Event Photography at Derby college

The Roundhouse in Derby is a fabulous venue for any event, and once a year it hosts the Peak Awards, a celebration of achievements by learners across the College and its many sites. As a local Derby photographer I’ve been asked to photograph the event for the past few years, and here are a handful of images from the 2014 ceremony. The photographs are used by the College in Press Releases, promotional material, on social media and in the prospectus. In addition to photographing the winners with their trophies I try to capture some of the atmosphere of the event as the guests arrive and enjoy their meals.Peak Awards-7943

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The traditional end of the ceremony group shot.

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Corporate photography in Derby

Creating the right visual image for your company is a vital part of promoting your product in the modern business world. Of course, the product is what defines your business, but customers do like to be able to identify with the people behind the product, too. Consequently, companies are now very keen to use photography to present the human side of their business. As a Derby photographer I’ve been called on several times recently to provide corporate headshots and other photographs for local businesses. Some companies prefer to have a location portrait as this can create a more informal look, where others opt to have a photo shoot with studio lighting and a white backdrop for a professional image.

Corporate portrait photography on location

Graham Mulholland in the new production facility on Raynesway, Derby.

Graham Mulholland in the new production facility on Raynesway, Derby.

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Sports photography on location – photos for Middlesbrough FC

Middlesbrough FC Screen shot

As a photographer the majority of calls I get are for family portraits, headshots, band photos, and the like. However, every so often something comes along which is a little out of the ordinary. For example I was recently contacted by Origination, the Derby-based marketing agency, to carry out a location shoot of a sporting nature. It transpired that the location was in Darlington and the job was to photograph the team members of Middlesbrough FC wearing their new season’s strip. The team is sponsored by Adidas, so the shoot had to be carried out with careful attention to presenting the clothing in the best light, and to make the players look appropriately heroic.

The shoot involved a large number of players and other team members, and a bewildering range of strip (Home, Away, training, etc.), so there were two photographers on the shoot: myself and another Derby photographer, Stuart Wood, known for his celebrity portraits as seen on numerous magazine covers and ad campaigns.

We both had to ensure that the photos we took matched in terms of lighting so there was some consultation over the best way to achieve this. In essence we both set up a studio (complete with background and studio flash heads) in the teams’ indoor training facility in Darlington – the first time I’ve carried out a shoot on Astroturf!

On The Road

The day began early, loading up the car with all the kit I needed: six flash heads with stands, soft-boxes and honeycomb modifiers, cables, extension leads, background paper and stands, flash triggers and light meter, camera and lenses. The drive North to Darlington is straightforward, but still took nearly three hours, and on arrival I had to carry everything into the sports hall and set up my “studio” as quickly as possible to be ready for the “models”.

I needed to use so many lights because the requirement for the shoot was to light the players from the front with two soft-boxes, and to create a rim light from behind. In order to create this back-lighting effect from head to toe I needed two lights on either side, positioned next to the background paper.

Test shot showing the lighting arrangement for the shoot

Test shot showing some of the lighting arrangement for the shoot

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Street photography or street theatre? Philip-Lorca DiCorcia at The Hepworth Wakefield

Philip-Lorca DiCorcia: Head, 2011

Philip-Lorca DiCorcia: Head, 2011

Their faces are larger than life-size, lit dramatically and looming out of the darkness. They could be actors in a stage play, but in fact are strangers photographed on the street, caught as they walk into the pool of light created by the photographer’s flash gun positioned overhead. They all have the slightly blank expression of people walking through a crowded street, and have been caught unawares by Philip Lorca DiCorcia’s camera. The images are in colour, with rich black shadows, and printed to a massive scale (48 x 60 inches / 122 x 152 cm), and the scale reveals all the detail in their faces and clothing. These photos are clearly not all they seem to be on first viewing, and challenge preconceptions about the fleeting nature of “street photography”. These photos are premeditated and set-up in the sense that the lighting has been installed and carefully angled to produce the desired effect, and the camera is pre-focused on the correct spot, waiting for the unwitting subjects to walk into the “studio”. Unlike Joel Meyerowitz, who spends his time stalking the streets, camera in hand, waiting for the magic to happen in front of his Leica, DiCorcia sets up his hefty medium format equipment and just lets the subjects find him.

Philip-Lorca DiCorcia at The Hepworth Gallery, Wakefield

Philip-Lorca DiCorcia at The Hepworth Gallery, Wakefield

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