Thursday, 26 December 2019

The Art of Collaboration with Sage G Actor & Model

I had already photographed Sage formally twice before being commissioned for this portfolio shoot. The first time was a portrait 'test' shoot of Sage the actor at the studio I was shooting out of in Balmain at the time. A creative photographers dream studio in fact, but that's another story.. And later Theatre publicity & promotional shots of Sage and her cast 'Art for Arts Sake' which Sage also wrote by the way. Actually there is another photo, this time informal. It's a portrait I took after the performance of one of her plays (Sage the writer) in the foyer of a small independent theatre. All of these photoshoots are quite different to a portfolio shoot. So having also watched Sage's parallel work as a fashion model from the side lines; I was quite please to be asked to photograph a portfolio for her too - of course being the hyper creative personality she is, this was always going to be a modelling portfolio shoot with a different perspective.
Reclining portrait of Sage on a table surrounded by law books. Portfolio photoshoot by Kent Johnson, Sydney, Australia.
The first difference was Sage wanted to shoot on location, not my usual beach location, an office location, a work share space. We were headed into full-on Magazine Editorial territory from the get-go and I knew this was going to be a different and enjoyable project. Now because I like to be as prepared as possible; I headed down to the location a few days before hand and got enough of a look at the place to realise I would probably need my location light kit, not just a couple of speed lights.
Images from my 'work' folder of Sage's shoot - shot one - Law Library location. Photography by Kent Johnson.
Images from my 'work' folder of Sage's shoot - shot one - Law Library
The day of our photoshoot was the one day a week the space is closed so we had full run of the place. Our first set up was in an area best described as a law library or reading room. That's the series immediately above.. and I was glad to have both scouted the location and to have brought my lighting kit with three heads. For fashion photography the 'law library' was dark, too dark and with overhead lights that would not flatter my model - I did need my own light!

To make it work this first shot needed all three heads to balance the exposure of the room and to make Sage the central focus of the shot while keeping a moody library feel. It did take a little while for my assistant and I to get the lights set up and then balanced, each lights output the right brightness in the right place. With Sage now on set and the key light right; it was time to start shooting; and this is where our photographer - model collaboration really begins. Sage is what I would describe as a high energy, fast tempo model, she moves quickly and often, which is fine. I however needed a bit of time to focus my compositions and for my vintage location flash pack to recycle it's power. To be on the safe side that's one shot, every couple of seconds. So we had to slow down and work together within the framework of composition (the pose) and timing - keeping Sage in the main light, and me and the cameras ability to focus accurately in harmony with the flash recycle. This is collaboration; Sage's location and concept, working with a photographer she trusts; both of us listening to one another, Sages concept, my direction, a creative fusion that brings something more to the final result.. It didn't take long for us to fall into the right tempo, to hit the pose, the look, the feeling for the shot; to shoot a sequence of variations and then start on the next series.
Model throws the racing form guide into the air. Modelling portfolio photoshoot by Kent Johnson.
To finish off the first look, Sage had a tricky shot in mind on top of the shots we had in the bag by now. Tossing the newspaper in the air. You've got to like the humour in this shot; an unusually attired - for a law library - a quite sexy woman, bum planted on the table and the newspaper flying through the air; but which paper? It's a horse racing form guide! Whatever the gamble.. I'm betting on Sage to win.

Sage did the styling herself on this shoot and her own make-up. I always pay attention to the fashion and usually have an opinion too, which is essential if the shots are to really work. The second Look is more a 1.5 than a complete change of outfit. We did of course choose a new office location. I loved the view out the window, wanted to keep it interesting but not to dominate, the additional flash lighting was just enough to bring up detail on Sage and prevent the background blowing out, the reflections add a little something too. (Click Horizontal shots to view larger..)
Black and white full length fashion shot of Sage reclining on the window bench of an open plan office. Model portfolio photography by Kent Johnson.
Next was a complete new outfit and a move to a meeting room with a long timber table. We returned to the law theme using books off the shelves of shot one as props on the table. I always find it interesting how a narrative evolves during a photoshoot. Sage had shown me a mood board but that was more about the garments than the location as such; so the fashion and location and Sage of course evolved into a narrative that ties the whole shoot together. Part of it is there from the start, the rest falls into place as you go - at least if you are looking for it - and I always am.

