Thursday, 1 November 2012

Commercial Product & Beauty Photography with Renae Ayris.

A little while ago I had the pleasure of photographing Miss Universe Australia 2012 Renae Ayris for the Australian/Chinese health and beauty supplements company Aussia. The shoot was based around the very lovely Renae presenting a variety of the products in her hands or on a white table just in front. This was essentially a blending of a product shoot with beauty photography, keeping everything cleanly and evenly lit to promote Renae's natural beauty and the products as well. We did about a dozen or so shots all up and Renae was fantastic at striking the right attitude and keeping the packs at just the right angle to minimise unwanted glare on the packaging. Not an easy task to maintain shot after shot after shot with a team of about ten looking on and videoing everything going on.

And this was a very nice photography assignment for me; I often hear from clients who have seen my fashion photography work that they would like to shoot with me "but we don't really do anything creative". Well not that we don't think that this shoot is not creative as well but.. I do think that this more naturalistic approach to shooting would probably appeal to quite a few clients. So if this is the sort of shoot you have in mind, by all means send me an email or give me a call.

Commercial beauty product and promotional photography with Miss Universe Australia Renae Ayris

Commercial product and promotional photography with Miss Universe Australia Renae Ayris, sportswear.

Commercial photography with Miss Universe Australia Renae Ayris - Aussia product shots.

Commercial photography with Miss Universe Australia Renae Ayris - Skin Care - Beauty.Commercial product and promotional photography with Miss Universe Australia Renae Ayris, table top shot with health products and model.
Photographer, Kent Johnson
Model, Renae Ayris
Hair & Make-Up, Rhonda May
Photography Assistant, Julianne Marchese (61) 0433 796 863

Monday, 8 October 2012

Photographing Art Work & An Artist Portrait Too..

A couple of months ago now my artist friend Adrian McDonald commissioned me to photograph recent art works of his, both for his own archive and for an article on Adrian's work, out now in issue 35 of Australian Art Review magazine. I first saw Adrian's work at SNO in late 2009 and made one of my 'artists openings' portraits at that show. And of course being an artist who works with complex line, pattern and tonal ranges; the job of photographing Adrian's artworks and maintaining the fidelity of the art in reproduction is a complex task as well. The trickiest of all were the black detail on black and, the black on black with white; I need to create a digital file with enough information to show the work as you would view it in a gallery situation, the way the eye sees the art. We decided to shoot in the Balmain studio and used the powerful STROBE lighting, and the very classy STROBE light stands to support the art as you can see in the first portrait of Adrian below. Its nice to be able to make a portrait photograph, my own little piece of creativity alongside Adrian's creative output - that photographing well, was for me a fairly technical day with the light and the camera. I'm certainly looking forward to doing more of this work more often as it's great to be able to bring my love of art, artists and photography together for the day.

Adrian McDonald with artwork on the 'art copy' set, Balmain studio 2012

Adrian McDonald art work,

Adrian McDonald art work,

Adrian McDonald art work,

Adrian McDonald art work,

Adrian McDonald art work, textured oil painting'

Adrian McDonald art work, colour enamel spots on black on a grid.

Adrian McDonald art work, the 'Pac Man' painting.

Adrian McDonald, portrait taken after a day of photographing his artworks 2012.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Modelling Portfolio - Monique in the Studio - Vintage Fashion + Sporty Style

Great teamwork makes for great pictures; we made these shots for Monique's modelling portfolio in a single half day shoot. Kaori worked her hair and make-up magic on the various looks from sports lifestyle to high fashion and, one of my favourites; Monique in the white Tee Shirt (classic model look) vibing the iconic Brigitte Bardot! We carried that feel through too; to the white knit dress high fashion shots - Monique, her Mum, myself & Kaori all having a fab fun time.

Headshot with blue Lonsdale stretch singlet top.

Modelling portfolio mid shot against black background in the studio

Verso, modelling comp card, four shots from Monique's portfolio shoot.

