Tuesday 21 May 2024

With The Band - Groovy Rock Chicks, Wolfmother & Phil Colins 'Easy Lover' - Inspiration for a Fashion Lingerie Photoshoot

 Where does inspiration come from? It's always going to be a combination of different things working together, hopefully at the right time and in the right place. The inspiration for these images hit me on shot three of our hotel room fashion photoshoot. I'd done shot one with Micaela sitting on the bed, then standing at the corner of the bed. Shot two in the window with the sheer drapes and some hints of neon outside. The location is a hip, 'Retro' hotel in Sydney. I had been shooting with a soft room-light feel on looks one and two but then I wanted something different. I wanted to turn up the energy level too. Make a little noise, start a little party. I began with our model Micaela lying on the bed, arms out so we could get the circles of the vast beautiful bell sleeves, me standing on, the very soft and unstable bed looking down, which made things tricky for balance. I had also changed to on-camera flash. Photography at it's most basic, really. I was thinking reportage, paparazzi photography, pictures that are immediate. and then I decided to get our model who as it happens is first and foremost a dancer, standing up on the bed, against the bedhead and the wall and to dance.

Model in in long-bell-sleeve lingerie bodysuit dancing on a hotel room bed, for a rock chick, groupie inspired fashion photoshoot
Click pictures to view large.

The idea for the dance springs from my obsession with a Wolfmother video clip, a 2011 heavy rock cover version of the light rock, Phil Colins song Easy Lover from the early1980s. A hit duet for Philip Bailey, & Phil Collins. But it's not just the song, it's the Wolfmother video clip, filmed in gritty black and white in (my old stomping ground) Brisbane of all places! It's part set in a home music studio and partly driving around Brisbane at night, through the night club and red light district, working hard at looking edgy and succeeding. Mostly its a homage to Phil Colins and to the idea of rock superstardom. At the two minute mark there's a girlfriends of the rock stars scene in the home studio, one of the girlfriends doing a 'sexy' dance with one of the band members, then a clip of two of the girls dancing in a provocative manner, and it's this dance, this with the band, girlfriend, groupie, whatever, that emerged for me as the inspiration for this shot. Though it's not exactly a new idea, this rock and roll theme. RUSH Magazine have been trading on the idea of the Rolling Stones, their girlfriend's and the Rock & Roll life, the 1970s hedonism of Exile On Main Street for decades now!

Model in in long-bell-sleeve bodysuit dancing with arms outstretched, on a hotel room bed, for a rock chick, groupie inspired fashion photoshoot

One more person for some inspiration. Stevie Nicks. The 1970s Fleetwood Mack, Rumours, Stevie Nicks. Of whom I could see a little of in Micaela's swept back golden blonde hair and these flowing sleeves, which are just so Stevie Nicks - which I then made the most of with her dancing in place on the bed. So that's it. That's how the inspiration arrived and these pictures are where the inspiration took me. What I've done with this selection is to bring the pictures completely in line with the 1970s rock narrative by editing them, as if they were shot with a basic camera, maybe by one of the guys in the band, in the hotel after a gig. Basic equipment, the pictures developed at a mini lab, then discovered in a draw many years later. Check out the Wolfmother clip after the shots. As always, need pictures, just let me know.

Portrait in long-bell-sleeve bodysuit kneeling on a hotel room bed, for a rock chick, groupie inspired fashion photoshoot
Model in in long-bell-sleeve bodysuit posing with arms out and down, on a hotel room bed, for a rock chick, groupie inspired fashion photoshoot
Model in in bell-sleeve bodysuit seen from behind, kneeling on a hotel room bed, for a rock chick, groupie inspired fashion photoshoot
Model in in long-bell-sleeve bodysuit, stockings, garters and suspenders dancing on a hotel room bed, for a rock chick, groupie inspired fashion photoshoot

Designer - Gemma Pope, the range - Viena

Model-Dancer - Micaela Sacco-Tranter

Kent Johnson, Sydney, Australia.
0433 796 863

Thursday 9 May 2024

A Fitness Achievement Photoshoot

 A fitness goals reached, photoshoot, in the style of a male modelling portfolio, or perhaps, a fitness lifestyle photoshoot. Or, yes I do go on - a celebration of achieving your fitness goals photoshoot. Any one of those descriptions pretty much sums up what this shoot was all about. How did it happen? Well from my end it was simply answering an email and then there was a phone call, dates were set, styling - what Kris was going to bring to the shoot to wear, that was gone over on the phone too in the lead up to our shoot. On Kris's end it was about 10 years of gym work, so well worth celebrating and, important - documenting with some cracking good photos. Of course I've put in over a decade working on my photography, so when we do a photoshoot YOU get what you booked me for.

