“Big eyes, catwoman and a touch of madonna!”

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.

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