Classic studio fashion style with vintage Hollywood feel, black dress - studio as location..

Vintage Brigitte Bardot look, Black and White lifestyle shot, modelling portfolio Sydney Australia.

Sexy sportswear mid shot, for modelling portfolio, studio shot.

High Key full length fashion portfolio shot; Brigitte Bardot inspired studio as location.

Sportswear shot 'Jumping' Lonsdale London Singlet and black denim shorts and lace up boots.

Black dress and jacket, modelling portfolio - in the studio..

High Fashion, editorial style shot for fashion model, modelling portfolio in the studio...

Check out my Modelling Portfolio Packages here, or call me on 0433 796 863 to book your shoot.

Kent Johnson - Photographer
Sydney, Australia.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Uscari 'Submerged in Silence' S/S 2012 Photographers Edit..

When you work with a great team you get great results.

That's how we did it for the Uscari 'Submerged in Silence' campaign and look-book shoot.  Designer Elayna Mackay's first range for Uscari was a pleasure to photograph; Hair and Make-Up was provided by Über Talent Rafal Gaweda and the model who can move was (and is) Ollie Henderson from Chic looking; even if I do say so myself, completely different to anything I have seen her in before or since!

My assistant & I took extra care with the lighting to get the kind of punch we were after and a very light background but not complete white out so as to ground the movement in space. We shot static look-book poses and then the movement on the same set at the same time. The Rolling Stones helping us with our work. This is my selection from the shoot with my own post processing, I hope you like the results.

Uscari 'Submerged in Silence'  Mid Shot, Photographers Edit with model Ollie Henderson

Uscari 'Submerged in Silence' Jumping shot in black cape, white background;  Photographers Edit with model Ollie Henderson

Uscari 'Submerged in Silence'   head held high, emotional shot; Studio, White Background,  Photographers Edit

Uscari 'Submerged in Silence'  Short black dress on white background; Photographers Edit

Uscari 'Submerged in Silence'  tight white skirt and sheer gold top on white background;  Photographers Edit

Uscari 'Submerged in Silence' Black skirt, strappy top; Photographers Edit

Uscari 'Submerged in Silence'    Campaign 'Style' shot, Ollie Henderson, Photographers Edit

Uscari 'Submerged in Silence'  Photographers Edit

Uscari 'Submerged in Silence'  Movement in flowing dress, Photographers Edit with model Ollie Henderson.

Uscari 'Submerged in Silence'   Campaign shot, black cape, white background studio photography; Photographers Edit with model Ollie Henderson

Uscari 'Submerged in Silence'  Photographers Edit

Uscari 'Submerged in Silence'  Model Salutes, Photographers Edit with model Ollie Henderson

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Albert Watson - 'Art of Fashion' - Simply Stunning

Phat Albert - Documentary about Photographer Albert Watson from Chris Rupert on Vimeo.

Albert Watson shooting the legendary Neiman Marcus Fall 2010 'Art of Fashion' campaign.

Could not resist sharing this beautiful documentary about Albert shooting the campaign. And it really is a Doco; more about the making, the process, the creativity of a Master photographer than a BTS quickie! If you have never seen a top team in action on a high fashion shoot, here's your chance to see how its done.

And if I keep working hard, fingers crossed!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Bakelite Still Lifes - Electrical Bits & Bobs

I have always had a bit of a thing for Bakelite or, polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride to use its incredibly long scientific name. I think its something to do with the period it comes from, the 20's 30's 40's; fabulous times for fashion, classic black and white cinema and Film Noir, beautiful large and rambling houses. Or maybe its the movie, 'The Carpet Baggers' I watched with my Dad one night, (told me it was the first movie he went to with Mum), I can still part remember the lines about making oodles of money in plastics during the depression "Some were under the clouds but then others flew above them" cut to a DC10 above the clouds  flying the wealthiest man in America... heady stuff for a teenage lad!  How can you look at a piece of Bakelite and not think of these things? Anyway I happen to have a box of Bakelite light switches, double adaptors,  lamp fittings; they have been sitting around way too long, its time for them to go! But not before making some still life shots of a few of the items; and while I don't really think of myself as a still life photographer, I do think these shots look pretty good and I really enjoyed making them. Black and White shots of Bakelite on white background, two classics together. I wonder why it took me so long to get around to making them?

