“This I not a pub, when you sit in the presence of Lord Bath you must adhere to what is called etiquette. I don’t suppose you know much about this but you must follow this when you are in front of me and eating at mine and the Marquess’s lunch table! I am his wife or as you may know this term, his wifelet and I look after him when I am in town!!! “[/perfectpullquote] Poor old paddy who was assisting me. He got both barrels from Lord Baths’ wifelet for not sitting and eating at the same time as the crew. He was late and Lord baths wifelet was NOT happy. The opportunity to shoot TV Celebrity is something that sometimes happens a little more frequently nowadays. These days are after drought with anxiety and speed for the very reason of time management and the time which a celebrity and their PR will allocate to a photoshoot.
Every now and then a great opportunity happens within your daily photographic week. Celebrity photography is not always how you imagine. Times allotted to work with them are quite a short turnaround.
One such opportunity was when I was asked to work on a commission photographing the Queen’s Cousin the 7th marquess of Bath, or as we really know him, Lord Bath. The commission was for a book cover and his personal website for the Marquess. It would involve traveling down at his substantial house at Longleat which is also a very famous animal sanctuary.
I was only allowed to bring very minimal equipment such as single flashlight such as Profoto B1X and my Nikon camera. We were not allowed to video any material at all. We were also not allowed to photograph in and around the great house as it was open to the public. I of course was a little worried about the amount of work we needed to cover in the day and if Lord bath would be up for this? The lighting in the apartment was fairly dark in general and had to use a slight timed exposure to balance out ambient lighting and flash.
Below is a screengrab from the elements for the official composite image. The images were all shot on the day by me ready to composite in Photoshop on my return. I have shown some of the processes it takes to create one of these composite images. The picture of Lord Bath was designed to emulate one of the master paintings of landed gentry so famous in the great houses of Britain. When combined, the final image was a very powerful version that was used on the book cover and of course on ALEXANDER THYNN, 7TH MARQUESS OF BATH website.
To photograph someone with such a closeness to royalty, there is a certain protocol that you must follow and criteria that you must first pass. It was an honour to be considered to get so close to a royal celebrity. When I was introduced to Lord Bath he was very gracious and patient with me and the team and was a very easy-going subject willing to work with us. At no time did he make us feel that we were in the way. We were there for the day to capture all his wonderfully bright waistcoat for his book and shoot images for his new website.
Lord Baths stylist for the day had provided an extensive wardrobe for him but of course, it was all about his waistcoats. I was, of course, a little concerned about his age and how he would manage the whole day with 60 outfits! We were initially thinking that working around his large house would give us ample shoot spaces, however, it was clear we would not be allowed into the public areas of the house and were to be restricted to his apartment in the house.
Having done a Recce on the apartment we had settled on a few key areas that may work but these would be very tight because the main living area was exactly that, a living area. Main areas were cramped so after a consultation with Phil & Paddy, it was decided that one simple light diffused would be just perfect, add in a white reflector and the look was complete.
So Fashion Photographers Blog James Nader is finally on YouTube, I have been asked many times to show and tell exactly what you do and how you do it, really putting a face to the name and the photography. Although it’s been a slow start we are gaining ground. Interest is growing in the fact that It’s James up close and personal. A tough gig for anyone really apart from the seasoned pro presenters on YouTube such as Casey Neistat and Peter McKinnon.
Creating YouTube Photographers content on a regular basis seems to be the best way to get noticed but at Team Nader we think to show the real person behind the brand that is James Nader, is a golden opportunity for any photographer wanting to know how the fashion industry and being a photographer works. How are shoots crafted, behind the scenes of some large shoots and of course the funny moments?
Of course, I have more to offer a photographer and over the years created many pieces of work for various campaigns. I have been the creative director in my own creative agency for over 10 years which emplou=yed 17 people at one time and although that is behind me now, I still run a production company that helps me and my team create shoots for clients. The YouTube channel will be a great way for anyone interesting in photography or running a business in photography to get some interesting content and techniques for the process of shooting for clients and running your own business as a photographer.
