London Kestrel
Shooting, writing, hustling.
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Documenting the experience.

Documenting the photography experience

Hunting angels

Photography is an expensive sport. Along with the alpinism / climbing that I do - I have a knack of choosing hobbies that firmly keep by bank account drowning in a sea of red quicksand. Might pay off when I look back at my life when I’m 60, but my pension fund won’t be reflecting as happily. It might just jump of a bridge and say au revoir you financial idiot!

So why am I writing about perilous nature of my bank account with photos of such a beautiful girl above.

The truth is, everything comes down to the dollar - everything you own and everything you do. 

Especially in photography. And annoyingly the more I seem to spend on a shoot the better the results seem to get. Better equipment leads to quicker and sharper results. And better training which usually comes at a premium, definitely leads to better results as well. Good training expands your mind, and gives you an introduction to new tools and techniques to define and execute your vision and let your inner soul manifest itself, with strobes, models as well as, neon lights and smoke grenades. Hehe. Love smoke grenades! And dropping dollars on a professional model pays off in results fast! More on that later…

In this day and age where photography is prevalent everywhere and you need to stand out - you have to be consistently, learning, failing and perfecting. This is tough for an urban grandad such as myself but hey  - I'm hustling day in and day out!

I’m not having a rant just - writing about my experiences so far about my beginners journey into studio photography (ok it’s a little rant!). I’ve been to some terrible studio photography courses where I felt I was learning zilch, but with good tuition everything changes  - it transforms you!

So what did I learn on this course:

1) Learning to think on my feet. We didn't use a light meter to setup the light (which is the opposite of my methodical grandad approach to setting up a shot). We set up our cameras for F7 - F9 depending on the brand / model / lens. This is was a proper run and gun setup to me - but hey - the results spoke for themselves!

2) Prepare to work for your goal. You'll never all the strobes you want or the gear you need. Even shoot is designed to challenge you. So you'll have to think creatively and get your hands dirty to get your shot. A cool tip was feathering the light (using the edge of the light source to lower the amount of light on your subject), as well as bouncing strobes of walls to create an even diffused light on the model, if you're working in a small space.

3)  Getting a professional model pays of dividends - I can't stress this enough! After I set the exposure settings on my camera, the next five shots were all keepers - and I was like WOW! I didn't have to say anything to the model, she just did her thing and every shot was a keeper. It was like working with a super proactive colleague. I was pretty astounded. I usually shoot friends which is great fun. However, 90% of the time we're looking up poses on our phones and then working together to get the pose. But imagine if that time was spent just shooting, switching outfits and themes - get the drift? You'll have many more shots to show-off and get the wow factor.

So anyways, as I have access to the professional model by the name of Angel - I thought I would pick their brains and see what tips she can share for those who want to enter the modelling industry.

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Angel's top tips

It's a real honour to be featured, so thank you for this. So far I have loved my journey and experience modelling, pretending to be an abundance of different roles and portraying different looks for so many creative and wonderful shoots. My top three tips in staying on top of my game are:

1) Keeping fit - regular exercise such as classes, yoga, pilates, weight training and rock climbing - this helps to keep a toned body, and keep you feeling positive and balanced in life and modelling

2) Keeping your wardrobe fresh and paying attention to styling, hair, makeup and yourself in different ways continuously. For example, seeing which style works for you and creating unique hair for each shoot, or giving each photographer a beautiful new make-up look. Don't be afraid to experiment at home with different things and take into account styling from professional make-up artists that work for you.

3) Be positive. See the best in the people and ideas that you work with. Everyone wants to be around a happy person, and and this will lead to a great shoot!

The rest of the collections we played with on the course included:

Swimwear (and coloured gels)

Lingere (reflective light)

Ethereal (low-key)

Headdress (edging light from a diffusion box)

Silver dress (a touch of coloured gels)

Well, hope you enjoyed the read folks! If you have any questions please drop me an email, and if you would like to talk to Angel or book her - check her deets below:

Instagram: @angel_white_model