Bakelite Electrical Components - Double Adaptors, lamp fittings, electrical connectors. Black and White Still Life Photography.
Bakelite Electrical Components - Double Adaptor. Black and White Still Life Photography.

Bakelite Electrical Components - Art Deco Light Switch and Lamp Light Holder. Black and White Still Life Photography.

Kent Johnson, Sydney Australia 2012.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Magazine Style Actors Portrait with Sage Godrei

I met Sage at a photography exhibition at TAP Gallery a couple of months ago where she had what I thought to be one of the more creative pictures in a fairly large group show. We got to chatting and as it turned out, she is an Actor and a Writer, and if you include that picture she took a photographer too; basically a bit of an all-rounder or 'slashie' as the saying goes on the creative front. It didn't take me long to hatch a plan to get Sage to come into the studio to do some portrait work with her. Not the actors headshot type of shot as she already has those; something more along the lines of the kind of picture I might produce if I were making the shots for an editorial story in a magazine.

We decided to keep the shoot as simple as possible, joining forces for the styling (much as I do on many modelling portfolio shoots) working with the wardrobe she brought along - doing her own make-up, creating a few different 'looks' to show Sage's various sides to her creative self.

Sage Godrei, magazine style actors portrait; studio photography, black background, Sage mid shot with white paint in hair.
Sage Godrei, magazine style actors portrait; studio photography, black background, Sage full length black and white shot.
Sage Godrei, portrait in the make-up mirror.
Sage Godrei, magazine style actors portrait; studio photography, black background, Sage mid shot in black and white shot. Sage Godrei, magazine style actors portrait; studio photography, black background, Sage in fantasy outfit, mid shot.
Sage Godrei, magazine style actors portrait; studio photography, Red Cap, Black Jacket - Sage, Bad girl Street Style.
Sage Godrei, magazine style actors portrait; studio photography, Headshot laughing, Sage in fantasy outfit, mid shot.

You can view more of my actors portraits here - 

Kent Johnson is a professional photographer working from Sydney, Australia.

Kent Johnson,
Sydney, Australia.

0433 796 863

Monday, 25 June 2012

About Photography - The Art of Process on a Photoshoot

While I do not normally write about the process of creating an image on a photoshoot; it is something that I talk about a lot with friends and other photographers. And there are a number of reasons I have chosen not write about the process of making pictures, its not about keeping secrets; most of the reasons revolve around the idea that the final picture should do the talking for itself; that showing process can only serve to remove some of the images mystique.. Not unlike a lot of behind the scenes pictures and videos seem to do; have you noticed that unseemly erosion of visual impact?

However last week I was able to work with the artist Elodie Silberstein again and the very positive experience of working on this project (and the previous) drew the whole nature of photographic process into sharp perspective and, due to the nature of the shoot, a sharp perspective that I think is perfect for sharing. So here we go..

The Art of Process on Elodie's Photoshoot..

Know what you are working on.
Before heading to the studio I checked out Elodie's blog to see the Victorian era pictures she had acquired in Paris as part of the research for her performance project. These two pictures immediately reminded me of the artist Joel Peter-Witkin's famous photographic works that are clearly inspired by the Victorian age.. I could see I would need to make pictures that spoke about mystery and otherness, (possibly-probably death) and they would need to have some intangible and slightly disturbing quality to them as do the pictures on Elodie's blog and the pictures of Peter-Witkin.