The content for the channel has been written down as a list to work from but I will have to fit this in between working and shooting. The process should be interesting and I will be letting you in on the secrets of my retouching, lighting, and post-production so if you are interested sign up to my channel and get regular updates. Subscribe and ring the bell as they say 🙂
If you would like to see more of the YouTube then follow this link
Fashion photography masterclasses or even photo workshops in fashion photography are something that has grown so much online. It seems that many photographers are moving to teach others their photographic skills these days which in a way makes sense for me to launch some of my workshops right now. I have a few online and offline live photographic courses that are going live for 2020. I have recently created a selection of three workshops for photographers who would love to get up close and personal with me and the crew. It’s a golden opportunity to shoot and learn at the top but in a relaxed and friendly way in any of the three workshops, we are offering this Autumn.
For 2020 I wanted to add some Fashion Photography Workshops and Fashion Photography Masterclasses this year after a few years working out if people would come to see me and learn from my work. After asking the question many times on social media a realised that a lighting workshop or model shoot was something that would be of interest to my followers.
This really is going to be a good opportunity for photographers wanting to get better at fashion photography or fashion lighting and my course will allow a super upgrade to your portfolios and knowledge.
We will be introducing some International ones at some pint to LA, Fuerteventura, and Iceland but will tell you more about these closer to the launch
Shooting Fashion Portraits
Fashion & Avantgarde Workshop
Classic Hollywood Lighting.
Carefully crafted to created interest and to give all something in their photography which is a little different. Many workshops just don’t give too much away. James will be working closely and mentoring all photographers who attend.
If you would like to know more and see a little more what is involved in each shoot please go to this link and get a feel for the overall style and opportunity.
A complete surprise booking from a European client and contact made through my perfectly optimesed WordPress SEO strategy had deliverd the result that I really wanted, To shoot an epic 27 day campaign in over 12 counties of Europe. I apparently had been on their radar a while since we added in the Composite and CGI section to the website late last year. “we loved the way you mixed landscape , shape and model form to create unique composites” (Marco Cormann- producer Lambertz)
Hintertux is where we started to shoot the initial images for the campaign but as you can see in the image Phil and I are really loving the location. Although chilly it was sunny and warm at that time in August however in some of the shots you can really see how quick the weather changed. The only problem was at the top of the mountain there wasn’t any toilets and if you needed to go then it was a half our round trip back to the next station by cable car. Not sure how that all worked if you were a little short?
We were on and off the slope for 4 days and stayed in the centre of Mayerhoffen in Austria about 14 km to the slopes. In the picture you can see me introducing Phil to the TV camera who were reporting on the shoot at various locations for the German publicity machine.
I had to do 18 interviews for the tour and it pushed me persoanlly to learn how to speak in a reasonable coherent manner to the German TV cameras which is something I at that time had done little apart from a little of for Channel Four for the Gadget Show and How to Look Good Naked when I managed 7 shows as the resident photographer.
The shoot went well and we have some superb shots from this particular location of which there were a further 9 to complete. One of the most demanding was the ice cave which was wet, cold and a possible accident waiting to happen in fact Health & Safety UK would be not happy as to how we worked or where? if you watch the video you can see exactly what I mean.
More from the shoot and plenty of behind the scene videos in the rest of this Magazine in Behind the scenes, Videos and the Project section where Lambertz images and complete story for each image are located.
When shooting in the snow use your histogram to be sure you are not losing image details in the snow Dynamic range is really important as the LCD screen may show that you have correct exposure but may not be calibrated and so burnt our highlights could be an issue. The histogram will tell you if your highlights are overexposed or blown out. Conversely, you want to be sure you’re not overcompensating and underexposing everything. So it’s a good idea to shoot in raw so you can make adjustments when you get home.
