My first try at studio-style portraits

My local photo society had a studio-style model shoot this week which gave me my first ever chance to shoot professional models in this sort of environment. To be clear, this wasn’t a true studio setting, it was more a case of those members with studio-lights, backdrops etc. bringing them along, and then a session of organised shoots with each of the four models, so each member got a few minutes to photograph each of them.

I took along a couple of cameras: the Yashica Mat (which I remembered I’d loaded with 100asa film at the weekend, rather than the Delta 400 I’d bought for this session!), and my Nikon F80 with a Sigma 105mm f/2.8 and a 50mm f/1.8. I brought along a couple of film choices for the Nikon, but quickly decided on a roll of Tmax P3200 that I gratefully received from my Emulsive Secret Santa last year, and which I’ve not had opportunity to shoot until now. I figured the 3200asa film would give me plenty of leeway with shutter speed and hopefully produce some nice gritty portraits.

It became quickly apparent that I wouldn’t have enough time to faff around with the Yashica Mat, tripod, light meter etc, so quickly fell back to the F80 for the task at hand. Having never worked with models before, I didn’t really have a clue on how to direct them (and being somewhat shy didn’t help me either), but I was able to direct them in some poses I wanted to shoot, and I also heeded some advice I’d heard on a YouTube video once: That you should trust the model to pose for you. It’s their job, and they’ll know what works better than an inexperience photographer. This was good advice.

Anyway, not knowing quite what results I would get, I was very happy when I got my processed negatives back. While I’m sure there are many points to criticise, for my first attempt I was really happy with what I’d got. I’m not sure it’s something that I’m interested in pursuing further, but it was a good experience.

Anyway, here are a small selection (and there are a few more on my Flickr stream if you want to see the rest).

FILM - WPS Model Session-3

FILM - WPS Model Session

FILM - WPS Model Session-5

FILM - WPS Model Session-6

FILM - WPS Model Session-8

FILM - WPS Model Session-10

FILM - WPS Model Session-12

Nikon F80, Sigma 105mm f/2.8 OS HSM (except the shot with the tattoed arm in the foreground, which was the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AF-D) & Kodak Tmax P3200.

Taken on 19 March 2019


Appy Allan

While I was wandering around the School Strike for Climate protest last friday, I happened across the chap in the photo below. He was dressed in unusual but smart attire and had an interesting look about him so I decided to do something I rarely do – ask if I could make a portrait. He generously allowed me to take the shot below and I stood and chatted to him for a while. He was pleased to see the schoolkids standing up for something they believed in, and said how it wouldn’t have been possible to do so when he was at school. He went on to tell me a little about himself – the clothes he was wearing were Vivienne Westwood designs, and he explained that, thanks to his colourful and interesting life story, a documentary was being produced about him ( He was a friendly bloke and it was good to speak with him.

FILM - Appy Allan

Olympus 35 RC & JCH Street Pan.

Taken on 15 February 2019


Another shot from the flea market. I’d spotted this guy on my initial walk-around and wondered about getting a candid shot, but as I approached the stall I saw another photographer ask him if he could take a portrait. After he’s moved away I decided to fo the same, and the guy was good enough to oblige. Un-noticed by me at the time, the original photographer had walked around the next row of stalls and gave me a direct glance as I took my shot. Two for the price of one. 🙂

FILM - Photobombed

Canon Sure Shot Telemax & Kodak Tri-X.

Taken on 22 February 2018