Category Archives: Portraiture

Portraits for a fellow photographer

Around 2 years ago, I had some fantastic fitness photos taken by my friend and wedding photographer Robert Slabihoudek (Click here to see his work) to mark one of my fitness milestones.

Today I return the favour with a photo shoot and hopefully deliver images that he will cherish as I have with his.

He needed a few updated corporate head-shots for his photography website and social media profiles and also some personal portraits for his friends and family. And he asked for natural light and natural looking photos that weren’t tooposey’.

Like our last photo shoot, it was held at my backyard and garage, but this time, we discovered and got to try out a few new locations that had interesting backgrounds. It was golden hour and the sun was setting quick, we went with the flow and the shoot was over in 20 minutes.

Although to us it seemed like it was getting dark, the cameras and fast lenses picked up the soft ambient light and produced some amazing lighting and shadows. I got to use his Nikon D700 and his 135mm prime lens and I’m blown away by the quality of the images coming from this lens!  We took a few pictures with both his kit and my kit.  Now he has a bunch of images from both cameras and I’m leaving it in his capable hands to edit the ones he likes or use the ones I edited.

In the meantime, here are some of my edits from my new Canon 70D, it is actually the first portrait shoot I have done with it, also, the first time I mounted the Canon 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM so I was eager to play around with the image files. So far, I am happy with the colour reproduction, the extra detail in the images and the killer movie-mode. Look out for my Canon 70D consumer review in the future for my deeper analysis and experiences with the camera.

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If you like these pictures and would like some photos of your own. Don’t hesitate to contact me to organise a professional corporate photo shootpersonal portraits or a family photo shoot.

A Fitness Photoshoot with Carlos Teixeira

Back in November 2013, I had a visit at my home studio (and gym) from my friend Carlos, an IT expert and personal trainer with a new Australian group fitness and PT business starting up PROSCULPT FITNESS.

Carlos has been chiseling away at his physique for many years and his body was looking it’s best ever, so to mark this transformation milestone, he wanted to do a fitness photoshoot and at the same time, we could get some promotional photos for his new website.

He has put a lot of work into his bodybuilding regime to reach his goals and he certainly knows his stuff. We got to talking about our exercise and nutrition philosophies and exchanged some tips. I was also surprised by his professionalism, he was well prepared and knew what he wanted in the shots and was helpful in providing input for our collaboration.

The shoot began in my garage gym while he pumped-up his muscles with a series of weighted exercises, I took some candids of him working out and some posed shots. Later on we took some more posed photos in my living room studio against a black backdrop.

Here are some of the favourites out of the bunch.

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Art Nude photo shoot at Studio 1A, Sydney

Welcome to Art Nude.

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“Fitness Spirit” photo shoot with Nadine Groat

Here is the first part of the “Fitness spirit” photo shoot. The theme is holistic training, where cross-fitness meets spiritual development. This segment shows the scenes of stillness, serenity, joy, inner reflection and soft exercise.

The model for this shoot was the lovely Nadine Groat. She radiates inner and outer beauty and also trains holistically.

The resulting shoot was at Cronulla Beach in south-east Sydney on a quiet Saturday. What started off as a nice sunny day became over cast with the sun behind the clouds. We were hoping to have a golden sun-set but the weather didn’t hold up and it got dark quickly. I added abit of warmth on the images to fake some sun light and pushed the editing abit extreme to experiment with how far I can push an image to suit my original vision. Anyways, its just abit of muckin around in the early days and still evolving my photography and editing tastes and practices.

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A couples photo shoot with Maddy May and Jacob Duque

This couples photo shoot took 3.5 hours with Maddy May and her friend Jacob. We endured high winds and sand-blasting at Balmoral beach located in North Sydney. My eyes, ears, hair and pockets copped most of the sand and my models did really well to carry on to get the shoot done. While my poor camera and lenses are gonna need a good cleaning and some TLC.

Thankfully the weather was fantastic and the late afternoon sun was just divine, especially during the golden hour. There were many locations in the area that made perfect backdrops for a romantic couples photo shoot, with much more I need to go back and discover. A big thank you to Maddy May and Jacob Duque for giving me the opportunity, and also to Karen (Maddy’s mum) and Carina Jager for being very patient while accompanying them and providing moral support with added critiques. Lovely to meet and spend the time with you guys, it was good fun!

Enjoy our couples photo album and hopefully you get some great couples photography ideas. Please get in contact with me to set up a couples photo shoot through my Contact page.