Most DSLR cameras a different light metering modes to select from. The most common metering modes are:
Try experimenting with different metering modes when shooting in the snow. I tend to shoot mainly on the average or centre weighted and always shoot manual exposure using either a light meter or for quickness the camera with an average guess of F11 @ 1/125 and then balance the light from there
Before heading out in the cold and the freezing location, be sure you have either a UV or clear filter to protect the front element of your camera lens from moisture and condensation. To avoid condensation buildup in your camera when you come in from the cold, grab a large zip-lock bag for your camera and seal it tight. Make sure that your camera has acclimatised to the conditions and keep away from any snow even if it is weather sealed. I have been at the top of Hintertux in the image and gone back to my Hasselblad lens and found a condensation spot in the centre of the lense based on the camera being out in the cold and a little snow flurry then placed the camera back in the back and 10 minutes late some condensation has built up.
A creative but awe inspiring location Aynhoe Park is a location used for many shoots we were fortunate enough to booked for three days to shoot a range of dresses at the location for an American high end dress designer for the UK.
We had a choice of 2 models from London agencies. The location was a photographers dream, the guys who own the house created and still own the brand Fantazia famous for large raves and music venues such as the Hacienda in Manchester originating in the early 90’s and Borrowlands. They are both eclectic collectors of the unusual and eccentric art.
For the shoot we opted to run with the LED light panels as there was quite a bit of natural light throughout the house. The lighting in the Orangery was sublime as were many of the locations thoughout. We were able to utilise the large windows and fantastic mirrors, opulent furniture and the eccentric items which adorned virtually every room
Treating the whole shoot purely from a high fashion point of view can be a little difficult especially when photographing Haute Couture dresses, we were to create a look book style of imagery suitable for web and offline marketing and of course the obligatory opportunity to shoot some of our own looks for the book always feature.
The image above was something we creatin in the toilet at Aynhoe. The best dressed one I have ever seen however it was perfect for this look. A hyper realstic look which the client loved for their social media presence. The composition was lit with one LED light panels refelcted form the ceiling. Top lit and pointing downwards to create a slighly unusal look to the shot.
The location didn’t really throw curve balls technically, we settled into the 3 days shoot and photographed some great images, lighting in the process , 2 Polar Bears, 1 full grown Lion, 1 Leopard, 1 Zebra, numerous birds, a fantastic amount of Roman and Greek style busts and a miniature Parthenon, not to mention shooting in the room where the original John Swannell work and Bob Carlos Clarke classic prints were hanging. Each room gave us a super look and afer 3 days we had a suitable range of fashionable images for the US client
For some time I have had the idea to shoot some tattoo adorned people. We set up a very simple shoot with tattoo people who love their tattoo art and have them all over their body for all sorts of reasons. After watching the various TV shows regarding Tattoo Art I thought right let’s get on with it.
I wanted the images to be a complete representation of the person and their tattoo and cover this in about 10 minutes in front of the camera. The best way forward I thought was to completely strip the colour out of the images and turn it all into a black and white study and in my opinion, gave the whole look an edgy effect. I had also been given some new lighting from a top lighting company and thought it would be nice to try out the ring flash that had been given as part of the lighting kit freebie
When we arrived at our location the room set we were using was only 10ft x 10ft so very small but we had only said we would turn up and shoot please can you help out with space as a studio was not necessary. Maybe it was we thought! Once set up the plan was for the people to just roll up over a 4 hour period and we would just shoot them as they felt comfortable. The ring flash was set up and tested by Phil and we started. Most people were really nervous and I suppose they felt a little like going to the docs.
The biggest problem was in the subjects taking off their clothes and not feeling nude in front of me and the equipment which could possibly have looked like some gynaecological machine from the arc. After a brief chat with each of the subjects I managed to make then feel at ease and we started shooting the individual. It was amazing to me how they all seemed to be hiding behind the tattoo and what it meant, this was most evident when standing in front of me with the camera and light and them holding their bodies in a contorted covering up way.
