Monday, March 21, 2016

Third Cover Shoot (Graham)

Following on from here...

So, it was The Assassin's turn. The model was Graham K. Furness, and he came out to our place and we went around our property and did some shooting where it looked wild and the grass had been deliberately not mowed—so I could do this shoot in what looked like wilderness.

Definitely a bow-and-arrow theme here, but then we went inside for some serious cover shooting.

And some bow-and-arrow themes again, just for the heck of it. And, yes, the images with the black background have the wall photoshopped away.

I photoshopped the image with the wall in the background—give me a green screen, please; it would make isolating the subject so much less time-consuming than using luminance!—and used to redesign  the concept for the Tergan cover. 

Below, the original design and underneath what I have so far, after an hour's work in PS. Not finished by any means, but it's a start. Definitely good to get rid of the garish colors of the original.

It occurs to me that I still need a model for Princess Evadne. We have a costume to suit the picture, but I'm looking somebody other than the 'warrior' type.

Also, it needs to be someone else but those who appear on other covers.

Anybody interested? If so, the specs are, approximately:
  • Brunette; long hair.
  • 170cm — 190cm height.
  • 25+ years.
  • 'Presence' (I know that's a tough one and hard to measure, but I'm looking for someone to project a credible 'regal' personality).
  • Willing to do this for TFP, plus a personal photoshoot of their choosing.
Contact me at or txt or phone at +61 450 091 735.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Second Book Cover Shoot (Man Sit)

Following on from here...

Finally got my act together and completede second shoot. Actually, this one ended up as two shoots, one at our place, with the delightful Man Sit, and one with her and her remarkable artist-boyfriend Steve Bowerman. The first shoot was at our place, the second at Steve's studio/gallery in the Brisbane West End—a place well worth a visit; though with the Brisbane City Council's sell-out and remodeling of what should be protected remnants of the Brisbane of former days, the gallery won't be there for much longer. It appears that 'culture' takes a backseat to 'development' or whatever passes for it. Nothing new, unfortunately.

First shoot at our place in the 'country' was a combo, with some stuff I wanted to do for a submission to this year's IPA comp, then some free-style pics outside, followed by Man's many faces.

Seriously, what is it with women and swords? Give them one and they'll turn into Uma Thurman or Lucy Liu. It's like flicking a switch.

Mind you, I had Man pose for the image above with a wink to the classic Lucy Liu still below from Kill Bill 1. Not sure if Man was aware of it. But I think Lucy has a serious competitor in the "be afraid; be very afraid" department.

Next day in Steve's studio it was some more serious book cover work, using Steve as the 'Falcon' character from books 5 (Fontaine) and  6 (Tethys) of the Tethys series—only this cover is for book 6 (Aslam), which isn't actually completed yet, and may not be before the end of this year. But this is one of the pivotal scenes as it might play out.

Here are the original concept images for the cover. Might not use any of the backgrounds, but that is a side issue.

Here's Steve posing with Man decoratively draped across his arms. Not necessarily the best shot, but the one I used to try out the amended concept images.

And the revised concept images.

The toughest thing about all this? Doing the hair, especially Man's. Some very tricky PS work involved.

Concept works for me, though these images will need much more work to complete. But having the poses from real humans is just so much better!

Next up: The Assassin!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Model Releases


My last shoot with a model—whose patience and willingness to explore her and my artistic scope was a very pleasant and creative experience—also brought with it somewhat of a shock. I had to drive her from Brisbane City to our home, which is in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, as I was going to do a lot of interior shooting and aircon was a definite bonus, given the temperature and humidity still lingering despite it being March.

This gave us time to talk and get to know each other a bit better. I also casually asked her to please remind me to get her to sign the Model Release form I had prepared for our work.

In response I got a blank look and, after a moment of two, a hesitant question as to what I was talking about. Some more querying brought to light that, despite a significant number of TFP shoots she had done, she had yet to encounter the concept of a Model Release, and much less signed one.

This is, to say the least, shocking. More than that, actually. I asked her about the kinds of TFP work she'd done—she's from overseas and wanting to gather a local portfolio, so that's all she'd done—and, predictably, most of it was your typical 'body' shoot. Pretty girl, possessed of great natural elegance, in bikini or or otherwise scantily-clad, and usually on a beach. Oddly enough, many TFP models appear to expect nothing more, especially when they're getting started and just want a portfolio.

I've been fortunate that those who replied to, and followed up on, my call for book cover models, are quite different; each in their own way, but they all have that certain something extra that will eventually take them ahead of the pack. In that way I count myself very lucky for having found them and been able to work with them.

However, the young woman sitting beside me in the car didn't have a clue about what a Model Release was and why she should have signed one—and read it carefully before signing! So I explained it at length and when the shoot was done, we had two signed documents, one for her and one for me.

An outline of my policy regarding shooting and Model Releases is available here.

Advice to Models

Never ever—under any circumstances and no matter what you're being told, and whether you're paid or not—go on a shoot with anybody calling themselves a 'photographer', without, preferably in advance, having read and signed an Model Release, clearly spelling out the terms of the shoot and the rights to the images, and possibly payments, that will be taken of you.


If you do, you only have yourself to blame for any exploitation of the images taken of you, and over which you will have ultimately no control. You'll be better off not going on that shoot, even if it looks like you're missing out on a great opportunity to get some portfolio images. Think of the long term and don't let yourself be suckered by weirdos hiding under the label of 'photographer'. 

Any photographer, male or female, who doesn't produce and get you to sign, either on hard-copy or electronically, a Model Release, is almost certainly one or all of the following:
  • Just plain unprofessional. (And that's the mildest epithet I can think of.)
  • Lazy.
  • Ignorant.
  • Stupid. (Because ultimately Model Releases also act as protection for the photographer!)
  • Creepy—and should probably be avoided at all costs, especially if the shoots are of scantily-clad women.
I make no apologies for using these terms, because they're all accurate.

Be warned. Be wise. Some apparent benefits really, really aren't worth the potential risks.