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Artistic Dimensions-Fashion Photoshoot with Jane Bronwyn’s new collection

Jane Bronwyn and I met at a previous collaborative photo-shoot where we captured some themed glamour shots for her Everchange clothing line and to improve our portfolios along with a few other designers, models and hair and makeup artists (See my previous Day of the Dead [Dia de los Muertos] post). She had recently asked me to photograph her new ‘Artistic Dimensions’ collection, I was honoured and grateful for the opportunity to say the least. In my humble opinion, her creative designs are an infusion ranging from raw, gritty but glamorous and chic with a bit retro and contemporary (See the Everchange collections here). Photographing her designs are fun and interesting, they are stylish and look fantastic in real-life and on camera/computer.

Location

The photo-shoot took place at the White House Institute of Design using their white-walled industrial-chic style catwalk room as a studio and then later on we went for a short walk (painful for the models, who were in high heals) outside for some location shots in the late afternoon sun. We settled on a location that had a lush wall of climbing evergreen plants. The wall made an interesting back drop for the models to do their thing.

Setup and gear

I got to use different light sources and locations to achieve different looks for the 4 gorgeous models and their ‘Artistic Dimensions’ outfits. All of the shots in the studio used natural light for back (rim) light mixed with the indoor cool-white lamps, while the outdoor shots needed a reflector to bounce the late afternoon sun to fill-light onto the models.

My one and only Canon 50D was the weapon of choice, with the battery-grip (which is always on there), it was in-valuable because of all the portrait-oriented shots I required to take, and made it much more convenient for setting the manual controls. The lenses I brought along were the Canon 16-35mm F2.8L and my Canon 70-200mm but the 16-35mm stayed on the camera the whole time because I was doing alot of full-body shots and didn’t have enough space to use the 70-200mm (112-320mm on cropped camera) nor the time to change lenses because we were on a tight schedule and I wanted to keep the shots consistent.

On-camera and wireless off-camera speed-lights were used but I wasn’t too successful with those shots as they cast undesirable harsh shadows and I preferred the softer natural and available light, opting to raise the ISO for the indoor shots.

During the outdoor shoot, the sun was behind the evergreen wall, therefore casting a shadow and requiring the reflector to bounce the late afternoon sun onto the subjects. While I was doing the shooting, we had a volunteer assistant (one of the model’s friends) hold up the reflector for me. we tried the silver side and the effect was too metalic and shiny, then we tried the white side and it was unnoticeable, because where my assistant had to hold the reflector was too far away to light up the subjects. Eventually I chose to use the gold side as this gave a rich warm-colour cast onto the green leaves and models skin. At times the effect of the colour cast was too strong and made the post-editing process a bit longer. This required desaturating some yellow and orange colours from the overall image to balance out the tones.

The Results

You can see that I have chosen a few different post-editing styles to showcase my diverse skill set, from contemporary editorial to classic black and white. Some colour accenting black and white shots were used too, but I’m not sure if the client will like it. I really like all the styles presented here. And it will be up to the client to let me know which style I should do for all of them, or make some adjustments or simply keep them the way they are.

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Photo credits:

Designer: Everchange by Jane Bronwyn
Models: Katrina-Leigh Beasley, Rebecca Marie Zetterlund and Jasmine Hilder.

 

 

Melbourne Cup Event at the Vault Hotel 2013

Melbourne Cup is an annual horse racing event in Australia, one that is so heavily invested in that it is touted as ‘a day that stops the nation’. Bars, clubs, hotels, workplaces and houses televised it, I personally could care less about gambling, horse racing and the getting caught in the hype. But watching and capturing the moments and reactions of those that did have some investment in this event made me excited too. It was contagious!

A spectrum of emotions experienced ranging from anxious anticipation to elation and celebration. The room was certainly alive and filled with cheer during the main race.

While most patrons lost their bets, some won their money back or made a little more, only 2 patrons picked the winning race horse and lots of loot.

Because The Vault Hotel is located in the CBD of Sydney. The patrons consisted of business people. The Vault Hotel had put on a special event for nearby organisations to have work functions and the women got dressed up, wearing their cocktail dresses, big, bright and bold hats and luscious red lipstick. Lunch was catered for while the races were projected onto the wall for the spectators. There was around 7 large groups while walk-in patrons turned up later towards the start of main race.

Because of the nature of the work functions, a lot of people didn’t want their photos taken. Nor did I want to interrupt them during their lunches. Some groups snuck-out of work and didn’t want their incriminating photos taken and posted on The Vault’s website for the fear of their bosses catching them out later.

