Fellow Photographers,

Welcome to this week’s Photography Newsletter.  The focus of this newsletter is to try to encourage you to try something new.  We grow as photographers when we push ourselves a little outside our comfort zone.  I know there are many people who read this newsletter regularly but who have never been to an event at the studio.  And that fine.  But perhaps you have wondered about coming to an event and thought you might be overwhelmed by it and perhaps you would feel you don’t know what you are doing.  Well if that’s you then this Friday Night’s event “Try Something New” is for you.  Not only will everything about working in the studio be fully explained, but I’m offering a massive 40% discount to anyone who has never been to an event at Ian’s Studio before.  There really is no better time to try it out.

Two other events I want to highlight are the Through the Decades event on Sunday with Model Amy Pulford.  For those who like fashion photography and/or pin-up this is a day not to be missed.   Our new Essential Art Nude course starts on Thursday 23rd October.  I need to confirm number for this one fairly soon so please let me know if you are planning to book for it.

Finally we have two blog posts and a photo to share with you.  So for all this (and the full list of events) please read on….

Deal of Day

[DEAL OF THE DAY] Try Something New


This week’s “Deal of the Day” is a massive 40% off the price price for this Friday Night’s event IF you are a first time visitor to the studio.  That means you will pay just £15 instead of the full price of £25.

As photographers we improve by trying new things.  That might be trying studio photography for the first time.  It might be trying out a different studio to the one you normally use.   I like to think that all the events at Ian’s Studio are welcoming to first time visitors, but this week’s event will be especially so, and to encourage new visitors to come this week, I am offering a massive 40% discount on the price of this event for anyone who has never been to one of our events before.

If you have never shot in a studio before and don’t know what to expect, there is nothing to worry about.  All you need to bring is your camera and yourself.  Most people shoot with DSLRs but so long as as your camera has a hot-shoe and the ability to work in manual mode you will be fine.  For those who need it, I take the time to explain the settings you will need on your camera and also how we set-up and meter the lights.

If you are familiar with studio shoots but never been to one at Ian’s Studio, we are a relatively small studio with a limit of 7 photographer shooting at an event like this.  Tea, coffee and biscuits are available.  If you want advice on shooting or how to pose models I’m happy to provide it… but only if you want it.  We try to ensure that everyone gets a fair chance to shoot, and where possible we try to give opportunities for those who wish to change the lighting to do so.

The model for this event is Zoe Harlotta.  http://purpleport.com/portfolio/zoeharlotta/?referrer=ianbutty (Safe for work).

Price £15 for first time visitors (£25 everyone else).

Book your place here:  http://www.ians-studio.co.uk/events/try-something-new/

Forthcoming Events

Sunday, 19 October 2014 – Through the Decades

Through the Decades

Location: Ian’s Studio
Time: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Price: £75

In March model Amy Pulford came to the studio for a 1920’s evening.  This proved to be a huge success and Amy’s attention to detail when it comes to her outfits and make-up is second to none.  This October Amy will return to the studio for a full day.  The theme will be “Through the Decades”.  Each set we shoot will be based on a different decade starting with the 1920’s through to the present day.

To help with the changes we will have an MUA joining us at this event.  We are aiming to shoot 7 or 8 different decades at this shoot.  We will attempt to include as many as possible of the following:

  • 1920’s – Flapper Dress
  • 1930’s – Hollywood Glamour/Caberet style
  • 1940’s – War-time Land Girl
  • 1950’s – Classic Swimsuit Pin-up
  • 1960’s – Hippy Chick
  • 1970’s – Punk
  • 1980’s – Yuppie Girl/Business Power
  • 2000’s – Geeky Girl

You can find Amy’s profile on Purpleport here: http://purpleport.com/portfolio/amypulford7/?referrer=ianbutty

Price: £75

Please book via my website: http://www.ians-studio.co.uk/events/through-the-decades/

Thursday, 23 October 2014 – Essential Art Nude Course

Essential Art Nude Course

Location: Ian’s Studio
Time: 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Price: £299

This six session course covers all the essential techniques you need to create great studio based art nude images.  In each session we will work with a different art nude model.  The course runs on Thursday Evenings starting on 23rd October 2014.

Over the course of the six weeks we will look at the following:

  • Lo-key (black background)  – including one-light and sandwich lighting set-ups
  • Grey background work – with a greater emphasis on the way the model poses
  • Bodyscapes and body parts
  • Working with props
  • Silhouettes
  • Erotic nude

No previous experience of studio work is required.

In order to give participants the opportunity of working with different models on different techniques, rather than spending a whole session on one of the above topics, we will look at three topics each session, returning to some of them multiple times throughout the course.  This will give you the chance to photograph each model in three different lighting set-ups.

In each session we will introduce two or three new lighting set-ups.  Each lighting set-up will be fully documented with lighting diagrams, behind the scene shots and example images.  So that you can use the notes to recreate the set-ups in the future.

In order to improve your studio skills, course participants will be encouraged to help set-up lights and backgrounds.

The course requires a minimum of FOUR photographers to run at the advertised price.  The maximum number of photographers on this course will be six.

Price: £299

Please book via my website: http://www.ians-studio.co.uk/events/essential-art-nude-course/

From the Blog…

[BLOG] Models are real people too!