The black and white images were later processed through Lightroom with some Analogue film presets and then pushed out into CS6 Photoshop to finish them off. This was the first time that I had used a ring flash and really liked the look. It is a look seen with David Lachapelle in his photo work plus many other photographers, but for sure I will be using it in some client work and in an editorial shoot at Dungeness in the Spring.
Once the guys were relaxed and told the story about why and where and what for about the tattoo they readily seemed to embrace the photography and surprisingly took all direction very well.
TECH SPEC for this shoot
Retouching and compositing have always been something we love to do at James Nader. I have done most of it and will keep on with the compositing work but finally, I have to hold up my hat and hand over skin and beauty retouching to some new recruits.
I have retouched skin for many years now but realised at some point in time you have to delegate and move on, After my trip to Europe and shooting for Lambertz the final images had taken its toll on the eyesight and realised that I am better at shooting and wanted to shoot more so.
Over the coming weeks, I will be adding in some real value for people who either watch my youtube or view the blog.
I will be giving away ideas and techniques which allow for a good retouch in a non-destructive way.
What are the best ways to retouch?
How to find the best imager to retouch?
Workflow for retouching?
I have just been supplied with a Ring Flash and some new LED lights to play around with, this shoot was created using those lights. Having never shot with Ring Flash before I was more than happy with the stark Paparazzi washed outlook with the added benefit of a slight shadow to the wall.
I personally love to shoot with film lighting and would choose it over flash if the exposures can be controlled well without fast action, However recently I added a range of different sized LED lights which I now shoot with. I can use gels and grids to control these and mix this with a Tronix battery to power 2 lights then you have a nice little set of very portable but powerful lights. Back these up with a few smaller handheld devices and you can create some super looks. The shot below was lit entirely with a small handheld LED with 160 small bulbs and mixed with a slightly timed exposure and higher iso this effect is easily achievable. the good thing is which LED as with film lighting you can actually see what you are getting through the lens on the fly and helps shoot quickly.
After much deliberation the new site was live and full of content but 2019 sees a complete update to this post so see the updated post for 2019,
It has taken some time due to the very fact that the main website has been with us for 6 years and with some nifty SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) it has been at position number 1 on Google for 12 years and that is for the search term Fashion Photographer UK. This has brought in many worldwide enquiries and how I can shoot such a varied amount of work. In fact the last massive contract was to shoot for 27 days for Lambertz and this commission came in from the website. Major brands when looking to book outside of agents seem to come knocking on the door.
The major problem with updating the last website was mainly due to having such good SEO and many back links that are of value. we had many consultations with various web companies but finally we opted for this version, the old site is still there but hidden very low down and with script but essentially it is still visible to Google ranking. The new site is a share between KROP website hosting with themed templates and the blog which is self hosted really we had to make an ultimate decision to mix and match.
Photoshelter websites are the most well known and previously I would not have used them, however their new Beam allows of my layout in a waterfall style which I like. It delivers well to clients also via an internal FTP and client management area. It really powerful and is helping us in our marketing now. Its refreshing seeing your images full screen and with white space and knowing that you are not always responsible for server side.
Clients also have the option of creating their own light boxes and downloading low res images directly and I think now I have mastered how to deliver the video within it with some nifty HTML coding. This video area has a content but mainly form the locations shoots< however we are to shoot some filmic style shoots this spring starting at Dungeness. I don’t think I have any plans to change again in the near future and as you are aware we have now sent live the RZR MAG my blot for now but with plans for an iPad mag at some point. I have also released by Nader diary which is a photo diary with content I shoot around family and weekend exploits etc. It offers a completely different view of photography by me and more observational and less contrived.
Having never worked with Dita Von Teese before, it was a great chance to shoot some fab shots of her, not only that we would be shooting her on location in Ibiza. Not only was shooting in Ibiza unusual for us but as Melissa her brand manager and agent had hinted, this was totally out of her normal remit for photography. Dita normally shoots in a studio and understands how it all happens but on location there are too many distractions and opportunities for the shots not to work within her and damage her own brand.
