Sunday, 24 July 2016

YES Really - Short Fashion & Beauty Videos Work!

A while back when meeting with a client about their next photoshoot. I was asked what I thought about having someone along to do video too. I can't deny I was not very enthusiastic. In my experience having a videographer on set changes the flow of the shoot, and we would be working very hard to shoot a whole campaign with available light; in not a lot of time. So I was concerned about the logistics of additional set-ups and also breaks in the flow of the shoot depending on the videographer's approach. I did however hatch an alternative plan. I would shoot some short video snippets myself and cut it together afterwards as part of the overall package. Risky? Not really as we were only after quite simple and short video. I decided to use my old G10 point and shoot which I knew did a fine job on the focus and exposure and had a zoom lens so plenty of options.
 This approach delivered some positive, and I think unique benefits.
  • Firstly I never needed to break the flow of the photoshoot as I was able to video my own point of view (POV).
  • Secondly I didn't need to worry about the models not knowing where to look, which camera was the important one. It was mine, it was always my camera. And again, this allowed for a seamless flow of creative energy between the photography and the talent.
  • Third, we had fantastic efficiency time wise, and were able to produce everything we were aiming for in the time frame available to us.
  • One director one POV allowed for seamless integration with the the stills photographs in an overall sense, all material working together visually. And from a production sense where I was able to add-in slide stills sequences into the motion video for additional dramatic effect.

Was the client happy with the product I delivered? Yes they were. However what has surprised me most, when going back over the clients Instagram (IG) account recently is how effective the short videos have been. They were delivering three to six times the engagement of the various still images used on their account. This really was a surprise as from my ongoing research into video viability I have noted that many 'major' videos tend to languish on a label or stores own youTube channel gaining very little direct engagement - this includes high budget productions - as well as simple ones like ours.

Reactions to a short beauty and fashion film on Instagram - Filmed by Kent Johnson.

So in a nutshell, I think short social media videos can work; they can blend very well with you main campaign and can deliver greater engagement with your social media audience on core Instagram and Facebook social media accounts. And I have upgraded to Full HD equipment which is still very portable and I am looking forward to future fashion and beauty projects that combine simple motion videos with shooting the stills. And on another note, it was great to see this client recently change her personal Facebook avatar over to one of my beauty shots from out very first shoot together nearly 2 years ago - great shots just keep on giving. Which is exactly what I design them to do!

Beauty shot used as avatar on Facebook. Photographed by Kent Johnson.

Book your beauty or fashion photo shoot today!

Kent Johnson, Sydney, Australia.
0433 796 863

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Hush Hush, Lingerie and Swimwear in the Studio.

Sometimes you just have to come back to a shoot and show a few more shots; that is certainly the case here. Yes a few years back yes; but I love studio as (a) location shoots and this portfolio shoot has remained a favourite of mine. These shot post processed as Black and White, which is also how I did the originals. And what is Monica doing wagging that finger? Hush hush, I will never tell...
Hush, hush.. Modelling portfolio shoot with Fashion Lingerie, professional studio photography.
Modelling portfolio shoot with fashion swimwear, professional studio photography.

Modelling portfolio shoot with Fashion Lingerie, studio as location, black and white pictures, professional studio photography.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Tween to Teen Fashion - Look-book & Branding Photography

They say to never work with children or animals; and yet, many of the most fun experiences in life and memorable pictures are with kids or pets, or even kids with pets! Well I have photographed fashion lingerie and luxury swimwear with poodles, blogger vivalaViv with Holly the very cute and fluffy Pomeranian, but I had never until this fashion assignment worked with kids. Well portraits yes but certainly not with youngsters as fashion models. In fact it was the first time on a photoshoot for all the girls except Charlie, (left just below and most outgoing) for whom I had made a casting portfolio for, photographing on location. So here we were, two teens and two tweens; two mums about 12 or so outfits and a four hour studio shoot. You can read more about the shoot from the designers perspective here on their blog post called Lights Camera Vision! (Thanks for the kind words).

