10 portraits


I photographed 16 student from 7 departments (Plumbing, film, carpentry, Decorating, Motor Vehicles and Music) based at 3 college sites, over two days.  This was made easier by initially asking for help by way of an introduction and contact details from the college senior management.  I started with a brief e-mail to the department heads introducing myself, my course and outlined how I might be using photographs, where there was no response the e-mail was then followed up with a phone call and a suggested time and date to meet.

This initial photo shoot was essentially a fact-finding mission, without the benefit of an initial reconnaissance, I had to formulate my scenarios of ideas for the shoot sight-unseen. Once on site I had to make quick decisions based on those scenarios:

Key was to;

  • illustrate the nature of the course the student were on
  • variables whether they would be looking at the tools of the trade or just holding it.
  • Having taken the first set of images it became apparent that the images would work best with the students looking straight into camera.

Knowing that I needed the students to look into camera for the final set of images  The other key decision was to attempt to make topological pairs two people from the same department, photographed in the same room, who looked similar and to use any other similarities that where available.  The overall images needed to blend into the image set and not necessarily to be read as a pair.

What came out of this aside from the images themselves are the potential contacts in Music and Drama (who could not be photographed on the day for timetable reasons) who have performance based subjects and I have tentatively invited myself to take some photos when they’ll be performing.

Although I used the live shoot screen  on the back of the camera (I chose not to take my laptop as it was too much to carry around alone), this was not large enough to compare image composition, In future I may shoot in the Black & White RAW setting firstly to limit the number of issues for consideration in the image, secondly to ensure the correct amount of light is reaching the subject, the images will still essentially be in colour.  In addition I would use markers on the screen to indicate e.g. head height, elbow height in the frame etc.

As Pairs

ProfessionalPractice_StudentPortrait_shortlist2_BW_BookLet2-1 ProfessionalPractice_StudentPortrait_shortlist2_BW_BookLet2-2 ProfessionalPractice_StudentPortrait_shortlist2_BW_BookLet2-3 ProfessionalPractice_StudentPortrait_shortlist2_BW_BookLet2-4 ProfessionalPractice_StudentPortrait_shortlist2_BW_BookLet2-5

As as collection


short-listed  photo-shot 2

Although I was was not able to make a strong overall style to the images because I didn’t know what who I would be given as student and what the environment would be like I opted to take the photos in stylistic pairs.  So I ensure there where at lease two students from each department which could be photographed as stylistic pairs.


Evaluation 2nd photo-shot

Straight forward approach, simple lighting, where appropriate I asked the student to hold a tool of their respective trade, then concentrated on the lighting and the composition

Professional Practice_Student Portrait_shoot 2-1 Professional Practice_Student Portrait_shoot 2-2 Professional Practice_Student Portrait_shoot 2-3 Professional Practice_Student Portrait_shoot 2-4 Professional Practice_Student Portrait_shoot 2-5 Professional Practice_Student Portrait_shoot 2-6


Evaluation 1st photo-shot

Looking at the meta data side by side I can see that the camera setting have changed.

Meta Data for short-listed images 0117 & 0120 shows both Camera Raw data recorded and a Camera Icon top left of ISO- why is that?

Screenshot (255)

Meta Data for long-listed images 0093 shows no camera Raw data recorded and an AWB Icon top left of ISO – why is that?

Screenshot (256)

printed aide memoire for 2nd photo-shoot


  • looking Straight into camera
  • Person fill the frame
  • same lighting levels    – 2/3
  • same crop (marginally below the elbows)
  • 2 people per department similar looking x 4 sets
  • same Background per set of two
  • similarity between the look of people
  • same cloths /overalls ??
  • instrument of the trade
  • Camera flash – to the left or keep it the same 
  • Lower the sight lines (chest/neck upwards? or keep it the same

short list – into camera

These two images work best because of the high level of similarity between the images, background, cloths, crop, people and lighting levels. ProfessionalPractice_StudentPortrait_shoot1_straightInto-2These work as a series as there are cropped at the same body level

ProfessionalPractice_StudentPortrait_shoot1_straightInto-1long list – Looking at tools

This approach does not work as there is no defining moment, and not enough similarity between the images.


images photo shoot 1

ProfessionalPractice_StudentPortrait_shoot1-1 ProfessionalPractice_StudentPortrait_shoot1-2 ProfessionalPractice_StudentPortrait_shoot1-3 ProfessionalPractice_StudentPortrait_shoot1-4

First images with IPTC labels

Screenshot (248)

Monday: time person departmentIMG_3600

Modified model release; Filled in and signed with additional caption information, a note of image numbers and an initial short-listed image number.




contact information on the move….



Equipment added for the second photo shoot – Tape measure – so I can work out the distance that subject need to stand, given lens, the lighting output and the required crop – !!