To secure the safety of Dita Von Teese the owner of the horse had given it some type of potion to mak eit drowsy and easier to work with being close to the side of a cliff with about a 40M drop inot the sea. It was very difficult to get the alertness of the horse and I need the horses head to be held up with perky ears and a good expression in the face. This was important as owners of horses do know about a horses body language.
Dita on the day was very polite and professional and in a way it was my opportunity to work with a worldwide brand. Although we work with some top models (More recently Petra Nemcova) Dita is an Icon to the Burlesque and retro fashion shoots. Over the years I have followed her image and seen how she shoots. We have even worked with a Dita Look a Like on certain shoots for lighting companies but this time working on location with her was not just the opportunity but also the incredible challenge that was.
Windy days and location hair are not Dita’s thing so we had to very careful in how the poses mapped out, mix that in with a white stallion and you set yourself up for even more stress. I was able to give good direction to Dita to get the clients look for their marketing material and during the 2 hours we had to shoot we managed the 3 looks that were needed. I however was not finished and wanted a little more time to shoot a few of my own looks for the portfolio.
Dita was happy for me to shoot some shots, the problem being as we were only shooting 3 looks the outfits were not changeable and no other garments were around to change the look. I decided to just run with some images from the £80,000 crystal dress. I managed to get another 30 or so shots and then it was time for Dita to leave. I was happy to get the shots as they fit in really nicely. It not only shows the new images but to clients that you were able to engage with a subject at the top of her game and get on with her and produce the goods.
Always a good idea to shoot outside of the clients wishes either for yourself or as backup, on this occasion my shot of Dita above was from my own small shoot with her by the side of the rocks, It turned out that we were on shot down and the image above was used as one of the final images in the Calendar. All of the trees and landscapes I had to remove and add an ice scene from Hintertux!
Petra Nemcova is known as a SUPERMODEL much the same as Cindy Crawford and Evangelista were in their day. She has featured in campaigns for: Benetton Bulgari, Cartier, Clarins, Cortefiel, Dirk Bikkembergs, Fortunoff, Graff, La Perla, La Senza, Maidenform, Max Factor, Pantene Pro-V, Passport, Playtex Rampage, Schwarzkopf, Victorias Secret and Additionally, she has appeared on the covers of Madame Figaro, Elle, Shape, Cosmopolitan, Flare, Vegas, Glamour, FHM, and Sports Illustrated. She had also worked on the last Pirelli calendar and now we were to work with her in the UK at Stonehenge for 3 looks for Lambertz.
She was an absolutely lovely personality, such a lady and very business like. There was no edginess or bad attitude and she loved to pitch in on the concept and the art direction. The shot above was shot in real time with a red filter on the camera to create the sense of drama in the clouds. Petra completely nailed this shot and made it her own. This will feature for sure in my own portfolio
In the picture you can see her energy in the pose, a great figure an poise make this what it is and of course our input also. I worked with her to creat the look and in the behind the scenes video footage you can hera my direction and the fact that she trusted this and followed it completely adding in her own spin. Ultimately she listened to the direction about shape, form and sold her the vision so in her mind the knowledge was rather to complete the shot
My choice of colouring for this image was the black and white for creating the mood and although the final images used were in colour, this one has the edge with dark sultry shadows and lusty mid tones and great contrasts with the sky create a dynamic composition. The additions of the birds in post i think just lift the shot slightly by giving another point of interest for your eyes to focus on
Shooting some underwater photography I am a Scuba diver and love to dive when I get the opportunity, where better than in warm clear seas. The chance finally arose earlier in the year when we were commissioned by a travel company ( Whom I am friendly with the Boss) to shoot some great underwater shots that would be used in their marketing online and offline. The place we were being shipped to was the Maldives or to be more specific the South Ari Atol islands. What a Buzz. They were even happy for me to take along my family if I met some of the costs i.e flights but accommodation would be provided as would the food. I couldn’t miss this one so off we went.