The shoot went smoothly, the girls had a great time and from a technical/performance point of view, there was very little to do by way of post processing due to the careful set up for the white background, studio lighting arrangement. As a result, these pictures below are completely un-retouched, the RAW files have been put through a simple automated adjustment to bring up the background a wee tad more, and I find the RAW converted files are always a bit crisper too! And for these girls I think a half day on set was just right, the energy and focus stayed mostly on track and we were 'done' before anyone got bored. So that's my first 'kids' fashion shoot done and dusted, and now I am looking forward to my kids fashion assignment. Looking to photograph your Teen kids or toddlers fashion range? Call or email me, Sydney, 0433 796 863.

Four girls, studio white background, Tween to Teen Fashion - Look-book & Branding Photography.

Friendship and flowers, Tween to Teen Fashion - Look-book & Branding Photography

Teen Fashion in the studio with two models - Look-book & Branding Photography

Fun and pulling funny faces, AKA keeping it fresh! Tween to Teen Fashion - Look-book & Branding Photography

Friends, four models, Tween to Teen Fashion - Look-book & Branding Photography

Branding tee shirt shoot, Tween to Teen Fashion - Look-book & Branding Photography

More fun on set, branding shot. Tween to Teen Fashion - Look-book & Branding Photography

Group shot of four girls, studio white background for a Tween to Teen Fashion - Look-book & Branding Photography

Those eyes again, studio white background. Tween to Teen Fashion - Look-book & Branding Photography

Thats a wrap, the four models and two mums on set. Tween to Teen Fashion - Look-book & Branding Photography

Client Website -

Book your shoot today!

Kent Johnson, Sydney, Australia.
0433 796 863

Sunday, 27 March 2016

How Much Should I Pay? Modelling Portfolio FAQ.

Q. How much should my modelling portfolio cost?
A. A lot of people want to know the price of a portfolio even before finding out what’s involved with the photoshoot to begin with. And yet there is no simple answer to price. It's a bit like asking, how long is a piece of string? Many photographers produce what they call a Portfolio Shoot, so you will need to ask the right questions to find out what it is you are really paying for with your package, and if it's right for you.
It's perhaps easier to think in terms of price range and who and what’s involved; as price will be affected by the level of the photographers experience and other factors. More experience is usually better. Then there is the size and experience of the team to take into consideration, Hair & Make-Up (H&MU), Stylist, Assistants, Studio or Location, or both! Once you know the answer to these questions and a few of the ones below the answer to the “How much” question will make a lot more sense. So keep reading the FAQ and you will soon have the tools to decide if a price is right for you - the photographer asking the price - and valuable guidance as to how much you can expect to pay.

Q. Does it matter how much experience the photographer has?
A. Yes, Yes and Yes!  And they need to be experienced at photographing models, fashion with models or advertising with people and models and portfolios! Your pictures; all of them, need to make the right impression immediately. Only an experienced professional photographer can guarantee that result. Remember; you only get one chance to make a first impression. That is the job your portfolio's photographs do for you. They are your CV and they need make the right impression, first time, every time. So when it comes to making great pictures, working with an experienced photographer counts.
 Flatlay shot - Street Fashion Sydney - Fujifilm X-Pro1 photography kit.
Q. Do I need a stylist? What is a stylist, what do they do?

A. I am sure your clothes are great but are they right for a portfolio shoot? There are truly classic shots of models in jeans and a white shirt; but you still need the right elements and the right combination, this is typically the stylists job. Some photographers will insist on using a stylist, others will mix and match your garments, styling new Fashion looks for you from what you already have themselves. Remember it’s a modelling portfolio, a kind-of mini fashion shoot. It’s not a portrait session; you need the current fashion look that suits you and your new modelling portfolio.
Q. I just need a headshot & some body shots yeah?
A. No, you need a killer headshot to get noticed. Just the one at first; and you need shots that show the rest of you off. There is no such thing as just some shots. You need great shots, you need the right type and style of shot to create a ‘look’ for your portfolio. If you want "just some shots", you do not need a professional photographer. Think about it...
Q. Can't I do my own Hair & Make Up (H&MU)?
A. If you have the experience you probably could, however having a professional H&MU who is up-to-date with fashion looks and has experience working under photographic conditions is going to allow you to focus on YOU! Not to mention they will be there on-set to provide touch-ups as required by the photographer and to adjust the hair, fix fly-aways and helping to keep your 'looks' perfect, (ask if the H&MU stick around - it's an important part of the value of a shoot) streamlining the whole process of making great shots. The model has enough to think about in front the camera without worrying about being the H&MU artist too!
Applying make up, a model in H&MU Backstage for Watson x Watson, MBFWA. Photograph by Kent Johnson.
Q. I hear photographers do tests
, TFP for free?
A. Yes it's true; photographers of all levels shoot tests or TFP (Time for Pictures/Prints) and it is essentially a collaboration/trade between like-skilled, same-level Model/Photographer/Creative Teams to develop a new skill, test an idea for their portfolio; or create new work to land the kind of clients they are aiming for. This is not the kind of picture that a new model wants. New models need the basic shots first, the experienced photographer has moved past needing those shots in his or her book & will only "trade" on a test basis to create something wholly new for his/her book. The experienced photographer can however, create pictures for your portfolio that really help jump start your modelling career, and as such it's money well spent.

