Let’s talk Photography. In fact, ask the Hairy Photographer anything about cameras, Photoshop, lighting, etc.

Paper Snake


Four years ago today, local art student Ffion Thomas brought a paper snake to the studio to be photographed.

It was a beautiful work of art that she had created for a university assignment entirely out of folded pieces of paper.

Ffion wanted to show the shape and form of her creation and the way in which it would fold and coil and follow undulating contours in much the same manner as a real live snake.

Clearly, a simple studio “product shot” against a plain background wasn’t going to cut it and the snake was far too fragile to risk a breezy or damp environmental setting out of doors.

belly-dancer-with-a-snake---Google-SearchI was struck by the way it looked so realistic when being held and had in mind the stereotypical image of a belly dancer with a snake wrapped around her body and arms, and Ffion said she had a fellow student who would be happy to pose.  A quick search on Google Images came up with plenty of examples and ideas for poses but the typical belly dancer’s working clothes were too ornate and would be distracting.  We also needed an image devoid of razzmatazz, theatrics and erotica.


In the end we decided on a simple classic pose – think Venus De Milo but with arms – and agreed the outfit would need to be as plain and unobtrusive as possible.  In the event, Ffion’s friend was happy to pose naked allowing us to produce this professional looking shot in which the body acted as the perfect setting to show off the shape, form and textures of the paper snake.


By |May 13th, 2013|0 Comments

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Dog in a Bluebell Wood

120505-6951Looking through the archives I was reminded that twelve months ago today the family I was photographing in the studio announced they had their little doggie in the car and would like a photo of him too.

Little Doggie, on the other hand had other ideas and decided there was no way he was going to sit still!  In the end we decided we would opt for a close-up of the little fella whilst on his owner’s knee where she could keep a firm grip.

Unfortunately the plain background was a little uninspiring.  However this same customer was also an accomplished artist and had previously asked me to photograph a watercolour for her.

120505-6951b120505-6951-2It was a painting of a bluebell wood which made a perfect backdrop for the doggie portrait. I used Photoshop’s Lens Blur filter to defocus the background which gave it a realistic yet painterly feel.  Then, rather than crop the image even closer I found a stock image of an old mossy fence to include in the foreground.  This not only hid the lady’s hand but added depth and perspective to the finished portrait.


Humped Zebra Crossing

may4thOne of the shots I took on the May Day weekend in Liverpool three years ago was of this quirky road sign down by the Albert dock.

At the time I’d felt sure I would be able to find a stock picture of some amorous zebras and sure enough this one fitted the bill nicely.

A little Photoshopery jiggery pokery and some shadow manipulation for realism, and hey presto – a photo cartoon!

A Black Day for Photography

What if:

  • You left your wheelbarrow in your driveway and someone nicked it, you be more than a little miffed wouldn’t you.  But how would you feel if the Government had decreed that it was perfectly legal for someone to nick your wheelbarrow simply because they saw it and liked it?!
  • Or what if your child’s buggy was stolen from the pavement while you took her inside a shop and then when you reported it to the police they turned around and told you it was perfectly legal for anyone to take it if it was left unattended?!
  • Or what if you took photographs for a living, having taken years learning your craft and invested thousands of pounds on equipment.  And then let’s say you travelled to some exotic location and spent a week photographing it; then someone lifts it from your website and puts it on their Facebook page; and then a multi national travel company spots it and decides to use it on their brochure and TV adverts.  And they do so with the full backing of the Government and no payment to you, the photographer?!

The first two are unthinkable.  The third however, is fact.  Now.  Today.  Yes the U.K. Government has passed a law that gives super-rich conglomerates the green light to steal the work of photographers – whether professional or amateur – for their own commercial gain and profit.

By |April 29th, 2013|2 Comments

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Body-painting Photo Shoot


Silver Lady
Body-painting Photo Shoot

This time back in 2010 we we putting the finishing touches to a portfolio for a special customer, Zakhia, who had enlisted the services of tattooist Hefin Absalut Hughes to paint her silver and decorate her body with Celtic swirls.

Zakhia was an absolute dream to work with in the studio.  Totally confident with her body and able to pose with the grace and poise of a dancer – which happens to be her chosen career path.

Below are some of the double page spread layouts from her album.  Next week we will look at some of the lighting and camera techniques used in the creation of these shots.

Album Page layout Proofs (double page spreads)

Image files are compressed for faster loading over the internet and therefore cannot truly represent the tonality and quality of the finished printed portraits.

By |April 29th, 2013|0 Comments

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