9b Art Process on a Photography Shoot -600-Duo_3395

We made a start and we made changes along the way.
The first think I do (after settling everyone in in the studio) is discuss the studio set-up; lighting and background, as this takes the most time to get organised and fine tune. We decided on a black background as it would offer the best visual communication for our mood theme and era. Black clothes (& hair) on a black background is always a tricky set-up as you need to maintain the blacks while keeping good tonal separation. Once I was happy with the lighting tested with Elodie & Patricia on set we were ready to start shooting.

1 Art Process on a Photography Shoot - Early shot_600_3263

One of the things I do when shooting more than one subject is to have them walk on set and see where they go naturally. In this case Elodie went camera left, more on that later.. I started the shoot with a 50mm lens on a crop sensor DSLR. We worked fairly smoothly through a few variations of poses, Elodie with the clay flower, then with a fan on to move the hair (& keep them cool); no flower and one hand up on Patricia's shoulder.. That was our first 40+ frames, the top two of the four below, and we uploaded them to the computer to see how we were going.

We liked the direction the shots were heading but thought we could develop them further, I suggested to Elodie trying two hands on Patricia's shoulder to see how that looked. I also decided to use a longer lens to see if that gave a better perspective & went with my 80-200 zoom at about 80 mm for the rest of the set below. We were all settling in now and knew we were making good pictures; the mood was right but did we have enough of the mysterious feeling I wanted & needed for a great shot?

2 Art Process on a Photography Shoot _600-ElodieLook-1-4-up

Even if its all good, its worth changing it around!
Next I decided to shoot both Patricia and Elodie separately just to see how they worked being photographed alone. There was no doubt that we already had some very usable pictures in the 'can' but I wanted to see where else we could go with the feeling of the shoot-and of course we could always marry two singles together if we really wanted to. As I knew I already had good shots.. I thought it might be nice to replicate the feeling of the long exposure time of Victorian pictures by slowing my shutter speed down too. Pat got shot at a 20th, Elodie slower again at a 10th of a second and at those exposure times I was now mixing the studio flash with the ambient daylight in the studio.

3 Art Process on a Photography Shoot _600_3357

4 Art Process on a Photography Shoot  _600-ElodieSolo4-up

5 Art Process on a Photography Shoot - Final Art Portrait5_600-D_3395

We weren't trying to make the picture more interesting; we were trying to get deeper into the image!
By the time I have finished photographing both Patricia and Elodie 'solo' we have been in the shooting process for about and hour and a quarter and something quite different has now happened. Both have strengthened their visual personas, both have tried changes to the poses that are now (in combination with the technical changes) showing something of the 'mysterious feeling' we have all been seeking, we have all become one with the project as a whole. By taking our time, we can now see how this hand position here, the hair blowing and a little burred; how these small but valuable changes are building-evolving a stronger picture.

So now its time to put the two sitters back in a single frame and see what happens. I keep the slower shutter speed. I put Elodie camera right-no that didn't work! The hair was uncontrollable and the dynamic between the two is just not working. We swap back to the 'original' positions and its all happening, stronger, more intensity, more mood and more feeling! Seven more minuets and 30 frames and we are finished. The whole shoot to deliver one main shot for the Event PR and one or two alternative shots has taken roughly an hour and a half to shoot.

6 Art Process on a Photography Shoot _600-ElodieDouble2-4-up

Now it just a question of RAW converting the selected final files and doing some photo finishing to complete the job.

What I found most interesting about this shoot is that while we started off with quite good shots, by taking our time we worked our way via art-process to stronger and more interesting images. And while that is more-or-less what is always meant to be achieved, its not often the case that there is enough time and trust to make the images as well as they could be made... On this shoot we were able to put it all together to make the kind of images we really were after.

7 Art Process on a Photography Shoot  _600-412FinalVersions

Memorium #2 White Ribbon Day, Silberstein and Patricia Alvarez , B&W PR Shot

Memorium #2 White Ribbon Day, Silberstein and Patricia Alvarez Colour PR Shot

Telling Stories in Pictures all over the world..
Kent Johnson, Sydney, Australia.
0433 796 863