Q. What’s the difference between a Portrait shoot & a Modelling Portfolio?

A. Good question and an important one. A portrait shoot is typically showing you in your best light, something the family will like and enjoy. A modelling portfolio, while showcasing your personal look will also show how well you work as a model. How an advertiser, designer or fashion editor can use your beauty, and pay you for your 'look', to sell products; fashion, cars, toothpaste, whatever pays the bills.

Q. Shouldn't I get all the pictures on a disc?

A. Edit, Edit & Edit some more. This is one of the golden rules of photography and what it means is that only the best pictures will do. Good photographers can be a bit paranoid about making sure only the best pictures are seen. But there is a reason for that; they know you may very well be remembered for the 'worst' shot in your book not the best! Edit out the bad, make sure those shots are never seen. Never. Ever. So it’s most likely that even if you are given digital files, they may well be watermarked and too small to print, the 'bad' shots will be removed completely. The edited finals will of course be the best. It’s about quality not quantity; no mater how many pictures the photographer takes to get the shotIt’s your modelling portfolio and the best of the best is what you need.
Snap shot vs professional modelling portfolio headshot. Photos by Kent Johnson.
Q. Don't modelling agencies just want to see a snapshot of me?

A. Well if you have the current 'hot look' and are only 13, 14 or 15 and it's a GREAT Snap.. the answer may be yes. But if you don't have that exact look, & and I do mean that exact-NOW-look you might need to show them some professional shots to help get you over the line. You will still need to be model material; height, size and features, it’s a big wide world and with the right shots that may be all the help you need.

Q. I have had some quotes on prices, why do the good photographers seem so expensive?
A. Experience is the most expensive piece of 'equipment' a good photographer owns; and it can't be bought at the camera shop! You can however make use of it by booking them to do your shoot. Of course the costs of running the business are part of the expenses too; studio, camera's and other associated costs, but the most expensive and hard to acquire is experience! That being said, experienced photographers will almost certainly be asking a fraction of the cost of their commercial day rate to shoot your portfolio. They don't expect your shoot to cover all the running costs of the studio; they will shoot you because they love to keep shooting even between their commercial jobs. They will price your shoot at a special rate, mostly because they are nice guys and gals and love their job.
What makes a great modelling portfolio?

Q. Can I email you with other questions about modelling portfolios?
A. You can indeed you can at or leave comments below and we might even get some new questions to update the article with.

Friday, 25 March 2016

My Studio Rules - and Six-Degrees of my MKR experiences.

