Filtering by Category: Publicity

Portrait Of The Week Series - No.35: Jennie Skulander

This publicity image of Jennnie Skulander, lead vocals - Devilskinis actually a composite with a fake background and shadow. I photographed Jennie and the rest of the band in an outdoor studio with a combination of natural and strobe light and decided to add textures and backgrounds to a few images to give as much versatility to the press kit as possible.

It was subsequently used as the cover of Rip It Up magazine.


Here are a few other band images from the shoot.

Nikon D4/ Nikkor 85mm 1.4G / Nikkor 24-70mm 2.8G lens, Profoto B1/ Profoto Deep White Umbrella, Lightroom 5.

Portrait Of The Week Series - No.18: Aroha Harawira

It's always nice to be asked by a friend to help out with some photography. Even better when they bring their "A" game.

George FM radio host, DJ and audio technician Aroha is working on a re-vamp of her public image and needed fresh press photos - I was only too happy to oblige (especially as I tend to get to shoot mainly male DJs) - and she turned up to the shoot on time, with perfect hair and make-up, ready and willing to create some great images.

Working from a style guide that Aroha had provided prior, we cracked straight into some punchy 'commercial-style' images (using a beauty-dish soft-box on a white seamless) and banged out a hundred or so keepers.

A quick wardrobe change and a switch to a shoot-through ring-flash gave us a totally different look (kind of indie?) which seemed to work extremely well.

The most satisfying photography for me is when the subject and I are working towards the same goal with the same enthusiasm. Everything seems to fall in place - a solid set of images is the result, and sometimes even a bit of magic happens.

These are the last four frames of the shoot (raised the ring-flash upwards) - totally relaxed and natural. Thanks to Aroha for totally committing to the shoot and being "in the zone". A girl on fire.

Portrait Of The Week Series - No.12: Sam Allen

At the end of a very busy week when I thought that I had all jobs squared away, I got a call to do some press images for singer/songwriter Sam Allen. Sam was about to depart on his August Acoustic Tour and needed some images pronto.

I was actually packing to go overseas for a month the very next day, but rather than put it off, I decided to strike while the iron was hot and do a quick shoot that afternoon.

Sam was due to perform that night with Sola Rosa, so I managed to get 45 minutes with him before sound check at The Kings Arms tavern in Auckland.

Bish, bash, bosh - a bunch of images that Sam is already using. 

Portrait Of The Week Series - No.11: Flava

OK, this one's a bit of a cheat - but a group portrait is still a portrait - right?

This shot emerged from a recent publicity shoot for NZ urban radio station Flava as the 'hero' image for a new outdoor campaign.


Getting seven people to pose properly (without blinking, giggling or gurning) usually takes a bit of doing - but such is the team spirit at Flava that it was actually a total breeze. 

Also banged out some individual "personality" portraits which proved to be incredibly effective.

Chur, Flava crew. 

Portrait Of The Week Series - No.10: Jason Kerrison

Between auditioning prospective contestants for New Zealand's Got Talent, gigging with The Babysitter's Circus, and his ongoing Opshop duties - would you believe it - Jason also has a solo performing career. These photos are the result of a shoot done yesterday afternoon for some new press images.

Portrait Of The Week Series - No.7: Josh Leys

A regular gig for me is shooting publicity images for local music artists. Singer/songwriter Josh Leys recently contacted me to produce fresh images for him (I'd shot Josh once before a few years back), so after a few weeks of scheduling conflicts, we finally managed to coordinate a time when we could spend a few hours together creating images.

To compliment Josh's last video, we decided to shoot on the beach and jetty at Devonport. The brief was to produce "bright, sunny, pop" images, so the location was perfect.

The entire shoot was with natural light only, which meant that we could shoot quickly, covering a range of different angles. As you can see, Josh is extremely photogenic - and out of the 400-odd photographs taken that afternoon, only a very few needed culling.

Portrait Of The Week Series - No.6: Dave Fane

In a recent publicity shoot for the Auckland urban radio station FLAVA, I was happy to photograph Dave Fane for the second time.

Dave always brings his own infectious style of humour to a shoot and lifts the energy of everyone around him. Very helpful when you've a whole line up of radio DJs to get through over a long morning.

For these shots, I used an Orbis ring flash adaptor and got in close and slightly above looking for a wide range of expressions. No problem for this talented actor and comedian. Dave was so easy to work with and was also quite interested in the whole lighting process.

Fun, easy shoot - thanks Dave.

Portrait Of The Week Series - No.2: Leigh Franklin

Auckland-based singer/songwriter Leigh Franklin has just released a new album called On A Saturday.

Leigh Franklin, Auckland, April 2013

Leigh asked me to photograph her last month so that she would have plenty of publicity stills for her upcoming album release.

So we spent a couple of hours one day mid-week in both a studio set-up and on location (against a neighbour's hedge). In this case the outdoor stills worked the best and in about 20 minutes, using only natural light, we put together a nice sequence of images that we were both pleased with.

