Documentary photography – preparing for the L’Oreal Colour Trophy 2017

Documentary film on One Three Seven salon’s entry in the 2017 L’Oreal Colour Trophy

You may recall that in 2016 I was lucky enough to work with One Three Seven salon in Cranleigh to document their journey to the regional finals of the prestigious L’Oreal Colour Trophy.  The Colour Trophy is a massive deal in hairdressing circles with colourists and stylists alike fighting it out to find the next big trend in hair styling.  In 2016 the One Three Seven team make it to regionals and were both thrilled with great placing and disappointed not to make it through to the grand finals.  You can read all about it in my Spark Story from last year.

For me, the project was the perfect mix of documentary and fashion photography and the shoot to create the final looks was what really set me off on my path towards portraits and fashion.  It was definitely a turning point and a very steep learning curve about working under pressure, with very basic equipment and with limited time to get the shot.

This year I was thrilled to be invited back, and while the final ‘looks’ are under wraps until the competition entry is made (don’t want anyone stealing their ideas!) I’ve put together a little video of the preparations and antics during the creation of these stunning styles.

https://spark.adobe.com/video/u8gCjqURcD1gG/embed

Enjoy this little prelude and stay tuned for the final images – you’ll be blown away!

www.siantphoto.com

Designing the perfect photo Christmas card

It’s much more common in the US than it is in the UK to send a personal Christmas card to friends and family.  In fact it’s something of a US institution for families to don their Christmas sweaters for a professionally shot Christmas portrait to adorn their family card.  Here in the UK we’re naturally less forward (or more lazy!?) about these things so it’s unusual to receive a non shop bought card.  As photographers, and particularly as working professionals I feel we should put in the effort to create our own card, but unless you’ve got a particularly photogenic and willing family (will is rather lacking in our house) perhaps not a family portrait one!

I love doing my card. It’s a chance to get creative but also a great way to market my work to existing and potential clients while also giving them the gift of something pretty.  This year I was inspired by the Nutcracker and combined a technique I’ve used before with mirrors and directional lights, along with a borrowed pair of ballet shoes to create the design I eventually had printed on A5 size, fine art cards.

Card design 2016.jpg

The fun thing about this shoot is that I actually created a whole bunch of images, so I had plenty to choose from and use for various purposes.  I chose this one for the printed card because I wanted something different to the normal Christmassy looking things so that my card would stand out among the huge number that most individuals and business will receive.  I wanted something with plenty of texture (I used a burnt paper texture overlay in Photoshop to enhance the patina on the shoes) and something with a vintage feel as this is a look I go for a lot in my work.

However, while this works brilliantly for a paper card, I also used another variant with montage techniques and my favourite crumpled tin foil for Instagram as I wanted something more jolly and bright there and I really love the twinkly bokeh this effect creates.

christmas-design-2

This third version I’m less sure about but I think there’s something here for the future.It’s a little too space age for what I wanted this time around but I’ll hang on to it for the future as I do like the effect.

christmas-design-1

Of course you’ve always got the option to sell your card design to make a few extra pennies, but I tried this last year and the profits were minimal so I’d rather keep my designs exclusive to me and make people feel their special to receive.

So Merry Christmas to all of you, I wish you a wonderful 2017!

http://www.siantphoto.com