Location Photoshoots for Models Portsmouth Hampshire

Every so often I have the opportunity to meet up with fellow photographers, models, and stylists. In fact putting together a styled or themed shoot is common practice amongst professional photographers, particularly when we want to explore new locations or ideas. And of course build relationships with each other and professionals such as stylists and clothing designers. Shoots like this are also a great way for new and aspiring models to gain material for their portfolios. As has been the case in the last couple of years this shoot was managed and co-ordinated by my friend and top baby photographer Tracy Willis, who is based in Dorset.

Tracy has a fantastic array of contacts and I’m always delighted when I get the chance to meet up with her. One key ingredient on gatherings like this is of course fun – laughter is a huge part of the day and easy-going participants with a good sense of humour will make all the difference. We all need to push the boundaries at times so models with a daring streak will always be popular with photographers. Given that some of the locations we work in are damp and muddy, and perhaps a little remote, an easy-going personality becomes a prerequisite!

On this particular shoot we found ourselves in a beautiful area of the New Forest, close to the Hampshire/Dorset border. We were joined by models Jordan Louise Lench and Samantha Shapley (who is also a trained dancer). Make up and hair was provided by Lucie Riding of B’Beautiful Therapies. The gorgeous gowns were loaned to us by designer Chantelle Pike.

We always start by having a good look around our location, identifying areas which have the background and light we need. It was drizzling a little on the day of the shoot but that’s normal here in the UK. It means we’ll be working mostly with natural light and reflectors rather than studio lighting. Safety is obviously a big concern and we would never ask our models to do anything they weren’t completely happy doing.

I normally start with head-shots or half shots then we can move on to images which highlight the model’s form as well as showing off any clothing which is being featured in the session. It’s also really important that the models you work with are right for your style of photography and of course for the style of the shoot itself. I was delighted when I set eyes on Jordan and Sam, they both have a wonderful natural beauty which shines through.

The shoot itself broadly falls into the genre of both location portraiture and fashion. I work almost entirely on location because I enjoy the variety and challenges which will form part of every outing. Location photography generally requires much more planning and input than studio work, where a typical session might be an hour or so. On location we’re likely to spend anything from a morning or afternoon to a full day with our clients, because we have the scope to shoot a variety of concepts. As such, location photography is usually a little more costly than studio work because your photographer is applying far more time and effort to your project and of course will be gathering more images than one would expect in a studio.

There will probably be additional retouching as well because we may need to remove stray twigs, cars and people from the background, if not entire roads as was the case in some of the images below. But I think the effort of working on location is well worth it because no two images will ever be alike. Your client will leave with something genuinely unique.

I’m often asked about my equipment (despite the fact the camera you use is generally irrelevant to the finished product, bar having the right optics and lighting). As is usually the case I travel light and in my hands all day was the Olympus OMD EM-5 and Leica 25 f1.4 Summilux, and Pana 35-100 f2.8.