Man in swim shorts with a jumper over his shoulders. Male modelling, fitness photoshoot in Sydney by Kent Johnson Photography

Kris left this review on my Google Business Page 

"The shoot with Kent was awesome, he's very professional and knows what he's doing. It was my first experience in a proper shoot but he made me feel extremely comfortable and relaxed so I could get the most out of the shoot. Would highly recommend to anyone looking to get a professional portfolio done." 

This is very important  'he made me feel extremely comfortable'. It's important so we can get the best result, the best pictures of you from your photoshoot. If you read the other reviews there or on my Facebook Page you will read similar things about shooting with me. Here are more shots from Kris's photoshoot.

Man in runners, black tee-shirt and running shorts standing in an outdoors hut - Male modelling, fitness photoshoot in Sydney by Kent Johnson Photography

Body shot in bright sun a for a male modelling, fitness photoshoot in Sydney by Kent Johnson Photography

Muscular man running on the beach with seaweed for a male modelling, fitness photoshoot in Sydney by Kent Johnson Photography

Male modelling, fitness photoshoot in Sydney by Kent Johnson Photography

Man in runners, black tee-shirt and running shorts - Male modelling, fitness photoshoot in Sydney by Kent Johnson Photography

A muscular man, shirtless wearing track pants, sitting against a veranda column of an elegant house for a lifestyle, Male modelling, fitness photoshoot in Sydney by Kent Johnson Photography

A man in running shorts and a sloppy joe sweater leaning against a veranda column of an elegant house for a lifestyle, Male modelling, fitness photoshoot in Sydney by Kent Johnson Photography

Small racing boat with clear sails sailing through silver light on Sydney harbour with the CBD, Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background.
Yes, that's the view from the location. This photoshoot was also very affordable - it's my entry level portfolio package - at $390! For that you get a photoshoot of about two hours, but not capped, I work to get the best shots, thats the goal - and the package includes four fully edited Hi-Res photos. Kris decided he wanted more than four. That's no problem, 'extras' are only $75 each and are fully edited too. There are no surprises about how much the shoot is or the editing when you shoot with me, you are in complete financial control.
Overlooking Rose Bay, a man in swim shorts with a jumper over his shoulders. Male modelling, fitness photoshoot in Sydney by Kent Johnson Photography

My next blog post will be a studio male modelling portfolio. Bookmark the page, and check out my Men's Fashion & Modelling page on my web site here. PS click these shots to see them larger! Same goes for my website too.

After your shoot I watermark 'PROOF' and Dropbox about 100 shots, best of the best for you to go through and make your selection from. You may also download and keep these pictures. 

Screenshot of thumbnails of unedited Proof Shots from a fitness photoshoot in a Dropbox folder. Kent Johnson Photography
Unedited 'Proofs' from making a final selection uploaded to Dropbox

After you make your selection (I'm happy to help) I edit them and upload them to another Dropbox folder, Hi-Res A3 size and WEB size so the pictures are easy to email agencies or prospective clients. I also include B&W and Colour shots when I have made them too. There are no watermarks on these edited files.

Screenshot of thumbnails of edited pictures from a fitness photoshoot in a Dropbox folder. Kent Johnson Photography
Final selection, edited and uploaded to Dropbox

Ready to shoot? Call or email me and lets get started.

Kent Johnson, Sydney, Australia.
0433 796 863



Sunday 12 November 2023

Australia + Fashion Photography - Group Show for Head On 2023

 This year I decided I would like to put together an exhibition of fashion photography that would do a couple of things - at least! The first was to show that fashion photography, at it's best is a true art form, a fine art. As I pitched the idea to photographers, sometimes via their agents, I started saying I wanted to show that fashion photography was, 'not just for magazines and then the bin'. I wanted to show that fashion photography was not disposable imagery and that great creative photography was visual art worth collecting, well worth space on your wall. One of the main prompts for this idea - especially the role of Australia, was Brett Hilder's image that he has often referred to as 'Legs Over Ayres Rock'  (Uluru 1976 - then known as Ayres Rock) which is one of my favourite fashion pictures and virtually unknown as I don't think it is part of any of the major gallery collections - god knows why, it really should be! So I certainly wanted to exhibit that picture - if Brett would let me? Thank you Brett. I then began looking around for other fashion photographs that featured something typically Australian - identifiably part of Australia or Australian identity.

