Tag Archives: Clothing

Specialist Studio Practice 3 – External Opportunity (Modelling)

28th April 2016

I modelled for Bailey studying on the Extended Diploma in Art & Design Photography at Bradford College. I met Bailey through a studio workshop that I volunteered to help in and model for last semester. Since then I have modelled for her numerous times and this has helped us both in moving forward with our vision and knowledge for photography & modelling/directing.

This most recent shoot however taught me something a little different to the last few times. Bailey is inspired mainly by fashion photography and this is the genre she photographs mostly. The shoots I have modelled in for her have been fashion shoots. She has directed the outfits, hair and make up throughout these shoots. This time round Bailey asked me to bring quite a few items of clothing for us to match up and make outfits of on the day. We corresponded mainly through Facebook message and we shared pictures of the clothes we were thinking of prior to the shoot (as it was a fashion shoot so the clothes were the main think linking everything together). On the day of the shoot Bailey put together some great outfit ideas (mainly trying to recreate fashion images she had as inspiration) however she asked me why I don’t dress like ‘this’ on a regular basis if I own these clothes? This question interested me and got me thinking about the way I present myself.

Whilst shooting, my class mate Suman came into the studio and started setting up for her shoot. I smiled and waved at her but at first she didn’t recognise me. She then responded with ‘Oh Olivia it’s you! I didn’t recognise you! I was thinking “I swear I know that girl from somewhere, I recognise her face…” but wow! You should really really dress like that more often, you look so smart. Why don’t you dress like that more often if you own those amazing clothes?’

This again really got me thinking about the way I present myself, and the fact that two people within the same few hours said the same thing really stuck with me (in a positive way). Usually I go for the comfort option when dressing for everyday occasions. I only usually dress up for special occasions however when hearing these comments it got me thinking about my future business and the impact I make on my clients. Does the way I present myself really make much of a difference? Yes. The fact that my colleague of 3 years didn’t recognise me at close distance says how much making an effort with my outfit, hair and make up makes all the difference, and actually expresses myself as a person. This is something I will definitely consider more in future and when I set up my business, I want to present myself as very smart but very friendly and approachable. I need to make the effort with every part of my business – even the way I present myself: because if that’s a selling point for some people then it’s very important! This was a huge learning opportunity for me.

You will find images of me from the shoot on Bailey’s Facebook page:




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Specialist Studio Practice 3 – Photographing clothing on a mannequin

1st March 2016

As a group in the studio we photographed using a mannequin and clothing to undertake ‘ghost photography’ (ghost cut outs). We were first taught the tricks and hacks of the job, and the requirements for these types of product shots. The clothes have to look shapely, natural, and immaculate. We also had to get the tag in at the back of the clothing, to show the brand. This was difficult with some shapes of the clothing e.g a male shirt being a basic ’round neck’ – this meant that if it wasn’t pulled slightly down at the front then the label couldn’t be seen. It was also tricky to get everything to stay in place, so we had to use a selection of tools to make this happen:

  • Masking tape – to stick parts up that needed to be straight, to hold bits together
  • Rolled up card – We used this to create a 3D effect to the sleeves & shoulders because otherwise the body was full and realistic but the arms looked limp & flat
  • Clamps – to clip the clothing at the back if it was too baggy or creased – this gave the top more shape and made the clothes look smoother and generally better
  • We also used our own clothing e.g a scarf to bulk out areas that needed more shape but still needed to look rounded (for example, when photographing women clothes) as it was a male mannequin we had to work with

We also lit the background & mannequin using LED light panels (pure white light) instead of studio lights – which is something much more commonly done in contemporary photography and trends. LED light is a constant light source (ambient) so there isn’t much testing needed, as where you see the light hit the background/object, that’s where it will be on the image. This is an efficient way to shoot I think because with flash you don’t know exactly how it’s going to look on the image until you press the shutter to trigger the light to flash. Maybe this is why it is becoming more popular to shoot using LED lights.

In post process the clothing needs to be cut out to stand out in the image so there are no distractions away from the clothing itself. This is best done in Photoshop using Pen Tool to get the cleanest edges and closest precision.

I also used liquify in Photoshop to bulk out any limp edges or tweek in other bits that were bulging out – to create a smoother edge as a whole. I also used spot healing tool and clone tool to adjust any blemishes on the jacket to show the clothing in it’s best light.

This exercise helped me increase my knowledge of clothing and everything that ghost cut out photography entails – from the lighting, to the shape of the mannequin and all the adjustments needed to make the clothes look perfect, all the way through to the post process and getting them ‘website ready’.

Here is a mock up “website advertisement” including the price etc that I designed quickly on Photoshop to put the image into context:



Sources to logo:


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Specialist Technique & Process 3 – External Opportunity

8th December 2015

I went shopping with my Dad because he wanted to buy me some clothing as a Christmas present, so we went to the new Broadway shopping centre in Bradford. We were looking in Debenhams at coats and dresses and a lady approached us and helped us find quite a few dresses for me try on. After finding ‘the perfect dress’ and coat, the lady mentioned that the Broadway Bradford are doing a catwalk and she would like to use me as a model for her section of the store, in the catwalk. She told me to come back to see her in early February and she would sort the arrangements out with me. I think this could be a great external opportunity because of many aspects:

  • Becoming known in the city and getting myself out there (and hopefully me in my own right as a photographer, if people ask me what I do)
  • To take part in a big event in what is now considered quite a well known name in Bradford
  • This could lead to making connections with photographers who may have been employed to photograph the event
  • This will increase my confidence levels not only with a small group of people, but a large amount of people
  • This may even lead to photographic connections/jobs with me and Debenhams in the far future

Who knows! The possibilities are endless!