Looking though the glass partition into the meeting room, I just loved what was happening and decided to start shooting through the glass. Again I began by supplementing the light in the room with some flash which worked, but added to issues with reflections. I then decided to go with just the room lighting which gave a heavier shadow and a strong mood but looked great!
Bookwork lying down.. Sage, model portfolio photoshoot by Kent Johnson.
Bookwork lying down, moody lighting.. Sage, model portfolio photoshoot by Kent Johnson.
It looked like a bit of a late night study in seduction! Which I suppose it kind of was.. I finished off this look by simply jumping up on the table and shooting straight down. If it works, go with it.
Bookwork on the table lying down. Sage, model portfolio photoshoot by Kent Johnson.
Well that's three shots down and two to go. We now move to an elevated central corridor and a Boho Chic outfit. There's light but it's mostly in the background. I need one head up as high as I can get it and a second in alignment to make sure we have a good spread of illumination. On this shot I'm listening to Sage's vision for the image and working with her to deliver the shot. Sage is happy with the bag swinging shot edited below. For me, I think I would stay moody with one of the two (unedited proof) shots working off the railing. But everyones picture serves a different purpose, it's important to get the shots your client needs.
Boho chic office girl look, unedited model portfolio proofs by photographer Kent Johnson.
Final edited version, Boho chic office look. Sydney modelling portfolio by Kent Johnson.
Styling wise, shot five is variation on four; stocking and leopard boots are gone, the dress is retained a long camel coat and high heels are added, and we keep the hat. I've noticed a really cool shaft of light cutting through another part of the share space complex; it's getting on in the day and the light is moving fast. We have a narrow window of opportunity and work as quickly as we can to take advantage of the natural light. There's a few of these shots, Sage sitting in the chair direct light softened by the tinted plate glass window. The 'good problem', which ones to choose. Yes there's a few but I'm completely onboard with the choice made here and I delivered the edits in both colour and black and white - they work well both ways!
Black and white portrait of a seated model in a long coat with beautiful long legs for a modelling portfolio. Photographed by Kent Johnson, Sydney, Australia.
Smiling portrait of a seated model in a long coat with beautiful long legs in direct light for a modelling portfolio. Photographed by Kent Johnson, Sydney, Australia.
Although we knew we had nailed that 'final' shot, we decided to follow the light and do a few more variations, we lost the coat and Sage jumped up on the desks - in retrospect that seems to have been quite a part of the theme that day. We did however also end up with some shots that were a little more innocent looking.. a least as far as ladies on desks go.
Full length shot of model sitting across a desk with beautiful long legs in direct light for a modelling portfolio. Photographed by Kent Johnson, Sydney, Australia.
Tight shot of a model sitting across a desk with beautiful long legs in direct light for a modelling portfolio. Photographed by Kent Johnson, Sydney, Australia.
So that was it, we had our shots, we had our variations on each shot, we had our office story and it was like no office story I'd ever seen! But I had the strange feeling there was still one more shot to get. The direct light was gone but there was something in the space, the room the air; I honestly don't know what it was but I asked Sage if she would try one more pose, I had a hunch there was one more shot! She ended up in an uncomfortable position perched in a corner window. That same interesting background from shot two, a different angle, a beautiful mood and an image unique to our afternoon photoshoot, a fitting shot to end the day on.
Long shot of a model in a corner window with beautiful long legs for a modelling portfolio. Photographed by Kent Johnson, Sydney, Australia.

Follow Sage on Instagram here : https://www.instagram.com/seemoresage/

Need shots?  kent@artcommunication.com.au or call Kent on 0433 796 863

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Studio Modelling Portfolio

Kent Johnson, Sydney, Australia.
0433 796 863

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Dreams of Modelling Do Come True

