Recent shoot: headshots with Andy McNamee

Here's some photos from last weekend, working with a fantastic theatre director and good friend of mine, Andy McNamee. Some new equipment has made it easier for me to capture the kinds of images I that I've really been looking for, and I absolutely love the results I have already been getting. For those that want to know, the below images were shot using a Nikon D750 with a Nikon 85mm 1.4G lens.

Really amazing depth of field and blurry backgrounds on these images, with tack sharp focus on the eyes. Not only that, the autofocus of the D750 is as fast as lightning and produces unbelievable images that are a treat to work with in Lightroom.

If you're interested in getting your headshots taken with me, drop me a note at hello@willpatrick.co.uk or get in touch through my contact page - I'd love to work with you! :)

WP

Ten Commandments of photography

Recently, I've spent a bit of time thinking about the principles that I go by in my photography. Here's what I came up with.

1.     Know the fundamentals - a deep understanding of how ISO, aperture and shutter speed work together will take you 80% of the way towards being a truly competent photographer. Everything else is extra.

2.     Back your data up - doesn't matter how good your photography is if it all gets deleted, right?

3.     Shoot RAW - why settle for less? Because that's what JPEG is. Unless you're shooting 5000 photos of a football game in perfect conditions and you've done it a hundred times before, I'd really like to hear your excuse.

4.     Glass first - high quality lenses will always, always outlast even the best bodies of today. Some of my best photos were taken on an old(!) D7000 because I had top quality glass mounted on the front of it (Nikkor 24-70 2.8).

5.     Show your work - why take photos if they'll just sit in a metaphorical drawer forever? Get them out there. I don't care how. Put them on Flickr. Create a website. Show them to your friends. Email them to your relatives. Enter them into competitions. Doing all of these things will give you some level of feedback and the encouragement to keep going.

6.     Always learn - reading books, watching youtube videos, experimenting with new techniques and equipment, talking to other photographers, going to classes and seminars...it all adds up and helps you keep on developing as a photographer. Otherwise, you'll just stand still and get boring.

7.     Capitalize on your limits - shy of shooting people? Become the best landscape photographer out there. Haven't got the best equipment? Improve your technique so no-one can tell. Running out of light at the end of the day? Do some crazy long exposure. Don't worry about the things that stop you doing what you had in mind - let the constraints that play out on the day (and there are always more than you imagine) work to your advantage.

8.     Value what you do - others may not get it or see the appeal. Ignore them. Placing a high level of value on what you do with your gear, your subjects, your locations, your processing - you name it - will turn itself into improved results every single time.

9. Change frequently - taken all your shots in landscape? Shoot portrait. Been shooting wide all day long? Switch to long glass and zoom in for a different perspective. Only ever process in colour? Do some in black and white. Only ever shoot buildings? Scare yourself and take portraits once in a while. Changing and adapting constantly keeps you fresh and the things you learn through different ways of doing things seep into all the other types of photography you do.

10. Have a sense of humour - take yourself too seriously and all your photos will be boring and staid. Keep laughing.

Recent shoot: Sian Lacey

This was a hell of a lot of fun - a whole four hour shoot working with the wonderful model Sian Lacey and make-up artist Alicja Szych. We went from natural lighting and natural looks and got more abstract as we went along.

Here's a selection of my favourite shots from the day:

You can find them both on Twitter: SianAlicja.

WP

Mollie King

I've recently had the great fortune to be able to work with one of the UK's foremost fashion bloggers (and, you know, pop stars) Mollie King. Her website, www.mollieking.com, is where you'll find her latest fashion posts and, if you aren't already following her on Instagram, you can join the 515,000 people who already do so....

Here's a sample of the photos from our shoots:

Cornelius Geaney Jr

Most of the time, actors just need headshots. They're the most important images an actor often has of themselves. They help to promote the actor online, on social media, in print and - most importantly of all - with casting directors. But is that the only images that an actor needs? Absolutely not! Think of the impact you can make as an actor if you've got a few other stunning photos up your sleeve that show you in a slightly different light...

This was the aim working with Neil Geaney recently, in and around the streets of London's Soho to get a range of looks that he would be able to use on his website and social media. Take a look below:

Find Neil online at his website, www.corneliusgeaneyjr.com and his Twitter.

Angus MacRae

Have I mentioned that I like working with artists? Angus MacRae is one of them, and a good friend of mine to boot. I had the chance to shoot some promotional photos for him recently - check them out below.

Also, swing by his website here: www.angusmacraemusic.com, his Facebook page and - most important of all - have a listen to his new EP 'Awake' on Spotify (I edited all his photos while listening to it).


My first camera

Somewhere along the line when I was a kid, I got interested in photography. I can't remember when it first really started, but I do remember the first camera I was given: a Zenit B. It was heavy as anything and, at first, a riddle to unravel.

The Zenit B - 'Made in the USSR'

Even by the standards of when I was using it, this thing was as pared back as you could get.

