Results of Assistant for the Day

I know that you will have read earlier Elizabeth Morton’s, “Assistant for the Day” post on here a few weeks back. In this post I would like to share the finished results and let you see some of what the day was about.


Firstly I would like to that both Elizabeth for her assistance and Wiktoria for modelling.

The whole point of the exercise was to use various lighting techniques to allow me to do a presentation for future students.   As Elizabeth and Peter Adams have now moved up a gear with HNC Portraiture I felt that I had to keep myself ahead of them by raising my game with the HND cohort.  Competition is always good and it keeps things fresh in the photography department.

Wiktoria at 9 am then 11 am


One of the most difficult things for photography students to learn with portraiture or fashion, is how to talk, pose and work a model.  It can take a life time to get it right and I still try new things every time I have a model in front of me.  It is easy to get stale and have a system that works and then what happens is you want to stay safe in your comfort zone, don’t, experiment with lighting, accessories, exposure, poses and equipment.  Once you get the model working don’t keep stopping to see how each photo looks, keep moving, have a little music on, speak continuously to the model.

Think outside the box and experiment, that’s the only way you’ll learn.



Try and capture what you want in the camera, it’s too easy now to think, “well there is a crease in the backdrop but I’ll fix it with Photoshop”.  Another thing I find irritating is that everyone these days seems to think that all models faces, male or female, should be without a blemish.  What you end up with is a wax face! None of these images have been softened.  A good make up artist will do what you need every time.




Don’t fall into the trap of taking 15/20 shots of the same pose, vary it, small bursts of 3 or 4 is fine and move on.  Don’t get lazy, move lights and try something else. Use gels or different attachments. At one point in my life I couldn’t afford attachments so I made my own.  I used to use a tennis racket in front of a light to give me a pattern on the background.  Today we’d call them (Gobos)


I hope you enjoy this small piece and get some inspiration from it.  If you can think it, you can do it. There is no barrier to your imagination so use it.


  1. Keep the model working
  2. Use a tripod, you can take photos without the model realising
  3. Spend time researching what you are going to do, don’t make it all up on the day


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