Normally I use speedlights and modifiers to control direction and quality of light, but we were running out of time and my radio wireless triggers were on the fritz, so we just made it happen with the nice soft light from the overcast sky. 

Portrait Of The Week Series - No.1: Damian Alexander

Shot during a recent publicity shoot for the band Blacklistt, this is an image taken near the end of a three hour, multi-location photo session.

Damian Alexander - Auckland, May 2013 

After taking band portraits at two different outdoor locations, the band, management and I decided to escape the rain and use an inner city Auckland bar for a few more set-ups with all the band followed by individual portraits.

As the band's lead vocalist, Damian has a fairly intense stage persona which he was quite willing to explore in the portrait session.

Based on his photos you'd probably think he was a dark, twisted, scary motherf*cker. In actual fact, he is the nicest, most easy-going guy you could meet. Thanks Damian.

Mix Master Mike Drops In To Rock Hauraki

Beastie Boy Mix Master Mike recently spent 48 hours in Auckland to headline a media event for Radio Hauraki.

Not your typical act for an event put on by a rock format station, The Serial Wax Killer quickly showed his love for hard rock (and other genres) with a set that had jaws dropping and eyes bulging - Mike's scratching technique truly has to be seen to be believed.

All those present were treated to a rock masterclass from a true musical icon.

The Winery Tour Kicks Off - Bands Play, Audience Drink

Three "supergroups" hit the viney slopes of Ascension Estate in Matakana (Saturday 2nd February, 2013) playing in front of a well-lubricated audience - man, people get drunk real quick these days! A certain amount of pre-loading must be going on - kids run wild while parents attempt to dance (badly) amongst blankets, chilly bins and beach chairs. Space is at a premium, but everyone is in good spirits - except when they inevitably have to join the queue for the porta-loos which stretches almost back in front of the stage. Highly amusing to hear Campbell Smith issuing housekeeping messages over the PA.

To the music. Toogood kept the tone light for The Adults who must have perplexed a lot of the crowd who were there early to claim their patch of grass and set up booze camp. Classy stuff all round though from Jon, Julia and Shane.

The "main" act followed - Anika, Boh & Hollie who proved that the sum is truly greater than the parts. Fabulous chemistry; a great support band; a fine spread of songs; and a stunning finale in Bathe In The River. These ladies deserve success with their just-released album Peace Of Mind.

The organism that is Fat Freddy's Drop finished the night with a sprawling set that picked up immeasurably when MC Slave leapt onto stage to rark up the, by now mostly arseholed crowd.

Shooting the first three songs only from the pit in front of the stage is always an interesting experience in "getting the shot". Hard to get a feel for the performance in such a short time and the lighting set-up for each act naturally is wildly different over the course of the evening.

An unexpected challenge (at this genre of gig!) was the audience - anytime I neared the crowd barriers to get a better angle I was grabbed, stroked, squeezed and practically groped by the drunk teens and 20-somethings who were revelling in the free-flowing sav supplied by their parents. And of course they insist that I take their picture - frickin' Facebook generation.

Rocking The Basement

Auckland's iconic rock radio station is re-launching it's brand with new imagery across press, outdoor and online - this time with some attitude.

The photography is the result of a few hours spent in a basement car-park with the nice folks at Hauraki.

Rigged a couple of speedlights to fire back into a large silver umbrella high above my left shoulder. Simple, flattering, rock n' roll lighting - everyone looks good in black and white.

Its always fun photographing these guys and nice to be involved with a major media campaign.

Two Bands At An Airforce Base

Its always fun to be asked to shoot new PR images for bands - the trick is wrangling everyone together at the right time and place.

In this case Soljah and The Dozen were part of a line-up playing at the Whenuapai Airforce Base for their Christmas 'do' - so military precision was the order of the day.

Prior to both bands playing I took some time with each of them to take some new PR shots, and was lucky enough to have access to a hanger as the weather was looking dodgy.

First up was Soljah, and a nicer bunch of Northlanders you couldn't hope to meet.

Unfortunately we weren't able to include any of the planes in the images (Airforce regs) - but what the hey - probably kept things more simple. I lit the guys with two umbrellas and a third modded-flash for the group shots and then finished with some quick portraits at the end of the shoot using just one medium-sized umbrella.

As soon as I was finished with Soljah, the boys from The Dozen arrived and we spent probably no more than 15 minutes getting in some fairly casual group shots - this time with the hanger door open.

I quickly shuffled the light stands around and used an umbrella'd speedlight for key and additional lights left and right rear.

Both image series were processed in Lightroom 4 with the same "Band Grunge" preset and perhaps a little extra exposure fill on the faces. 

Then back over to the stage area for some live shots of Soljah's set.

I was pretty hungry and tired by the end of the set so decided to head off home early and was actually stopped and breathalized on the way out of the base - just the one beer so no worries there.

Less than 24 hours later a tornado swept through the area, devastating the local neighbourhood - wrecking dozens of houses and killing three people. By all accounts, the Airforce Base personnel played a big part in coordinating the support and clean up effort. Good on you boys and girls.