Many young people dream of being a model. The excitement and thrill of fashion, all those clothes, of photoshoots, special places and meeting new people. I does seem very glamorous and it really can be. Of course like many things, the reality is possibly, not always quite what one expects. I can however say that nearly every portfolio photoshoot I have done, and certainly those in recent years; that everyone enjoys themselves. The relaxed atmosphere, the fun of dressing up, the location and the theatre of a photoshoot. Even if you turn up worrying about what it will be like, how to pose.. You need not worry! Before you know it you will be modelling just like you always knew you could.  Yes I'm there helping out by giving you directions but I work with you, your personality, your mood, the you I see there in front of my camera and I get on with  capturing those wonderful moments.
Teen modelling portfolio on location, seated pose, white dress, panama hat and boots. Photography by Kent Johnson
Natalie's photoshoot was just like that. Exciting, but pretty laid back. Just Natalie's mum, and myself, on location; well and the other people enjoying the beautiful park. (if you are very nervous.. I recommend a studio photoshoot). Nat's an early teen so we dispensed with a make-up artist and went with the true beauty of youth. Yes you are beautiful! Well mum did apply a little lip balm. That was it, a brush and a comb. A pretty white dress, some active wear, a blue dress, a blue one piece swim-club style swimsuit and a pink cap. Oh, and a hat to go with those boots, I do love that shot! I help with the styling form the clothes you bring along, and we normally have a talk about outfits by phone a couple of days beforehand to be sure we are ready on the day. Well I love all these pictures and Natalie and her Mum did too. Once you have the edited pictures – which I send you in two sizes, print size + email/web sharing size that you can send to modelling agency  of your dreams. And dreams do come true. It starts with a simple modelling portfolio shoot like Natalie’s here. If you like what you see, just contact me to organise your very own photoshoot. More details here http://www.kentjohnsonphotography.com.au/09Modelling/ModellingPortfolios.htm 
Natural portrait for teen model portfolio, red hair, denim jacket - Photography by Kent Johnson
Stretched out on the green grass - Modelling portfolio Sydney - Photography by Kent Johnson
Portrait in dappled light, white confirmation dress - Photography by Kent JohnsonWalking on the beach, activewear portfolio shot. Photography by Kent JohnsonBlack and white mid shot portrait for modelling portfolio, Sydney location. Photography by Kent Johnson
Mid portrait for modelling portfolio, Sydney location. Photography by Kent Johnson
Androgynous seated portrait Sydney location, Modelling Portfolio -  Photography by Kent Johnson
Black and white modelling portfolio head shot at the beach for a teen model - Photography by Kent Johnson

Portfolio shoots also make for great portrait shoot and lasting memories, young people change so fast, it's important to take the time out to make the pictures that save the memories forever.

Talk to me about your photoshoot today- kent@artcommunication.com.au or call Kent on 0433 796 863!

Top 10 reasons..
Studio Modelling Portfolio

Kent Johnson, Sydney, Australia.
0433 796 863

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Travel : Photographing Sydney's Iconic Ocean Pools in 360VR

While showing my Sydney travel photographs to the marketing manager of a boutique hotel in Italy; the show stopping picture in my portfolio was a 360 image of the Andrew (Boy) Charleton pool. Nestled on the edge of the Domain Parkland in the heart of Sydney, a liminal space between land, water and desire.. Well what was actually said to me was along the lines of  '(gasp) is that a swimming pool on Sydney harbour, OMG it is so beautiful, I really want to visit Sydney.' And there I was in Venice thinking 'this is the most beautiful and exotic place in the world!'
Bronte ocean pool, headland and beach in full 360VR photography by Kent Johnson Travel photographer, Sydney, Australia.
Back home in Sydney wondering what I might photograph - as a portfolio showcase in 360VR Panoramas - that would compliment the travel imagery that I had created in Italy... Sydney Opera House, Ferries at Circular Quay and the Harbour Bridge; I've heard it said, that is all there is to see, to photograph in Sydney! Well I personally don't think that is true; but then.. you don't have an architectural Renaissance masterpiece on every block - as you do in parts of Italy. Aside from those previously mentioned local Icons; I had that useful clue from Venice as to what I could travel-photograph at home in Sydney.
North Cronulla ocean pool in 360VR photography by Kent Johnson Travel photographer, Sydney, Australia.
When I started to think hard about what is most special, most unique, most distinctive, even the most architecturally exclusive aspect of visiting Sydney. Memories of the reaction to my image of the pool on the edge of the harbour came back to me. So I decided I should bring my photographic vision to bear on Sydney's ocean pools and the harbour pools too. Beaches with nets, swimming pontoons, or a boardwalk over the water qualify as pools (or baths), and are usually referred to as such. So the project has begun and I think it is really quite different to other ocean pool projects I have seen. So far I have avoided the dawn and sunset approach (maybe later..) and focused on sparsely populated pools, blue sky, blue and aqua green water, ochre rocks, white sand - or concrete and timbers.. as a unifying approach to the imagery. You can view all of the 360VR panorama Ocean Pool Portfolio on the device of your choice (large screens recommended) HERE.
Domain and Boy Charlton Pool  in 360VR photography by Kent Johnson Travel photographer, Sydney, Australia.
Thus far I have photographed 18 ocean pools producing over 50 full 360VR panoramas of which 22 are currently included in the portfolio. All of the images are available for licensing, just drop me a line here kent@artcommunication.com.au or should you require high quality custom 360 images to promote your destination, tourist attraction, hotel or resort, please feel free to contact me for a consultation. In the meantime, please enjoy the Ocean Pool 360 project and my Hotels and Views of Venice here!
Collaroy ocean pool, headland and beach in full 360VR photography by Kent Johnson Travel photographer, Sydney, Australia.

