Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Exciting News!

I feel that these two images reflect today...

I received the best news ever! You know that feeling when you get butterflies, and everything feels like it is coming together for the time being? That is the feeling that I received. Excited. Nervous. Ecstatic. I wasn't quite expecting it, I was so excited, yet in shock at the same time. It is all very exciting, the best thing that has happened to me in quite some time, but I can't tell anyone anything yet as everything is still yet to be confirmed. However, I can tell you that March is going to be an INCREDIBLE month for me, it is going to involve a lot of travelling back and forth from different places during the month, and then my brother turns the big 21 at the end of it. Celebrations all round.

Watch this space...

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Mickey Mouse's Valentine Outcome

I am really pleased with the outcomes of this shoot, each theme is very different to the next. The Valentine's theme worked incredibly well, mainly because of the little accessories that my Mum made, thank you. I loved experimenting with each theme, especially Mickey Mouse as face paint is something that is rarely seen in images.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Mickey Mouse's Valentine

My shoot on Wednesday went fantastically well despite it being an incredibly long day. I'm so happy that it all came together as I had spent a lot of time preparing for it! 

I was really excited about the shoot. Working with fantastic people and being creative again. Woohoo. During the preparation for the shoot I used different internet search engines and magazines to look for inspiration on my two themes including a copy of the Digital SLR Photography magazine from 2006 which my boyfriend kindly bought me from the "book barn" a few weeks ago, where everything was £1.00! On Sunday I uploaded some of the best photographs that I found using Google that I believe were the most relevant to my themes: Preparation for Wednesday's Shoot.


Sophie wanted to do the Valentine's Day theme as the 14th was the day after. With this theme Jody included different shades of red and pink as they are the colours associated with love, but she also included some silver above Sophie's eyes to emphasise them. From doing my research I knew what sort of images I wanted to produce so I decided that I wanted her hair down in order to produce a 'fan' effect with her hair. With some photographs I knew that I wanted little flowers stuck into Sophie's hair, so my Madre (Mum) had sown some little rose buds onto hair grips to make them easier to stick in, otherwise they would have fallen out. These were so easy to use in photographs and it is proof that sometimes the little things are the most important. We also used a variety of other accessories including candy love hearts sweets to form a necklace, little gems, and big hair flowers that my Madre produced. I enjoyed using the candy love hearts to form a necklace as it was something very different, thank you Jody for suggesting the idea. It worked very well, so I'm glad that I didn't eat them all.

Not only was I behind the camera during the photo shoot, but I was in front as well! I'm so used to being behind the camera that it was ever so strange to be in front of it, but I tried to give it a go. I liked so many make up ideas that I had seen during my research that I asked Jody to try and reproduce a specific photograph using different coloured gems, a bit of mascara and lipgloss, so nothing too drastic. I enjoyed including the heart shaped balloons in my photographs as they were fun and interesting.


I think Jorden was excited to try out the Mickey Mouse face paint theme as it is not something that is usually seen in photo shoots. During my research I had found a similar photograph that I wanted to try and replicate. Harriet is very clever as I have worked with her before so I knew that she would be very precise about getting it right. First she drew the outline on the face, then filled in the blacks and whites - it took her over an hour to produce! The photographs that we were making involved a lot of contrast because of Jorden's outfit, the colour of her hair, and the face paint so Alex came up with the idea of throwing a balloon into the image to add a bit of colour. As it was nearing Valentine's we decided to use the heart shaped balloons. I think it worked really well, but what do you think?


Alex even had a go at being in front of the camera! She had been so helpful during the shoot that I wanted her to have her make up done and have a go at being a model. Harriet included different shades of purple and green for this look calling it a "mermaid look" as when Alex's eyes were open the eyeshadow looked purple, but when they were closed, it looked green, it was very clever. I think that this make up suited Alex.

Some 'behind the scenes' images...

From top left to bottom right photo credit: Alex Compton, Alex Compton, Jody Amner, Alex Compton.

Thank you to everyone involved in making this shoot a success; Alex for helping me with the lighting, Harriet and Jody for creating such great make up, and Sophie and Jorden for modelling. If anyone is looking for great make up artists then I would definitely recommend Harriet and Jody, they work well individually, but also as a team.

I think all of these images and themes work really well on each model, but what do you think? Do you agree? 

