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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Informing Contexts – Work Evaluation – Editorial Shoot

At the Photography Show in Birmingham 19th March 2017, I had the opportunity to take part in a shoot with Photoshoot Magazine ( The aim of the session was to provide an overview of shooting a model for editorial purposes from both the model’s and the editor’s perspective.  A studio was set up in a conference room and 6 photographers attended each session.

A professional editorial photographer, Mike Hardley, was on hand to offer help and advice, as well as the Editor in Chief of the magazine, Jane Kelly, who explained how images should be presented for publication.

The advice given when considering images for editorial publication was:-

  1. Be aware of the style of the magazine.  What do they normally publish?

  2. Have a purpose for the shoot.  Is the image for the cover or to illustrate a story in the magazine.

  3. Make sure that there is sufficient space around the image for text.

  4. Provide a mixture of images to the magazine so that they have something to choose from – present both cropped images and images with plenty of space around the model.

  5. Consider the use of angles – step back and look at the space around the model.

  6. If the magazine has a binding, bear that in mind when presenting images.  Make sure the model is to one side of the other of your image – a staple and join in the middle of the face is not attractive.

  7. Make sure you build up a rapport quickly with the model.  Have some banter with them and make sure you are clear in your directions to them.

  8. When taking shots, let the model know if you are taking full body, 3/4 body, 1/2 body or head and shoulder shots.  They then know which parts of their body needs to be posed.

We were all invited to submit our best 5 images after the shoot, along with a short bio about ourselves.  The images needed to be provided at minimum 300 dpi for print (no logo) and a 72 dpi for web (with our logo/name on the image).  The images will be used in  a special edition of the magazine and on their video and blog.  One photographer will have their work published on the front cover of the magazine (fingers crossed).

The model, Chiara Elisabetta, was really easy and friendly to work with.  As a professional model, she is very aware of her body and what works in front of the camera and what doesn’t.  I quickly built up a rapport with her and we were able to get some great shots.  In my allotted 10 minutes I was able to take 130 images of which all would be useable if I wanted.  Chiara commented at the end of  my time that I was really fun and easy to work with.


Figure 1: Sutherst 2017

This was a new experience for me.  The studio was set up and I had no say over the positioning or intensity of the lights.  There were 3 lights used in much the same way that I set up lighting (Figure 1).  The backdrop used was grey as that was the theme the magazine had chosen.  The side profile shots of the model were only to be shot from the side determined by the model.  She took direction well and tried to please every photographer, no matter how experienced or inexperienced they were. The model’s clothing and props were predetermined, as was the aim of the shoot.  The limited time really made me focus on the job at hand.

The experience made me appreciate what it would be like to work professionally in editorial or fashion photography.  The challenge was great fun and I loved every short minute of it.  I would really like to experience this again on a bigger scale.  My biggest issue of the whole experience was choosing my best 5 images to send through.  I edited the images based on the advice offered by Jane and I sent through the images I thought best fulfilled the brief.

Figures 2-4 are a sample of the images that I captured on the day.  They are portraiture shots designed to support text in a magazine.  The images are not intended to sell anything, they represent a lifestyle and tell a story.  I tried to capture a different mood to the other photographers in my session.  The model is very good at the sultry look that you can see in figures 2 and 4.  I worked with her to create a more relaxed and informal, happy look as seen in figure 3.  I was the only one in my session that did this, so I hope this makes my images stand out in a good way.

The lighting in the images I produced is very flattering to the model.  The shadow adds depth to the model without adding hardness.

Overall I really enjoyed the experience and am pleased with the resulting images.  In a future blog, I will publish the images I sent to the magazine for publication.


Figure 2: Sutherst 2017


Figure 3: Sutherst 2017


Figure 4: Sutherst 2017

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