Regina had a busy week the week before. She worked well but was a teensy bit irritable. Perhaps I was being a little too controlling. Maybe I need to let the model do her job sometimes. I guess I’ve just been working with a lot of new faces and inexperienced girls recently who you have to micro manage so it becomes a bit of a habit.leave a comment
Jay is a hair stylist who works in a successful salon in Knightsbridge. He’s in the process of putting together a high end home make up and hair service catering to party girls etc. These images are part of a series we’ll be shooting for his site. Girls are Rachel and Jenny. Make up by Antonia Wilson, Hair by Big Boi Jay Williams…leave a comment
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