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Advanced Studio Practice 2B: Shoot: Thomas

3rd April 2015


When asking Thomas how he would show his personality through photos, he mentioned photos on location – using a selection of different outfits to show the different sides to his personality. His first outfit was a smart grey ‘suit’ – to show his professional/smart side. The second was a grey hoodie, grey skinny jeans and a blue and white top. He said this outfit symbolised him coming out of the ‘grey clouds’ (hard times in his life) and coming out on the other side (the blue top – representing the clouds moving away and showing a clear blue sky). I photographed him in Leeds as this is his main where-abouts as he lives near Leeds and goes to Uni here. I photographed him on the water side because of the picturesque surrounding locations but also because I believe water is quite symbolic and relates to the outfit(s) – especially the second, because the water appears ‘calm’ after the ‘storm’.

I wanted to photograph Thomas in a reasonably natural way, however it was difficult to capture him naturally because of the situation, it was more like a fashion shoot because of the outfits. However I do feel that where I have captured him e.g laughing/off guard, these are some that show his personality best. Although the outfits themselves are the symbols, facial expression is very important in a portrait image, and it can be possible for someone to ‘put on a mask’ with their facial expression. This is why I desired to capture the most natural of moments.

I believe that symbolically the shoot worked, however it was difficult to capture an element of Tom with such ‘staged’ environments/positioning. So as we were talking after the shoot we came up with a second idea that we believe would encapsulate both of Tom’s sides – his professional/smart side, but also his fun and cheeky side. We decided to re-shoot this – by having Thomas in his professional/smart outfit, but the location/activity itself showing his ‘young’, fun and cheeky side. The next shoot of Tom will be in the children’s play-gym he works in, ideally with him in the ball pool, in his suit – to show both sides in one image.

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Advanced Studio Practice 2B: Shoot: Millie

1st April 2015


When I asked Millie where her favourite place was, she at first said her trampoline. We planned to photograph her on her trampoline in her garden, however the day before the shoot her trampoline blew away into 2 gardens away! (because of the extreme winds). So our next plan was to photograph her on the quarry near her house. Here she walks her dog, goes for walks with her family and it is an interesting place to explore as there are all different levels to the quarry, in some areas it is a wide open space with some hills and views, and other places it has small crevices within the rocks. I also asked her to wear her favourite outfit for the shoot. I wanted to photograph her walking, spinning, skipping, and also getting some head shots of her and the quarry. There were extreme winds on this day (as you can see in some of the images!) so it was interesting trying to work this into the shoot. I feel personally it really added to capturing Millie’s identity because of her sweet and fun reaction to the wind. We had a lot of fun here. The wind also created some dramatic hair-blowing that I managed to capture in a few shots!

In my opinion it also worked for the concept I was trying to capture. Millie is 12 years old – she is a child, but she is on the verge of becoming a teenager and a young lady. From my own personal experience of being a 12 year old girl, one does feel quite ‘swayed’ or ‘blown about’ in parts of life, and as a young adult, I sensed I was still trying to find myself and my identity (at that age). I sense that maybe Millie is on a journey as a young girl but also becoming a young lady, as she has a fun, sweet and charming air to her personality, but also a growing maturity and a confidence about her.

I feel as though I managed to capture an essence/element of Millie in these shots. I wanted to let her be as natural as possible, but I also directed her in part. I didn’t want to interfere with the natural process of expression, however she also wanted me to guide her with “what to do”. It would have been interesting to see her engaging in an activity, as I see how it is important in showing how people express themselves. However I am happy with how Millie expressed herself through laughter and her feelings towards the wind and being photographed, as I feel this is conveyed in the images.

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External opportunity: Fashion shoot for Tiger Lily boutique, working with a mentor

10th March 2015 My mentor – Christian Hardy, and I worked together on a Fashion shoot on a TFP basis for Saltaire based Boutique – Tiger Lily. This consisted of planning, buying a back drop and paint to use in his studio, finding a model and a make up artist, liaising with the client (Emma at Tiger Lily), picking up the clothes themselves and getting the studio ready for the shoot. We planned this over the time frame of a few months and 10th March was the shoot. (See in my folder for all arrangements/prep for the shoot). Here are the final images that were shown to the client:

I decided to add a few different types of shots to each batch sent out depending on who they were being sent to e.g for the make up artist I sent the ones we showed to the client but added some close ups (to show the make up better) – because she is in her third year at uni and needed some photos to show in her portfolio also. I sent the client set of images to the model (well, her mum) also, but added some more where the model (Erin) showed her talent with a variation of poses etc to show her versatility, for her portfolio.

I learnt many things on this shoot,

– How to work to a client deadline (the stock we were photographing was for that season only so we had to photograph it and get the shots done while still in season)

– Planning and organising

– Working alongside a mentor

– learning from the way they do things

– How to photograph clothing on a model (ready for when I shoot my AOP awards brief, in preparation)

– All that goes into preparing a studio for a shoot (even the cleaning jobs!)

– Communication with client, model, make up artist, mentor

– Building my confidence

– I need to drive if I’m going to be doing this for a living!! (Thankfully Christian was very generous with driving and we ran errands together to get what we needed for the shoot but it showed me how much I need to pass my test and get driving!)

– How to edit within a time limit, learnt to edit using Lightroom

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