Grand Centara 5 star Having not really shot anything in deep sea before or even with a camera housing it was going to be a challenge in getting the shot to work. No lights were needed as we were not shooting deep and was light enough near the water surface, shafts of light would be very strong at that time of year and would be reflected up from the bottom off the sand back to the subjects which would give a great look providing the seas were calm.
How it all mapped out on the day. When we arrived on location I met the models and although we were not to see their faces they had to be confident at swimming and comfortable at being underwater to a depth of 10ft max. The camera used was the Nikon D3X and the housing used was the Aquatica fitted with barrel to house the 50mm lens. I had to play around with it first to get a feel for it but once I was happy at my first few dives with it all was cool. Firstly before diving I had to take the guys out to about 10ft just on the edge of the reef to practise getting them together as a group of 3. They were to use only a mask and snorkel to make it look convincing a family out snorkelling. The final effect needed to convey the natural beauty and diversity of the reef in an open and convincing way.
The biggest problem for me would be being able to direct the models and group them together naturally as well as asking them to hold their breath to make it look like they had submerged for a closer look at the beautiful reef and fish. It was also suggested it might be fun if we had a couple of sharks in the shot. The finished image should be full of action and a little tongue in cheekiness with the sharks. These of course had to be shot separately then added to a composite set of images shot at the location to create an underwater environment of real interest. Where were we going to get sharks from? well it was lined up for me and even though we couldn’t shoot a white shark there were plenty of white or black tipped reef sharks??????? whaaat i thought swimming with fish was fine but not with sharks. The final shots were completed in about 60 minutes and the main shot of the underwater swimmers complete, now for the sharks?
How it all mapped out shooting with SHARKS. So the challenge was set, we would swim about 4oo yards around the island to where the 5 star meals were being served in a lovely restaurant on stilts but out into the sea. The water under the building was only 6 ft deep but apparetnly 5 reef sharks lived under there during the day but also so did the obligatory Stingrays, Puffer fish and the odd Eel with long teeth. I was a little apprehensive at the thought of swimming with fish that had long teeth hay ho. I finally decided to shoot the background of the reef sharks on a new Go Pro Hero 3 in underwater housing and attached to a telescopic pole mainly as it would give me more distance between me and the sharks
Once at the location were were taken right into the lions mouth there they were swimming around at about 30 ft away and circling as you see on the TV. I was pretty nervous but there were large stilts about 2ft circumference which held up the building but would give some sort of cover or feeling of cover at least. Any way it was left to me to start shooting when I felt comfortable. Go Pro switched on and pole extended i started to pouch it underneath the first sharks nose or as close as I felt I wanted to go. I suppose we could have sourced the images online bur as we were there it was a little challenge that needed to be completed fro me really, plus the thrill to see real sharks up close and personal.
Below is some video of me trying to capture the sharks. I have included other footage of interest whilst diving with fish and sharks and at the end of this piece i have added a video where i did manage to go diving to the edge of the reef where they is a Japanese freighter ship which is a wreck at approx 65ft. You can see me diving on it and having a scout around.
THIS VIDEO SHOWS SOME 5ft REEF SHARKS WHICH WERE USED IN THE COMPOSITE BUT ALSO, THE PRE DIVE WITH THE 3 MODELS , TO MAKE IT A LITTLE MORE INTERESTING TO WATCH I HAVE ADDED THE FAMOUS JAWS MUSIC TO CREATE A LITTLE DRAMA.
TSUNAMI WARNING The whole shoot went great and all of the raw files were in the bag so to speak, although it was strange not working with #teamnader on a shoot and Phil who heads this up( Budget not good enough ) however to was a great chance and the only chance so far to mix a shoot with family. This was the calm before the storm as on the last day the news we didn’t need to hear after such a great shoot it had happened and scared us into submission a warning of a TSUNAMI of up to 1 metre high was heading our way from near Indonesia.