Amy P

The photographs above are two images of Model Amy Pulford.  The image on the right is one I took at a 1920’s themed shoot at my studio earlier this year.  The one on the left is a selfie that Amy took and posted to her personal Facebook page last night.  In the selfie image she looks tired and sleepy, and in the post she talks about being tired and sleepy.

This morning on Facebook I saw a second post from Amy it was about a message she had received from someone on her ‘friends list’ telling her to “remove that pic” because “that photo does ya no favours”.  This ‘friend’ goes on to justify this because the image might be seen by a modelling agent.  It is clear from the tone of the post and it’s content that  Amy is upset at that message.

When I read those posts and looked at the selfie it made me angry that any model should have to put up that kind of message from anyone.  Models are real people too!  That means they get tired, they get sleepy, they don’t wear make-up 24/7.  It also means that they have feelings and they get upset aswell.

No-one has the right to tell a model what she can and cannot post to her personal page.  If we start to think that all a model should post is perfect images with perfect make-up and perfect outfits, while doing perfect poses then all we have done is to make her in to a commodity, she is no longer a human being she is an object.  If people start thinking of a person just as an object like that, then perhaps it is no wonder that they fail to see how a message about a no make-up selfie image can be so hurtful.

As for doing her no favours?  I book models all the time for paid work.  A sleepy/no make-up image would in no way affect my decisions to book a model.  That isn’t her doing her modelling, that is her being herself.  Would you expect a taxi driver to only post images of himself behind the wheel of his car?  No.  Would you get out of his cab if he had a photograph on display of him riding a bike?  Of course not.

On the contrary I want the models I work with to be real people.  The best images come when photographer and model take risks and push themselves a little – models who control their image to the nth degree tend not to be risk takers.  Yes, I want to be able to look at images that show a model can pose, but other images, selfies, snaps with friends, etc show another side to the person, it shows personality.  A model with personality can make an image come alive much more than hours in Photoshop ever could.

And while I cannot speak for every photographer who has come through the doors of my studio, I would like to think that the vast majority would agree with me on this. Models are not just a commodity and should never be treated as such.  And to any that don’t agree with this, to be brutally honest with you, you are probably not the sort photographer I want at my studio.


When I wrote the first draft of this blog post, I didn’t include any images and I didn’t name Amy as the model.  I sent Amy a copy of that version of the blog post and she very kindly and bravely allowed me to not only name her as the model but allowed me to include the selfie image in this post too.

Amy will be back at my studio on Sunday 19th October for a “Through the Decades” full day event.  http://www.ians-studio.co.uk/events/through-the-decades/

[BLOG] Hard disk holding 10 years of images is unrecoverable.

I entered the office this morning to be greeted by my disk array bleeping and the drive that holds ALL my images for 1998 through 2007 giving the ‘click of death’ sound. After several attempts to revive it, my sad conclusion is that it is beyond recovery.

I had zero warning of it’s failure… no time to pull any data off the drive. It is a dead HDD the only use I can put it too now is as a paper weight.

This would be devastating news had I not got up-to-date backups. For me it was just a case of renaming the back-up drive to be the live one and I am up and running again.

Next job is to check to see if I have lost anything.  And here’s a useful little trick for all Adobe Lightroom users.  In the Library Module, from the Library Menu select select “Find All Missing Photos” – Lightroom will go through your entire collection and check that it can find all the images that exist in the catalog.

After about 10 minutes Lightroom creates a collection in the “Catalog” panel called “Missing Photographs” – in my case it confirmed what I thought I knew the only thing I have lost are the PSD files for two eFlyers that I created at the weekend but hadn’t yet backed up.  Even those aren’t a big deal as I have resulting JPG versions already on-line.

So here’s the challenge, when was the last time you backed up all your photos?  How wold you cope if you woke up one morning and discovered the hard disk containing 10 years of photography was unrecoverable?  Hard Disks fail.  It is not a case of if it will fail, but when it will fail.

It’s a lesson for all of us…. backups are important.  You never know when you will need them.

Photo of the Day

POTD Fri, 10 Oct 2014: Just Add Water

Jesse-Marie – Just Add Water event at Ian’s Studio

This photo of the day is from our “Just add Water” event at the studio. During this event we looked at various techniques for combining a model and water. You can see the full set of images here: http://photos.imb.biz/model/shoot/jesse-water (Please note: some images contain nudity).

For the final image I have added digital rain and lightning effects. If you want to learn how to create those sorts of effects I am rerunning in Digital Rain & Lightning workshop in December. See: http://www.ians-studio.co.uk/events/digital-rain-wet-look-glamour-workshop-3/

PLEASE NOTE: This is not a source of free photographs.
This photograph is (c) Ian M Butterfield. All rights are reserved. No use Is permitted (including non-commercial use) without prior permission. If you wish to use any of my photographs please ask first.

Image Reference: FG1010A-G12369

The Full Programme

For full details of all our fourthcomming events please use the links below or click on the event eFlyer.

Friday, 17 October 2014 – Try Something New!
Sunday, 19 October 2014 – Through the Decades
Thursday, 23 October 2014 – Essential Art Nude Course
Friday, 24 October 2014 – Studio Fashions
Friday, 31 October 2014 – Mounting and Matting
Sunday, 16 November 2014 – Studio Photography Taster Day
Saturday, 6 December 2014 – Digital Rain & Wet-look Glamour Workshop