Locations photographed - Andrew (Boy) Charleton (Domain), Bronte, Camp Cove, Clovelly, Collaroy, Coogee, Cronulla, Dee WhyMaroubrahMurray Rose (Point Piper), Parsley Bay, Nielsen ParkNorth Narrabeen Rockpool, Watsons Bay, and more to come.

Book Me..
Kent Johnson, Sydney, Australia.
0433 796 863

Sunday, 7 July 2019

How To? A Studio Modelling Folio - like Dancing the Tango

I love this photoshoot with Sam. Her mum booked the studio session as a special confidence boost and it certainly worked (see Marisa's comment below) It doesn't matter if you are a bit shy, if you don't know what to do on a photoshoot; it doesn't matter at all. That is why my team and I are there, to help you through the whole process so we end up with beautiful shots like these. Beautiful pictures that are uniquely you! And this can only happen because we allow enough time to let these wonderful pictures happen. How long is enough time? A studio portfolio in our massive studio is four hours long but they go by in a flash - no pun intended! What about the Tango?

The full length CK one-piece shot is from one of five outfit changes or 'looks' that we shot during Sam's portfolio photoshoot. We had a great time making the magic happen; in this case I've interpreted a swimwear shot as a dance routine. I like it, its like a little Tango. I can't even hear the Tango music of Astor Piazzolla playing in my head.. How do you make beautiful pictures like these for yourself? It's simple just contact me to book your fashion portrait or modelling portfolio photoshoot today.
Sam, studio headshot in colour, Fashion Portrait and Modelling Portfolio Photography by Kent Johnson
Marisa R. "Had the great pleasure of meeting with Kent to photograph my teenage daughter for her first Portfolio Photo Shoot. My daughter walked in a little scared and nervous and walked out Confident and Excited about what her future might be. Kent was so great with his Calming, Friendly and Patient Manner that Samantha Transformed in front of our eyes. Kent is an Absolute First Class Professional whose Expertise I Genuinely Appreciated. Thank You Kent."
Full length casual look portfolio shot. Fashion Portrait and Modelling Portfolio Photography by Kent Johnson
 kent@artcommunication.com.au or call Kent on 0433 796 863!
Mid shot portrait in leather jacket black jeans against black studio background. Fashion Portrait and Modelling Portfolio Photography by Kent Johnson
Seated sportswear shot Fashion Portrait and Modelling Portfolio Photography by Kent Johnson
Standing studio sportswear shot in black and white. Fashion Portrait and Modelling Portfolio Photography by Kent Johnson
Mid head shot in leather jacket. Fashion Portrait and Modelling Portfolio Photography by Kent Johnson
Before shot - Model Agency Digitals -  Fashion Portrait and Modelling Portfolio Photography by Kent Johnson
No Make-Up Pre-Photoshoot on Arrival at the Studio. AKA Agency Digitals

Full length, black dress canvas backdrop. Fashion Portrait and Modelling Portfolio Photography by Kent Johnson
Full length in spotted yellow dress. Fashion Portrait and Modelling Portfolio Photography by Kent Johnson
Three quarter model portfolio shot in blue denim jacket and black dress.Fashion Portrait and Modelling Portfolio Photography by Kent Johnson
Black and white 'sports' portrait seated. Fashion Portrait and Modelling Portfolio Photography by Kent Johnson
Sam swimwear as TANGO dance shot in black and white. Fashion Portrait and Modelling Portfolio Photography by Kent Johnson
Sam - Studio Tango

Sam checking her phone after the shoot. Fashion Portrait and Modelling Portfolio Photography by Kent Johnson
Black and white swimwear shot in studio and against a white backdrop. Fashion Portrait and Modelling Portfolio Photography by Kent Johnson
Talk to me about getting your modelling career started today- kent@artcommunication.com.au or call Kent on 0433 796 863!

