#TattooStory - 1a (TJ Bear) 1b (Time and Tide) - Graham F

It's an exciting and scary (mostly scary) thing starting a project, all kinds of things run through your head but you have to move forward.

Shot the first two stories for this project back in December, thanks to a broken PC and having to buy and setup an new one I am only getting round to posting the images in the project gallery today.  Anyway..

When I announced this project I was not sure what kind of response to expect but was pleasantly surprised at the great initial response.  The first subject could not of been better... Graham F and his two stories are a great way to kick start this project off.

I travelled down to Poole for this shoot, never been but was impressed by what I saw.  Decided to stay over for a weekend to give me enough time to shoot if the weather decided to have fun with us.. which it kind of did.

My original project plan layout was to shoot 3 images per story, but Graham threw me a curve ball he had two great stories and I had travelled 230 miles so I had to shoot both of them.  

Since the two stories tie in and work together for the environmental portrait shot I decided to shoot only one environmental for the two stories.

In the blog post announcing this project I talk a little about the process and the locations where the shoots will happen, in the case of this one we could not shoot at Grahams family home so we re purposed my Hotel room as a studio for the first 4 images.

Its a fairly simple lighting set up as it goes but not with out its own challenges,  The room was small with white walls and a low white ceiling... great until you want to light a background (one of the walls). 

You can get an idea of the lighting setup in the image below, had to make it work in that small space and with those walls.


Just to give you an idea the set up is 3-4 lights and would normally need space to set up 3-3 light stands, two of which for the background.  The difference in this set up is the background light was placed on the floor due to space limitations.  Problem solver first photographer second.

Main Light:  Speedlite in a Westcott 28" Apollo

Fill Light : Speedlite in aWestcott 60" Umbrella (shoot through) just to fill the shadows a little.

Background Light:  Speedlite with a flag/gobo.  Normally 2 will be used if the space is large enough.

In a perfect world I would be able to shoot all the 3/4 and detail shots for this project in a studio but (a) I don't own one... yet and (b) its not always practical to get people into a studio.

A few things about Graham before we go in to the images from the Stories. 

1. He's a great guy and gave everything in his stories, for that I am very grateful.

2. He's a photographer himself.... Ahh Shit!  was my first thought, I mean come  on its hard enough working with a stranger in a strange environment let alone him knowing what I am doing  and quite possibly how well I am (or not) doing it.  :)

But seriously he's a good man who has been through allot, was nearly down and out but kept on keeping on.. kept moving forward.   I could take allot away from that and his stories alone, never mind a set of new images.

Graham's first #TattooStory is named "TJ Bear" after his late Granddad and is full of Family pride & history.  

Grahams second #TattooStory is named "Time and Tide" and revolves around a very personal battle, victory and life motto. 

You can see a smaller preview layout below. But images and stories are best viewed in the main gallery. 

Along with the two stories I also shot an environmental portrait to tie them both in.  I don't have a BTS shot for the environmental... mostly because I forgot to shoot one (I always do that) but also because it was a simple portrait in terms of lighting.

I used a bare speedlite with a CTO gel on.  Picture this.. we are at the docklands in a coastal town sooo it was windy and dam cold,  I had a £320 light rig on the waters edge with a light stand bag attached to weight it down and it still had me jumping up and catch it on one or two occasions.  Not a chance I could of used an umbrella or softbox with out the light and me after it going swimming. 

The environmental portraits are the biggest shrug your shoulders with a blank look image in this project, reason is I have no idea what stories or environments are coming my way. 

I managed to get this shot inside of 5 hours and that included travel a beer lunch break and a talk or two about photography which involved discussions about the industry today and photographers that have influenced us and our work.

Now  I figure most of the #TattooStory's could be shot in about 4-5 hours total.  Remind me to arrange an assistant for windy on location work next time. :)

I am still looking for #TattooStory's for this project during 2014, full details about the project can be found on the link below.

Personal Work + Project's

Thank again Graham for your time and stories.  Stay in Touch.


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