This gallery below features some artwork which tells as story in a scrap book style
OK So I am out on the edge of the reef in canoe on the last but one day and a guy is pedalling like hell out to me. I thought this is strange, maybe I had gone to close to the planes platform in the sea where they tie up to drop of the travellers. Finally the guy gets by the side of me and shouts “Get out of the water TSUNAMI WARNING” I replied in an international way and verbalised this to him in the usual British way. He repeated again “GET OUT OF THE WATER NOW !!!!!! TSUNAMI WARNING” by this time a really believed him, he asked me to paddle back asap and get back to the room and put on my Tsunami life vest and also to do this for the family and wait for further instructions. I zoomed back to the family and dragged them back to the room with them both in tears and worried terribly. We put on our life vests and had to wait.
We waited a while but someone had posted earlier a letter under the door which we had missed in the panic, the content of which I will write below. We were told that the island was expecting a 1 metre wave to hit the island in the next 1.5 hours and to make ready as best we could, This would be to climb up onto the bungalow roofs via a fence which would get us 30 ft off the ground and hopefully away from the swell. The buildings were 2 story bungalows and partly enforced in concrete so we would have stood a better chance that way. Any way a long story short and the day didn’t quite map out to a 1 maters wave but the beaches did change shape and the water had dropped initially by about 2 feet and then risen +3ft so 1 ft higher in all. This was the most scary event so far but if you take the time to view the images in the slideshow you get an idea of my time there in 1o days.
As a Photographer interesting locations are key
I first became aware of the Laurent Perrier Bar up in the Midlands via one of my good friends Katy Bird a Make Up artist whom I have worked with many times. She lives up near to Birmingham and had seen an article about the venue which was part of the Hotel Indigo. Part of the location was devoted to the Marco Pierre White restuarant and would also be accessible if we indeed wanted to shoot there. Situated on the 23rd to 25th floors, Hotel Indigo Birmingham offer great views across the city skyline. This stunning hotel boasts 52 beautiful boutique bedrooms, oozing effortless style and luxury but more that that mostly features ceiling to floor glass. Certainly great to shoot.
The Location Recce.
I grew up in Wolverhampton and so I thought I would do a recce and see them at the same time, so this would make sense travelling up to view the venue. So with a date set in mind we headed up and did the recce. The result was confirming that this would indeed be the venue that we could shoot in but not as a submission but for a bag brand which had been in contact. I mentioned the location on our return and long story short we booked Harry from Models One and set about shooting in the location.
How it all mapped out on the day.
When we arrived at our location the weather was just perfect. It was sunny and bright which was great but better still there were light clouds which would allow for amore diffused lighting plan, so in effect a choice. I was hoping on the day to use some LED lights and these would be used by me for the first time for lighting a complete shoot, although I had used them in testing and experimental work, more unusually for us was to use a small Nikon Speedlight to create direct punchy lighting.
The biggest problem were faced really was the continuing changing light as it went behind the clouds. Apart from the morning shots in front of the glass which were mostly daylight and available light we moved towards the more creative punchy light of the speed light and the LED’s. Harry the model was quite new into being a model but he nailed the shots helping us create movement and an editorial look for the client.
James Nader talks about SPEEDLIGHT & LED creative when mixed with AMBIENT light
The Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill offers an ultra modern 25th floor dining experience. Complete with stylish bar, rooftop terrace (where we did photograph), stunning 360 degree city views ( Behind the glass shots) and a glass fronted alfresco balcony, the restaurant embodies what Marco himself calls “affordable luxury”.
The restaurant is all about the experience; the buzz, the atmosphere and enjoying the company of friends and family in a gorgeous, comfortable surroundings. It delivered to us a fabulous lunch with a lovely cappuccino that went down a treat.