Compilation of photographs for the exhibition Australia + Fashion Photography, a Group Show for Head On 2023
Australia + Fashion Photography - Head On 2023

Fashion photography often embraces the generic in how it uses landscapes and location though of course there are exceptions - perhaps laughingly sometimes the only way to identify a location is by the description! 'Shot in pick-a-location' with the model against an unidentifiable  beach/wall/garden or in an international modern hotel suite - the same in every major city. This is not the kind of picture I was looking for. I had recently connected with Tony Potts who had some stellar B&W fashion from the mid 1980s, and he was happy to come onboard. I followed up with an approach to Grant Matthews, Ditto. Australia, Beach, Bondi, these two had me covered. Liz Ham; who could forget her Newtown Punks series which took that very English Punk ideal and yet somehow transformed them into emo-esque Aussie larrikins, though here we have some young women with chickens. Juli Balla bringing a European sensibility to the Australian light and dare I say, an approach to colour and modulating her landscape in a way not dissimilar to the approach of the early European painters when representing the Australian countryside, well mannered, and never too wild. And I have some pictures in the show, from two stories set in Costal and Bush landscapes, both places a deep part of the Australian psyche. Michele Aboud brings a famous Australian to the Australia theme and the saturation of the blue Australian sky as a feature of the land down-under. The exhibition is Co-curated with Head On Director Moshe Rosenzveig OAM.

Photographs by Kent Johnson installed on the promenade at Bondi Beach for Australia + Fashion Photography - Head On 2023
Fashion Photography by Kent Johnson - Bondi Beach Promenade - Australia + Fashion Photography

The pictures are on show now 11 Nov 2023 - 03 Dec 2023, Bondi Beach Promenade Queen Elizabeth Dr Bondi Beach. I also interviewed each of the photographers about their pictures in the exhibition and the information I uncovered about their inspiration and ways of working are, I think absolutely fascinating. The first 30 minute edit of the interviews can be seen or listened too on YouTube here 


Best viewed on Bondi Beach - perhaps while listening to the YouTube interviews above.

Photography by Michele Aboud - Bondi Beach Promenade - Australia + Fashion Photography
Photographs by Michele Aboud - Bondi Beach Promenade - Australia + Fashion Photography

Juli Balla (middle 3) - Bondi Beach Promenade - Australia + Fashion Photography
Juli Balla (middle 3) - Bondi Beach Promenade - Australia + Fashion Photography
Grant Matthews - Liz Ham - Bondi Beach Promenade - Australia + Fashion Photography
Grant Matthews - Liz Ham - Bondi Beach Promenade - Australia + Fashion Photography
Brett Hilder & Tony Potts - Bondi Beach Promenade - Australia + Fashion Photography
Brett Hilder & Tony Potts - Bondi Beach Promenade - Australia + Fashion Photography
Photography by Liz Ham - Bondi Beach Promenade - Australia + Fashion Photography
Photographs by Liz Ham - Bondi Beach Promenade - Australia + Fashion Photography

Thanks to Director Moshe Rosenzveig and the Head On Photo Festival Team & to the photographers in the show, Brett Hilder, Grant Matthews, Juli Balla, Kent Johnson, Liz Ham and Michele Aboud - there would be no show without you.
https://headon.org.au/exhibitions/australia-fashion-photography

Liz Ham   / lizhamdotcom   Tony Potts   / tonypottsphotography   Michele Aboud   / micheleaboud   Brett Hilder   / bretthilder   Juli Balla   / juliballaphoto   Grant Matthews Kent Johnson   / iamkentjohnson  

360-Degree Virtual Tour of Australia + Fashion Photography at Bondi Beach - Click the X for fullscreen

Wednesday 13 September 2023

A Modelling Portfolio With A View

 If you go looking through my portfolio of fashion images you would be hard pressed to find pictures with well known landmarks. This is simply because Fashion Photography might love luxury, edgy, cool, dark, sexy, whatever; and even the lure of travel - but it's the outfits that have to shine. So the landscape and landmarks almost always play second fiddle to the clothes and the model or the model and the clothes... I suppose that makes the location third, not even second place! But every so often, the landscape or a landmark is required to make a statement about the 'where' and in the case of this photoshoot, the 'who' as well. That's because it is a modelling portfolio shoot for a non local who before leaving Australia, wanted a portfolio to kick start their modelling career when they returned to Germany. 

So the landmark here, must be unmistakable, the Sydney Opera House and it's always-there dance partner, the Sydney Harbour Bridge. But its still a portfolio shoot and for that kind of picture the model is the key - I don't want the location to dominate the picture, just lend some GPS coordinates and local charm.

