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A Date with Shillelagh – production photography

A Date with Shillelagh – production photography

A Date with Shillelagh – Short Film – Production Photography

I spent a week in Loughborough photographing the cast and crew of the short film ‘A Date with Shillelagh’ written and produced by Keith Large, directed and co-written by Jeff Stewart, staring Eleanor Burke, Lauren Cornelius, Stewart Horobin and Peter McManus. This gritty story is about a rising star trying to break into the insidious music industry and how she copes with being used along the way, in the back drop of the sexist 70’s. Shot over 5 days in Loughborough by DoP Alessandro Oliveri on the Sony using Canon cine lenses and an Easy Rig.

I had recently bought the Canon 16-35 2.8 mk2 and this was the perfect shoot to try it out on, most of these were shot using it, others were the Canon 85 1.8. This ability to shoot low level afforded me more freedom than my usual f4, as on set the DoP was lighting consistently for T2 much to the annoyance of his poor focus puller. The turnaround was quick so there is not much time to re-light for stills, occasionally I managed it, simply by angling the actors right for the light or using a bounce board. The wide angle 16mm on a full frame was, I can’t light, so much fun and I managed to capture more action in a dynamic still than my previous widest of 24mm – Adding to your lens language makes you so much more adapt at being able to capture the story especially when you are in a confined space. As usual I colour graded the characters fitting the story, this was set in the 70’s so I went for a heavily saturated film look, not worrying about the ISO in camera some were shot over 3200 ISO. I used a VSCO preset as starting inspiration and tweaking each image accordingly. The bts were converted to b/w to separate the action.

Locations: The Paget Arms, thanks to Jo the landlord and Smithie’s Marina Bar

Click to enlarge


The Carrot Nappers at Buxton Fringe 2017

The Carrot Nappers at Buxton Fringe 2017

The Carrot Nappers at Buxton Fringe 2017. A play written by Keith Large

One of many promos of the play which I shot and cut

Charlie Mizon

Charlie Mizon is one of those dark comedians whose audiences are full of nervous laughter, too scared to laugh, uncomfortable, close to the bone. His subject matters are depression, failure and suicide, ideal subject matter for comedy. Ideal subject for portrait photography.

Charlie has a one man stand up show inhabited by many characters, we photographed each of them. No costume changes, just a few props.

There is the Chef Preston Blumenthal, the priest is Pastor Ted Bear and the magician is the Great Faustini, though my favourite is the nurse Sister Claire Crippin.

T @charliemizon



1x Softbox on a boom arm above him

1 x Poly underneath/to the side

1x Beauty Dish for the background

1x Artic White Backdrop

MNDA at The Brighton Marathon 2017

MNDA at The Brighton Marathon 2017

MNDA at The Brighton Marathon 2017

Photographing runners raising money for Motor Neurone Disease at the Brighton Marathon was a moving experience, also involved a bit of planning of positions and a lot of cycling around to each point. The love and support which I captured had me in tears most of the day and I felt very fortunate to be able to photograph some of their stories from the start at Preston park to the finish at Madeira Drive, on a very hot and sunny day.

Advice for other photographers:

  • Pick 3 spots ahead of the day to capture most of the runners according to the light. Mine were opposite the Pavilion; on the road where they were running up then coming back so I could get the from both directions
  • Wear their charity top so the can see you and at least make eye contact, wave, smile – depending on pain! Shout the charity to get attention
  • Settings f4-f8, high shutter for no motion blur (if that is your style, use a higher ISO to help) Change the focus points on cam to match their face when staying in the same spot
  • Backpack with water, snack, suncream! Use a baseball cap, as we cant use shades, keep that sun off you!
  • You may not be able to use your phone to contact client, it was so busy in Brighton that day I couldn’t. They did tell me when the last runner had left, so I knew when to leave my first spot
  • Have the route on your phone
  • Get press accreditation from organisors
  • Group shots back at the charity’s tent
  • Shoot with a landmark in the background i.e. the Pavilion with a wide lens – The rest was a longer lens just for runners – Finish line wide angle
  • Ask about any special runners i.e. Unicorns, wheelchairs etc
  • Capture any stories, there is a lot of emotion!
Sammy Silver & Benjamin Butch