Stunning headshot, Nikki Spehar, Studio Modelling Portfolio - swimwear, fashion, beauty photography by Kent Johnson.
Wow, I love My Kitchen Rules (MKR), what a great TV show, and it's not like other cooking shows at all. It has the tension and unpredictability of competition but with I think, more personality, the personality of the contestants who cook as teams of two. Friends, couples, lovers (well that might be over..) family. The two people who work as a team, are of course always interesting self-made pairings. This certainly adds to the wide range of emotions, character and of course cooking styles. The judges on this show have something special too; or something different to judges I have seen on other cooking shows; so all round a unique cooking cook-off experience! Story continues, scroll down..
Nikki's proof sheet of the headshot - Photography by Kent Johnson.
However I had never actually watched this show before that day my phone would not stop ringing.
Me, "Hello" Them, "Nikki Spehar, have you got any pictures of the model Nikki Spehar?" "Who else has called you" "have you sold them already" "We saw some on your blog".
Headshot in hat, Nikki Spehar, Studio Modelling Portfolio - swimwear, fashion, beauty photography by Kent Johnson.
That very night, my partner and I started watching the MKR episodes online, Nikki "I'm a model" and her hair flicks and thought the show, and Nikki were fabulous! Sadly Nikki and her friend from Uni did not make it through to the second round - I put it down to doing the hash browns in the sandwich toaster (great idea) without giving it a good clean first and no-doubt having added an unwanted toasted-cheesy flavour!!!
Viv, Draso and Kent at the Four in Hand gastropub.
Never mind by now we were addicted to the show and there were plenty more teams including Drasko and his partner who made the move to Sydney. The "Gourmet Pommies" Will and Steve who as we all now know took the MKR Crown in an as-always nail-biting finale! Well although I try not to, sometimes I get a bit celebrity stuck and my partner Vivienne had become a HUGE fan, in particular of the judge Colin Fassnidge who has a bistro restaurant at the Four in Hand in Paddington, Sydney, where we knew Drasko was now cooking. So after an at art opening at Roslyn Oxley9 it was a brief hop on a cold night to Colin's "gastropub" where we did actually get to meet Drasko and grabed a photo op too!

But the golden moment was yet to come. At the Sperry Odysseys Await launch party we finally met MKR winners Will and Steve and had a great chat with them about the show, life after MKR, their future plans, and their ears certainly pricked up when Vivienne let on that I had created Nikki's shots for her modelling portfolio. Yes those pictures, in Womans Day, The Daily Mirror and so on, and I promptly gave them one of my big picture business cards with, you guessed it, Nikki's picture on it!
Selfie time - 'The Gourmet Pommies' Will wears Ellie Cole's 2012 Olympic Gold Medal as Steve tries to get in on the act. Sperry Odyssey Australia launch @ Regatta with Swimming Australia.
Steve  & Will 'The Gourmet Pommies with vivalaViv blogger  Vivienne Shui at the Sperry Odyssey Australia launch Regatta Rose Bay.
So while a competition like MKR has a clear winner at the end. Life and photography are often not that clear cut; and winning is not the end, but actually a new beginning. But there are many things we can learn from a creative cooking competition like MKR that apply to photography too.
  • It pays to be organised.
  • Experience can give you a HUGE advantage and it will help you to avoid; cracking under pressure, which is when the mistakes start to happen, potentially ruining everything.
  • Creativity is essential, but what you do with it actually has to work. (see experience)
  • Teamwork and an ability to work toward a common Vision are indispensable.
  • Persistence is crucial if you want to go all the way.
And at the end of it all, it really does help that you LOVE what you do and have FUN doing it; and that's how I like things to go on my photo shoots, love, creativity, teamwork, persistence, and not at all last of all, fun! Yes you need to enjoy yourself when you work, I know I do.

Kent Johnson, Sydney, Australia.
0433 796 863

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Teen Modelling Portfolio - Look Out World - Here I Come.