There was no light metering built in, so you needed to use a separate, handheld light meter to take constant readings, adjusting as you went along. There were no memory cards, so you had to rely on the 36 shots you had on the film, changing rolls when you ran out, manually winding the film back into the canister. There was also no way of checking what your photos looked like until they were developed. And the focus was manual, of course (and you had to stop the aperture down manually for every photo, too - pretty laborious).

Stamped on the underneath of the lens: 'Made in the USSR'.

But the lens itself? 58mm f2, clear as day. An indestructible body that could survive a fall from a serious height (probably because it was made out of old Russian tractor parts or something). And the results? Quality photographs and a real grounding in the essentials of photography.

I still have it and, once in a while when I have few rolls of film handy, I take it out for a spin.

To read a bit more about the Zenit B, click here.

Getting into the studio... Part 2

This weekend I had my first session in one of the studios at The Camera Club (finally). I was joined by a couple of friends (big thanks to Matt and Oli) so that I could have a couple of hours to get used to the equipment, a) because I hadn't used it in a while and b) because I wasn't too sure what they had in there! After a few wobbles, everything went rather well and I've got even more sessions booked in over the coming months.

Here's a couple of the images from the day:

Joining the camera club

Yesterday, I made South of the river to join one of London's (if not the UK's?) longest-establish camera clubs. The Camera Club was established in 1885 and is entirely volunteer run, owning their own building in Kennington.

And what a building. I was there for their studio induction and the facilities are impressive. Both studios have 4 Bowens 500 gemini heads and more modifiers than you can shake a stick at, and for an amazingly good price per hour too. I've already booked my first session and am looking forward to getting in there next weekend.

Keep an eye out for the results!

Getting into the studio

A couple of weekends ago, I had the chance to get into a studio to try my hand at using studio lighting for the first time and... it was awesome. The amount of control that lighting, in a studio space, offers to the photographer is incredible and it needs to be experienced to be believed. But it also means that you need to take your time in setting things up and refining that setup as you go on, because every little alteration has some sort of impact on the final product.

Model 1, two softbox setup with one off to the back left acting as a 'kicker' or 'rimlight'. 1/160, f11, ISO 100, 58mm (24-70 f2.8).

Model 1, two softbox setup with one off to the back left acting as a 'kicker' or 'rimlight'. 1/160, f11, ISO 100, 58mm (24-70 f2.8).

A London-based group of photographers holds these events every so often and they also invite models along so there's a subject to shoot. The whole thing includes full tutelage on how to use the equipment (3 Bowens 750 heads, triggers and a bunch of modifiers) and then time to muck about and practice, before doing more structured shoots and setups.

Model 2, 'Rembrandt': one softbox above and to the left with a hairlight in the back right. 1/200, f18, ISO 100, 70mm (24-70 f2.8).

Model 2, 'Rembrandt': one softbox above and to the left with a hairlight in the back right. 1/200, f18, ISO 100, 70mm (24-70 f2.8).

The only alterations that the above images had was to contrast and some minor histogram alterations in Lightroom - nothing else. It's settled in my mind the decision to join a local camera club I know, just so that I can use their studio space in the future - learning more about studio lighting and how to use it is a big priority for me now!

Working with creatives

The last few times I've been out on shoots, it's been with people who have been in the process of creating something. There's something really satisfying photographing someone else who is totally focused on what they're doing to create and make something. It's practically mesmerising; it also lets me get into a similar zone at the same time, concentrating on creating the best possible image of them that I can.

Rose Jackson Taylor at work

Rose Jackson Taylor at work

It alters the relationship between the photographer and the subject in some way, perhaps. Because you're both engaged in the same sort of thing - creating - there's a more earnest element to it than, for example, shooting someone in the controlled environment of a studio or in a headshot session.

Holly and Ted in rehearsal

Holly and Ted in rehearsal

Not only that, but you also get a unique insight into something that you don't normally see. Normally you see the finished object - the painting or the stamp or the show on stage. Getting a look at the process of creation mid flow is something exciting.

Are you an artist, performer, or a creator of any kind? I'd be interested in photographing you! Drop me a line on the contact page or email me directly at hello@willpatrick.co.uk

W

Website update and new content

After much umming and ahhing and re-arranging of images on my computer, I have finally updated my website to be that much more clearer and easily navigable. I had some very helpful feedback from some people (you know who you are) for which I am very grateful.

I've also been able to showcase some of my landscape photos as well as to give a greater, in-depth look at some of the project work I have recently done. Now all I need to do is remember to update my blog a bit more often and keep on. Oh, and to keep taking photos.

Hope you like the site too. If you have any comments or want to get in touch, head over to the About/Contact page to drop me a line, or leave a comment.

Thanks!

WP

Hello

So with precisely no fanfare, I have finally decided to open this thing up to you, the viewing public, should you wish to view it...

Have a look around. Drop me a line on the contact page. Hello.