Familiar face

May 25, 2011

Our favourite album manufacturers, GF Smith held an “Inspirational Day” recently with renowned photographers Kevin Wilson and Mark Lawrence at the wonderful Custard Factory in the middle of Birmingham.

Overexposed Holly!

Overexposed Holly!

Helping Mark was a model called Holly who was very professional & patient while each photographer took their turn to shoot. At one point, having moved to a new location, I took a picture with the camera on totally the wrong exposure setting. However, once the amazing Adobe Lightroom photo processing software had worked its magic I was able to produce an artistic picture from a file that would otherwise be only fit for deletion!

While I am familiar shooting ‘on the streets’ with my own Urban Confidence, the locations provided in the middle of Birmingham were rather different to the familiar, genteel, rural town of Ross-on-Wye. We used some of the great open space locations in the Custard Factory, some nearby railway arches and, most spectacularly, a wall of crushed cars in the industrial Heath Mill Lane.

Holly & the wall of crushed cars

Holly & the wall of crushed cars


We finished the shoot back at The Custard Factory. As the rest of the delegates were leaving Holly spotted a striking hanging sculpture called The Deluge & asked for a picture
Holly underneath The Deluge

Holly underneath The Deluge

of her underneath and I was happy to oblige! There are many other sculptures as well as interesting artisan shops so The Custard Factory, just a few yards from Birmingham’s Bull Ring, is well worth a visit. GF Smith really had provided an inspiring day!

When I got back to the studio I realised I had seen Holly a couple of weeks before when reading on the BBC news web site about the BP Portrait Award shortlist. She was the model for a superb 12 foot high painting by Louis Smith naturally called ‘Holly’. We had remembered the painting due to its beautiful classic lighting so she was a familiar face!