Linus, B&W male modelling portfolio shot with Sydney Opera House in the background.
Linus, B&W modelling portfolio shot with Sydney Opera House

I love the Sydney Harbour Bridge and it's Art Deco forms cast in old concrete. Two 20th century Australian Icons. In these shots they do not dominate but they tell you where we are, Sydney, by the harbour, Australia. So we photographed on the bridge, under the bridge, beside, the bridge, and even went to the other side of Sydney Cove to the Opera House and shot on the north promenade, with Linus jogging at the Opera House as so many people do! Yes it's pretty casual in Australia. It was Linus's first photoshoot, and he did well, we did well. Scroll down, check out the shots. If you are on a laptop or desktop computer, click the pictures to see them bigger! Need a portfolio or fashion pictures, just get in contact and let me know.
Male Modelling Portfolio, B&W Mid-shot on location - Sydney Harbour Bridge
Male Modelling Portfolio, Mid-shot on location - Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sitting on the steps. Male Modelling Portfolio, On location in Sydney -  Bridge Stairs
Male Modelling Portfolio, On location in Sydney -  Bridge Stairs

Linus with arms folded for a B&W mid-shot, w/Sydney Harbour Bridge in background
Linus, B&W mid-shot, w/Sydney Harbour Bridge in background

Linus, mid-shot in colour with arms behind his back, w/Sydney Harbour Bridge in background
Linus, mid-shot, w/Sydney Harbour Bridge in background

Full length fitness shot of male model jogging at the Sydney Opera House
Fitness shot - Jogging at the Sydney Opera House

Black and white , horizontal headshot, on location.
Horizontal headshot, on location.

Horizontal mid-shot in B&W with the Sydney Opera House in the background
Horizontal mid-shot in B&W 

A very casual mid-shot, Linus as a traveller in Sydney 2023 with the iron superstructure of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background.
A very casual mid-shot, Linus as a traveller in Sydney 2023

Saturday 5 November 2022

Viv in a NYC Cocktail Bar for Head On, Portrait Prize 2022

This picture was made in New York City in 2017, and it's the second shot of Vivienne from 2017 that has been a Head On Semi-finalist image. The other was a more candid shot of a visibly tired Vivienne taken in Lyon, France, toward the end of a month of travel and photography. I love these pictures as I feel that both of them make real statements about the place, the time, and subject(s) being photographed. In both pictures one of the subjects is the location, the other is Vivienne and in each picture the location and Viv are photographed, photographically, very differently.

Vivienne photographed in an intensely patterned faux animal print decor Cocktail Bar NYC 2017 for White Caviar Life.
Vivienne, Cocktail Bar NYC 2017 for White Caviar Life.

These pictures are grounded in my beginnings shooting film as a photographer, and learning to see 'photographically' the desired end result. Where I had to learn to see that end result in my minds eye before having taken the picture. It's very much the opposite of digital photography. I had to have a picture in my head, now the picture appears instantaneously on the back of the camera (or tethered, on a computer screen), but only after the shutter has been pressed. I was talking to a colleague yesterday and I made a statement about this picture to him, which I immediately jotted down before I forgot! These days [photographers] 'they think with what they see, not with what could be'. If I had done that with the picture of Vivienne in the hotel bar I would have had a dark moody picture with a quirky faux animal print decor.

Woman sitting in a dark hotel bar - underexposed, no flash
The dark hotel bar - underexposed, no flash.

 So what did I do to shape these pictures to 'what they could be'? Lets stick with the cocktail bar shot first. Like most bars and nightclubs that are not a windowed shopfront, even with the lights on, they are dark. Dark for the eyes and very dark for the camera. As I had little by way of lighting equipment, that meant accepting the dark, or of doing something else. Fortunately, what I saw in the bar was an opportunity to do a paparazzi nightclub - Studio 54 - someone famous, who is she? Kind of thing, well lit, or, loudly lit with direct flash like a paparazzi shot so I could emphasize the eccentric decor while borrowing the instant fame meme through the use of strong flash. Above is what the room looks like (camera set for flash) without the additional lighting. Yes its way underexposed due to a flash not firing, but it does show how little available room light there was. As the old photographers joke goes - Available light? Not available... Camera Nikon D810, 50mm f1,8 at f2 125th ISO 200. I needed to hand hold the camera, as I was using the tripod to support the reflector so I could bounce the on-camera flash into it, so I would get that direct flash paparazzi look - but softer and importantly, wider. My back was also against the bar, half squatting in this long but very narrow room. I rearranged the tables to create the foreground shapes, and had lot of work to do keeping the camera straight, the flash going into the not very well supported reflector while directing my sitter, Viv, into a Grand NY Dame pose, unexpectedly confronted by the camera! That is one of the things I love about photography, fashion photography in particular, the make-believe, which now is called story telling though for me they are not quite the same thing. So to my mind, this is a pure fashion shot and not a portrait at all. For years I would never have submitted a fashion picture to a portrait competition. But then, for so many years I kept looking at portrait shows that had more than a few 'fashion' shots in them and so eventually I decided, that a picture like this, was fine to submit. Though having said that. It is also a picture of Vivienne and I, a portrait of what we do - so I guess it's a portrait too after all.