This was a challenge for me because there were times I felt like a pest and I also didn’t want to dampen the patrons experience at The Vault, but I also needed to do my job, so I resorted to subtle candid and posed shots of the groups that allowed me to take pictures of them. After the main race had finished and the crowd was hyped up from cheering and celebrating, they were more open to photos.

What I took away from this experience is that a lot of times you will get rejected in these environments, people are a bit camera-shy during the day (or during work hours) and just want to enjoy their time out without the paparazzi  invading their space (and that’s completely understandable), whereas in night events, people start the night camera-shy but after having a few drinks, they usually can’t get enough time in front of the camera!

You just have to shoot what you can without upsetting anyone.

 

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A note on the gear used for this event: I packed very light because I knew it was going to be crowded so moving around with a backpack was not feasible. I took my trusty ‘gripped’ Canon 50D, a Canon 16-35mm f2.8L lens and an on camera Oloong SB690 speedlight packed into my medium Lowepro Toploader Pro AW 70 holster bag. In hindsight, I could’ve used my Canon 70-200mm for even better candid shots.

A photoshoot with Maddy May

Model (Client): Maddy May
Copyright: Andrew W. Croucher | www.andrewcroucher.com | [email protected]

 

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Seussical presented by The Regal’s Musical Society at the Bexley RSL Club

Seussical is a musical theater remix of the Dr. Seuss stories and features of course the Cat in the hat (played by Meg Day), Horton (played by Malcom Tuck), Mayzie (played by Tanya Boyle), JoJo (played by Duncan McDonald), Gertrude (played by Sally Redman) The Bird Girls (played by Adelie Battam, Claire Duffy & Veronica Alonso), and many other popular characters from the books.

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*These promo images were photographed by me under the direction of the director, Kenney Ogilvie who evidently is also a graphic designer, and wanted to edited the pictures to his liking. Not being used to other people editing my pics I reluctantly handed over the original files for him to take care of. I had plenty of other cast portraits to edit anyways so it was definitely a load off my shoulders. As you can see he did a great job too, so I can trust his skills now! 🙂

This was the second musical I had the pleasure of shooting for The Regal’s Musical Society. This time there was a huge cast of around 40 adults and children filling up the stage with charismatic energy. It is a family show with an entertaining story and light-hearted humour, having around 20 children performing really added to a cheery atmosphere.

Kenney Ogilvie (the director) had planned and executed his vision so well. Even making a believer out of me (and no doubt a few others) with his daring all-white stage design. When I initially heard of his plans, I was worried that it would be a bit lackluster, and the actors would really have to perform with conviction to keep the audience engaged. Thankfully the crew knew how to bring it and put on a good show!

The simplistic stage turned out to be sleek, modern and elegant, plus, once lit up by ‘Rod’s sound and lighting services‘, it was a delightful view with a beautiful display of colours and lighting effects against the cast’s colourful and creative clothing designs and the white stage. When the scenes change, the set makes some subtle changes too. On another note, the music production was on point with every show and added to the perfection of the show.

I ended up with over 1200 photos from the shows, only to keep around 400. DVDs for the cast and production team members were also created for their own mementos and perhaps portfolios.

Well done again to Kenney, the production crew, orchestra and the cast for making it a grand spectacle!

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For a more detailed review click here to read what Stage Whispers said

Zenbu Dojo Sydney Judo training session indoor sports photoshoot

Today’s photo shoot took place at the Zenbu Grappling Dojo and was hosted by Studio 1A by Pania Newport and Christopher Getts (Thanks guys for this amazing opportunity!). The goal was to practice shooting indoor sports and capture the action using various techniques like hi-Speed photography with the on-camera flash to freeze the action, with panning and motion blurring as well.

I was so excited and grateful to do this shoot because of my previous experience practicing judo and keen interest in other martial arts. And also for the chance to meet and photograph the judo champion Mark Brewer and up-comer Oren Janiv with the Zenbu team of black belts training in their element. It is always nice to see the camaraderie and friendly competition between the judoka as man sharpens man.

Mark Brewer, a tall judo athlete with an intimidating physique currently ranking 25th in the world for the 81 kilogram weight division and is also a New Zealand, Australian & Oceania Champion. He recently won the Gold at the Australian International Judo competition and will be representing New Zealand at the Commonwealth games in Glasgow 2014 too “so best of luck to you Mark, I will be cheering for you!”.

 

Photo Credits

Event Hosts: Studio 1A (Pania Newport and Christopher Getts)
Location: Zenbu Grappling Dojo

Judoka:

Images 1-3 – Mark Brewer and Cousseau
Images 4-7 – Oren Janiv
Images 8-11 – Mark Brewer

 

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