Sunday, 10 February 2013

The Swan Hotel, Wells

Due to the recent weather conditions I was only able to make photographs on Saturday evening in The Swan Hotel, Wells, Somerset due to the other events being cancelled or postponed.

I have previously visited the hotel back in January 2013 when I was working towards one of my university projects entitled 'people at work'. These are some of the better photographs from that visit...

I arrived at 7.30pm to a very busy and hot kitchen as the first tables had just sat down for dinner, so their starters were already being prepared and cooked. "Service" was being yelled every few minutes and I had to work around the six people that were working; Head Chef Leigh, Chef Luigi, Chef Jake, two waitresses and a kitchen porter. On my previous visit  I had only photographed Chef Luigi and Chef Lilly. It is always challenging to work in a busy restricted kitchen, but as a photographer you have to be able to think fast on your feet, and keep an eye on what activities are happening around you.

There were two menus available for the guests to choose from that evening. A dinner menu specific for the 9th February, or an a la carte menu, so I frequently saw two of my favourite dishes, Hecks cider steamed River Teigh mussels, and overnight bread from the a la carte menu and whole lemon sole, parsley butter from the special menu being made and sent out to the guests.

I love being able to watch food being prepared and made, especially when the chefs take as much care as they do at The Swan. All three chefs Leigh, Luigi and Jake have a very careful hand when it comes to decorating and displaying the food that is on the plate. When I spoke to Jake about the decoration of the food in the right hand photograph, he made it sound so casual. The presentation is second nature to him. I thought that I would share some of my favourite images that I made last night with you...

Food in right image: Braised beef wellington, mixed peppercorn cream from the dinner menu for Saturday 9th February 2013.
Food in left image: Red onion tart tartin, quantock blue custard from the a la carte menu.

If you haven't visited The Swan Hotel then I would definitely recommend it. You can find some more information here: http://www.swanhotelwells.co.uk/. Everyone at the hotel is very warm and welcoming, and you can tell that a lot of care and attention goes into the little details. A warm welcome awaits you.

Thank you to Emma Wheatley for organising my visit, and for Chef Leigh, Luigi and Jake for letting me make photographs in the kitchen once more.

Preparation For Wednesday's Photo Shoot...

This coming Wednesday, 10th February, Alex and I will once against be collaborating with Harriet: http://www.facebook.com/HarrietYoungFreelanceHairMakeupArtist and Jody Amner, a South Wales based make up artist: http://www.facebook.com/JAmnerMUA on another creative photo shoot.

I have decided on two themes for the photo shoot, Valentine's Day as it is the day after, and body painting. I like the idea of body painting as it can be very striking in an image and there are many different forms of it. I have done a lot of research in preparation for the shoot and I thought that I would show you some of my favourite images...


The photographer/make up artists of these images are unknown.

My favourite image has to be the Mickey Mouse face painting as I have never seen an image like that before. For this theme I plan on using black and white throughout in order to keep the consistency as using colour would form a distraction. For the other theme I am hoping to use different shades of reds and pinks throughout with different forms of accessories such as heart shaped balloons, flowers, and love heart sweets. Thank you to my mother for helping me with everything.

Look out for my blog post on Thursday for the final results.

Friday, 8 February 2013


Here are some of the best images of Cerys from the creative studio shoot...

My favourite image from the set of Cerys' images is most definitely the image on the top right because of her pose and the shape that her right arm is forming with it being placed on her hip. With her eyes looking straight down the camera lens you are immediately drawn into the make up.

Tomorrow I am covering a local rugby match, photographing desserts in a hotel in the evening, and a sky dive on Sunday so I will hopefully have a lot to blog about this weekend. Keep a look out.

Thursday, 7 February 2013


The shoot went well! Hoorah. 

Yesterday morning myself, Alex, Harriet, and Jenny Davies, a Bristol based make up artist collaborated on a studio shoot.

From the beginning of the preparation for this shoot I knew that I wanted to use two make up artists in order to create two completely different and creative looks. I had so many ideas that I didn't know where to begin, but I started from the beginning with these two... with more shoots to follow.


Harriet created an organic look on our model Cerys, using shades of grey and black. I wanted to keep all of the sequins a similar colour and size in order to keep the consistency throughout the image. I think the colours have complimented the model and pulled out the colour of her eyes. I kept her hair simple in order to emphasise the make up as it had taken Harriet around an hour and a half to produce.