The Lyon hotel room as prepared for a lifestyle shot.

And what about the portrait from Lyon? The funny thing for me is that when I look at this picture, I think it's taken after we made the trip from the Ch√Ęteau in Bagnols where we had been staying. That I've taken this picture after we had checked in and loosened up a bit. Changing hotels is often a stress filled day. But that is not the case at all. The picture was made a few days later, Day 3 in Lyon, at the end of a 'lifestyle' shot Viv wanted to do in the hotel room for her website White Caviar Life. Scrolling through the image folder I can see that we did two looks, one a little black dress with her sitting on the bed, then the towelling robe, against the curtains. After an hour and a quarter of working through these themes it was declared 'a wrap' and at that point Vivienne collapsed into the armchair. At last I saw a picture that I wanted to make, Eve Arnold, Marilyn Monroe, on-set-or, is it Norma Jean? Will the real Vivienne please 'let your head role to the side a bit...' So what I brought to this shot was a template of stardom as seen through Magnum style reportage photography of old Hollywood. And black and white, it had to be black and white, of course.

Black and white portrait of a woman in white bathrobe leaning back against a suitcase in a hotel room in Lyon, France.
Vivienne, hotel room Lyon, France 2017 (Head On Semi-finalist 2018).

 As I started out saying, they are very different pictures made using different approaches. The NY Bar shot is completely constructed from the beginning, and the image selected is one of the first 10 frames. The Lyon room shot is made by taking advantage of the situation at the end of a shoot where I could feel a magical image swimming in my head starting to form, and after a little direction I was able to capture in my camera. Thirteen fames, in under two minutes - after an hour and a quarter of shooting. We did two other shots on location in Lyon that day as well. Those are something special for another occasion. https://headon.org.au/

I'm available for for assignment worldwide, just drop me a line and say hello.

Kent Johnson, Sydney, Australia.
0433 796 863




Thursday 23 June 2022

Lingerie Inspired Fashion - The Hunger Games meets The Age of Glamour

This shoot started with an email in July or August last year, about shooting a range, in 2022. It seemed such a long lead time, I wondered if it would happen. We had a mood board. A long siesta.. then back to it. The words were Lingerie and The Hunger Games, the mood board inspo was elegance.  I found some good location options. Then as we closed in on our shoot date the weather really turned on us. We started thinking studio - then my partner suggested hotels. Of course! I've been shooting them for White Caviar Life for years now, how did this not occur to me; an interior location for around the same cost as a studio!

Model photographed in a hotel room wearing vintage style haleter neck bra top and 'carwash' long split pants.

We went with The Old Clare Hotel which has an inspired mix of old and new - and - heating! I dialled that thermostat up to 28 C the minute I got in the room. Our talent for the shoot was dancer, Micaela who was a great choice for our story in four outfits.

Model standing in profile, wearing a bra style top with paneled skirt in dark blue/green and burgundy.
Click Pictures To View Large

Model reclining on a hotel bed wearing a bra style top with paneled skirt in dark blue/green and burgundy.

 I was looking for moody, not dark, vintage but not old fashioned.

Model standing before a tall window at night in bell sleeve, coreset style top with square neckline, soft red satin shorts and stockings.

Midshot of a model standing before a tall window at night in bell sleeve, coreset style top with square neckline, soft red satin shorts and stockings.

Full length of a model standing before a tall window at night in bell sleeve, coreset style top with square neckline, soft red satin shorts and stockings.
We changed it up a bit, or laid it down.. the model anyway - with her feet up.

Model lying on her back, blue bell sleves, strappy burgundy bra with blue-green-bodysuit

We shot four looks and included front and back shots and worked on capturing key details. Like the splits in the pants in the opening shot of this blog. The fabric panels, the shape and drape of the sleeves. Look at those sleeves! How can you not want to find a way to feature them, so beautiful! I'm glad we opted for the room. Though it was not as large as a studio, it gave us enough of the world to help us tell this fashion story, a little mystery, moody though not dark, vintage but not old fashioned.

Designer - Gemma Pope, the range - Viena

Model-Dancer - Micaela Sacco-Tranter

Kent Johnson, Sydney, Australia.
0433 796 863