Advanced Photographer Magazine Cover Shoot

adv1Around 18 months ago I was lucky enough to get short-listed for the Advanced Photographer magazine cover shoot competition.  A call for entries went out asking for readers to send in their best portrait image.  I had recently been to a photography workshop being led by the fab photographer Natalie Dybisz aka Miss Aniela.  The shoot took all day and involved working with five different models who were made-up by professional make-up artists and dressed by fashion designers.  I learnt loads from the shoot and had an amazing day.  I was really nervous to start with but all the pros were so friendly I calmed down and made the most of the day.  By the end of the shoot i had taken over 500 images and from them I chose the one shown above as my favourite.  I used this picture for my entry to the cover competition.

I was genuinely surprised to get the email inviting me to Park Cameras, along with 11 other photographers, to shoot two models using the then new Olympus Pen EP-3 camera.  At the end of the day all of the photographs would be looked through by the magazine editor Will Cheung FRPS and the best chosen for use by the mag!  I was a lot more comfortable this time round and after getting to grips with the new camera had fun shooting the two models.  The models and staff were very supportive and helped a lot with ideas for different poses and angles.  I got a little over confident and took no where near as many shots as I should have.  The camera was amazing, I had never used a camera with a touch screen before.  I was impressed by the option to pick a point on the screen and have the camera focus there and then shoot only when it was pin sharp.  Below are some of the images from this shoot, the first two were from the morning shoot and the last two were taken later:

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Whilst I like these images it was only after talking to the magazine publisher (who was helping with the lighting!) that I learnt they were looking for a solid close up shot of a model.  Using this sort of image is a common photography magazine tactic, most readers are men and would be drawn to a pretty set of eyes looking out at them from the magazine stand.  I changed my approach and for the second series of images got a lot closer to the model.  The camera worked really well and all I had to do was point at the model’s eye on the LCD screen and I could guarantee it would be perfectly in focus each time.  I got a lot of very similar shots from the second model but these two were my favourite…

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Once the day was over we were allowed to print one image from each shoot into a dummy front cover template as a souvenir of the day.  It was then a case of waiting for several weeks until the magazine came out and the final cover image was chosen.  The cover turned out to be this one…

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Unfortunately not one of my images but there was some good news.  On looking inside the magazine they had printed my picture quite big and given me a few column inches 🙂

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