Sammy Silver & Benjamin Butch

UK Drag Kings Sammy SilverBenjamin Butch at a car wash photoshoot on Brighton seafront

GoPro 240fps – Ground Control LUT

Music: Aphex Twin/Window Licker

Mishkin Fitzgerald – Seraphim

Mishkin Fitzgerald – Seraphim

Mishkin Fitzerald musician by Brighton artist Photographer Emma Bailey

Mishkin is one of my talented friends in BirdEatsBaby and ‘Serephim‘ is her first solo EP.

She has a unique style created from her fan art which inspired this shoot for her new front cover. The Dove was hired in from Sussex Dove Release with a handler and had VIP treatment, he was so relaxed that he felt free enough to have a toilet moment on our star – who was professional as ever and the excrement only added to the shoot, as she was already covered in fake blood

Shooting wise I had 1 light bounced on the white backdrop. Then 2 x large softboxes opposite each other lighting Mish on either side, no front light, so we had some great gothic modeling lighting on her body. In post, after cleaning the backdrop, I dodged and burned certain areas of her, bringing out the tensed body and making the photograph feel more like a painting.


Red Bull

Red Bull

It’s been said that Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo is a model Formula One driver, so Sheep Films took that literally in this miniature guide to the Canadian Grand Prix.

We spent a day at Red Bull HQ in Milton Keynes lighting the green screen and Daniel’s liva action part, we were lucky enough to light the main floor where the expensive cars were the stars. Daytime drew to a close and Daniel arrived, we only had a 1 hour slot to film everything in, for the Canadian track and others. He learnt his lines, was a lovely chap and here is one of the videos.

Director: Dave Packer

DoP: Frank Madone

Gaffer: Emma Bailey

Gordi – Great Escape Festival 2016

Gordi – Great Escape Festival 2016

Gordi – The Great Escape Festival 2016

Australian singer/songwriter Gordi was over on her European tour with her indie pop rock. She played The Great Escape at Komedia and upstairs at Patterns on the first day.



Dan Greest

Dan Greest

Dan is such a lovely guy, we had a very chilled shoot for his actor headshots. He has a fierce, but calm look in his photographs – slightly moody, but you can see the warmth in his eyes. In-between shots his massive smile would come out, but he found it easy to slip between the two emotions and can even cry on demand, though I never asked him to prove it. An actor so in control of their emotions and easy to work with is an absolute pleasure to photograph.

Dan had got a wonderful choice of arriving with a beard and shaving half way through the shoot to show the casting directors the variety that his Hungarian face can show.

Dan Greest

Casting Call Pro

Sasha Ellen

Sasha Ellen

Sasha approached me needing to update her actors headshots, but also wanting some performers portraits for her stand up comedy.

English rose appearance at 26yrs old, but of Russian descent added to her look and attitude, cute, but also bold, determined and of course, funny.

It is so important to understand who, what and why you are photographing – What story do you want to tell about someone?

This only works if they let you in and want to say something about themselves, it is a collaboration – it is also fun

Sasha and I met and talked about her work, she gave me her older headshots and said what she liked and disliked, so we had a point of reference and talked about her comedy and her writing – she had a hit play in New York and Ed Finge Signal Failure

The shoot was fab – shooting double the ammount I normally photograph. Outside in my courtyard, with late afternoon sun, cloud and reflector we had good light. In the studio I used 2 soft boxes above and behind – shooting on a small ladder with a 24mm lens, distorting Sasha, whilst she ran through some of her routine

Look out for her in May 28th-29th at Brighton Fringe 4 Minute Warning


Casting Call Pro