Lighting-stock 4 – the HCCC studio-fest

Martin Pawlett and I have been organising these events for the past couple of years now for Holmes Chapel Camera club, and I guess, the first one was why I bought some studio lights in the first place.  In past events, we’ve shot whoever turned up, and wanted to do that again.  However as we also wanted to demonstrate some lighting, and I wanted to play around with some experimental stuff as well, we also hired some professional models to bolster the line-up.  Martin hired Laura Norrey – a fantastic model who specialises in a vintage (40’s) look.  I use PurplePort a lot for my model sourcing and it works very well.  I put out a casting call for the day asking for “TF” models.  “Time For…” or “TF” means models giving their time, in return for images for their portfolio.  I got a number of responses, although may didn’t have transport and the venue we use is a little out of the way.  Still, we got two models this way – Jade and Emma.   I also then hired Bella Bibby via PurplePort for the lighting demos.

As the date approached, we had 3 of our TF models pull out (we didn’t get these via PP) so I looked around for some replacements.  Bex at Body Couture did me a great deal and came down with Ellie Anderson  making the numbers up to 7 models on the day.  I also hired Amanda Hall of Visage-Design who did a great job on the make-up for the beauty shots.

Lower Withington Parish hall is brilliant for this.  It is big, has a very high vaulted roof and a stage.  It also has a lot of back rooms we can use for make-up and so on.  Here’s a 180 degree panorama of the hall with 3 main lighting stages installed:-


Image copyright Chris Davies 2013

That’s me in the middle shooting Emma Halloway in her very cool shiny PVC two-piece.  On the left we have Anthony Holloway with Ellie Anderson and Bella is looking a bit forgotten on the right there.  I’m sure Martin is just out of shot fixing something ….


We also had Batman turn up for some family portraits.  Adam John Ashman was his daytime name, and the costume he had made was incredible.  He had studied the role too and could act the part very convincingly – which made it very easy to shoot.  Good job really, as despite those oversize ears, he couldn’t hear at all really inside that suit.  We got Ellie in the act for a bit of extended cosplay.  Glad we snuck the fog machine in for this, the fog really made the batman shots, and so many others.  It cuts down on the editing too, hiding all the light stand and other junk in the background.  Now, I just need to play around with fog chillers, and er maybe a laser beam generator…

Chris had some nice vintage props inc a lamp and a camera which looked nice with some sidelight.  We shoved a speedlight into the lamp, and lit up Jade with it.  I did some classic beauty shots as well, and one of these, a shot of Becky Hampson made it to the “explore” pages on flickr.

These days just fly by, what with the manic “build a studio in 30 minutes” section at the start, dragging many, many black bags and cases from the depths of the car, fighting with softboxes (get the pop-up umbrella ones – trust me):  well done to Matt and Michelle on that one.  Putting up the background, routing power cables – and I even remembered the music this time :).  Then there’s the shoot-everyone, and get the specific lighting set-ups demonstrated, and then it’s time to play “dismantle the studio and pack into the car in 30 minutes”.  Followed by hauling the gear back up to my attic.   I got through 3 litres of water and one towel.   It’s a lot of work organising everything for a day like this, and hauling, packing and dismantling etc but I always enjoy it and I hope we accommodated everyone’s needs from the day.  Here’s a selection of shots I made….




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