Book Me Here
Kent Johnson, Sydney, Australia.
0433 796 863

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Creating the Editorial Story - White Lights And Dark Knights

I'm glad I keep a selection of images from photoshoots I like from over the years in a, Fashion, Editorial, Modelling all-in-one general folder on my computer, so that every now and again; I come across images that I know have never been made public. I also like that I have blog posts that were made at or near the time I did some of those photoshoots as they often contain snippets of information about the work that I have long since forgotten. And yet these details were an important part of why a final picture ended up looking the way it does today. The White Lights and Dark Knights editorial is a perfect example of this. I shot three fashion stories and several portraits for issue 3 of Le Magazine. One story was a collage collaboration with a photo artist. Then there was a more straight forward studio shoot; which regardless of how good it looked I ended up spending a lot of time in post finessing to bring out it's more ethereal qualities. Then there was this story White Light.. which; after we had shot the pictures, changed direction almost entirely!!! Now this is something that never usually happens.
Russian Constructivist editorial studio fashion photography concept and photograph by Kent Johnson

We had worked quite intensively on all the shoot concepts and planning; the how, what, where, when. This one was initially conceived as a shoot that could use patterns either projected or dropped in using Photoshop. We decided Photoshopping the pattern in after would be the simplest approach but; for reasons I can no longer recall the pattern concept went right out the window. (Was it a Florence Broadhurst concept that ran into a rights issue?) Clearly there was something about what had been planned in the vintage aspect to the styling, that started me thinking about the Russian Constructivists. Their use of geometric shapes and primary colours as a possible alternative to the  type of pattern idea we had started with. So the concept that we ended up with started out with me proposing a series like the red square and oblique lines image that I prepared above. But this did not seem to hit the mark for the magazine so we moved on... continued below.
A Constructivist style fashion photoshoot - White Nights Black Knights - incorporating the Sydney Harbour Bridge at night, concept and photography by Kent Johnson

Whilst doing my research on the Constructivists I started falling in love with the period portraits of the artists that I was seeing (now there's a recurring theme in my photography..) Shots of the pavilions they had built for exhibitions and the posters they produced for their shows. By this time we had already shot the images with model Sammy Raine against a basic white background and, thinking Constructivistly I dug out some night shots of the super structure of the Sydney Harbour Bridge that I had taken years earlier with my trusty Canon Pro1 top of the line Point-and-Shoot.. back in 2006!

This concept was given the go ahead and then it was just down to me doing the most complex image compositing I had ever done. On the plus side, being inspired by Russian Constructivism collage works by El Lissitzky and ‎Alexander Rodchenko meant that the pictures should not be perfectly rendered into the background. The original opening page is above, below are the original images without magazine text along with some of the pictures as they were made before becoming part of the collage images.

Black dress and feather hat - A Constructivist style fashion photoshoot incorporating the Sydney Harbour Bridge at night, concept and photography by Kent Johnson
Mrs Press bra and pants set with stockings and lace garters - A Constructivist style fashion photoshoot incoprating the Sydney Harbour Bridge at night, concept and photography by Kent Johnson
Vintage Fox stole and black dress leggings - A Constructivist style fashion photoshoot incoprating the Sydney Harbour Bridge at night, concept and photography by Kent Johnson
Black tulle dress on white background with, Marilyn Monroe inspired poses. Studio fashion photography by Kent Johnson
Sammie and I having a Monroe Moment..

Black dress and feather hat on white background vintage inspired fashion shoot.. Studio fashion photography by Kent Johnson
Black tulle dress on white background with, Marilyn Monroe inspired pose. Studio fashion photography by Kent Johnson
Sammy Raine, tulle dress and face veil. Studio fashion photography by Kent Johnson.
Sydney Harbour Bridge superstructure photographed at night by Kent Johnson.
Opening silhouette for the Constructivist style fashion photoshoot - White Nights Black Knights - incorporating the Sydney Harbour Bridge at night, concept and photography by Kent Johnson
Out-take with feather hat, black dress from the Constructivist style fashion photoshoot - White Nights Black Knights - incorporating the Sydney Harbour Bridge at night, concept and photography by Kent Johnson
Outtake from original series.
Opening silhouette and working title for the Constructivist style fashion photoshoot - White Nights Black Knights - incorporating the Sydney Harbour Bridge at night, concept and photography by Kent Johnson
My concept and working title for the opening of the story.
The vintage inspired garments from Mrs Press combined with the slightly crazy Vivien Westwood shoes, the old stole from Coco Collectables. It all works perfectly against Sydney’s largest Art Deco structure the Sydney Harbour Bridge! After lifting model Sammy off the white background (so to speak) and dropping her over the night bridge scenes , post processing was mostly about blending B&W layers to deliver our Constructivist; now a little bit Film Noir feeling final images. I'd like to think that all the artists from whom I found my inspiration would be happy with the way the final images turned out. Even lovely Florence the unseen idea that got us started; was known to like women and design a little on the edge.

Model, Sammy Raine
Styling, Rhiannon Bulley
Hair & Make Up, Lisa Sciberras

To book your photoshoot, simply call or email Kent now!

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Kent Johnson, Sydney, Australia.
0433 796 863