The “Vault” interpretative dance music video ft Raphaella with love


Interpretive Dance Music Video

We have been getting all creative here at Vivid. As part of our recent “Fun with Flour” shoot we decided we wanted to get Raphaella in for some additional images. With Raphaella being a trained dancer and having worked with her previously, we knew she would be perfect for the shoot. What turned up was an interpretive dance music video, a first for Vivid.

Shooting at our studio

As we had some additional time, our Graham wanted to take some extra shots around the studio. Our studio is quite a unique place and has some historic listed rooms and interesting features like a spiral staircase going up to the top office.  With the building being a bank in its past life, its main feature is the bank safe or in this instance the titled vault. We grabbed one of cameras and decided to do some filming.

Model posing in Wood panelled Room
Posing in the Wood Panelled room

Preparation is key

Lets just say the preparation for the shoot was limited and best described as organic. This was not the usual high standards of preparation that Vivid Photo Visual apply to our commercial clients. We will admit that the ‘story’ came out… ahem… in the edit.

The Ballerina - Raphaella
The Ballerina – Raphaella

The edit

However we did have some ideas beforehand and were working towards a darker and seductive edge to the video. This was undermined by our Graham playing ‘Karma Chameleon’ by Culture Club to set the mood for the video. Not sure Raphaella knew what to do. The music was quickly changed to fit the mood a bit better and Raphaella did what she does so well. The basic premise of the film was to film Raphaella over the differing locations of the Studio but to also link it to the Vault.

Model holding safe door key

In the edit we liked the contrast between the Vault and the interpretive dancing sections and to emphasise this we used the simple black and white effect to provide this contrast. The very simple story is a woman trapped in the Vault who yearns and daydreams that she is free but ultimately has to return to the reality of the Vault. Yes… some pretty deep stuff in comparison to the more vibrant and fun videos that Vivid normally produce.

Raphaella creating beautiful body lines.
Raphaella creating beautiful body lines.

Final thoughts on our Interpretive dance music Video

As always it was a joy to work with Raphaella and I am sure we will be working with her again soon. We would love to hear what you think of the video and if you like the video or blog, please feel free to share.

If you would like to find out more about our more normal commercial video production, please visit our video production page. Alternatively call Vivid on 0161 477 2404 and speak to a member of the Vivid team.


Big eyes, Catwoman and a touch of Madonna – Studio Photography

One of the good things with Social Media is it enables you to keep in touch with people that you may find difficult through more traditional means. So when I came to my next studio photography session, I took to FaceBook and easily found a perfect subject.

A high contrast B&W image of Lex
A high contrast B&W image of Leigh

I had a great friend, Rachel, who sadly passed away. Rach was herself a very creative photographer and through her I met some of her friends, some of whom I’m still in contact with. One of these is Leigh who I knew Rach had photographed and I thought it would be great if we could arrange a shoot together, thankfully she agreed that it was a great idea.

I’ve always thought Leigh has a look of a young Madonna, from back in the late 80’s when she was photographed by the legendary Herb Ritts. So shooting something in Black & White and along those lines was the way I approached the shoot, high contrast and lots of eye contact.

Back to the 80's
Back to the 80’s

I wanted to keep the lighting as simple as possible so all of the shots we did used a single light on Leigh. The image above had additional lighting just to light the high-key background.  I used a variety of modifiers on the lights to control the look and feel of the light.

Below is one of my favourite images from the shoot as I love the eye contact and expression on Leigh’s face,  it makes you want to gaze back into her eyes.

Gaze into my eyes.
Gaze into my eyes.

As well as the end result I find it’s great to photograph friends as it’s always the perfect way to have a laugh and a good catch-up. I hadn’t seen Leigh for a couple of years so it was fab chatting about life in general.

Leigh does have really good skin and she’s also great at applying her make-up so I didn’t have to do much in post production, just a bit of tidying up using the frequency separation method.

Soft skin and hard shadows.
Soft skin and hard shadows.

As you may know the Vivid Photo Visual studio has a couple of Grade II listed areas to the building. One of these is the wood panelled board room or as we call it the ‘Scooby-Doo’ room, as it looks as though there maybe a secret doorway hiding within it. By using a small stripbox fitted to one light which I feathered away from Leigh I was able to  create some great shadows on the panels.

Lex in the boardroom.
Leigh in the boardroom.

As previously mentioned Leigh has the most fabulous eyes and for the last 2 shots I really wanted to make them a feature of the image. For the first image I used a Canon 100mm Macro lens to get in close and focus on the eye. This is probably my favourite image from the shoot.

Leigh gave me the following Albert Einstein quote that I think fits the photo perfectly, “Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own heart”.

Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own heart. - Einstein
Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own heart. – Einstein

Lastly is a shot that to be honest I didn’t think would work. I initially tried it with a beauty dish but the light wasn’t hard enough to produce the shadow that was required.  I then shot it with a Canon speedlight fitted with a honeycomb grid to give a very narrow beam of light, first shot and it made me smile, I knew it would work with a bit of careful placement of the hands.

I call it ‘Catwoman’


I hope you like some of these images, I’m really happy with how they came out. I’d like to thank Leigh for modelling and we’re already planning her next trip to Stockport, featuring some amazing make-up…watch this space.

If you would like to find out more about what we do, please click on this link to Vivid’s homepage.


A bit of blue for the Dads – A Studio Photography session

Well I thought I’d show a few photographs of a great model. We did a studio photography session recently with a model called Steph. Steph is a local girl with a great look, and as not to disappoint all the Dads expecting a bit of blue, here you go;

A bit of blue for the Dad’s

Rock Chick

Steph and I discussed a few ideas prior to the shoot, we were keen to capture 2 completely different looks. She has an interest in the ‘Pin-Up’ style of photography, with a bit of a fun but cheeky undertone, as well as her more natural, I’ll call it “Rock Chick” look.

Big Eyes and Blue Hair

Steph was an easy model to work with, good fun and had great interaction with the camera. Slightly odd taste in music!! But hey not everyone has great musical hero’s like me, he presses play on his Van Halen CD.

Behind The Mask

Black Mask

So after capturing some images of Steph’s more usual look, well not that she wears a black mask on a day to day basis.. that’s more like Tom’s scene! We moved onto some more ‘Pin-Up’ inspired photographs.

A little burlesque

I suppose the above shot is more burlesque than Pin-Up but still incorporating a shocking pink background…I knew I’d use it one day! I love the colours that are in Steph’s hair, blue’s, purple’s and green. When her hair is down you can’t see these other colours.

Well last of all for all those wanting a bit of cheek… here you go;

I think this was the first time we’d hung the washing out inside the studio! We were really happy with our studio photography session with Steph and can recommend her to any photographer. If you would like to find out more about our commercial photography session, please click to visit the commercial photography page.