In my opinion one of the best shots or clients favourite is Harry leaning backwards against the glass, the sun has gone and all of the big city lights are visible. The great thing about using the LED light to capture the image, it allows a lot of ambient light to work in the final image. The LED allows me to balance ambient and directional light in the scene. The shot really could be anywhere but the best thing is i spent a while working with Harry giving directions to create a dynamic and strong look. At this time I had in mind whilst giving direction, images of super heroes and poses they create in cartoons and Batman films normally against villains when they avoid projectiles. I suppose The Matrix is a good example.
The full story from Hotel Indigo can be seen in the main website www.jamesnader.com The editorial was entitles Skyfall in line with the film which was current
TECH SPEC for this shoot
HTLGN was a challenge. Not just because of having to shoot so much bodywork but the whole format was stressful.
HTLGN was the show that enabled me to start working very quickly and this is something I tend to do these days, the challenge really from the very start was how to light quickly, how to light people who were very conscious of their body and most of all how to make the image very striking for TV and show off my lighting skills.
The show was pre filmed and the production team was very structured, they needed the TV photographer to speak on screen and give directions in away that looked good and explain what he was doing to make them feel comfortable. If you then add into the mix timings and your actual shoot time of possibly 10-15 minutes and the fact that it was Gok’s baby and what he said goes then your ok and good to go.
I worked for the production team at Maverick TV who booked me direct to turn up at the actual shoot. These were at various locations in the UK and could be any weather. The funniest one was all the guys riding their bikes in -1 degrees with nothing on and to spare the guys I have not posted this image.
For me the whole process was a good one as it helped hone my skills for fast set up and fast lighting on a strict time budget. I had to learn how to light with batteries and with max of 3 ProPhoto lights. Another lighting skill i developed by shooting this work was under exposing the backgrounds to create the more dramatic effect. Channel 4 and in particular Gok Wan loved this effect. It made a simple group of people look dynamic for the TV. One thing we were not allowed to do was to retouch the images at all. They had to be pure in form and shape otherwise there would have been an issue about body shapes and the whole retouching thing that is current
The HTLGN show brought attention from another TV show and that was The Gadget Show where I was pitched against Jon Bentley and his tech. This was a 15 minute feature and went out a few years ago more here.
[one_half]I was looking forward to the shoot with Richard Branson, I was commissioned by Mishief PR London to work with him and his daughter Holly for the brand VIRGIN MONEY. The task was to shoot him on the roof top gardens as he was going to be there for lunch with Holly. He was prepared to give an hour to a photo shoot go them both and so with this in mind we headed over to Kensington High Street.
On the morning I was told that he was running late and could only dedicate a short 30 minutes, Hmm i thought this is getting tight. The art buyer from Mischief plus all of the representatives of Virgin Money plus Richard Bransons PR were all over the scene. TeamNader had to import all of the equipment and transfer it all to the top into the actual roof garden. Here they had designated a marquee already in situ and this was to be the studio for the pictures.
After an hour of setting up and testing lights etc, we felt ready to rock and roll however the heads up now from the team was Richard was running even later, in fact i was told that when he arrives that I would have 10 minutes with him! I thought what the.How on eath could i shoo this in such a short space of time?[/one_half]
[one_half_last]After a short time interlude the entourage arrived and I was introduced to RB and ti his daughter Holly who was great. All of a sudden we were on Richard B was ready and had been fitted out in his red Trackky and was stood in front of me. Normally i ike to set up a rapport with the subject but he was a seasoned veteran of being in front of the camera and he asked the team what he needed to do. I fired off the shots in quick succession and after a few bursts re directed hime and that was it. Boom all over in 10 minutes.
Great to know that I am not the only photographer who fell could of time with RB, I was reading recently that it was the same for Chris Crissman who got 15 minutes as he was on location. Holly lined up in front of me and the PR team from Mischief wanted some jumping shots, looking happy and looking beautiful so they could use them for TV adverts and Bill boards. I managed to shoot 15 minutes with her as agreed and the shots were a success.
All shots were edited at the location before leaving and these were completed on the macbook and passed over to MPR team before we left [/one_half_last]