When is the best time to do your modelling portfolio, when you are ready of course and the studio is the best place for it. Why the studio? Well as I sit here typing away I have one eye out the window looking at the weather; how will this afternoons location shoot go? Hopefully no rain! Of course this is never a problem when you choose to shoot in the studio, and it is very convenient if it is your first ever photoshoot; as this one was for Sonali. All these shots and the comp card below are part of her/my Look Out World - Here I come - Pro Modelling Portfolio package. We had a great time working through her five looks with wonderful hair and make-up by Emily-Rose. These photo shoots take about four hours in total and our H&MU artist is on set the whole time to make changes to the hair and make-up and for touch ups as we go. Now that's a true Professional photo shoot!
Black and white, Leotard and ballet shoes, studio portfolio shoot, dance, modelling, portrait; by Kent Johnson.
Casual fashion meets sports and fitness on this young woman’s teen fashion modelling portfolio shoot by Kent Johnson.
Denim play-suit with  cut away fish-net top over sports top/bra. Professional studio model portfolio shoot by Kent Johnson, Sydney Australia.
Casual black and white headshot.
Sportswear or hair modelling? Take your pic! Black and white studio shot by Kent Johnson.
Casual sports/fashion/fitness shot. Black on white in black and white. Modelling shot by Kent Johnson, Sydney.
Stretching out for a full length shot, where casual fashion meets sports and fitness, teen fashion modelling portfolio shoot by Kent Johnson.
Dance leotard mid shot, studio portfolio shot in black and white, dance, modelling, portrait; by Kent Johnson.
After five, knitwear bodycon dress; Look Out World - Here I Come, professional modelling portfolio photo shoot in Sydney by Kent Johnson.
Mid shot, Denim play-suit with  cut away fish-net top over sports top/bra. Professional studio model portfolio shoot by Kent Johnson, Sydney Australia.
Free BONUS, 'Agency Digital' with every portfolio shoot with Kent Johnson Photography.
Free BONUS, 'Agency Digitals' with every portfolio shoot.
A modelling comp card, part of the  Look Out World - Here I Come modelling portfolio package, designed and photographed by fashion photographer Kent Johnson; Sydney, Australia.

Book your portfolio shoot today!

Kent Johnson, Sydney, Australia.
0433 796 863

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Denis, In the Studio, Men's Fashion Modelling Portfolio.

Wow! What can I say. Denis and I spoke a few times on the phone, exchanged a few emails but no pictures attached. That is not so unusual. Sometimes friends or colleagues ask me why I don't need to see pictures before I photograph them. I tell them what I believe to be true; "if they feel they have something special and want to model, I will give them the best pictures possible to kick start their career". And these days, with Instagram, Blogging,  the whole Social Media thing and online booking platforms, the whole idea of who and what makes a model has really been turned upside down; it can be as much up to you as anything else these days. That said, the first thing I said to Denis after saying hello when he arrived at the studio was "you are model material".  Denis had opted for the 'Look Out World - Here I Come' portfolio package and we had a great time working our way through his 5 looks. Here they are including his Bonus 'Agency Digtals' we shoot pretty much just after you walk in the door.
Front of comp card wearing man's Akubra hat. Men's Fashion Modelling Portfolio by Kent Johnson.
Mid shot portrait, casual fashion, Men's Fashion Modelling Portfolio by Kent Johnson.
Fitness body shot, Men's Fashion Modelling Portfolio by Kent Johnson.
Mid headshot, portrait, Men's Fashion Modelling Portfolio by Kent Johnson.
Underwear shot, fitness, Men's Fashion Modelling Portfolio by Kent Johnson.
Jeans and singlet in colour, Men's Fashion Modelling Portfolio by Kent Johnson.
Casual look, Men's Fashion Modelling Portfolio by Kent Johnson.
Work-out, toning up for the shoot, Men's Fashion Modelling Portfolio by Kent Johnson.
Toning up for the shoot, Men's Fashion Modelling Portfolio by Kent Johnson.
Screenshot of dropbox from the Look Out World package 2 photoshoot; Men's Fashion Modelling Portfolio by Kent Johnson.
Full length shot, agency digital, Men's Fashion Modelling Portfolio by Kent Johnson.
Mid shot agency digital, Men's Fashion Modelling Portfolio by Kent Johnson.
Head shot, alternative B&W front of comp card. Men's Fashion Modelling Portfolio by Kent Johnson.
Headshot, health and fitness, Men's Fashion Modelling Portfolio by Kent Johnson.
Studio Black and White, Jeans and singlet, Men's Fashion Modelling Portfolio by Kent Johnson.
Denis Gomes Comp card, Men's Fashion Modelling Portfolio by Kent Johnson.

At the end of the photoshoot, and having seen shots on the computer as we went; Denis gave me one of the kindest compliments I have ever received as a photographer, that he "liked to spend money well and that this experience had been money well spent." I am totally looking forward to watching his career go far. Thanks Denis for making me and our H&MU artist Emily Rose part of your journey.

Kent Johnson, Sydney, Australia.
0433 796 863