Time to focus

Some of you may have noticed a steady decline in updates on the blog over the last year. To be honest as my work has started taking off I find the task of keeping the blog running more and more of a time consumer than it used to be. So with that said I’m streamlining my social media streams and winding down this feed so that I can concentrate on giving my work all the time it deserves.

I will be keeping my tumblr as a visual diary of my work (and play at times) – http://nodigitalheros.tumblr.com/

Plus you can always find me on Instagram – @bangphotography

And facebook for the more wordy visuals and latest peeks – www.facebook.com/bangphotography.fashion

I’ll leave this blog up as a little momento for as long as wordpress allows. Thanks for the interest and comments over the years, many of you have become friends, others I’ve had the chance to help out. 
See you online my friends.

How I got the shot.

So I thought I’d do a little inside knowledge / behind the shot post. I’ve taken a shot from this weeks mens fashion soot and I’m going to go through the thought process / direction given on set to achieve the final image. Ignoring lighting, cameras, settings, all the technical stuff, this is plain and simple “getting the shot” once all the other stuff is done.

I do get a number of folk asking about this kind of thing, I guess it’s one of the parts that you can’t learn from just looking at a final image, you need to live the experience and moment to know “how” it went down. So here’s a sequence of image of Jamie, a new face from J’adore Model Agency in Manchester. Hair by Laura & Ria Kulik at The Hair Bank, grooming by Laura Gibb MUA and wardrobe styling by the rather gifted Paula McNamara.

Contact sheet of photographs from a menswear fashion shoot. homme

Contact sheet of photographs from a menswear fashion shoot. Homme

What you see is the actual progression of the images from this section of the shoot. Nothing taken out or cropped etc. this is exactly how and what I shot. The final shot used is the one circled in blue, the others marked are the “got it” shots, the ones where I felt I got what it was I wanted.

So you’ll see the first idea was a full profile with the hands up in front of the face, I explain the “starting point” pose and get the first shot. From here I wanted a little more going on in the space in between Jamie and his arms so asked him to pick up the pendant around his neck and use that. You’ll see the pendant then drops to a perfect position to mirror his arms. This is close but I want to see more of his face, “Head to me Jamie” head turns to me and we are super close. He instinctively dropped his chin”Stronger eyes” BANG! Nailed it. Now the transition without missing a beat the energy is good and I know we’re golden right now. “Bite the pendant” his arm is out of frame, “Bring the right arm back” arms look messy, “switch hands” close, “Give it the bad boy rock star treatment” almost, “Head to me more” Slight zoom to crop “Attitude!” BANG. “Okay take a quick breather everyone, Jamie shake it out and let’s move into the next shot sequence”.

Here I’ll have a quick check on the monitor to confirm my feelings that we got it, quick sip of water/coffee and get moving on to our next shot.

How long did that take from the first to the last shot? Well I checked the EXIF data and shot one is timestamped 14:17:30 and the last shot is 14:18:58. So a minute and a half…. Like I say when it’s golden you go with the energy that flows. Also what that doesn’t tell you is it took me 2 hours to set up the studio, hair / make-up / wardrobe about the same. Plus the behind the scenes chat and build up, it’s not just a matter of the model stepping in front of the camera and this happening, we’ve already met, had a chat, had a giggle or whatever. The connection has already been worked on so that by the time it comes to us working here the flow is easy and natural. Not to mention our other 6 models

So there you go, I won’t pretend it’s easy because it takes hustle and experience to get to this point but it may act as a little insight into how shoots go down for me and what the interaction can be like. It gets to a point where for me it’s instinctive, I don’t stop everything and think about how I’m going to make it perfect in one shot. I set it up close and then let things fall into place organically. For me it works.

male model monochrome fashion editorial photograph

Final selected shot.

Falling For Grace

double page editorial fashion story

Editorial bad girl Grace @ Cliche Model Management. Cutting loose on our latest shoot.

 

double page editorial fashion story

Editorial bad girl Grace @ Cliche Model Management. Cutting loose on our latest shoot.

Grace is one cool customer when it comes to playing the part we create for her. This time was no exception, with her look and my kind of style we decided that we’d create a piece full of emotion and rage juxtaposed against the “pretty” fashions of Spring / early Summer. Simple styling, fresh colourful make-up, bright & punchy lighting. Something like if the Gap did a collaboration with Motley Crue……..

Lipstick & Skin

Shooting beauty work is a different set of challenges compared to say editorial or straight fashion portraits. With beauty, precision is key, perfection is the aim. Everything takes a lot longer, make-up prep, lighting set-up, time per shot, post production. For comparison a 2 hour portfolio development shoot can easily net four outfits and a whole bunch of different shots for a model. Whereas a two hour beauty session is one look and probably one final image.
It’s all about flawless skin and perfect make-up.
Here are a couple of fresh images from a shoot a couple of weeks ago. Here I was working with Thembi Mkandla makeup artist, using product from MAC and Armani. Our model for the day was Anna of Boss Model Management.

Cosmetic beauty, MAC & Armani. Lips & Skin. by Mark Ivkovic

Cosmetic beauty, MAC & Armani. Lips & Skin. by Mark Ivkovic

Cosmetic beauty, MAC & Armani. Lips & Skin. by Mark Ivkovic

Cosmetic beauty, MAC & Armani. Lips & Skin. by Mark Ivkovic

More Personal Frames From A Week

I actually make photographs everyday, it’s what allows me to be me, it’s my way of understanding not only myself but also the world around me. It’s my escape whilst also being my connection. It’s not all art, not all beautiful, hell most isn’t even interesting but these are moments, scenes and fragments I see that fire something inside my brain telling me it’s worth a photograph. Maybe I won’t use it today, maybe not even next month but perhaps in the larger scheme of things each image I take is a sketch from which I can learn.
Plus these little excursions into life sometimes come as a handy escape from retouching images & doing the accounts, along with a number of the other less “rock n roll” aspects of business as a fashion photographer.
So enjoy these, or don’t, I honestly don’t care too much. These are my moments and this is my blog, my place where I can put whatever pictures up on the walls that I like.

Behind the scenes – A week in the life (ish)

Sometimes everything gets a little too work, work, work, pretty picture, good looking people around here. So I thought I’d go for a real “Behind the scenes” post, aka frames from the road, for this weeks post.

So there you go, a glimpse behind the curtain, the general crap one sees during a week traversing the country.

Comparison – Leica M9 // Contax G2 Tri-X

Rock and roll model in street

Leica M9 – Konica Hexanon-M 50mm B&W Jpeg

Rock and roll model in street

Contax G2 – 45mm Zeiss Planar – Kodak Tri-X

I just had these two frames sat next to one another on the screen and found the comparison interesting. Not a million miles apart to be honest.

Leica M9, 50mm Konica Hexanon-M f/2 (iso320 @ f/2) – B&W in camera JPEG plus a little Lightroom tweak to get it how I like

Contax G2, 45mm Zeiss Planar f/2, Kodak Tri-X (@400 @f/2) – Developed in Kodak D76(1:1) then Plustek Opticfilm 7400i scan (not rescanned or cleaned hence drying marks)