Photography studio, gallery and training complex

Archive for October, 2012

A Goddess At Fotofilia

Copyright: The photographer

Emboldened by the success of the recent “model day” with top UK alternative model Leanne James, we’ve arranged another coup for Fotofilia clients. There can’t be many photographers in the UK who aren’t familiar with the name, and look, of Ivory Flame – one of the most distinctive and versatile models in the land.

Ivory Flame was last at Fotofilia almost two years ago when she modelled for Rebecca Parker’s 5 week Masterclass course here, so it seems like she is long overdue another visit. This time the day’s theme will be (rather appropriately) “Goddess” – so you’ll be able to see and shoot Ivory Flame adorned in items from her sizeable goody-bag of props and outfits.

Copyright: The photographer

Here’s the full outline…

Ivory Flame – ‘Goddess’ Model Day With her clear pale skin, natural red hair & classic feminine figure, Holly used her years of experience and friendly nature, to pose creatively and work together with you to help your ideas come to life! She will be bringing an array of colouful outfits and props, including silk fabrics, beaded belts, golden & tribal  jewellery, swirling skirts, sheer gowns, feather fans, as well as adding big flowing hair with natural or bold make-up.
From softer classic beauty to powerful  figures of feminine strength, some ideas that could be explored are Mother Earth, Birth of Venus, Egyptian  Queen, Pre-raphaelite Maidens, Fairies, Greek myths, Hindu  deities, Warriors and Horoscopes, as well as exploring lighting and shadows with simple, elegant, or abstract nudes.
You can contact Holly directly to discuss inspirations beforehand ~, or just bring ideas on the day

The date we’ve settled on is Friday 16th November and there are still a few slots available. It’s just £50 for one hour, or 2 hours for £90.

So what are you waiting for? Book now.

Copyright: the photographer

Copyright: the photographer

Please note: Thought I should clarify – the images used in this post were not taken by myself or at Fotofilia but were passed on to me by Ivory Flame with kind permission of the photographers (in order – Peter Ferguson, Keith Cooper, Keith Hartwell and Tim Pile).


Want More Money For Weddings?

I know a man who can tell you how to defy the seemingly inevitable downward spiral of wedding photography pricing. This man is Paul Spiers, a friend of mine who runs an organisation called The Successful Photographers Club. A successful social photographer himself, Paul has been to Fotofilia on a number of occasions to speak to THE CLUB and f2 and offers guidance to photographers who, although competent technically/creatively, fall down a bit on the business side of their… erm… business.

Paul is running a one day workshop at Fotofilia on Thursday 1st November which if you are shooting (or thinking of shooting) weddings, you really shouldn’t miss. This isn’t actually a Fotofilia event as such but proceeds from the remarkably reasonable £35 booking fee go to the Marie Curie charity.

Here’s Paul’s own course info:

Would You Like To Charge More For Your Wedding Photography?


Over the past couple of years wedding photographers have felt under a great deal of pressure to lower their prices in order to remain competitive. And at the same time the industry has seen more and more people putting up a website and calling themselves a wedding photographer. The trouble is, if you have lowered your prices, all you have done is made the decision to make less money for the same amount of work, and that is a very dangerous spiral.

Cheap DSLRs and the popularity of  the “just capture the moments” style of photography has made a lot more people feel confident that they can shoot a wedding and make themselves a couple of hundred pounds holiday money on a Saturday afternoon, and the internet has made it easy for them to promote themselves.

I know a few photographers who have been shooting weddings for over 30 years and they all say that things have never been tougher than they are right now. And whilst I would agree that things are currently quite challenging, I also think there are great opportunities for those with the marketing skills to take advantage of them. I want to teach you those skills.

Learn how you can charge more without losing work

Learn how to take advantage of hard-wired human psychology that makes people want to say yes

Learn a 2 minute trick that will tell you what prospective clients think you are worth

Learn how to convert more prospects into customers

Learn how to get past objections like “we need to think about it” or “we have some others to see”

I want to help you because I want you to help me raise some money a very worthy cause. My Mother died of cancer related illness earlier this year and during the last few weeks of her life, she received a great deal of care, help and support from Marie Curie.

A friend of mine has very generously donated the use of his studio in Birmingham for free, which can seat 30 people. I did some quick sums in my head and figured that £35 per head would raise about £1,000 once Paypal has taken out their fees, and that is my goal. So here are the details:

on Thursday 1st November 2012

at 10am – 4.30pm with a break for lunch (food not included)

in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter

Only £35 per person

Maximum of 30 people

Interested in improving your business whilst also supporting a great cause? Then you’ll need to book direct with Paul via this link –

I’ve personally attended one of Paul’s wedding courses and I can tell you honestly that I picked up some tips that I use to this day. Hope to see you there. Nuff said.

Canal Noir

Taken on iphone4 using Hipstamatic. Note how although this is a monochrome app, the strong colour of Emilie’s hair still comes through.

When you book a model like Emile Walt (as I did on Sunday for this month’s CLUB/f2 shoot), you can be sure of two things: she will arrive on time and ready to shoot, and you will walk away with some images you’ll be proud of.

For Sunday’s shoot I already had the venue planned – the canals of Birmingham (just a few minutes walk from my Jewellery Quarter studio). This meant that if the forecast rain arrived during the shoot, we could carry on beneath the many tunnels and railway arches.

I had asked Emilie to wear something either street/urban or vintage/retro/quirky (knowing that the latter is definitely an Emilie Walt speciality) and she did just that. Her outfit and hair instantly brought to mind the 1940’s, film noir, WWII movies, and dramas about the French Resistance such as “Secret Army”, as well as more modern spy/detective series.

I took along my Nikon DSLR and 50mm f1.4 lens as well as the ubiquitous iphone4. Here’s a shot from the early part of the shoot that I took on my iphone and then gave a slightly “Edwardian” look with the help of Snapseed and Pixlromatic apps…

Taken and edited on an iphone4. Copyright David Rann 2012

Luckily, it didn’t rain, but we stayed close to where we started anyway. In fact, when we did venture a little further along the canal we found ourselves being watched/heckled by a small crowd of early-rising jakies on the bridge above. For a change, I shot much more on the Nikon than the iphone. Something about this shoot and the flat autumn morning light seemed to suit the 50mm.

A Nikon shot. And no, I havent tweaked the colour – that’s Emile.

And another…

And finally, another couple of colour images…

“Leesten veery carefully, I will say zis only once”

Well, I enjoyed myself, and if the feedback is anything to go by (as it usually is), then so did the rest of the group.