Speedlite settings for shoot



Model releases




Shallow depth of field – reminder!

  • Subject distance to background
  • Distance from camera to subject       Long focal length (zoom)
  • Lens speed low aperture (wide f2.8 or 1.4)

  • live view
  • grid
  • histogram
  • x10 zoom to focus (on eyes)

Screenshot (245)

  • f2 end of the scale represents a smaller range of focus
  • f22 end of the scale represents a larger range of focus

depth of field video

Screenshot (242)

Use 10 x zoom to focus but professionally –

the camera on a tripod, tethered to do this work accurately, with external flast  – practice shallow depth of field on children


Contextual references


Eugene smith workers


Student image aspiration –  photographer unknown

Harry Callahan Eleanor Chicago 1953

(c) Harry Callahan, Eleanor (date unknown)

Lothar Wolleh_Georg Baselitz in his Mülheim studio_1971

(c) Lothar Wolleh, Georg Baselitz in his Mülheim studio,1971


(c) Davy Jones, Workspaces, (Unknown)

Paul Graham, A1 the great North Road, 1981-1982

(c) Paul Graham, A1 the Great North Road, 1991- 1992



I looked at the departmental list to decide where I could photograph

  • Enterprise
  • Acting and Drama
  • Access to HE
  • Art and Design
  • Beauty Therapy
  • Business
  • Business Professional Studies
  • Carpentry
  • Catering and Hospitality
  • Childcare
  • Dance
  • Digital Arts
  • DIY Courses
  • Electrical
  • Adult English and Maths
  • ESOL
  • Filmmaking
  • Hairdressing
  • Health & Social Care
  • IT and Computing
  • Maintenance
  • Motor Vehicle
  • Music
  • Painting & Decorating
  • Photography
  • Plumbing
  • Public Services
  • Applied Science
  • Sport
  • Teacher Training
  • Travel and Tourism
  • City Revival Hair and Beauty Salon

received information

E-mailed  10  heads of departments asking them to nominate 2 – 3 three students with a view to staring Photo shoot on Thursday.  will go to see them on Wednesday of this week to eyeball them!

  1. Acting Dance and Drama – Based at CCE, contact ANDREW HOGGARTH AH3@ccb.ac.uk
  2. Art & Design and Digital arts (Gloucester?) Rather than me, try Jem Ryan LR2@ccb.ac.uk
  3. beauty therapy /hairdressing Mel white, Beauty  MJD@@ccb.ac.uk
  4. carpentry and DIY and  painting and decorating /plumbing(pelham) Tom Dowds, very helpful, TJD@ccb.ac.uk
  5. catering  Stacey Pederson SP3@ccb.ac.uk or Jon Kent jbk@ccb.ac.uk
  6. film making Jim Lee the tech for the area JL@ccb.ac.uk  (on your floor)
  7. motor vehicle Phil Hill PH3@ccb.ac.uk
  8. music Dylan – db2@ccb.ac.uk
  9. Access to HE (Biomedical)  Try Lorraine Smith (from HE) LCS@ccb.ac.uk

Initial Communications by e-mail them followed up with phone calls to department heads

Screen shot 2014-11-12 at 13.45.21

  • Acting and Drama – Based at CCE, contact ANDREW HOGGARTH AH3@ccb.ac.uk
  • Art & Design (Gloucester?) Rather than me, try Jem Ryan LR2@ccb.ac.uk
  • beauty therapy /hairdressing Mel white, Beauty  MJD@@ccb.ac.uk
  • carpentry (pelham) Tom Dowds, very helpful, TJD@ccb.ac.uk
  • catering  Stacey Pederson SP3@ccb.ac.uk or Jon Kent jbk@ccb.ac.uk
  • Dance  ANdy hogarth as above
  • Digital arts  Jem Ryan
  • DIY Tom Dowds
  • film making Jim Lee the tech for the area JL@ccb.ac.uk  (on your floor)
  • motor vehicle Phil Hill PH3@ccb.ac.uk
  • music Dylan – db2@ccb.ac.uk
  • painting and decorating /plumbing Tom Dowds
  • Access to HE (Biomedical)  Try Lorraine Smith (from HE) LCS@ccb.ac.uk


The brief

This week you will be working with a company which is responsible for the re branding of Brighton Universality.  As part of the branding process the design company aim to publish a series of profiles of different students (Photo with written interview) Your brief is to produce 10 portraits  of current student in Brighton. The images:

  • on location at  University or home
  • include the student environment

The images should be produced in your signature style or with a particular approach running through the images

  • captions to each images – word document
  • name
  • college
  • age
  • subject being studied

In addition to the above  a Model release should be produced for each student.



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