Photoshoot - Longcroft Luxury Cat Hotel

Four poster luxurious beds, locally sourced and freshly prepared ingredients served daily on bone china plates have the critics raving about this luxurious hotel, and it's all for cats. The Longcroft Luxury Cat Hotel located in Welwyn Garden City is one of a kind cattery, bringing the height of luxury to your cat's stay and we were delighted when Abi and Matt Purser asked if we could shoot some promotional photographs of their highly sought-after feline hotel.

Each chalet is individually heated and takes on a different theme with the garden/run area being decorated accordingly. In our short time at the hotel, owners Matt and Abi ran us through a 'day in the life' of their cattery and it's easy to see why the residents are extremely happy being pampered and having their every need attended to regularly.

With such happy residents at Longcroft, it gave us a great opportunity to take some purrfect portraits and here's a humorous one below that's kept me chuckling for days:

If your interested to find out more, please feel free to visit their website and explore the various suites or mouth-watering A La Cat™ Menu! Genius.

Photoshoot - Matthew Masters, PGA Golfer

Weather always plays a crucial part in the planning of any location shoot. This week has been a game of chance, checking weather reports online and waking up at the crack of dawn to see what loomed overhead. Earlier on in the week had been poor weather conditions, but at 6am this morning and a brief look out the window with a call to my client means I find myself heading to Porters Park Golf Course in Radlett, Hertfordshire. Despite being open 12 months of the year, this course is maintained to the highest of standards and it's easy to see why that at 7am there were already golfers queing to get out on course.  

Matthew Masters is a PGA Teaching Professional. Given that Porters Park is such an idyllic setting, it was a fantastic opportunity to capture some shots of the pro in action. The above image was shot as part of a series, with 2 shots following to show his technique.

Last August I posted a review of the PocketWizard Flex system and this shoot is an example of where they really came into their own. Given that a pro golfer can swing a club at some serious speed, sync speeds of 1/200th won't cut it for the shots I had in mind. In comes the use of their Hypersync function, allowing faster shutter speeds (without the use of high speed sync) resulting in quicker recharge times and a longer battery life. The ability to use faster shutter speeds in an environment like this can provide some striking results such as where Matthew tried to shower me with sand (ISO 160, F3.5, 1/1600th @ 85mm):

Testimony to a great golfer, as despite me asking if it was possible to kick up more sand for the purpose of a dramatic shot, Matthew still managed to pot the ball in one shot! Matthew offers a personal tuition service and is currently undergoing a website revamp, but rather than use stock shots that so many businesses seem to use these days, Matthew wanted a more personal approach with images of himself at his home course:

The 18-hole, 6,362-yard golf course had us spoilt for choices in where to shoot, but with our noble steed for the day we set about making the most of various locations. The weather was ever changing which made for interesting conditions, but we managed to wrap up the 3 hour shoot just before the heavens decided to open.   

Everything worked out as planned in the end, and it was an absolute pleasure to shoot Matthew for his new website. If you are interested in training with Matthew, please feel free to visit his website or facebook page and get in touch.

Photoshoot - Storm In A Tea Cup Jewellery

Storm In A Tea Cup started out as a hobby for Jennifer, making handmade jewellery in the comfort of her own home. The delicate and intricate jewellery has now taken the market by storm (no pun intended ;)) and as such has been picked up by the reputable "Culture Label" range. Although having plenty of photographs of the jewellery itself, they needed photographs of the items modelled. Upstepped a brave friend of Jen's and we had ourself a shoot on our hands.

If your interested in seeing some of Jennifer's designs please feel free to check out her website Storm In A Tea Cup, or see her items on sale over at Culture Label.

Photoshoot - Tai Chi Swayze

Tai Chi Swayze arrived in 2010 with scuffed guitars, banging tunes and care worn shoes to dance with - their idea was to have some seriously upbeat fun. With a statement such as making music like a Jackson Pollack canvas (but louder) it certainly had me intrigued. Upon my arrival at their studio in St.Margarets, they played a quick set for us. Blown away doesn't quite describe it (literally because I was sat next to an amp and toweringly high speaker!). Great bunch of guys that produce some seriously outstanding music! I highly recommend you check out their MySpace and take a listen for yourself, or better still get yourself to one of their upcoming gigs. Hopefully i'll get a chance to photograph them in action soon!

A rag-tag mix of art school scenesters, steel city rockers and inseparable ex-lovers from around the globe makes this below picture a favourite of mine. I can just see this on an album cover or magazine cover! The derelict camper van nearby to their studios made a great abstract portfolio shot:

A direct quote from the band, "we rummage through a crinkled mixed bag of quirky Pop, moody Shoegaze and fizzed up New Wave. Live the five Swayze youth play with all the fizz and fun of a retro video game. Add some 90’s Synth, Modern art, New Wave guitars, B-Grade Horror and the occasional vodka fuelled mood swing and you're away." Now if that doesn't want to make you check them out, i'm not sure what will....Well maybe one more photograph to persuade you...

Shooting a band is a first for me, and it's a great learning curve, lighting 5 people simultaneously is a great skill to be able to achieve. I really enjoyed this shoot, hopefully it won't be my last of this kind. Finally, I take my hat off to Tai Chi Swayze for letting me photograph them...keep it up guys! For a gallery of my favourites from the shoot, please feel free to click here.

Photoshoot - Andrew Johnson

From one creative medium to the next, Andrew Johnson is an extremely talented and young animator. One of his short films has been selected to be aired outside on a large screen in Middlesbrough as part of the BBC's displaying young talent, and as such Andrew approached me in the need of a headshot. With very little time to shoot and process the final shot (4 hours!) we had our work cut out. Inside a nearby office block, we produced your standard headshot. Although, not wanting to miss an opportunity we worked on some different ideas using the surroundings (plus, it was an opportunity to use my orbis and with plenty of white wall space, the honlphoto gels!)

The Orbis really excelled off camera, acting as a fill-light source on a low power for most of my shots. For a gallery containing some of Andrew's shoot, feel free to click here. His brilliant short film entitled 'The Stalking' can be seen here via his website and I highly recommend you take a look.

Photoshoot - Emily Pilton

Dorset on a very wet, dreary and dull day...That is until Emily turned up and rocked her shoot come rain or shine. Ducking in and out of the car at various locations to try and minimise how wet my equipment and Emily might get, she still protested she's never been infront of the camera. A true natural with a great smile, creates what is probably my favourite photograph to date:

With the white balance set at 3400 kelvin, a 580EXII speedlite with full CTO gel rigged inside the umbrella via a Manfrotto Superclamp it produces this stunningly vibrant picture. The colour balance gives lovely cold tones, whilst the gel makes Emily look natural and warm.

A gallery of Emily's shoot can be found here. Huge thanks to Emily for being so willing and motivated during this shoot despite the adverse weather conditions. :)

Photoshoot - Holly Masters

Shhh... It's the gorgeous Holly Masters! Holly recently uploaded a picture to her facebook account, showing her latest 'ink'. This gave me an idea for a striking headshot, and as such a matter of days later we set about shooting it. (Click image to see the lighting diagram) :

Seeing as we had an hour to kill, it would of been crazy not to carry out a quick shoot in and around her flat. For the full gallery, click here and you can expect to see more from her soon!