Jenny created a very striking symmetrical look on our other model Briony. I was looking for a dramatic look using face lace on neutral make up. Face lace is an unusual type of make up that is not often seen or worn. With Briony's hair up, it emphasises the beauty, and originality of the make up.

I am really pleased with the outcome of this set of images as all of the focus is on the beauty of the make up. I like working with make up artists who have the ability to produce original make up and allow their creativity to flow through their work. Thank you to everyone who helped make these photographs work as well as I think they do; Alex for helping with the lighting, Harriet and Jenny for producing such amazing make up, and Cerys and Briony for modelling.

I love this set, but what do you think? More studio shoots to follow, one being the 13th February. I will hopefully be using Valentine's as my theme... watch this space.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Creative Shoot

Tomorrow morning Solex Photography are collaborating with Harriet Young, a South Wales based make up artist on a studio shoot. I personally enjoy working in studio environments as it gives me the ability to control the lighting set up and experiment until I am fully satisfied with the images that I am making.

During the preparation for this studio shoot, Alex Compton and I researched different types of make up using the internet and magazines. We were primarily looking for the 'wow factor', something very different and out of the ordinary, as well as the more natural look.

Here are some of our favourite photographs:


Photographer/make up artist of these images is unknown.

I really like these images. I like the way the make up artist has used just one colour to great effect in the image on the left. The image on the right is in contrast to this and is more precise using many colours. Both are quite striking.

During tomorrows shoot, myself and Alex are planning on producing similar images with Harriet's help. I am looking forward to watching another artist at work and to stimulate my creative side.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

'Minnie's', Cabot Circus, Bristol

On the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd February 2013, The Only Way Is Essex cast members Sam and Billie Faiers and their family members, Sue Wells, mother and Libby Low, aunt, travelled 160 miles from Brentwood, Essex to open their 'Minnie's Pop Up Boutique' store in Cabot Circus, Bristol.

On the 1st February I was invited to attend the exclusive preview which gave the press, media and VIP guests the opportunity to see the store and all of the products in their glory before the store officially opened to the public the next day. With sixty invited guests expected to attend, the evening was very relaxed with champagne flowing throughout the night whilst Sam and Billie were mingling happily with their guests. Some guests even had the opportunity to receive a make over by the girls where they picked out clothes for them to try on. An interesting collection of fabulous cakes were available for all throughout the evening. Each cake was beautifully presented, and I couldn't resist photographing them.

Throughout the evening I enjoyed mingling with their guests, and meeting other bloggers and photographers. There were only three photographers present, a Rex Features photographer, the official Cabot Circus photographer, and myself. Both gentlemen were very welcoming and I enjoyed watching how they worked. I also met Tara, a Bristol blogger from The Style Rawr. We discussed how lovely and down to earth the sisters were, and Tara told me all about her travels. 
Note to self: MUST go travelling and explore the world.
If you have a passion for fashion, then I would definitely check out her blog: http://www.thestylerawr.com/ and I am pretty sure that Tara would not mind helping you out with any styling tips if you needed them.
Overall the evening was a wonderful success! There was so many beautiful products to photograph, and the girls were a delight. I even got a goody bag full of lovely fake bake products.

I went back to the official photo call for the public opening of the boutique on 2nd February. Sam and Billie posed for the paparazzi and additional media. One agency photographer even travelled down from Birmingham just for the event! It was an overwhelming, but amazing experience. The photographers had to be quick in order to make their shots as the sisters had a very busy schedule for the day.

The Minnie's Boutique Crew

At 2pm that day the sisters' held a book signing in the centre of Cabot Circus. Members of the public started queuing at 12pm so you can only imagine what the queue was like, I have never seen Cabot Circus so busy. The girls happily signed autographs in Minnie's Boutique diaries, and books whilst meeting and having photographs with their fans. With an event like this I had to be able to think quickly in order to achieve the shots that I was looking for as I had to work around specific people.

Sam Faiers (Left) with sister Billie Faiers (Right)

Over the past couple of days I have been given numerous photography opportunities and met some amazing people so I am incredibly thankful. For more photographs please visit: http://sophieelbourn.4ormat.com/#1

Non of these photographs are for reuse. Copyright Sophie Elbourn.